PUERTO RICO HISTORY

written by Elena Harley

The island 'Borinquen' was populated by the Taino Indians until the early 1500's. Carib Indians raided the more peaceful Taino and established a few settlements. Columbus discovered the island on his second voyage in 1493 and named it San Juan. No attempt at settlement was made until Juan Ponce de Leon was given a charter by the King of Spain to colonize the island of San Juan (1508). The first capital city soon moved from its' origins in Caparra to what is now Old San Juan due to the mosquito infestations from the surrounding swamps. The capital city became known as San Juan as the name of the island changed to Puerto Rico (Rich Port). The Spanish government built a series of fortifications, including El Morro and San Cristobal, which still stand guard over the entrance to the harbor. Old San Juan is the second oldest Spanish colonial city in the New World and an excellent example of Spanish colonial architecture; most of which, has been beautifully restored. The lovely blue cobblestones paving the streets were brought as ballast in the ships. The cities of Ponce and Mayaguez were established in the late 1700's.

As settlement of Puerto Rico progressed, the native Indians tried to defend their island but were overpowered by the Spanish' Conquistadores'. The Indians not killed in battle were enslaved, most died off from disease and maltreatment. Many of the Indian women survived and eventually populated the interior of Puerto Rico along with the Spanish sailors who had brought no women with them. For several hundred years Puerto Rico was mainly a small farm economy. In the early 1800's the King of Spain granted a 'Cedula de Gracia' to increase the European population of Puerto Rico by awarding land grants to immigrants from South American colonies, Spain and other European countries. Thus began the century of change from small farms to large coffee plantations, then sugar production came into supremacy. African slaves were imported for the larger plantations. Slavery was abolished in 1873.

Hotels City Rating

El Conquistador Resort Fajardo  4 stars

Fajardo Very good

San Juan Marriott Resort And Stellaris Casino  4 stars

San Juan Great

Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico Hotel Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande Great

Caribe Hilton Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Great

Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande Great

La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort  4 stars

San Juan Great

The Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Great

The Royal Sonesta San Juan Hotel Carolina  4 stars

Carolina Great

Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Great

Embassy Suites By Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino  4 stars

San Juan Great

Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel And Casino  4 stars

San Juan Great

Courtyard By Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Great

Wyndham Palmas Beach And Golf Resort Humacao  4 stars

Humacao Great

Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort  4 stars

Ponce Great

Verdanza Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Embassy Suites By Hilton Dorado Del Mar Beach Resort  3 stars

Dorado Great

San Juan Water & Beach Club Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Great

Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa Guanica  4 stars

Guanica Great

Casablanca Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Hotel El Convento San Juan  4 stars

San Juan Great

Parador Villas Del Mar Hau Isabela  3 stars

Isabela Great

Esj Azul Apartment Carolina  3 stars

Carolina

San Juan Airport Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Great

Mayaguez Resort & Casino  4 stars

Mayaguez Great

Rincon Beach Resort Anasco  4 stars

Anasco Great

Hyatt House San Juan Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Great

Rincon Of The Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel  3 stars

Rincon Great

Villa Cofresi Rincon  3 stars

Rincon Very good

Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado, An Ihg Hotel  3 stars

San Juan Great

Margaritaville Vacation Club By Wyndham - Rio Mar Hotel Rio Grande  4 stars

Rio Grande Great

Doubletree By Hilton San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Great

Hyatt Place Bayamon Hotel  3 stars

Bayamon Great

Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan Carolina  3 stars

Carolina Great

Tryp By Wyndham Isla Verde Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Hyatt Place Manati Hotel  3 stars

Manati Great

Fajardo Inn  3 stars

Fajardo Very good

Parador Villa Parguera Lajas  4 stars

Lajas Great

Hyatt Place San Juan/City Center  3 stars

San Juan Great

The Tryst Beachfront Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Very good

Las Casitas Village Fajardo  4 stars

Fajardo Perfect

Tres Palmas Inn San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Miramar Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Park Royal Homestay Club Cala Puerto Rico Humacao  3 stars

Humacao Very good

Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Hacienda Del Mar  4 stars

Dorado Great

Parador El Faro Aguadilla  3 stars

Aguadilla Great

Club Seabourne Hotel Isla Culebra  3 stars

Isla Culebra Very good

Comfort Inn & Suites Levittown  3 stars

Levittown Great

Holiday Inn Ponce & El Tropical Casino, An Ihg Hotel  3 stars

Ponce Great

Four Points By Sheraton Caguas Real Hotel  3 stars

Caguas Great

Acacia Boutique Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Villa Montana Beach Resort Isabela  4 stars

Isabela Very good

The Gallery Inn San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

Courtyard By Marriott San Juan Miramar Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Great

At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel San Juan  3 stars

San Juan Great

La Terraza De San Juan Hotel  4 stars

San Juan Great

Ponce Plaza Hotel & Casino  4 stars

Ponce Great

El Blok Hotel Vieques  4 stars

Vieques Great