Puerto Rico is an archipelago located in the north Caribbean Sea. It is an unincorporated territory of the United States. Spanish serves as the primary language. The island nation has long been a popular travel destination, known for its golden sand beaches and waters of all shades of blue. Puerto Rican culture is intertwined with beach going, making beaches one of the best ways to experience Puerto Rico.
Featuring over 700 miles of coastline and 5000 square kilometers of shallow coral reef ecosystems, Puerto Rico is home to incredibly biodiverse coastal and marine areas. Beyond coral reef, coastal habitats also include seagrass beds, mangrove forest, coastal lagoons, salt flats, and freshwater swamps. There are 26 animal and 32 plant species listed as endangered or threatened in Puerto Rico. A majority of them rely on healthy coastal habitats to survive. Puerto Rico also features an expansive river system, which plays an integral role in supporting coastal habitats. The rivers support migratory fish and invertebrates, and nourish coastal wetlands.
A good example of Puerto Rico’s rich biodiversity is the Reserva Marina Tres Palmas Marine Reserve. This small area alone includes sea turtle nesting sites, whale breeding grounds, and one of the last healthy and genetically diverse strands of elkhorn coral reef (acropora palmata).
Puerto Rico also features some very unique beaches, such as Playa Teodoro Beach which features a large natural pool created by a barrier of rocky outcrop. The north west coast of Puerto Rico, which includes the municipality of Rincon, is known as one of the world premier surfing destinations. Conditions range from gentle, easy breaking waves for beginners to large, rougher surf for experienced surfers.
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