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Puerto Rico is a country located in the Caribbean on the island of the same name from the group of the Greater Antilles and a number of adjacent small islands, including Mona (Isla de Mona), Vieques (Vieques), Culebra (Culebra), Desecheo (Desecheo) and Caha de Muertos (Caja de Muertos). Of the last five islands, only Vieques and Culebra are inhabited throughout the year. Mona Island is home to only Puerto Rican Ministry of National Resources.

The area of ​​the country is 13,790 square meters. km The capital is San Juan.

The main island is 170 km long and 60 km wide, mostly mountainous with large coastal areas in the northern and southern parts. The main mountain range of the island is called “La Cordillera Central”, which means “central ridge”, it also has the highest point of Puerto Rico – Mount Cerro de Punta, height 1,338 m above sea level.

Puerto Rico has 17 lakes (all of them artificial) and more than 50 rivers, most of which flow from the main mountain range.

Puerto Rico is a territory dependent on the United States and has the status of an “unincorporated organized territory”, which means that this territory is under the control of the United States (and is not an integral part of it), the effect on the territory of the US Constitution is limited; supreme power belongs to the US Congress, but the territory has its own system of self-government. The country has its own constitution, legislative, executive and judicial branches of government. Relations with the United States are common citizenship, currency, and defense.

Shops are usually open from Monday to Wednesday from 09.00 to 19.00, from Thursday to Friday – from 09.00 to 21.00. On Saturdays, most retail outlets are open from 11.00 to 17.00-18.00. You can only bargain in markets and in private shops.

Among the souvenirs, the most interesting are the grotesque masks made of coconut and wooden, elegantly painted figures of a religious character – “Santo” and of course rum. The island is also famous for its beautiful hammocks, macramé and ceramics.

There are many castles and hotels for the guests of the country, from exclusive and comfortable to cozy small hotels.

Room service and condition of most hotels in the country corresponds to the declared star rating and is at a fairly high level.

The picturesque shores of Playas Liguillo east of the capital, which are a popular place for seaside picnics, are best suited for relaxing by the sea on the northern coast. The water here is very clean, and the relatively shallow coast makes this place ideal for children.

The shores on the south coast of the island are more protected from waves and usually have more “calm” water than on the north, Atlantic coast.

There are many beautiful beach spots and the numerous small islands of the country.

The history of Puerto Rico in the period preceding the arrival of Christopher Columbus on this earth is not fully understood. Everything that is known about him came from archaeological excavations and oral stories of the first Spanish travelers.

The first settlers of Puerto Rico were orthoiroids, representatives of an ancient culture. Excavations carried out in 1990 found the remains of a primitive man, whose age dates back to about 2000 BC (4000 years ago). Between 120 and 400 years of our era, representatives of the Indian tribe Igneri from the Orinoco River region of South America arrived on the island. Between the 7th and 11th centuries, the island began to be inhabited by representatives of the Arawak tribes, who founded the Taino culture, and by about 1000 AD, this culture began to dominate the island, until the arrival of Columbus in 1493.

When Christopher Columbus landed on the island on November 19, 1493 during his second trip to the shores of America, the island was inhabited by Indians who called themselves Taino. Taino was called the island of Boriken. The Spaniards initially named the island of San Juan Bautista in honor of St. John the Baptist, but, ultimately, the island received the name Puerto Rico, which means “rich port”.

Colonization of the island by the Spaniards began in 1508, when Juan Ponce de León, who founded the city of Caparra, arrived from Santo Domingo (the island of Haiti) with a detachment of conquistadors.

The island was soon colonized by the Spaniards. African slaves were brought into the island as free labor in return for the rapidly declining Native American population forced to work for the Spanish crown.

In the end, the Taino completely died out as a result of the diseases that the Spaniards and Africans brought with them, as well as from the difficult living conditions in which they found themselves.

Puerto Rico quickly became an important fortress and port of the Spanish Empire in the Caribbean. However, at the end of the XVII-XVIII centuries, the more prosperous territories of the mainland still appeared in the center of colonization, and not the island, which was impoverished due to the reduction in population. To protect against the threat from European enemies of Spain, various forts gradually appeared on the island

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