San Juan, Puerto Rico
St. Maarten
St. Thomas
St. John
Nassau, Bahamas
Day at Sea

San Juan Puerto Rico

Me at San Juan On November 19 of 1493, Christopher Columbus discovered the island in his second trip the New World. He found the island occupied by as many as 50,000 Taíno or Arawak Indians. The Taíno Indians who greeted Columbus made a big mistake when they showed him gold in the river and told him to take all he wanted. Originally Columbus named the island "San Juan Bautista," for St. John the Baptist and the town Puerto Rico because of its obvious financial potential. It was not until years later that the names were switched.

In 1539, Spaniards concerned with European threats began the construction of San Felipe del Morro Castle. The fort is 18-foot-thick walls. San Geronimo and San Cristobal fort also held troops and were constructed with the financial subsidy of Mexican mines. Most of the walls that were constructed still survive around the city of San Juan. The island of Puerto Rico is almost rectangular in shape, and is the smallest and the most eastern island of the Greater Antilles. Its coasts measures 580 km, and if the adjacent islands Vieques and Culebra are included the coast measures approximately 700 km. Today, the island is visited by million of tourists who arrive to the island to enjoy the beautiful sight of national park like el Yunque. Old San Juan it is known for its Spaniard architecture.

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications
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