Encyclopedia of Islands

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Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico was part of northern Hispaniola before it separated and moved eastward about 15 million years ago. After that, and before the high mountains of the center of the island arose, the island largely submerged again before emerging for good about 12 million years ago. The submerged platform on which the island rests is very broad, and Puerto Rico has numerous surrounding cays and offshore islands such as Culebra Island, Vieques Island, and the northern Virgin Islands.

Puerto Rico Travel Information

Puerto Rico (Spanish for "rich port") comprises an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. The main island of Puerto Rico is the smallest by land area of the Greater Antilles. However, it ranks third in population amongst that group of four islands, which also include Cuba, Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti), and Jamaica. Due to its location, Puerto Rico enjoys a tropical climate and also experiences the Atlantic hurricane season.