Determining Puerto Rico’s charm is a no-brainer. Less than a three-hour flight from Miami, this island is a U.S. territory (in case you didn’t recall from high school history). So when you’re shopping in San Juan, you can pay for your souvenirs with American bills. But don’t be mistaken:  This isn’t quite a home away from home. Puerto Rico has both 20-foot waves for surfers and calm, clear waters for families. It’s a stroll back through time (El Morro) and an up-close look at the contemporary (Calle del Cristo). It’s an exhilarating mix of landscapes, from the serpentine jungle of El Yunque to the corkscrew caves of Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy. And if you want to get away from civilization entirely, you can ferry over to the secluded — not to mention jaw-droppingly gorgeous — islands of Vieques and Culebra. Convinced?

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