SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO ‚ÄĒ Thinking of the Caribbean in winter conjures up certain images: glistening beaches, pellucid waters and, if you're a part of the melanin-lite crowd, mahogany tans. You'll be forgiven if food falls further down the list, possibly somewhere between the mai-tais and the margueritas. But if you find images of land meeting water in pleasant temperatures, punctuated by icy, fruity intoxicants, makes you a little peckish, Puerto Rico has just the thing.
The capital city of San Juan on the north coast is where you're going to land, and once you're through with the somewhat surprising sights you'll see there -- such as late Gothic architecture, in the form of a cathedral built in the 1520s -- you'll want to rent a car and drive. The destination? I recommend Ponce, Puerto Rico's second city, on the south coast. The climate changes drastically halfway down the island once you cross the mountains -- from hot and moist to hot and dry -- so that's fun, but the real treat is the mesones gastronomicos.
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