Sunday, March 31, 2013

Kosher Restaurant In Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

There is a kosher restaurant in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.  Jewish residents and travelers can have their kosher meals at Kosher in Paradise.  Kosher in Paradise is the only kosher sit-down restaurant on the island, and is located in Old San Juan, close to the cruise ships terminal, and next to the Chabad’s Jewish Welcome Center.

Residents and tourists can dine in style at Kosher in Paradise enjoying selections from a menu of Israeli-style delicacies such as falafel, paninis and fries.  Many tourist have been excited to find a kosher dining establishment in Puerto Rico.


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sites In Puerto Rico Are Added As National Historic Landmarks

Old San Juan, and the Casa Dra. Concha Meléndez Ramirez, in San Juan, Puerto Rico were named by the federal government as National Historic Landmarks.  National Historic Landmarks are nationally historic places that have exceptional value in illustrating the heritage of the United States.

Old San Juan is a 400-year-old Spanish colonial city.  Old San Juan, is the oldest city in the United States, and contains the largest collection of buildings of Spanish culture, and architecture.  According to the Department of Interior, Old San Juan Historic District includes the oldest house, Christian church, executive mansion, convent and military defenses in the United States.

The Casa Concha Meléndez Ramírez, is the residence and workplace of one of Puerto Rico’s most well-known intellectuals and educators, Concha Meléndez Ramírez.  The residence is located in  Condado.  Meléndez, was the co-founder of the Hispanic Studies Department at the University of Puerto Rico.  Meléndez worked and lived in the residence for 44 years.

On your next visit to Puerto Rico, make sure you get to see these new National Historic Landmarks.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Puerto Rico Tax Law Makes News

A new tax law in Puerto Rico that allows new residents to pay no local or federal taxes on capital gains, is getting a lot of attention.  The new tax law in Puerto Rico, passed by the previous administration of former Gov. Luis Fortuño, is attracting wealthy individuals, such as hedge-fund managers, to relocate to Puerto Rico.  It was reported that at least 10 wealthy individuals have already made Puerto Rico their home, to take advantage of the tax breaks, and 40 more are in discussion with the government.  Pricey real estate properties have been purchased in the desired locations of Condado and Isla Verde in the San Juan area.

Under the new tax law, any capital gains accrued after a person moves to Puerto Rico would be tax free.  Dividend and interest income paid by U.S. companies would still be subject to U.S. federal taxes, though would not be taxed locally.  With this tax law, the Puerto Rican government aims to promote investments in real estate, boost services and consumption, and encourage foreign service providers to move their businesses to the island.

In order to become eligible for the new tax breaks, a person must live in Puerto Rico for at least 183 days a year and prove that they have social and family connections in Puerto Rico.  Any person who moves to the island signs a contract with the government that guarantees the tax break through Dec. 31, 2035.


Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Top Three State Forests of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has 20 State Forests and 28 Nature Reserves and most of them are open to the public for hiking, bird watching, and camping.  Here are a few to visit:

El Yunque National Forest - Located in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, 45 minutes east of San Juan, El Yunque is the only tropical rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System, and is well-known for its incredible biodiversity.  El Yunque has 28,000 acres, four forest types, and is a great place for hiking.   El Yunque has many hiking trails, and picnic facilities.  From the trails visitors can see lush foliage, waterfalls and rivers.  El Yunque is home to the endangered Puerto Rican parrot and to thousands of native plants, and small wild life species.     

Guajataca State Forest -  Located in the town of Isabela, about two hours from San Juan, has a great recreational area, 27 miles of trails, and 70 species of birds.  Camping is availaibe for a fee, and you need a permit from the Department of Natural Resources.  Guajataca has a lookout tower, canyons, waterfalls, and caves.

Maricao State Forest - Located in the town of Maricao, is often referred to as Monte del Estado.  Maricao has 10,490 acres, and visitors do not need a permit for hiking.  From the forest you can get great views of the island of Puerto Rico.  It gets cooler in Maricao, so make sure you bring a jacket.   There are 60 species of fauna and 1,141 species of plants.  Maricao has many birds including the Puerto Rican Emerald Hummingbird.  Maricao has wide trails, and a lookout tower near the campgrounds and cabins that are run by the Puerto Rican National Parks Company.  

Enjoy the forests of Puerto Rico.  Take a look at this video of Guajataca Forest: