Puerto Rico Geography

By | November 21, 2021

Located in Central America according to iamhigher.com, Puerto Rico is an archipelago formed by the island of Puerto Rico (the smallest of the Greater Antilles) and several islands, islets and keys, among which are the islands of Mona, Monito, Vieques, Culebra, Desecheo, Caja de Muertos and numerous keys and islets mainly to the east and south of the island.

The current name of ” Puerto Rico ” refers to the wealth that left the port of ” San Juan Bautista.” Christopher Columbus baptized him with the name of San Juan Bautista. The natives of the Taino tribe called the island Borikén, which means ” Our Noble Lord ” which evolved into the name Borinquen, which is still used in reference to Puerto Rico. From there comes the name “Puerto Rican”, synonymous with “Puerto Rican”. The Spanish named the capital Puerto Rico. As the years passed, the names were exchanged, so that “Puerto Rico” became San Juan, and San Juan Bautista became Puerto Rico. Currently, the capital is San Juan.

General information

Location: Between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. East of the Dominican Republic, west of the British Virgin Islands, and northwest of the United States Virgin Islands.

Geographic coordinates: 18 ° 15′N 66 ° 30′W / 18.25, -66.5.

Total area: 9104 km²

  • Land: 8959 km²
  • Water: 145 km²

Borders : 0 km

Coasts: 501 km Maritime Claims

  • Exclusive Economic Zone: 200mn
  • Territorial Sea: 12mn


Puerto Rico has nine (artificial) lakes and more than 50 rivers. Puerto Rican rivers are born in the Central Cordillera, distinguishing four slopes: the north or Atlantic, the south or the Caribbean, the east or the Pasaje and Sonda de Vieques, and the west or Canal de la Mona.

The rivers of the north slope are mighty; those of the southern slope short and with strong drafts. Most of Puerto Rico’s rivers flow into lakes surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.



Puerto Rico despite being an island, has climatic variations. The east, where the Yunque National Rain Forest is located, receives greater amounts of rain than the rest of the island. With a tropical to subtropical rainy climate, the north is generally rainy throughout the year, with temperature variations between 10C to 15C with a subtropical climate.


The official hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30. However, August and September are the busiest months in the Atlantic Ocean, with 75% of hurricanes having developed in these months.


In the mid-20th century, the Puerto Rican economy was dominated by agriculture, especially the cultivation of sugar cane. However, a large investment in infrastructure and extensive incentive programs have managed to transform the economy considerably.

Since the 1960s, numerous multinational companies from the pharmaceutical, electronics, textile, petrochemical, and more recently biotechnology industries have established themselves on the island. Today, manufacturing and the service industry (including tourism) have replaced agriculture as the main income producer. Similarly, livestock and dairy production replaced the sugar industry as the main sector of agriculture. The economy slowed between 2001 and 2003 due to the slowdown in the US economy. In 2004 he began to recover. Puerto Rico entered a period of recession in fiscal year 2006, this period has continued uninterruptedly until fiscal year 2009.


According to the United States census, in Puerto Rico for the year 2004, the population was around 3,940,000 residents. In the United States, the Puerto Rican population already exceeds 4.3 million people. The growth level is 0.393% per year. Life expectancy is 82.67 years for women and 74.6 for men, with an average of 78.54 years.

The white population is the most abundant in Puerto Rico, with 80.5% of the population. Afro-Caribbeans are found especially in the municipalities of Loíza and Río Grande. Mestizos are found throughout the island, but they are more abundant in the center and north. Whites are found throughout the island as well, but they are more abundant in the west and in the metropolitan area. The Asian residents are very few in general. Other ethnicities and cultures also appear mixed: countless Cubans and Dominicans live; there are also immigrants from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Venezuela, China, Peru, Chile and Jamaica among other countries.



Puerto Rican culture and the defense of Spanish as a language are largely the result of resistance to North American domination. The Island has different folk rhythms such as Bomba and Plena, in jíbara (peasant) music, Six with a tenth and Aguinaldo Jíbaro, in classical music, Puerto Rican Dance and Puerto Rican Mazurca. Currently his rhythms with an international boom are undoubtedly Salsa and Reggaeton. The latter, rhythms with foreign roots, Salsa evolved from Cuban rhythms and Reggaeton, which is a fusion with Rap and Reggae in Spanish and currently it has been fused with all kinds of rhythm, the fusion with Dominican Bachata being successful.. On the other hand, Flow, a variation of the ballad type of Reggaeton, has great popularity as well.

One of the main Puerto Rican musicians was Rafael Hernández Marín (El Jibarito). Rafael Hernández became an icon of Puerto Rican culture. With more than 2,000 compositions, Rafael became known worldwide, with songs like, Preciosa, Lamento Borincano, “El Cumbanchero”, Campanitas de Cristal or Cachita, among others.

Puerto Rico Geography