3 U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being told to stop recording in popular area

An aerial view of La Perla, in San Juan,

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop recording in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began recording a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of "Despacito," a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

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3 american tourists stabbed in puerto rico after being warned to stop filming a hamburger cart: cops.

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Three American tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after they were told to stop filming in the La Perla neighborhood made famous by Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” music video , police said.

The incident began unfolding after 4 a.m. in the popular community where one of the tourists, identified by authorities as Carlos Sanchez Brown, 39, from South Carolina, began recording video of a hamburger cart but was told by some locals to stop and leave the area.

Brown was accompanied by Wallace Florence, 37, also from South Carolina, and Jackson Tremayne, 38, from Georgia, municipal commissioner José Juan García told station WAPA-TV.

The visitors allegedly did not heed the warning and continued filming. Before long, a suspect described as a fair-skinned man with long white hair allegedly assaulted Florence with a blow to the head, reported Telemundo PR.

An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2017.

The trio of tourists tried to escape by making their way to the Old San Juan neighborhood, but they soon realized that they were being followed, police said.

As the victims reached Imperial Street near the Museum of Art and History, a person armed with a knife stabbed Brown in the left forearm and plunged the blade six times into Tremayne’s body, including in the left side of the chest, upper left side of the abdomen, left arm and back.

Tremayne and Brown were transported by ambulances to an area hospital, but authorities said Florence refused medical attention. There was no immediate word on the victims’ conditions.

La Perla in Old San Juan at sunrise.

So far, no one has been arrested in connection to the bloody attack.

The incident happened nearly two years after Tariq Quadir Loat, a visitor from Delaware, was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla.

La Perla became world-renowned after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a chart-topping hit song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

With Post wires

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3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

FILE - An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 after someone told them to stop filming, and two of them remain hospitalized, according to police. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File)

FILE - An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 after someone told them to stop filming, and two of them remain hospitalized, according to police. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File)

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

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3 US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being told to stop filming

An aerial view of La Perla, in San Juan,

Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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3 US tourists stabbed during trip to Puerto Rico in neighborhood that is popular with visitors

2 united states tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed 6 times.

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Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

PUERTO RICAN MAN SENTENCED FOR COMMITTING HATE CRIME AGAINST TRANSGENDER WOMAN

No one has been arrested.

Puerto Rico stabbing

The neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is pictured on Aug. 25, 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early on Feb. 6, 2023. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo, File)

PUERTO RICO STILL OWES COMPANY $350 MILLION FOR RESTORING GRID IN 2017 AS IT FACES FRESH HURRICANE OUTAGES

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of "Despacito," a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

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The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution p oint for heroin , but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

San Juan, Puerto Rico

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said. Two of the tourists were in the hospital, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

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La Perla is in the historic part of Puerto Rico's capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of "Despacito," a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island's biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a raid by federal agents in 2011 .

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3 US tourists, including 1 from SC, stabbed in popular Puerto Rican neighborhood

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

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3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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Three American tourists stabbed after being told to stop filming in popular Puerto Rico neighbourhood

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Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina , began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalised, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25,...

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed  in Puerto Rico  early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware  was killed and set on fire  after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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3 mainland U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

By Associated Press

Feb. 6, 2023

National news

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An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in August 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early today, after someone told them to stop filming, and two of them remain hospitalized, according to police.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico >> Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early today after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25,...

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed  in Puerto Rico  early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware  was killed and set on fire  after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

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3 mainland U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighbourhood Back to video

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

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La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

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3 tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

San Juan, Puerto Rico — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

Two of the tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times, police said.

No one has been arrested.

The attack happened nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla. A friend of his also was beaten but survived.

La Perla is located in the historic part of Puerto Rico’s capital known as Old San Juan and became famous after it was featured in the video of “Despacito,” a song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singers Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee.

The community was once a dangerous slum considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

  • Travel Updates

Tourists stabbed after filming hamburger cart in Puerto Rico

Three American tourists have been stabbed when they filmed a hamburger cart in Puerto Rico after being warned not to.

Three American tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico after filming a food cart. Picture: Tu Noticia PR/WAPA.TV

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Three US tourists have been stabbed in Puerto Rico after they were told to stop filming in the La Perla neighbourhood made famous by Luis Fonsi’s “Despacito” music video.

The incident began unfolding after 4am Monday in the popular community where one of the tourists, identified by authorities as Carlos Sanchez Brown, 39, from South Carolina, began filming a hamburger cart.

Some locals then told him to stop filming and to leave the area, New York Post reports.

Mr Brown was accompanied by Wallace Florence, 37, also from South Carolina, and Jackson Tremayne, 38, from Georgia, municipal commissioner José Juan García told station WAPA-TV.

It is alleged the visitors did not heed the warning and continued to film.

Three American tourists were stabbed in the La Perla neighbourhood of Puerto Rico. Picture: Tu Noticia PR/WAPA.TV

A man, described as having fair skin with long white hair, allegedly assaulted Mr Florence with a blow to the head, reported Telemundo Puerto Rico.

The trio tried to leave the area, but they soon realised that they were being followed, police said.

The neighbourhood of La Perla was made popular after it was featured in the ‘Despacito’ music video in 2017. Picture: Getty Images/iStock

A person armed with a knife then stabbed Mr Brown in the left forearm before stabbing Mr Tremayne six times, including in the chest, abdomen, arm and back.

Mr Tremayne and Mr Brown were rushed to an area hospital. Mr Florence refused medical attention.

There was no immediate word on the victims’ conditions.

No arrests have been made over the attack. Picture: Alamy

So far, no one has been arrested in connection to the bloody attack.

The incident happened nearly two years after US man Tariq Quadir Loat was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in La Perla.

La Perla became world-renowned after it was featured in the video of Despacito , a chart-topping hit song released in 2017 by Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi featuring Daddy Yankee.

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

The community was once a dangerous slum, considered the island’s biggest distribution point for heroin, but crime has dropped since a 2011 raid by federal agents.

– with Post wires

This article originally appeared on New York Post and was reproduced with permission

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

Two Americans stabbed after ‘being told to not film in Puerto Rico town’ where US tourist was killed & set on fire

  • Israel Salas-Rodriguez
  • Published : 13:53 ET, Feb 6 2023
  • Updated : 15:43 ET, Feb 6 2023

TWO American tourists have been stabbed after being asked to stop filming in a trendy Puerto Rican neighborhood, police said.

The victims, identified as Carlos Sánchez, Wallace Alonso Florence, and Jackson Brandom Tremayne, were attacked in the seaside community of La Perla in Old San Juan at around 5am on Monday.

Two American tourists were stabbed in a trendy neighborhood in Puerto Rico on Monday

The confrontation began when Sánchez began filming a mobile hamburger cart in the notoriously shady area, police told Telemundo Puerto Rico .

Authorities said the tourist was approached by someone who asked Sánchez to stop recording and leave the area.

Shortly after the warning, the unidentified suspect struck Florence in the forehead.

The trio quickly fled the area but noticed they were being followed.

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Authorities said that when the victims were going up the stairs on Norzagaray street, the suspect - now armed with a knife - stabbed Sánchez in the left forearm.

The knife-wielding suspect then plunged the blade into Tremayne six times on the left side of his chest, abdomen, left arm, and back, police told Telemundo.

The two victims were transported to the hospital in stable condition. Alonso refused medical attention.

Police have yet to arrest a suspect.

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Authorities said two of the victims are from South Carolina , while the third is from Georgia .

The latest attack comes nearly two years after a tourist from Delaware was killed and set on fire after police said he was warned not to take pictures while buying drugs in the area.

A friend of the victim was also beaten, cops said.

La Perla is among the most visited neighborhoods in Puerto Rico, located right between the forts of San Cristobal and El Morro - two of the most historic landmarks on the island.

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

US tourists stabbed for taking pictures in Puerto Rico despite local warning

According to authorities, the altercation started when one of the tourists, a South Carolina resident, started photographing a moving hamburger cart despite being asked to stop and leave the area

US tourists stabbed for taking pictures in Puerto Rico despite local warning

San Juan: In the early hours of Monday, three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico, according to authorities, after someone allegedly warned them to stop filming in the well-known tourist destination of La Perla.

According to authorities, the altercation started when one of the tourists, a South Carolina resident, started photographing a moving hamburger cart despite being asked to stop and leave the area.

Two of the visitors are still in the hospital, including one who was stabbed six times, according to the police. Nobody has been detained.

A Delaware visitor was slain and set on fire nearly two years before to the attack, and according to the authorities, he had been cautioned not to take pictures while purchasing drugs in La Perla.

His companion was also assaulted but pulled through.

La Perla, a building in the Old San Juan neighbourhood of the capital city of Puerto Rico, rose to fame after appearing in the music video for “Despacito,” a song by Daddy Yankee and Luis Fonsi that was released in 2017.

The area used to be a hazardous slum and was once thought to be the island’s main heroin distribution hub, but violence has decreased since since a federal agent raid in 2011.

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Puerto Rico   Travel Guide

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us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

Why Go To Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is rich in charm and character with a dash of the familiar. Less than a three-hour flight from Miami , Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth (in case your high school history class didn't teach you that). So, when you're shopping in San Juan, the capital city (or anywhere else), you can pay for your souvenirs with American dollars. 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 brilliant beaches like Condado in metropolitan San Juan and the high-energy Crash Boat in Aguadilla on the west coast. And if you want to get further away from civilization, you can ferry over to the secluded – not to mention jaw-droppingly gorgeous – islands of Vieques and Culebra .

In 2017, Puerto Rico was pummeled by Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma, which combined claimed thousands of lives, destroyed hundreds of thousands of buildings, and left much of the island without power for months. More than five years later, some basic infrastructure has been restored, but reconstruction efforts are ongoing. However, traveling to Puerto Rico is safe, and tourism will help the island in its recovery efforts. So, go ahead and book your flight; a world of natural enchantment, delicious food and historic experiences await.

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  • # 3 in Best Cheap Destination Wedding Locations
  • # 4 in Best Destination Wedding Spots in the Caribbean
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Best of Puerto Rico

Best hotels in puerto rico.

  • # 1 in Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve
  • # 2 in The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico
  • # 3 in Condado Vanderbilt Hotel

Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Best Things to Do in Puerto Rico

  • # 1 in Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)
  • # 2 in Old San Juan
  • # 3 in El Morro (El Castillo San Felipe del Morro)

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Puerto Rico Travel Tips

Best months to visit.

The best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April to June, right after the busy winter season and just before the rainy summer (August is the month with the most rainfall). Spring weather is also very pleasant, barely escaping the mid-80s on most days. The island sees its best weather in winter – which is partly why this is the most crowded and expensive time to visit – but with careful planning you might uncover a pretty good discount during those months as well, particularly if you travel in the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. You could also plan an enjoyable and affordable trip for the fall, when lodging can sometimes be found for under $200 per night. However, keep in mind that fall is also the peak of the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

Weather in Puerto Rico

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center

What You Need to Know

It's open for tourism Puerto Rico is safe and ready for visitors. Tourism is a vital part of the island's economy and traveling there is a great way to help Puerto Rico recover from natural disasters.

It's got a great food scene From traditional foods like mofongo (plantains mashed with garlic and topped with meat, fish, vegetables, or other ingredients), arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas) and tostones (fried plantains) to staple drinks like rum and coffee, sampling the food of Puerto Rico is a must. Sign up for one of the best tours in Puerto Rico for help navigating the local food scene.

The "paradores" These inns scattered throughout the island's countryside are often an affordable alternative to staying in San Juan.

The sound is the coquí The coquí (pronounced ko-KEE) is a tiny tree frog. It's a symbol of the island and is indigenous to Puerto Rico. You'll hear the males singing nightly throughout the island.

How to Save Money in Puerto Rico

Take an Eastern Caribbean cruise Puerto Rico really should be explored over several days. But if you're short on time, you can get your fill during a shore excursion to San Juan.

Dine local Panaderías in Puerto Rico are far more than simple bakeries: they're also where locals gather for gossip, coffee, and inexpensive meals for breakfast or lunch. Food trucks and stands selling popular street food like alcapurrias (plantain and yucca mash stuffed with meat and deep fried), e mpanadillas , and bacalaitos (fish fritters) are another low-cost but delicious and authentic alternative to expensive restaurant meals.

Ride the Pú blicos If you want to travel like locals do, and at minimal cost, hail a ride from a público, which are transit vans that have specific routes and inexpensive fares (which you can only pay in cash). But, low fares come at a cost: Traveling via público can take a lot of time.  

Culture & Customs

Much of Puerto Rican culture, from the food to the music, represents the island's combined North American, Caribbean, Spanish and indigenous Taíno heritage. In Old San Juan you can grab comida criolla (traditional Puerto Rican meals of pork, rice and beans) just a stone's throw from Calle del Cristo's Coach and Tommy Hilfiger factory outlets.

Speaking of clothes, you're on vacation in the tropics and you're going to want to dress informally. But it's a good idea to cover up your swimsuits with clothing unless you're at the pool or the beach. Also pay special attention to your attire before enjoying Puerto Rico's nightlife – only tourists go out dressing like they're at a barbecue. If you want to blend in at the bar, smart casual attire (slacks or dark jeans for men and dresses with heels or statement flats for women) is a must.

Many Puerto Ricans speak English, but Spanish is the language of daily life. Know some basic phrases such as "hola" (hello), "gracias" (thank you), "por favor" (please) and "de nada" (you're welcome). As you move farther outside San Juan, you'll likely meet fewer people who know English fluently. Pack a Spanish phrasebook, and know that Puerto Ricans welcome your efforts to converse with them in Spanish. In addition, you'll find that chatting with locals may mean carrying on several conversations at once or being interrupted. You may also find Puerto Ricans will stand closer to you when they meet you or reach for a handshake or hug when greeting you.

Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island's currency is the U.S. dollar and credit cards are widely accepted. Tipping etiquette is the same here as in other parts of the United States; 15 to 20% is considered the standard, but more is appreciated for exceptional service.

What to Eat

Dining in Puerto Rico reflects the island's mixture of Caribbean, Latin, North American and indigenous Taíno influences. No matter where you dine, make sure you get a taste of some of Puerto Rico's most authentic eats:  asopao  is a traditional stew often made with chicken or beef;  mofongo  consists of seafood, meat or vegetables atop mashed plantains; pasteles are made of mashed banana (or yucca) and stuffed with pork, chicken or cod; and  lechón  is smoky, roasted suckling pig. Other items to try include tostones (fried plantains), arroz con gandules (rice and pigeon peas). For something sweet, try tembleque (a coconut custard), pastelitos de guayaba (a guava-filled pastry) or mantecaditos (a Puerto Rican shortbread cookie).

Drinks in Puerto Rico are a huge part of the island's dining culture, too. Coffee and rum are its two best-known beverages. Puerto Rico's climate makes it perfect for growing coffee, so you'll find lots of local growers and no shortage of places to enjoy a great cup. You can also visit one of the haciendas for tours of the coffee farms or to enjoy a warm drink.

You won't want to leave the island without trying local rum. Start with a piña colada, which was first created in Puerto Rico (specifically at the Caribe Hilton Hotel ) and is the island's national drink. If you'd rather do a tasting, pop by the Bacardí or Ron del Barrilito distilleries. Each distillery offers tours of its facilities, tastings and mixology classes. And if you visit around the holidays, be sure to sample coquito, a coconut-based drink akin to eggnog.

If you're staying in the northeast, you can expect a quieter dining experience along Luquillo or Fajardo beaches. The kiosks in Luquillo are a must-visit in the area, as you can sample a range of different cuisines. If you want to try some of the best eats in the area, Puerto Rico's tourism board has put together a list of food trails themed around island staples like pork, coffee and rum.

Puerto Rico sees some violent drug-related crime as well as thefts in San Juan and Ponce, but it's usually not directed toward tourists. Still, watch out for pickpockets, especially on the beach, and don't leave your property unattended or it might be swiped. Steer clear of certain areas in San Juan at night, such as La Perla and portions of Santurce, as these towns are prone to drug activity and violence.

Getting Around Puerto Rico

The best way to get around Puerto Rico is by car if you want to see more than the city in which you're staying, you'll need your own vehicle as intercity train service doesn't exist and intercity bus service is time-consuming and uncomfortable. Unfortunately, driving is a courageous pursuit carried out on snaking roads, and you'll need to carry spare change for the occasional toll.

In San Juan, you can likely get around without a car with careful planning. Parking can be expensive and traffic often is a nightmare in the city, so relying on the bus and your own feet are likely your best bet during your time in the capital. Uber is also available in the city.

You'll likely fly in to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU), which is about 8 miles east of Old San Juan. You can pick up a rental car here or you can take a taxi to your destination. Taxis from the airport charge a fixed rate to different destinations around the island. The airport's website provides the fare list

Puerto Rico has smaller airports: Mercedita International Airport (PSE) on the southern coast (about 3.5 miles east of Ponce) and Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN) on the west coast in Aguadilla. Check the flight schedule for airlines like Spirit, United and JetBlue that fly into either of those hubs.

Entry & Exit Requirements

You don't need a passport to enter Puerto Rico, as it's a United States territory. However, if you are traveling onward to another Caribbean destination (other than the  U.S. Virgin Islands ) from Puerto Rico, you will need to present your passport. Visit the U.S. State Department's  website  for more information on entry and exit requirements.

El Morro's towers were built to keep soldiers safe while delivering heavy fire against enemy ships.

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Woman who vanished and was declared dead found 1,700 miles away decades later

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(left) Patricia Kopta as a young woman and (right) far older after she was found in a nursing home

When Patricia Kopta vanished without a trace, her husband Bob didn’t think much of it.

His wife had been a free spirit, a loose cannon, an oddity – depending on how you looked at her. Patricia, a well-known street preacher in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had claimed to see ‘visions’ of the Virgin Mary and routinely warned complete strangers the world was about to end in a nuclear Armageddon. 

The devout Roman Catholic disappeared from her home in North Hills – a northern suburb of Pittsburgh – on June 20, 1992. Bob reported her missing on November 27, 1992. He told police it was not uncommon for Patricia – whose nickname was ‘The Sparrow’ due to her short stature and unstable walk – to ‘drop out of sight’ for periods of time. Police said the disappearance wasn’t overtly suspicious and that her husband was not a suspect.

In the weeks which followed, Patricia was classed as a critical missing person by the authorities, with an urgent search launched. One poster released by the Pennsylvania Emergency Response Centre had stated: ‘Her family believes she took a flight to Puerto Rico after her disappearance and spent a week or two there before returning to Pittsburgh.

‘She has not been seen or heard from since.’

Robert Kopta waited three decades for the news that was revealed Thursday at Ross police headquarters. His wife, Patricia, who went missing from the area in 1992, was alive in Puerto Rico. ?What would you do when somebody?s gone for 30 years?? Robert Kopta asked a room full of reporters at a news conference. He said he never remarried. ?It?s sad. I went through a lot, believe me. Every time they?d find a body somewhere, (I wondered) ?Is it Patricia? Is it Patricia??? Kopta said. ?I come home one night, and she?s gone, and nobody knew where she was at. I don?t understand. I didn?t throw her out. She just walked away. Didn?t say goodbye or nothing. ?It?s been going on for almost 31 years, and it?s been bad. It?s cost me a lot of money. She did say she wanted to go to Puerto Rico where the warm weather was. I even put advertising in the paper down in Puerto Rico looking for her. That didn?t help.? Ross Deputy Police Chief Brian Kohlhepp said Thursday that there had been a number of leads throughout the years, but nothing came to fruition until about nine months ago. He was contacted by an agent from Interpol as well as a social worker from Puerto Rico who believed they had located Patricia Kopta in an adult care home. https://www.wpxi.com/news/local/pittsburgh-woman-missing-more-than-30-years-found-alive-puerto-rico/CUNE32IMRFHIVGAPDX3OUOSVWU/

Patricia, 52, had ‘loved the ocean, the beach and the warm sunshine’ and had enjoyed holidays in Puerto Rico before she got married, her sister Gloria had told detectives. She thought her sister could have left to start a new life.

But the complete radio silence worried Bob. The former electrician doubted Patricia was safe, and instead feared she had been hurt, abducted or was ‘laying in a ditch somewhere.’ He paid a psychic to try find answers and placed adverts in Puerto Rican newspapers in a bid to locate the Sparrow.

However, trails ran cold for both the police and Patricia’s family who, seven years after she vanished, obtained a legal declaration which considered her dead.

‘I come home one night, and she’s just gone,’ Bob, who didn’t remarry, would later say. ‘ I went through a lot. Every time they’d find a body somewhere [I wondered], “Is it Patricia? Is it Patricia?”’

In 2023, 31 years after she vanished, there was a plot twist in the story of the Sparrow’s tale, one befitting a Hollywood movie.

It had emerged that Patricia, now 83, was very much alive and in a nursing home 1,700 miles away in Puerto Rico. She had been taken in as a ‘person in need’ in June 1999 after being found wandering aimlessly nearby.

Patricia had kept tight-lipped about her circumstances. It was only after she started suffering from dementia that she began to reveal details about her life. A social worker followed the crumbs and discovered she was from Pennsylvania, so they contacted the authorities. DNA samples would later confirm she was the missing woman Patricia Kopta.

Bob was 86 when his wife was found. After hearing the news, he told a press conference: ‘It’s a sad thing, but it’s a relief off my mind. When your wife goes missing, you’re a suspect.’

It is likely, Ross Township Deputy Police Chief Brian Kohlhepp told a news conference, that Patricia’s state of mind led her to flee 1,7000 miles from Pittsburgh to Puerto Rico. 

Born in Ross Township in Pennsylvania, she had been a straight-A student and spent time as a model, a dance instructor and an elevator operator at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh before her mental health deteriorated in 1984. 

Patricia Kopta as a young woman

Several years later, she had lost her job and began to roam the city’s streets. Patricia would tell anyone that listened that she was one of God’s ‘bondservants’ on earth. Her feet were so damaged from her wandering that her sister had urged her, in vain, to go to hospital. 

Patricia always maintained a neat appearance, with make-up and a long dress or skirt, when she preached on the streets but was frequently described as ‘eccentric’ by many people – including her own husband.

They had met near a river in Pittsburgh where Bob had a boat and offered her and her friends a ride. The pair married in 1972. It was a decade later when Bob noticed his wife’s mental health deteriorate. 

In the months leading to her disappearance, Patricia had been diagnosed with ‘delusions of grandeur’ by a doctor who suspected she could have schizophrenia. One theory police discussed was ‘concerned she was going to be institutionalised’ and fled America as a result.

‘After 30 years, you try to forget about it,’ Bob told reporters when pressed on a potential reason for his wife’s vanishing act. ‘Now, I can forget about it. We know what happened, and she is taken care of now. She could have come home any time. But that’s what she wanted. She always said she wanted to go to a warm climate.’

(left) Patricia's sister Gloria Smith and (right) her husband Robert Kopta speak at a press conference

Patricia’s sister Gloria rushed to Puerto Rico to visit her sibling as soon as the DNA test came back positive and she was given Patricia’s address.

‘We’re very thankful to know that Patty is alive and well,’ Gloria told local news outlet WMTW. ‘She’s being well taken care of. We really thought she was dead all those years. It was a very big shock to know that she’s still alive.’

It’s not fully certain what Patricia did for the full 31 years she had been classed as a missing person. It is thought she walked around Puerto Rico’s northern towns of Naranjito, Corozal and Toa Alta, to the southwest of the capital of San Juan, during her time on the Caribbean island. According to police, she told locals she came to Puerto Rico on a cruise ship from Europe.

While the name of Patricia’s nursing home has never been revealed, one photo has been shared of the pensioner. Wearing a blue top, the 83-year-old gazes into the camera with a faint smile. 

Gone are the sparkling green eyes and long black hair of the young ‘Sparrow.’ Instead, wisps of grey hair and deep wrinkles reflect a secret lifetime of adventure her family, and the wider world, will never truly know.

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News | Voting machine contract under scrutiny…

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News | Voting machine contract under scrutiny following discrepancies in Puerto Rico’s primaries

Puerto rico’s elections commission says it’s reviewing its contract with a u.s. electronic voting company after hundreds of discrepancies were discovered following the island’s heated primaries.

Author

The problem stemmed from a software issue that caused machines supplied by Dominion Voting Systems to incorrectly calculate vote totals, said Jessika Padilla Rivera, the commission’s interim president.

While no one is contesting the results from the June 2 primary that correctly identify the winners, machine-reported vote counts were lower than the paper ones in some cases, and some machines reversed certain totals or reported zero votes for some candidates.

“The concern is that we obviously have elections in November, and we must provide the (island) not only with the assurance that the machine produces a correct result, but also that the result it produces is the same one that is reported,” Padilla said.

More than 6,000 Dominion voting machines were used in Puerto Rico’s primaries, with the company stating that software issues stemmed from the digital files used to export results from the machines.

The contract between Dominion and the elections commission ends June 30.

José Varela, vice president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, called for Padilla to appear at a public hearing Thursday to address the issues.

“We cannot allow the public’s confidence in the voting process to continue to be undermined as we approach the general elections,” he said.

The problems called to mind the island’s botched 2020 primaries, when a lack of ballots at some centers forced the government to reschedule voting in a first for the U.S. territory.

On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island’s territorial status.

In a surprise upset, Jenniffer González, Puerto Rico’s congressional representative, beat Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the primary held by the New Progressive Party. Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Rep. Jesús Manuel Ortiz defeated Sen. Juan Zaragoza in the primary held by their Popular Democratic Party.

Both parties reported hundreds of ballots showing inaccurate results, with the PNP reporting over 700 errors and the PPD pointing to some 350 discrepancies. These inaccuracies affected ballots for positions including governor, mayor and resident commissioner.

In response to the discrepancies, the elections commission conducted a full vote tally and audited paper receipts from hundreds of ballot-counting machines.

Edwin García Feliciano, Puerto Rico’s Ombudsman, called the incident a “threat” to the island’s electoral system and called on the governor and the island’s federal control board that oversees the island’s finances to establish a plan to guarantee a better outcome in the upcoming general elections.

“All planning is based on resolving emergencies, including unlikely ones,” García Feliciano said. “But predictable circumstances, which are well known to the public, cannot be addressed by improvisation and in a rush.”

The island is now preparing for the November general election, where voters will choose a new governor and local representatives. While Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, they are not allowed to vote in the U.S. presidential elections . ___

Follow AP’s coverage of Latin America and the Caribbean at https://apnews.com/hub/latin-america

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How salsa, bomba and reggaeton shaped Puerto Rico's culture – and where to hear them

Amaya García

Jan 10, 2022 • 11 min read

us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

So many moments in Puerto Rican life are punctuated with music © Lyma Rodrigués / Discover Puerto Rico

For centuries, Puerto Ricans have been marching to the beat of their own drum. From busy markets to schoolyards, restaurants, colmados (grocery stores), funerals and bass-bumping cars passing by – there isn’t a moment in Puerto Rico that isn’t punctuated by a musical melange. 

Homegrown genres like reggaeton and salsa dominate the radio airwaves and attract thousands of revelers to improvised dance floors and outdoor bars night after night, while traditional genres like bomba and plena offer a gateway into the idiosyncrasies and history that define the Puerto Rican experience.

A man and a woman touch hands as they dance to salsa music outside with a group of people.

Salsa is in the blood

Though the origins of the name salsa have been disputed among academics and fans since the sound came into popularity, the music’s roots go as far back as the 1930s and 1940s in Cuba , with the development of one of its premier cultural exports – the son montuno (mountain sound). When US diplomatic relations with Cuba were still open, son montuno migrated to New York City along with the movement of other Spanish Caribbean peoples, including Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Cubans. 

Salsa exploded in the US in the late 1960s and throughout the 70s in the Caribbean medley that was New York City. Bands formed mainly of Latinos like Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, Johnny Pacheco, Machito and Héctor Lavoe became popular household names thanks largely to the creation of the Fania record company. 

The salsa sound 

Salsa has always maintained its Cuban roots when it comes to instrumentation – ever-present are the bongos, congas and timbales – but Puerto Rican musicians added more traditional elements, such as the infusion of bomba and plena, danza (a traditional ballroom genre derived from Spanish influence), and música jíbara, a type of folk music that originated in Puerto Rico's mountainous region.

In its essence, Puerto Rican salsa is a representation of the Puerto Rico-NYC emigration pipeline, with artists like Lavoe, Bobby Valentín and the Lebrón Brothers bringing their style to the island. 

A man and a woman hold hands as they dance to salsa music outside with other people.

But home-grown musicians helped develop Puerto Rican salsa as well. Rafael Cortijo y Su Combo rose to prominence in the 1950s with their experimental infusion of guaracha, another fast-paced genre that developed in Cuba, and songs about social issues like racism and poverty. You can hear this in a song like “Mataron al Negro Bembón” .

While there was a sonic evolution of salsa from the 50s to the 90s, the genre, at least in Puerto Rico, has stagnated a bit and remained mostly in its last incarnation, salsa romantica – a sound punctuated by slower melodies and lyrics about love gone wrong.

However, salsa dura – a sound that originated in NYC that emphasizes instrumentation like the piano, horns, bass and percussion – can be heard from loudspeakers in colmados all around the island, and in bars like El Boricua in Río Piedras, La Factoria in Old San Juan and the spots Mijani and Taberna Los Vázques in the Placita de Santurce , which was founded more than 100 years ago as an outdoor market. 

A man smiles as dances to salsa music alongside a group of people in Puerto Rico.

Best places to hear salsa 

Your best bet to find live orchestras and bands playing salsa is to visit hotel lobbies in San Juan , like the Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino and the renovated Fairmont San Juan Hotel which has an amazing musical history and keeps its original 1960s-style lobby and a live cabaret. As is custom for locals on a night out on the town, be ready with formal wear and dancing shoes when going to these hotels.

For a more casual hang, head over to Taberna Los Vázques in the Placita de Santurce , an open-air market that also serves food, and usually has salsa from Friday to Sunday.

Inside La Factoría in Old San Juan you can dance salsa at their secret bar, Shing-a-Ling , which hosts La 51 salsa band on Sundays and Mondays. El Boricua in Río Piedras also has a ton of salsa in their jukebox, along with a dancefloor, where you can find sweaty partners passionately dancing the night away any day of the week. 

Feeling more adventurous? Check out some of the new salsa orchestras like Orquesta El Macabeo and Pirulo y La Tribu , or plan your trip around the Día Nacional de la Zalsa an event hosted yearly by the premiere salsa station on the island, Z93.

A man wearing a red and black dashiki and a red headwrap dances in front of a band and people wearing traditional masks.

Keeping the bomba tradition alive

According to Folkways Recordings – a branch of the Smithsonian Museum , bomba dates back to the early Spanish colonial period on the island. It's music born out of the transatlantic slave trade and formed out of the distinct musical traditions enslaved Africans brought with them to Puerto Rico in the 17th century. 

The music is communal, with drummers playing the subidor or primo (barrel drums) and the singer playing the cuá (smaller drum played with wooden sticks) and the maracas . The circle formation the drummers play in is called the batey or soberao . 

Highly-skilled dancers dressed in a traditional, heavy white cotton skirt or, if it’s a man, a guayabera shirt and slacks, are usually invited to the middle of the circle to make the piquete –  footwork that directs the drummer’s beat. 

Much like in the 17th century, bomba lyrics today are highly political. To the enslaved, bomba music was a source of political and spiritual expression. 

A woman wearing red shorts and a white crop top dances in the center of a circle as a group of musicians play the drums and other folks watch.

The lyrics convey a sense of anger and sadness about what the enslaved people endured. The songs themselves “served as a catalyst for rebellions and uprisings,” Folkways writes. Today, bomba is both an indictment of sociopolitical conditions and a celebration of life on the island. 

Where to go to see bomba 

Bomba can be heard almost anywhere there’s nightlife, but live drummers and dancers can be experienced weekly at La Terraza de Bonanza in Santurce, El Boricua in Río Piedras and La Vergüenza in Old San Juan on Sundays. All of the venues feature outdoor spaces. Locals tend to spill onto the street for fresh air or for more room to dance.

The vibe is pretty rowdy and noisy, and people tend to go to these places after work, so you’ll get a variety of dress codes. Opt for casual with comfortable shoes and breathable clothes – it's likely to get very hot. 

One photo with two images. The first is a woman smiling into the camera as she leans on a bright-red railing in front of a bright yellow structure. The second photo is a group of people dressed in traditional colorful costumes walk down a paved street.

Those looking for bomba dance lessons can always visit the legendary Don Rafael Cepeda School of Bomba and Plena and El Batey de los Hermanos Ayala.

To get a fuller appreciation of bomba, head to the town of Loíza Aldea for  Las Fiestas de Santiago Apóstol , an annual celebration held at the end of July that celebrates the rich bomba and Afro-Puerto Rican culture.  Hear from two of the great bomba families (the Cepedas and the Ayalas) who are responsible for keeping the tradition alive and educating younger Puerto Ricans in the art.

Plena: El Periódico Cantao’ 

Plena is a uniquely Puerto Rican genre developed from the sounds of bomba in the early 20th century. It features one rhythmic current played with three panderos (an instrument similar to the tambourine but without the metallic cymbals): the requinto, seguidor and punteador, all instruments autochthonous to Puerto Rico, and not to be confused with Spanish string instruments.   Like bomba, it's heavily percussion-based.  

European instrumentation like Spanish guitars and accordions have been added from time to time, but these are mostly experimentations, and you’d be hard-pressed to find pleneros currently using them. 

A plena band performs on stage; to the right is a man standing in front of a microphone gesturing to a video screen behind the band.

The major hubs for plena are  Ponce , Mayagüez and the barrio of Santurce in San Juan. 

Best places to go to hear plena

While you can listen to plena in most of the same places in bars like El Boricua, La Vergüenza Puerto Rican Chinchorro and La Terraza de Bonanza, one of the biggest gatherings of pleneros takes place yearly at the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián. 

There, pleneros from all over the island get together on the street corners of Old San Juan and teach each other the traditional coros  (choirs) of their regions and share history.

Since plena lyrics are mostly kept through oral tradition, these gatherings keep the genre alive and help new generations of musicians learn the styles from all over the island while preserving the music for future generations. 

Reggaeton's global impact  

Reggaeton is a genre born out of the island's streets in the early 1990s. Its lyrics encapsulate the young, urban and Afro-Puerto Rican experience, social justice, sexuality and a fight for legitimacy in the cultural canon. 

Its origins are rooted in the Jamaican migration to Panama and the Panamanian reggae en Español fusion. Panamanian artist El General is known as the father of the genre.

When the sound reached Puerto Rico, musicians and DJs quickly departed from reggae en Español, which was just Jamaican reggae songs translated into Spanish, and created something of their own .

Reggaeton incorporates Jamaica's dancehall "riddim" (or instrumental track) with the heavy percussion beat present in all Puerto Rican music with fresh lyrics laid on top. 

Reggaeton musician Daddy Yankee performs on stage. He's wearing red gloves, black leather baseball cap, a white button-up and black vest.

Daddy Yankee, DJ Nelson, DJ Negro, Ivy Queen, La Sista, and the supergroup The Noise spearheaded reggaeton in the underground scene on the island and, eventually, exported it throughout the US and Latin America. 

The mid-90s saw reggaeton, along with its performers and fans, become vilified by the Puerto Rican government. Police raided underground parties, clubs, record stores and concert venues, citing concerns about morality, obscene language, drug and weapons trafficking and explicit sexuality. 

The raids, part of a police operation called Mano Dura Contra el Crímen , served to turn public opinion against the genre and demonize its artists and fans. While the stigma continues to this day, specifically among older generations, reggaeton’s crossover into the global market has made the music ubiquitous on the island, and one of Puerto Rico’s most famous cultural exports. 

Where you can hear Reggaeton

You don’t have to go far to hear to reggaeton – you’ll likely be greeted by a passing car blasting the style from its sound system, in neighboring houses and in the beloved chinchorros (small snack shack) all around the island.

For a club vibe, head over to Piso Viejo in Calle Loíza or Aguardiente in Santurce. You can also listen to new, LGBTIQ+ reggaeton and trap artists like Villano Antillano in queer-friendly clubs. 

Marc Anthony performs in his concert "Marc Anthony Live!" at Coliseo Jose Miguel Agrelot in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Pop hits in Puerto Rico

Without a doubt, reggaeton is one of the country's most popular and exported genres, but pop music has also created waves globally. 

The pop explosion on the island began during the mid-1960s and 70s, with cultural critic Alfred D. Herger introducing audiences to the newest sounds and top hits from the world’s music charts on his TV shows Teenager’s Matinee and Canta la Juventud . 

Both shows started the careers of pop icons like Lucecita Benítez and Chucho Avellanet  and opened the floodgates for the development of big pop artists during the 80s like Menudo, Chayanne and Ednita Nazario. 

Best places to hear pop

Artists like Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, JLo, Kany García, Pedro Capó and Marc Anthony are responsible for Puerto Rican pop's mass appeal. And today, you can hear their music and other top hits in nightclubs and bars like Brava , La Respuesta and El Local .

Brava is a nightclub at the Fairmont San Juan Hotel, and it’s usually high-end, so dress to impress as you party until dawn. Places like Brava usually have dress codes, so they might not allow tennis shoes or super casual street clothes.

El Local and La Respuesta are super chill about dress codes and are low-key hangouts, so go as you are and be ready to have some fine Medallas, a beloved local beer.

Puerto Rican singer Neysa looks into the camera. She's wearing a dark t-shirt.

Rock and punk presence on the island 

It might be surprising to some, but Puerto Rico also has a big rock and punk scene that's been thriving since the 90s with mid-size venues opening up and booking local and independent acts. 

One of the most famous bands to come out of the scene is Dávila 666 , with their gritty, urban brand of garage rock. Other bands you’ll likely hear about from any underground rock fan in San Juan are Campo-Formio , Alegría Rampante , Avandra , Moths , Sr. Langosta , Fullminator  and Neysa Blay .

There isn’t a unified sound that identifies the rock scene. Just between the bands mentioned above, you'll find hardcore punk, pop-rock, metal, prog rock and jazz-rock fusion. 

Best places to hear rock 

San Juan venues like La Respuesta and Club 77 have become renowned for hosting some of these bands and for fostering the independent rock scene. Recently, both venues have been embroiled in sexual harassment accusations and claims of unsafe environments. Both venues have addressed and denied the claims. You can read La Respuesta’s statement here . 

You might also like:  The best things to do in Puerto Rico   How to travel sustainably in Puerto Rico   Beaches, rum and nature: the 9 best places to visit in Puerto Rico  

Puerto Rico is on our 2022 Best in Travel list. For more stories from some of the world’s most exciting destinations click here .

Safety recommendations and restrictions during a pandemic can change rapidly. Lonely Planet recommends that travelers always check with local authorities for up-to-date guidance before  traveling during Covid-19 .

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  1. US tourists stabbed after filming hamburger cart in La Perla, Puerto

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  2. US tourists stabbed after filming hamburger cart in La Perla, Puerto

    us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

  3. Two Americans stabbed after 'being told to not film in Puerto Rico town

    us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

  4. 3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being warned to stop

    us tourist stabbed in puerto rico

  5. Three American tourists are stabbed in Puerto Rico

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  6. Two Americans stabbed after 'being told to not film in Puerto Rico town

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COMMENTS

  1. 3 U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being told to stop

    Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop recording in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.

  2. 3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being warned to stop

    Carlos Sanchez Brown, 39, Wallace Florence, 37, and Jackson Tremayne, 38, were stabbed in Puerto Rico's historic Old San Juan neighborhood after being warned to stop filming the famous La Perla ...

  3. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    Published 11:40 AM PDT, February 6, 2023. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors. The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives ...

  4. 3 American tourists attacked, stabbed after dispute over filming in

    3 American tourists attacked, stabbed after dispute over filming in popular Puerto Rico neighborhood 3 Americans were visiting an area of San Juan, Puerto Rico, made popular by 'Despacito' music video

  5. 3 US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico after being told to stop ...

    Feb. 6, 2023, 10:42 AM PST / Source: AP (Associated Press) By Associated Press. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in ...

  6. 3 US tourists stabbed during trip to Puerto Rico in neighborhood that

    Three citizens from the United States were stabbed in La Perla, a popular neighborhood in Puerto Rico. The stabbing occurred after one of the tourists was asked to stop filming.

  7. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in La Perla, Puerto Rico

    Associated Press. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside ...

  8. 3 US tourists, including 1 from SC, stabbed in popular Puerto Rican

    NOW PLAYING ABOVE. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known ...

  9. 3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico

    Updated: 9:50 AM MST February 6, 2023. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned ...

  10. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    Feb. 6, 2023 at 8:38 am Updated Feb. 6, 2023 at 12:41 pm. By. The Associated Press. The Associated Press. SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in ...

  11. Three American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighbourhood

    Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.. The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the area, police said.

  12. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    FILE - An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 after someone told ...

  13. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as La Perla that is popular with visitors.. The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began filming a mobile hamburger cart and was told to stop and leave the ...

  14. 3 Tourists Stabbed in Puerto Rico After Filming a Hamburger Cart

    Three American tourists were stabbed while visiting a popular neighborhood in Puerto Rico after a man asked them to stop filming at a street-side hamburger cart. The attack happened at around 4 a ...

  15. 3 mainland U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico >> Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early today after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known as ...

  16. 3 mainland US tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    An aerial view of the seaside neighborhood of La Perla, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Aug. 25, 2017. Three U.S. tourists were stabbed in La Perla early Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 after someone told them to ...

  17. 3 mainland U.S. tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighbourhood

    SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community known ...

  18. 3 tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico neighborhood

    1:19. San Juan, Puerto Rico — Three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico early Monday after police said someone told them to stop filming in a renowned seaside community ...

  19. 3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico

    Authorities said two of the American tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times. The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began ...

  20. 3 American tourists stabbed in Puerto Rico

    Authorities said two of the American tourists remain hospitalized, including one who was stabbed six times. The confrontation began when one of the tourists, who lives in South Carolina, began ...

  21. Tourists stabbed after filming hamburger cart in Puerto Rico

    Three US tourists have been stabbed in Puerto Rico after they were told to stop filming in the La Perla neighbourhood made famous by Luis Fonsi's "Despacito" music video.

  22. Two Americans stabbed after 'being told to not film in Puerto Rico town

    TWO American tourists have been stabbed after being asked to stop filming in a trendy Puerto Rican neighborhood, police said.The victims, identified a. Jump directly to the content. ... Two Americans stabbed after 'being told to not film in Puerto Rico town' where US tourist was killed & set on fire. Israel Salas-Rodriguez; Published: 13:53 ...

  23. US tourists stabbed for taking pictures in Puerto Rico ...

    San Juan: In the early hours of Monday, three tourists from the U.S. mainland were stabbed in Puerto Rico, according to authorities, after someone allegedly warned them to stop filming in the well-known tourist destination of La Perla. According to authorities, the altercation started when one of the tourists, a South Carolina resident, started ...

  24. Puerto Rico Travel Guide

    The best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April to June, right after the busy winter season and just before the rainy summer (August is the month with the most rainfall). Spring weather is ...

  25. U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to Travel to Puerto Rico to

    U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona to Travel to Puerto Rico to Highlight Priorities and Host Local Meetings Contact: Press Office, (202) 401-1576, [email protected] Event Date 1 : June 17, 2024 - 3:45pm

  26. A US man died after being electrocuted in a hot tub in Mexican ...

    A 43-year-old American man died after he and another US national were electrocuted while in a jacuzzi at a complex of private condominiums in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico, authorities said.

  27. Woman who vanished and was declared dead found alive decades later

    In 2023, 31 years after she vanished, there was a plot twist in the story of the Sparrow's tale, one befitting a Hollywood movie. It had emerged that Patricia, now 83, was very much alive and in ...

  28. Philadelphia Shooting Suspect Arrested in Puerto Rico, Charged With

    A suspect in a deadly shooting in Philadelphia from last year has been apprehended in Puerto Rico, said the police. NBC Philadelphia reports that on the night of January 31, 2023, Samuel Rosario ...

  29. Voting machine contract under scrutiny following discrepancies in

    On June 2, Puerto Rico held primary elections to select gubernatorial candidates for the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the Popular Democratic Party, which supports the island's ...

  30. Best places to hear music in Puerto Rico

    Best places to hear pop. Artists like Ricky Martin, Bad Bunny, JLo, Kany García, Pedro Capó and Marc Anthony are responsible for Puerto Rican pop's mass appeal. And today, you can hear their music and other top hits in nightclubs and bars like Brava, La Respuesta and El Local.