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Issued : Tuesday, December 6, 2011 06:05 AM
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Forbes: PR is top holiday destination

By CB Online Staff

Puerto Rico has been picked by Forbes magazine as one of the world’s top Christmas destinations, winning recognition for a marathon and spirited holiday season marked by good food and drink and warm weather.

“Who says you need scarves and snow to have a truly authentic Christmas?” Forbes reports. “Multi-colored lights look fantastic strung through palm trees, the coquito tastes a little like eggnog that’s mostly coconut, and a roasted, seasoned pork shoulder often muscles out turkey for center stage at a Puerto Rican Christmas table.

The well-known New York-based business publication worked with travel experts at Lonely Planet and Frommer’s travel guides to compile a list of holiday destinations that celebrate Christmas festivities unlike any other.

Puerto Rico ranks alongside expected top holiday spots such as New York City, Rome, Cologne and, of course, Santa Claus Village and Santa Park in Finland’s town of Napapiiri in the Artic Circle.

“It’s further from Santa’s home base and native climate, but Christmas in Puerto Rico gets going early in December, and after the 25th becomes an intense two-week affair filled with food, family and parties,” Forbes writes.

“Old San Juan makes a good base, but a relative’s or friend’s house is even better,” Forbes says.

Visitors should expect an offering of coquito, a rum and coconut-based drink that is similar to eggnog, that is “delicious and dangerous, depending on the family bartender.”

The magazine urges travelers not to miss seasonal Puerto Rican holiday food such as pasteles and pernil, a seasoned, baked pork shoulder that’s on almost every table.

“Shake off old sledding traditions and visit the surfer’s paradise of Rincón while you’re visiting warmer climes,” the magazine’s website says.

“The holiday season may get started earlier, and the buildup to the big day is similar to ours, but once the 25th rolls around, there are two weeks of family get togethers, parties, food, more parties, drinking, and one final family celebration on January 6, Three Kings Day.”

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