Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (September 2010)|
Welcoming Skyline of Isla Verde
Isla Verde (Spanish for "Green Island") is a District of Carolina located east of Santurce (south western front of Piñones) next to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport above the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge. Isla Verde is the area just outside the capital of Puerto Rico that links with the college town of Río Piedras and the residential counterpart surroundings of Hato Rey which includes the neighborhoods of Baldrich and University Gardens revolving around Golden Mile's financial district.
Isla Verde is also the name of the tiny island some 400 meters north of Punta Medio, with a size of just 2,518 m² (0.6 acres). It is the island that gave name to the district. The island falls within the Cangrejo Arriba barrio of Carolina. The district of Isla Verde is in fact the coastal area of Cangrejo Arriba. Isla Verde is bordered to the north by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west by the San Juan area of Condado, to the east by Santurce (also a San Juan area) and to the south by downtown Carolina. Isla Verde is one of the hundred tourist areas of Puerto Rico hosting various restaurants, hotels, casinos and discothèques.
The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which many people mistakenly think is situated in San Juan, is actually located at the Isla Verde area, which, as aforementioned, belongs to the city of Carolina. For almost four decades, the airport was given the unofficial "Isla Verde International Airport" title, both by locals and visitors. Residents of Isla Verde also tend to downplay the fact that the area is part of Carolina since culturally and socially Isla Verde is more like Condado and Ocean Park which are both nearby and are part of Santurce, one of the capital's historic districts. Since the airport's creation and up until the September 11, 2001 attacks, aviation fans could enjoy a day at the beach and, at the same time, watch the aircraft land or take-off at a specially designed spot located near Piñones, another Carolina barrio. But after the September 11 tragedies, this spot was closed because the general public could also see general aviation activities take place, such as luggage handling, fuel filling and others. Another reason that this spot in particular was closed is that it could have provided a view for an attacker of a presidential aircraft or for terrorists. Because of the airport's location in the Isla Verde area, some streets have had to be closed several times for welcomings; especially when any Puerto Rican has had overseas success. Such cases are: winners of the Miss Universe beauty pageant and boxers returns from a winning fight. The streets were closed when Pope John Paul II visited in 1984, and during the 1987 state visit of the King and Queen of Spain. The area has a multitude of restaurants, hotels and high-priced homes. Many celebrities have lived in Isla Verde's affluent areas, including some former members of the boy band Menudo, including Ricky Martin. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, world boxing champion Wilfredo Gómez owned a discothèque (which was shaped like a Flying saucer) in the area, and Samuel Serrano also owned businesses there. Isla Verde is also home to an important Cuban exile community centered on Casa Cuba, which is Puerto Rico's main Cuban social club.
The Isla Verde bus terminal has routes to various other parts of San Juan:
- 50 to Luis Muñoz Marín Airport
- 45 to Luis Muñoz Marín Airport and Piñero
- 40 to Piñero
- 5 to Santurce and Old San Juan
- 53 to Condado and Old San Juan
There are two bus systems serving the Isla Verde bus terminal: AMA, the main public transportation system and SITRAC which travels in the Isla Verde Hotel district. The public bus 5 and 53 which will take you from the Bus Terminal to Old San Juan (e.g. to El Morro) in roughly 1 hour. The SITRAC bus is free but only stays in Isla Verde. The public bus costs 75 cents to ride.
Available at all times, Taxis charge about $20 for a ride to the Condodo and Old San Juan Areas.
Isla Verde has very wealthy areas but is not too far from the Island's largest public housing project, Luis Llorens Torres Residential Complex, which is actually within San Juan. Despite its closeness to this area, Isla Verde is very safe thanks to the heavy police presence in the area, in fact Carolina's autonomous police department has a police station in the area.