Isla Verde, Puerto Rico
Welcoming Skyline of Isla Verde
|Coordinates: 18°26′22″N 66°00′36″W / 18.43944°N 66.01000°W|
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 big 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 Ocean Park (Santurce) , to the east by Loíza and to the south by downtown Carolina. Isla Verde, along with Condado, is one of the main tourist areas in the metropolitan area 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 in the Isla Verde area, which, as aforementioned, belongs to the city of Carolina. For almost four years, the airport was given the unofficial "Isla Verde International Airport" title, both by locals and visitors. Residents of Isla Verde tend to downplay the fact that the area is technically part of Carolina, since culturally and socially Isla Verde is more akin to Ocean park and Condado which are both nearby and 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, Loíza. As a consequence of the attacks, the spot was closed to the genera public, due to the fact that it might compromise airport security. Because of the airport's location in the Isla Verde area, some streets have had to be closed several times during visits by dignitaries and celebrities (most notably when a local has had overseas success in a competition). 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 UFO-shaped discothèque aptly named 'The Flying Saucer'. 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.
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.