Planning a trip to the exotic island of Puerto Rico? Be prepared to get your groove on and have your ears filled with beautiful sounds the moment you step off the plane. Filled with a variety of beats from nature's soothing soundtrack to cultural rhythms, it’s hard not to have your hips shaking in Puerto Rico.
One of the first things you will hear stepping off the plane is a high-pitched chirping sound. No it's not a time bomb, cricket or a bird. It's actually a small frog known on the island as a coqui; the most heard sound of Puerto Rico. If you listen closely the tiny amphibians even sounds like they are singing "ko-kee" at night. They are revered on the island, as a symbol of luck, so be careful not to step on them.
The most popular sounds in Puerto Rico are the rhythms of salsa. It is known as the "sauce" that gives life to party. Puerto Ricans living in New York originally started salsa bringing together the music of Cuba and the Afro Caribbean. Salsa music uses guiros, a Latin American percussion instrument, maracas, drums and tambourines.
Another sound you will hear in Puerto Rico is the rhythms of bomba. African cultural traditions influenced this style of music. Bomba is performed with one big drum, a couple smaller drums and maracas. The performance is as a conversation and a competition between the drummer and the dancer.
Another sound you will hear in Puerto Rico comes from the native tribe of Tainos that previously inhabited the area. Spanish colonists heard plena and introduced a guitar to its rhythm. A performance of plena tells a story of the day's news. It is how news used to spread from village to village.
Last but not least, if you venture to the young adult clubs you will hear another popular sound in Puerto Rico: reggaeton. Reggaeton is a mixture of rap, reggae, and Latin American dance and is very popular among Latinos in the U.S., as well. A few favorite reggaeton artists include: Daddy Yankee, Don Omar, Pitbull, Wisin and Yandel.