Food offers taste of a Puerto Rico's culture

SAN JUAN -- Puerto Rico's cuisine is the focus of a new series of gastronomy tours that begin in January. Puerto Rico Tourism Co. and Encantada Tours of San Juan joined forces to offer three programs that highlight typical Puerto Rican cuisine, according to Milton Segarra, PRTC's executive director.

Puerto Rico's cuisine is highlighted in gastronomic tours in 2002 that visit various regions of the island. Above, colorful vegetables. "We want visitors to immerse themselves in our culture," said Segarra. "Our cuisine is an important part of that culture."

Here is a summary of the tours:

• A Taste of Ponce with a Nuevo Latino Twist is a three-night package starting at $875 (from July 4 to 7, Sept. 12 to 15 and Nov. 14 to 17, 2002) and $915 (from Jan. 17 to 20, March 14 to 17 and May 9 to 12). Included in the package are transfers; one night in San Juan and two nights in Ponce; meals and wine; cooking demonstrations, and museum visits.

• A Traditional Taste of the Island's West is a five-night plan that begins at $1,200 (from June 3 to 8, Aug. 5 to 10, Oct. 14 to 19 and Dec. 9 to 14, 2002) and $1,300 (from Feb. 11 to 16 and April 8 to 13). The package includes one night in a San Juan hotel and four nights in countryside paradors; transfers; meals and wine; a bakery tour in Mayaguez, and museum visits.

• A Taste of Sophisticated San Juan is a four-night plan offered on the first and third weekends of each month. The rate of $800 per person covers a choice of accommodations, transfers, meals, wine and visits to area attractions.

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