Photos: Picturesque Puerto Rico

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  1. Eye on the word

    The Castillo de San Felipe del Morro in San Juan is a 16th century citadel. It was designed to keep seaborne enemies of out San Juan (thus the gun turret pictured). In 1983, the United Nations declared "El Morro" a World Heritage site. Today, it is Puerto Rico's best known fortress, with more than two million visitors a year. (Francisco Turnes / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Hidden beauty

    Isabela is a coastal city in Puerto Rico whose main industries include tourism due to it's classic and secluded surfing beaches, panoramic views, rainforest, rivers, caves archaeological sites and more. (ervphotos / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. A beacon of the times

    The Punta Higuero Lighthouse in Ricon, situated on POint Juguero, was built in 1892 by the Spanish and rebuilt in 1922 by the U.S. Coast Guard after a 1918 tsunami hit the coast of Puerto Rico that also damaged the structure. The lighthouse still works and employs an unmanned 26,000-candlepower rotatintg beacon. The beaches around the Punta Higuero Lighthouse are also popular surfing destinations, and visitors converge in the area to see the annual migration of humpback whales. (fotoamateur / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Buried in history

    The Cementerio de San Juan (San Juan Cemetery), located between El Morro and the cliffs above the Atlantic of Old San Juan, is known for being one of the most picturesque burial grounds. The cemetery is also noted for its elaborate tombstones and the neoclassical chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene, which dates to the 19th century. Many of Puerto Rico's earliest colonists are buried here. (tank bmb / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Staying afloat

    Tourism is a big component of Puerto Rico's economy, and supplies about $1.8 billion annually, with millions of visitors visiting the island. It is estimated that about a third of the tourists come on cruise ships. (Ritu / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Traveling back in time

    A church stands on the grounds of La Fortaleza in Old San Juan, the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. The old city is a historic district of seven square blocks made up of ancient buildings and colonial homes, massive stone walls and vast fortifications, sunny parks and cobblestoned streets. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Withstanding time

    Old San Juan in Puerto Rico is the oldest settlement within the territory of the U.S., and spans just seven square blocks. Here, the La Fortaleza (the governor's mansion), a part of the old city wall and a gate are pictured. (tank bmb / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Historical colors

    Colorful homes line the cobblestoned streets in Old San Juan, the original capital city of San Juan, Puerto Rico. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Popular pastime

    Locals often gather at the many plazas of Old San Juan to chat and play dominoes. (Joe Raedle / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Room with a view

    In Old San Juan, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, embellished balcony doors, such as the one pictured, are not unusual in the city that dates back to 1521. Most buildings are more than 150 years old and are evidence of the Spanish architectural heritage. (capricornis / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Natural beauty

    The El Yunque National Forest is the sole rain forest in the U.S. National Forest System, according to the park's Web site, and is relatively small at 28,000 acres. It features a year-round tropical climate and immense biodiversity. About 600,000 tourists each year enjoy all that the forest has to offer, including wildlife, waterfalls, hiking and camping opportunities, and more. (ervphotos / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Guiding light

    A 19th century lighthouse -- called the Los Morrillos -- sits atop a towering cliff that overlooks the waters of Cabo Rojo, located at the southwestern tip of Puerto Rico. The cliffs around the lighthouse drop more than 200 feet into the ocean. The lighthouse was originally built in 1882 to guide ships from the Caribbean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean. Today, the lighthouse is completely automated, and a renovation cleared the interior of everything of historical significance. (ervphotos / FeaturePics.com) Back to slideshow navigation
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updated 4/7/2009 12:11:51 PM ET 2009-04-07T16:11:51

The deal
It's tax time, again, and, more than ever, the financial stress of the year has confirmed yet another certainty: You need a vacation. The troubled times make us all want to get away from it all, unplug, and de-stress — without sinking further into debt. Fortunately, we've found a liberating number of travel discounts, rebates, and write-offs that can help you get out of town quick. Check out these tax-themed offers for guilt-free getaways at resorts in Aruba, Chicago, Curaçao, Puerto Rico, and more, from just $161/night.

Mexico and Dominican Republic: 40 percent off at Excellence Resorts
Even in these tough times, a luxury vacation is not out of reach. Excellence Resorts is currently offering a special promotion at three of its luxury resorts in Mexico and the Dominican Republic. Travel this April 8–12 and save up to 40 percent at the posh Excellence Playa Mujeres, Excellence Riviera Cancun, or Excellence Punta Cana. These romantic all-inclusive resorts include unlimited drinks, all meals, and activities like horseback riding, free bike rentals, and yoga and cooking lessons. Rates start at just $161/night, but you’ll want to book soon for best availability.

Aruba: Renaissance Aruba Resort from $270 a night
Wish you could write off your hotel stay like those Wall Street fat cats? At the popular Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, guests actually can ‘write off’ the first night of their vacation with this special offer. Rates with breakfast included start at $270/night, providing you with a savings of more than 30 percent off regular rates for rooms. This deal must be booked by April 15, and a four-night minimum stay is required.

Curacao: Renaissance Curacao Resort from $279 a night
Situated on 500 acres of prime Puerto Rico beachfront, the Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa provides the perfect setting for a stress-free post-tax getaway. Explore the breathtaking scenery and waterfalls of the nearby El Yunque rainforest, or while away your the hours at the resort’s sprawling pool and Mandara Spa. Rates for rooms with private balconies start at just $305/night, but you can now save even more with the resort’s special Vacation Stimulus package. From now through June 30, guests who reserve two consecutive nights will receive the following two nights at no additional cost, plus a $100 food and beverage credit per stay.

Puerto Rico: Vacation Stimulus package from $305 a night
Situated on 500 acres of prime Puerto Rico beachfront, the Rio Mar Beach Resort and Spa provides the perfect setting for a stress-free post-tax getaway. Explore the breathtaking scenery and waterfalls of the nearby El Yunque rainforest, or while away your the hours at the resort’s sprawling pool and Mandara Spa. Rates for rooms with private balconies start at just $305/night, but you can now save even more with the resort’s special Vacation Stimulus package. From now through June 30, guests who reserve two consecutive nights will receive the following two nights at no additional cost, plus a $100 food and beverage credit per stay.

Chicago: Ritz-Carlton from $425 a night
Receiving your tax rebate after a long, hard year is definitely something worth celebrating. In keeping with the refund theme, the Ritz-Carlton Chicago is giving guests a cash back rebate with the Experience More package, available through April 30. Guests are awarded a rebate with each night of their stay: $150 with any one-night stay or $325 on stays of two nights or more. The extra bucks mean more opportunities to dine out, see a show, or shop the Magnificent Mile. Suites receive $200 back for one night or $425 on stays of two nights or longer. Nightly rates at the Ritz-Carlton Chicago start at $425/night.

The dollars
Based on double occupancy. Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
You still have to file, or skip town for good.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

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