Puerto Rico is a self-governing island republic in the West Indies that is allied with the United States and is officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. It is the easternmost island in the Greater Antilles series. It is located 1,600 kilometres (1,600 miles) southeast of Florida in the United States, 50 miles (80 km) east of the Dominican Republic, and 40 miles (65 km) west of the Virgin Islands.
Nearly one-fourth of the island of Puerto Rico is made up of steep slopes, making up the majority of the island's landscape. The mountains are the easternmost part of a ridge that stretches from the peninsula of Central America to the northern Caribbean to the Lesser Antilles.
A tropical climate with limited seasonal fluctuation prevails in Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, local weather varies depending on elevation and exposure to rain-bringing winds. While the south coast lies in a rain shadow, northeast trade winds bring significant rains to the north coast.
Due to centuries of immigration and cultural blending, Puerto Rico's population is ethnically diverse. Although people of Spanish and other European origins are still highly regarded among most upper members of society, there is minimal overt racial prejudice.