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The thing about Puerto Rico that hits you hardest today is that it is suddenly all places under the winter-resort sun wrapped into one. It is Las Vegas action, Tahiti escape, Acapulco jazz and Barbados serenity. It all depends on where you stay and how you play there. The peculiarly eclectic quality of the island is dramatized by the eclectic quality of this winter's beach fashions. The surfer at right is ready to ride a wave or watch the championships in cover-up stripes. On the following pages other Puerto Rico resorters, whether bared in a minimum of mail or costumed like rich hippies, make the scene the length of the island, from Conquistador to Rinc�n.
On the lush green lawn of the Mayag�ez Hilton, Jamee limbers up in a cotton romper swim-suit designed by Bill Blass. Mayag�ez is a resort getaway near Rinc�n's surfing beaches.
At Dorado Beach, which has a two-mile strand on the Atlantic, Vicky Howard rides Azuquitar, a native-bred Paso Fino pony. Her cowboy and Indian getup is from Giorgio Sant'Angelo.
Waiting for the surf at Rinc�n, Mike Hynson talks to Erin and Jamee, both in Sant'Angelo's richnik ropes and jeans. Vicky (right) waits in a Roxanne swimsuit that bares only the back.
For sailing a native sloop from the fishing village of Fajardo, near El Conquistador, Vicky wears a shiny, many-zippered jump suit made of lightweight nylon cir� by Elaine Brandt.
At sunset by the Mayag�ez Hilton swimming pool, Erin shimmers in aluminum mesh. Giorgio Sant'Angelo's creation covers Erin fully in front. The back consists mainly of thin straps.
TRAVEL AND BUYING FACTS
Easterners tend to think of San Juan as a kind of tropical Brooklyn and the airlines that take them there as jet-propelled subways. They are not far from wrong on either account. The cheapest New York-to-San Juan fare is $45, or, at less than 4� a mile, cheaper than the average subway ride. There are about 500 nights a week from the U.S. mainland to San Juan. Delta, Eastern, Pan Am and Trans- Caribbean are the busy airlines. Most of the straphangers are headed for the crowded confines of San Juan's Condado Beach and Isla Verde hotel strips. But now, with El Conquistador, like the Dorado Beach and the Dorado Hilton before it, enlivening the periphery of the island, there is a whole new Puerto Rico to discover.