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Puerto Rico Travel Guide: All you need to know to visit Puerto Rico in 2023

Welcome to Puerto Rico

The Caribbean island of Puerto Rico is a tropical paradise with miles of white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and lush rainforests. It’s time to explore its natural beauty and cultural treasures during your next trip. Here is the ultimate Puerto Rico travel guide to add this country to your travel agenda!

Document checklist for Puerto Rico

  • Visa

  • Health Declaration

  • Valid passport

  • Sufficient funds

  • Return airline ticket

Essential Puerto Rico travel information

  • Currency - The island’s currency is the US dollar (USD).

  • Daily budget for 1 person - The budget per day is around USD 174.

  • Languages - Puerto Ricans speak English and Spanish.

  • Socket type - For Puerto Rico, there are two associated plug types, types A and B. Puerto Rico operates on a 120V supply voltage and 60Hz.

  • Time zone - Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-04:00).

  • Top 3 cities to visit - San Juan, Ponce, and Carolina.

  • Top 3 landmarks/monuments - San Juan Old Town, Forts, and Yunque National Park.

Visa information for Puerto Rico

Currently, we do not offer the service of processing the visa for Puerto Rico; we will have updates soon. However, you can use our Visa Checker Tool to find out if your nationality needs a visa to enter this country.

Nevertheless, we do offer an essential document for your trip: the Puerto Rico Health Declaration; learn more below!

Puerto Rico Health Declaration explained

The Puerto Rico Health Declaration is a travel document that all visitors must present during the airport entry process upon arrival. This declaration verifies the applicant’s health status. This document is only valid for a single entry into Puerto Rico.

Typical costs and budget for Puerto Rico

Here we give you the information you need to know about the costs you will have on your trip to Puerto Rico so you can save a little money.

Daily spending per person - For one person, the daily budget can be around USD 174.

  • Meals - Daily spending on meals USD 31.

  • Transport - Local transportation USD 14.

  • Hotel - A hotel room for one person is around USD 111, and USD 222 for a couple.

A vacation to Puerto Rico for one week usually costs about USD 1,219 for one person. Consequently, a two-person trip to Puerto Rico costs around USD 2,438 for one week.

Transport and ways to travel around Puerto Rico

There are several ways to get around Puerto Rico, these will depend on where you are. Public transportation options include taxis, buses, ferries, trains, and Ubers. You can also rent a car if you want so that you can move around more independently.

We explain each of these transport options:

  • Taxis and buses - Taxis are an expensive method of transport, but buses have popular routes that can take you to your destination in the metropolitan area or its surroundings.

  • Ferries - You can take a ferry from the main island to Vieques and Culebra. The ferries depart several times a day, and the trips can last 30 minutes or more, depending on the maritime conditions.

  • Trains - You can take urban train trips that include the metropolitan area of San Juan, Guaynabo, and Bayamón. It is a fast transportation method with a single line that consists of 16 stops, a popular option that is often used among locals to move to the places mentioned.

  • Uber - It is widely used in the metropolitan area of Puerto Rico, so you can download the app on your phone if you need a trip.

  • Car rentals - Renting a car is the easiest way to explore the island at your own pace. You can do it on arrival at the agencies of the San Juan airport.

It’s up to you to decide the best option to explore the whole island!

Safety in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a safe country to travel through. However, you should take some precautions, like taking care of your belongings, so always keep them at your side and do not lose sight of them. In addition to this, natural disasters are a serious problem in the country. In 2017, Hurricane Maria caused enormous destruction to the island’s infrastructure.

Some travel tips:

  • Be thorough when planning your trip to Puerto Rico; this way, everything will be organized.

  • Get international travel insurance for your trip.

  • Learn some basic Spanish or English phrases to feel closer to the culture.

Weather in Puerto Rico

The best time to travel to Puerto Rico is from April to June, as it is a period with tropical weather, right after the winter season and before the rainy summer. Spring weather is a good travel option. If you have a tight budget, we recommend traveling between August and November, at the end of the island's rainy season and hurricane season.

Popular cities and towns in Puerto Rico

We present you with the best cities and towns to see during your visit to Puerto Rico.

  • San Juan - Puerto Rico’s capital. San Juan will surprise you with its many great options of restaurants, historical monuments, fashion shops, and discos, which will give you a dynamic nightlife. You can also walk through the district of Old San Juan, one of the most fantastic places with old and beautiful architecture.

  • Ponce - It is a city on the southern coast of Puerto Rico. Known as the Pearl of the South. Ponce has a beautiful historic center and one of Puerto Rico's main monuments. In addition, its local cuisine is trendy, and its beautiful old town will tell fascinating stories with its architecture.

  • Carolina - It is known as the fourth most populated city of Puerto Rico, where you will find Isla Verde, an area with various hotels, restaurants, and bars to enjoy a good holiday.

  • Aguadilla - It is a city that attracts many visitors thanks to its beautiful beaches; fantastic to surf and enjoy its beautiful crystal clear waters. It also has the second-largest airport on the island, Aguadilla Airport.

  • Bayamón - It is the second-largest and most populated city in Puerto Rico, perfect for those looking for an alternative to San Juan. It has a vibrant life, with museums and local spectacles that will make you feel part of the Puerto Rican community.

Must do and see in Puerto Rico

Check the top five destinations to explore the natural beauty of the tourist areas while traveling in Puerto Rico.

  • 1. Visit San Juan Old Town - There are so many things to do in San Juan Old Town. You can shop for souvenirs from local craftspeople, enjoy live music performances, go hiking or take a horse-drawn carriage ride. If you love history, don’t miss visiting the historic sites of Old San Juan. They include the Castillo San Felipe del Morro, La Fortaleza Palace, and the Cathedral of San Juan Bautista.

  • 2. Explore the stunning beaches - You will find plenty of gorgeous beaches when you visit Puerto Rico. Some of them are located near the capital city of San Juan, while others are far away inland. Either way, they offer crystal clear water, soft white sands, and palm trees. A few of the best ones include Cabo Rojo beach and Flamenco beach. Do you see yourself drinking a piña colada on one of these beaches?

  • 3. Visit the Culebra Island - Culebra is an island off the coast of Puerto Rico. Its landscape ranges from long stretches of golden sandy beaches to cliffs and green forests. There are several small towns like Sainte Marie and Salinas.

  • 4. Go to the Forts - Spanish soldiers built San Felipe del Morro in Old San Juan in 1678. Today, there are still military drills held here. Fort San Cristóbal in Isabela has been used as a prison since 1797.

  • 5. Visit El Yunque National Forest - El Yunque National Forest is one of the most popular attractions in Puerto Rico. Enjoy nature and spectacular views of the forest. See the waterfalls, hike the trails, camp out under the stars and even learn how to surf.

Typical Puerto Rican food to try

Puerto Rico has amazing food that you should try on your tropical vacation. This is a perfect way to learn more about Puerto Rican culture.

  • Arroz con gandules - Puerto Ricans love it. Here we tell you what it’s made of, since it is the island's national dish. Most restaurants offer it, and it consists of white rice, beans, olives, capers, tomato sauce, seasoning, and sofrito. The sofrito is a cooking of cilantro, onion, peppers, and tomatoes; sometimes, pork is added to give more flavor to the dish.

  • Tostones - Bananas are a traditional food in Puerto Rican cuisine. This is why they are used for Tostones, which are fried unripe green bananas. They are a delicious salty snack that you should try when you are on the island.

  • Coquito - It is a coconut milk drink that is very popular during Christmas festivities. Coquito combines evaporated milk, coconut cream, sweetened condensed milk, rum, vanilla, and cinnamon sticks.

We hope you can taste and enjoy Puerto Rican food after these recommendations.

Vaccine information for Puerto Rico

The CDC website will provide information about the Covid vaccine and other vaccine requirements to enter Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico has a strong cultural identity, although it’s technically not a country

Puerto Rico is not a country, but it behaves like one. Its significant cultural force confuses many people and makes them think it is a nation on its own, but it is not: it is a commonwealth ruled by the United States, so it is not a sovereign country.

Fun facts about Puerto Rico

  • Piña Colada was invented in San Juan. One of the most desired cocktails in the world when you are on a tropical holiday.

  • The name “Puerto Rico” (rich port) was given thanks to the abundance of gold that Spanish colonists found on the island.

  • The official languages of the island are Spanish and English, although Spanish is the most widely spoken by residents.

  • Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Puerto Rican ports request American passports for tourists, and nationals can travel easily to the United States.

  • One of the most incredible natural attractions in Puerto Rico is El Yunque National Forest, which is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service. It’s full of wonders around every corner, including striking waterfalls, natural pools, hiking trails, and abundant wildlife.

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  • iVisa is NOT affiliated with any government agency. This site does not provide legal advice and we are not a law firm. None of our customer service representatives are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. We are a private, internet-based travel and immigration consultancy provider dedicated to helping individuals travel around the world. You may apply by yourself directly on the various government websites. The source of information: https://www.statedepartment.pr.gov/foreigners
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