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Five Things to Know About Traveling to Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is one of the gems of the Caribbean, where tourists find luxury accommodations, first-rate cuisine, and fun beaches. However, there are certain essential things that travelers should consider during their visit to the island.

Americans don’t need a visa

American tourists don’t require a passport or a visa to visit Puerto Rico because flights to this island are considered domestic. However, travelers from outside the U.S. are required to present a 90-day pass.


Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island full of historical sites and natural beauties. (Photo by Brian Major).

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One of the requirements that all travelers must cover is the local tax. Upon return, go under the supervision of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to check that no fruits or vegetables are transported in open packages.

Public transport

Puerto Rico does not have a sophisticated public transport service since most of the inhabitants of the island have cars, and tourists prefer renting a car or traveling in taxis around the city. While buses can take a long time to pass, they are an excellent option to save money. However, an elevated subway service in the areas outside San Juan (the capital) offers excellent service.

The buses, called Guaguas, have stops throughout the city, and some vans operate as collective buses around the city and travel to nearby towns. In addition to these means of transportation, visitors can use airplane services to travel to the islands of Culebra and Vieques and boats and ferries for other destinations.

San Juan, Puerto Rico
The fortresses of San Cristobal and San Felipe are two great attractions of San Juan. (Photo via SeanPavonePhoto / iStock / Getty Images Plus).

Main areas to visit

One of the most critical parts of Puerto Rico is the Historic Center of Old San Juan, where visitors walk its cobbled streets to enjoy historical heritage such as great colonial churches and the fortresses of San Cristobal and San Felipe, protected by great walls, located in an exciting area full of green spaces and historical sites to visit.

Other places that tourists should not miss are El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical forest in North America, and La Cascada la Mina, in the same nature reserve, in addition to the San Patricio forest and La Marquesa Forest Park, among others.

Beaches not to be missed

The beaches of Puerto Rico are fabulous and excellent for family fun or a romantic weekend. The closest to San Juan are El Escambrón and Condado, where the transparent and shallow waters allow tourists to observe fish of all colors when snorkeling. In Condado, visitors can visit an exciting shopping area where they can find fine crafts, luxury shops, restaurants, and cafes to rest in front of the sea.

Other beaches, not so close, such as the spa of Montserrat and Luquillo, offer extraordinary views and places for diving and snorkeling. Travelers can visit Culebra Island, where visitors will find Playa Flamenco and Vieques and enjoy the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence that makes the water shine with fluorescent colors.

Puerto Rico flag on beach
The beaches of Puerto Rico are fabulous and excellent for family fun or a romantic weekend. (Photo by Paul Heney).

Precautions must be taken

Puerto Rico is generally safe, but visitors should take precautions, especially at night. It is always recommended to take care of wallets and purses and never leave any valuables unattended. In addition, it is essential to make sure that the hotel offers a safe deposit box in the room or at the reception to leave items such as laptops and tablets while touring the city or the beaches.

Palm trees at Flamenco Beach, Culebra, Puerto Rico
On Culebra Island, visitors will find the extraordinary beaches Flamenco and Vieques.

The good news is that Puerto Rico has one of the lowest rates of insecurity in the Caribbean. However, tourists must take the appropriate measures to avoid robberies and assaults, such as preventing isolated areas and trying to return to the hotel at a good time.

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