Go to puerto rico: Puerto Rico (U.S.) — Traveler view | Travelers’ Health

Is Puerto Rico Safe? Travel Advisory 2023


Puerto Rico is a relatively safe destination with a lower crime rate than many other areas of the United States. It is one of the safest Caribbean islands.

Most of the violent gun crime in Puerto Rico is related to drug trafficking and gang activity, which rarely affects visitors.

Check also: Best beaches in Puerto Rico for 2023

– 50 Best Places to Travel Right Now in the U.S
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Tourist scams in Puerto Rico to avoid

As with any popular tourist destination, Puerto Rico has unfortunately been the site of various scams and schemes aimed at taking advantage of unsuspecting visitors. Here are some of the most common tourist scams to watch out for:

Fake taxi drivers: Some scammers pose as taxi drivers and prey on tourists who are unfamiliar with the area. They may overcharge for rides or take passengers on unnecessarily long routes to increase the fare. Always ensure that the taxi you’re getting into is licensed and clearly marked with the taxi company’s name and phone number.

Timeshare presentations: Some resorts and vacation rental companies offer freebies or deeply discounted prices for attending a timeshare presentation. However, these presentations can be high-pressure and last much longer than advertised. Before attending any presentation, research the company and read reviews from previous attendees.

Street vendors: While many street vendors in Puerto Rico are legitimate, some may sell counterfeit goods or overcharge for souvenirs. It’s always a good idea to negotiate prices and make sure you’re getting what you paid for before making a purchase.

Money-changing scams: When exchanging currency, be sure to do so at a reputable bank or exchange office. Some scammers may offer to change money on the street, but they may give you fake bills or use sleight of hand to take some of your money.

Rental scams: Be wary of renting vehicles or accommodations from unlicensed or unknown companies. Always research the company and read reviews before making a booking, and be sure to thoroughly inspect the rental before handing over any money.

“Helpful” locals: Some scammers may pose as friendly locals who offer to show you around or help you with your bags. They may then demand payment for their services or steal your belongings while you’re distracted. It’s best to politely decline any unsolicited help and be cautious of strangers.

How safe is to visit Puerto Rico now – Latest Updates

February 23 – Police: Boy among 3 killed at Puerto Rico birthday party

On Monday night, a group of armed individuals fired shots at a birthday party in the northern Puerto Rican town of Cataño, resulting in the deaths of three individuals, including a 4-year-old child.

The attack also left two other children, aged 9 and 10, injured. The incident occurred at a public housing complex. The police reported that two men were killed on the spot, while the young child passed away at a hospital the following day.

Authorities have confirmed that the child was not related to the men. The police suspect that the shooting was related to drug trafficking. No arrests have been made thus far.

February 22 – Puerto Rico’s Artisans Are Celebrated in New Tourism Campaign

Explore Puerto Rico, the island’s destination marketing group, has just released the second installment of its Live Boricua campaign, which features videos spotlighting local craftsmen and designers. They make items in Puerto Rico Sunshine, a color developed by the group in collaboration with the Pantone Color Institute.

The current marketing effort is a departure from the campaign’s initial phase, which was largely centered on traveler experiences on the island.

“Our latest campaign was built out of seeing this change in people wanting to have more connection to the places they were visiting besides the usual ‘fly and flop’ vacation,” said Discover Puerto Rico’s Chief Marketing Officer Leah Chandler.

February 8 – 3 American tourists were stabbed in Puerto Rico after being warned to stop filming in a popular neighborhood

After being instructed to cease filming in the La Perla neighborhood, three American tourists were attacked in Puerto Rico early on Monday, according to authorities.

The incident broke out in the well-known neighborhood where one of the tourists, Carlos Sanchez Brown, 39, of South Carolina, started filming a hamburger cart but was warned by some locals to stop and leave the area.

According to town commissioner José Juan Garcia, Brown was accompanied by Wallace Florence, 37, also from South Carolina, and Jackson Tremayne, 38, from Georgia.

A person with a knife attacked Brown in the left forearm as the victims approached Imperial Street near the Museum of Art and History. They then stabbed Tremayne six times, striking him in the left side of the chest, upper left part of the abdomen, left arm and back.

Ambulances were dispatched to transport Tremayne and Brown to a nearby hospital, but according to authorities, Florence refused medical attention. There was no immediate word on the victims’ condition.

Why visit Puerto Rico?

With its Caribbean average temperature of 80 degrees, alongside blue skies, beaches, and colorful landscapes, nobody would question traveling to Puerto Rico. Here are, 3 more reasons to do it.

1. Old San Juan

The colorful neighborhood paved with unique blue stones offers a myriad of restaurants, bars, and outdoor cafes amidst an area full of history and culture.

2. Santurce

The right place for those into music and art. Santurce is covered with murals, bars, and cafes. Best for people traveling on a budget. 

3. Vieques

Home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, as well as the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge. Enjoy the beach while spotting semi-wild horses passing by.

Update archives

Today, January 22, Puerto Rico has recorded 42 coronavirus-related deaths, according to a preliminary report conducted by the Department of Health. That’s the highest number of daily fatalities since the beginning of the pandemic.

16 of the cases were not vaccinated at all, 19 cases had received two courses of the vaccine, and 7 had received a booster shot. However, they had all suffered from underlying health conditions.

The good news is that hospitalizations have dropped down to 791, of which 103 are connected to artificial ventilation.

Up to date, the COVID-19 positivity rate in Puerto Rico is 27.01%, meaning that 27 of every 100 tests result positive.

Source: El Nuevo Día

December 14 – New restrictions for international travelers visiting Puerto Rico

Along with other countries around the world, Puerto Rico has tightened its entry restrictions due to the fear of the new Omicron variant.

As of December 6, all international visitors must present a negative test result taken no more than 24 hours before departure.

Also, at least 100 arriving passengers are tested randomly at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport every day. The number of random tests could vary depending on the positivity rate, the incidence of the virus, and the total number of daily arrivals.

Source: El Nuevo Día

November 8 – Puerto Rico to require vaccination from schoolchildren

Puerto Rico will require children aged 5 or older to get vaccinated to attend school, said the governor last week.

The coronavirus vaccine has just been approved for those aged between 5 and 11. There will be exceptions, of course. But the goal is to get at least 95% of this age group vaccinated.

The decision comes as Puerto Rico becomes the most vaccinated place in the whole of the U.S. and its territories. More than 80% of those aged 12 or older have received the full series of shots. Whereas 87% of 12-to 15-year-olds are already getting the vaccine.

Source: The Hill

September 24 – Puerto Rico removed from Chicago travel advisory list

Along with California, Puerto Rico has been removed from the Chicago travel advisory list. Therefore, travelers arriving from there are no longer recommended to get tested before and after their trip.

The states were taken off the list after daily new COVID-19 infections had dropped below 15 per 100,000 people for two consecutive weeks. On Tuesday, September 22, California reported 13.6 daily new cases, while Puerto Rico had only 9.4 daily new infections per 100,000 people.

At the moment, California and Puerto Rico are the only states which are not on the list, while Washington D.C. and Connecticut were added back to the travel advisory.

Source: Travel and Leisure

September 3 – CDC adds Puerto Rico to the ‘very high risk of COVID-19 list.’

On August 30, the CDC added 7 more countries to the ‘very high risk of COVID-19 list,’ including Puerto Rico. The CDC recommends avoiding visiting these countries, and anyone who must travel there should be fully vaccinated.

To help prevent the virus from spreading, Puerto Rico followed the announcement with further local restrictions. Since September 2, alcohol sales and drinking, celebrations, and public events are banned between midnight and 5 am.

A mask mandate had already been in place in all indoor spaces. But the new restrictions require face coverings also outside if there is a crowd of 50 people and more.

Source: CNN, Insider

August 19 – Puerto Rico to ensure customers’ safety by requiring hospitality workers to be fully vaccinated from August 23

Puerto Rico is not taking any chances regarding the safety of its visitors. Starting August 23, all hospitality workers will be obligated to bear a vaccine certificate to be allowed in the work area.

The new Executive Order (EO-2021-063) includes “all theaters, cinemas, coliseums, convention centers, activities centers, restaurants, and places where food or drinks are served such as  bars, kiosks, sport bars, fast foods, food courts, and cafeterias.” 

So far, the government has not announced that tourists or customers will also need to comply with the rule.

Source: The National Law Review

Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Rico? Different requirements f…

This article will answer all of your questions about Puerto Rico entry requirements as well as other travel tips, like the best things to do, and what work exchanges are available.

Puerto Rico is one of the best islands to visit in the Caribbean. It has tropical rainforests, idyllic beaches, colorful colonial architecture, historic landmarks, and much more.

Located in the northeast Caribbean Sea near the Dominican Republic and the Virgin Islands, the island nation has warm, sunny weather year-round and has a vibrant local culture.

Puerto Rico is actually an archipelago of over 100 islands, inlets, and atolls. However, there are 5 big islands and of course, the one main island that has the international airport and the majority of the infrastructure.

Visiting Puerto Rico is always a great idea, especially from the USA. It’s close by, and flights are cheap. But sometimes, people can get confused about Puerto Rico travel requirements. The reason for this is the state of Puerto Rico compared to the USA.

Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the island is an unincorporated US territory. That means all of the residents are US citizens and must follow US laws. However, they do not vote in US elections and are not represented in Congress.

So Puerto Rico is not a US state, but it’s also not a completely independent country.

Regardless of the confusing logistics, it is very easy to travel to Puerto Rico. This article will cover everything you may need to know for a visit to the gorgeous Caribbean island.

Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?

The Puerto Rico travel requirements are pretty straightforward., but the full answer will depend on your nationality.

US Citizens

Because Puerto Rico is a US territory, US citizens do not need a passport to enter if they are flying from the US.

Any government official ID that you use for domestic travel, such as a driver’s license, will be enough to board a plane to Puerto Rico from the US.

That makes it extremely easy for US citizens to visit Puerto Rico. It’s a similar process to flying domestically. It’s very similar to flying to Hawaii, as you are leaving the mainland but you do not need a passport.

Just keep in mind that in May 2023, the US is issuing the Real ID Act. That means that only certain types of state-issued IDs will be accepted for domestic plane travel. Just check with your state authorities to ensure your ID is acceptable.

But once you confirm your ID can be used for domestic air travel, you can use the same ID for entering Puerto Rico.

If you are flying to Puerto Rico from outside the US, you will need to show a passport, just as you would if you were flying to the mainland US from a different country.

Non-US Citizens

Non-US Citizens do need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico.

Even though Puerto Rico is not officially a US state, the entry requirements are similar to entering any other US state. As you would need to show a passport to enter anywhere else in the US, you need a passport for Puerto Rico if you are a non-US citizen.

Planning a trip to Puerto Rico

Now that we’ve answered the question: “Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?”, let’s briefly discuss anything else you may need to know for visiting the island.

We’ll cover some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico, any Worldpackers volunteer opportunities, and other helpful travel tips.

Best Things To Do in Puerto Rico

Being such a small island, Puerto Rico has all the natural and cultural attractions you could want on a vacation. There is music, food, art, and history. There is also jungle, waterfalls, beaches, and lots of natural beauty.

Here are some of the best things to do in Puerto Rico, a stunning and affordable island!

Explore San Juan

The capital city of Puerto Rico is the hub for tourism on the island. The cobblestone streets are lined with colorful historic buildings, art museums, restaurants and bars, local shops, and more. Be sure to check out the old forts of the San Juan National Historic Site.

See the Bioluminescent Bay

Officially known as Mosquito Bay on the Island of Vieques, this location just 30 minutes off Puerto Rico by ferry is a true natural phenomenon. Go on a boat tour and see bioluminescent plankton ignite the waters at night.

Explore the El Yunque Rainforest

This lush rainforest is full of wildlife and natural beauty. Hike through the greenery, go birdwatching, swim in waterfalls, and admire the untouched, flourishing natural world.

Try some sports

With so much water and jungle, there are so many fun sports to try in Puerto Rico. You can go surfing on the west and northwestern sides of the island or go kayaking in the sea or rivers in the rainforest. Go ziplining, rock climbing, hiking, stand-up paddle boarding, and more.

Hit the Beach

Puerto Rico has some gorgeous beaches! Definitely check out Luquillo Beach, Condado Beach, Isla Verde, Playa Crash Boat, Playa Sucia, and Buyé Beach. You can also catch a boat to nearby Culebra Island and visit Playa Flamenco.

Volunteering in Puerto Rico

Another one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico is trying a Worldpackers volunteer experience. You can work in exchange for accommodation and a few more perks, which can vary from one place to another,  and it allows you to save money and have a unique cultural exchange.

If you really want to see what local life is like in Puerto Rico and learn from the locals themselves, a work exchange is the best way to do so. You can learn new things as well as gain work experience while exploring the island on your days off.

There are 10 work exchanges in Puerto Rico, and here are some top-rated ones.

  • Work in administration and reception in a beachside hostel in San Juan. This work exchange has great 16 reviews from other travelers and 5 out of 5 stars! 
  • Help on a permaculture farm in the mountains of Las Marias. Here you will help with animal care, gardening, farming, and more. This is a great way to learn about sustainability and immerse yourself in the nature of Puerto Rico. 
  • This hostel in San Juan needs help with digital marketing. If you have any photography, videography, and social media skills, this hostel is happy to have you! 
  • Work on an eco-lodge in the rainforest of Jimenez, helping out with building, landscaping, painting, gardening, and anything else your host needs. You can learn about permaculture and explore the local beaches and islands on your days off.
  • Volunteer at this hostel in the heart of Old San Juan. Help with cleaning, housekeeping, and reception in exchange for a free stay and discounted tours and meals. 

Currency, language, timezone, and other important information

Once you’ve planned your trip to Puerto Rico, including your activities and your accommodation and work exchanges through Worldpackers, here are some other key things to know for visiting this part of the Caribbean.

The local currency is the US dollar. So if you are visiting Puerto Rico from the US, there is no need to exchange currency.

The local languages are Spanish and English. In touristy areas like San Juan, English is common. But most locals speak Spanish and it is helpful for you to know some Spanish if you’re visiting remote areas!

Puerto Rico’s time zone is the Atlantic Standard Time Zone, and they do not recognize daylight savings.

The local drinking age is 18, unlike in the US which is 21. But some clubs may require you to be 21 to enter.

Hurricane season is from June to November. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit Puerto Rico during those months, but tropical storms are more common.

Tipping is expected, although not mandatory in Puerto Rico. You can tip 15% at restaurants and a few dollars for other staff like housekeepers, bellhops, bartenders, and drivers.

Do you need a passport for Puerto Rico: Final thoughts

Given all this information, you can see how easy it is to visit Puerto Rico if you’re from the US! You don’t need to exchange currency and you don’t need a passport.

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