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Want to Take a Cheap Trip to Puerto Rico? Use These 10 Tips.

Updated July 8, 2021

Traveling on a budget? Here are 10 tips on how to take an amazing, cheap trip to Puerto Rico without breaking the bank. From airfare to lodging to meals, these tips cover what you absolutely need to know about budget-savvy travel in the Island of Enchantment.

Want to explore Puerto Rico differently? Have a local plan your trip.

#1: Stay at Airbnbs or paradores (family-owned inns)

Puerto Rico is home to plenty of big-name hotels—but if you really want to dive into Puerto Rican culture, try staying a few nights at an Airbnb or a parador (a family-owned inn located in the countryside). You can find them in some of Puerto Rico’s best places to visit, and both options are warm, welcoming, and totally affordable.

Local tip: Paradores often run for $100–250 a night and shared Airbnb can be as little as $30—so there’s something available to suit every traveler’s budget.

#2: Know the free things to do

El Yunque Cheap Trips To Puerto Rico
El Yunque rainforest | Wikimedia Commons

Often, the most awesome memories don’t cost a thing—and these free tourist attractions in Puerto Rico prove it. Even some of Puerto Rico’s coolest vacation spots are free! Some can be a little tricky to find but totally worth the trek—so have a local travel planner build your trip around free hidden gems.

  • Check out historical sights: Many places in Puerto Rico, including neighborhoods like Old San Juan contain tons of historical (and free!) attractions. Locals suggest visiting El Morro or taking a stroll along the lovely Paseo de la Princessa. 
  • Spend a day at the beach: Puerto Rico’s amazing beaches, situated throughout the island, are free to enter.
  • Explore a gorgeous rainforest: Puerto Rico's stunning El Yunque National Forest is completely free.
  • Visit another town: Although most people stay in San Juan, there are tons of things to see in Puerto Rico’s other towns, like Ponce, San Germain, and Cabo Rojo that you don’t need to pay for. (Locals can help you figure out what to see.)

#3: Find cheaper flights in the off-peak season

Puerto Rico’s peak tourist season is from December to May. To avoid the holiday prices and spring-break crowds, travel during the off-peak season (June–November).

With flights to Puerto Rico averaging $120, the off-peak season offers both affordable travel and gorgeous weather. 

Local tip: Off-peak season has no shortage of awesome things to do, with popping (and free!) events like SoFo Culinary Week in Old San Juan and the Aibonto Flower Festival.

#4: Find out where the locals eat (cheaper prices, even more delicious)

Puerto Rico Food Cheap Trips to Puerto Rico
A dish of local fare | Estebandrf /Pixabay

From small food carts to family-owned panederias (bakeries), Puerto Rico offers affordable, delectable cuisine nearly everywhere.

Locals say that when you travel to Puerto Rico, it pays to walk past touristy restaurants. The island has some of the best food in the world, so don’t be afraid to find some off-the-beaten-path culinary attractions.

Don’t know where to go? Ask a local.

#5: Design your own curated tour of the island

It might go without saying, but if you try and arrange a tour to see every awesome place in Puerto Rico, the bill (and the stress) will add up quickly.

For an easier way to see the best of PR while maintaining your budget, have a local travel expert create a customized tour for you—that way, you get to see what you want to see without compromising your savings.

#6: Rent a car for easy cross-country travel

Rental Car Cheap Trips to Puerto Rico
A lovely day for a drive in Puerto Rico | Wikimedia Commons

Puerto Rico’s public transportation isn’t stellar, and taking a taxi in PR can be very pricey (around $200 for long-distance rides).

Instead, have a local trip planner set up a rental car pick-up from the airport. You’ll have the flexibility of choosing when and which places to visit, as well as a much lower tab ($20 a day).

#7: Bring your own gear

The coolest things to do in Puerto Rico almost always require you to have gear (think hiking shoes, water shoes, and snorkel masks). Rather than forking over your cash for hourly rentals, it’s super easy to bring equipment from the States—plus, you don’t have to wonder how many people used the gear before you.

#8: Get familiar with the grocery store

Grocery stores are your best bet for saving money and eating well at the same time; plus, they’re easy to navigate even if you don’t speak Spanish. Save about $30 per person by having at least daily one meal en casa (at home)—an easy feat when most places to stay in Puerto Rico at least have mini-kitchens. Oh, and PR is known for its phenomenal fruit and vegetables, so you know you’ll be eating well.

#9: Know the ferry schedules

Ferries Cheap Trips to Puerto Rico
A glass bottom ferry in Puerto Rico | Wikimedia Commons

Ferries are one of the cheapest and most unique ways to see Puerto Rico. For around $2.50 per ride, you can get from the mainland to PR’s smaller islands like Vieques and Isla Culebra.

#10: Outline your budget ahead of time

This may seem like a no-brainer, but making a travel budget and sticking to it can be hard. Travelers can expect to spend about $175 per day in Puerto Rico—but with a local’s help, you can easily map out a practical budget and know from your personalized itinerary exactly how much you’ll be spending.


Getting to Puerto Rico on the cheap has never been more doable. With an expert travel planner’s tips, you’ll have less stress, find more hidden gems, and make more good memories—all without pressure on your wallet. Any questions? Message us! And for more insider know-how about Puerto Rico travel, check out:

Cheap Trips to Puerto Rico PIN

Still have questions about travel to Puerto Rico?
Why not ask someone who lives there? ViaHero connects you with a local to help plan your trip. They’ll create a guidebook based on your personal travel style.
You’ll see a unique side of a destination and travel independently—all while saving time and money in the planning process. Find a local today.

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