It’s Safe to Go to Puerto Rico Right Now. Here’s Why.

Updated March 17, 2020

Generally, Puerto Rico is a safe place to visit. And, generally, we highly encourage tourism to this fantastic destination because of the powerful impact it has on Puerto Rico's economy. Below, we've detailed why Puerto Rico is a safe place to visit—in normal circumstances. 

However, the island has announced its first confirmed cases of coronavirus. Check out our update below: 

UPDATE: What to know about coronavirus

Like most places around the world, Puerto Rico has confirmed cases of coronavirus

Please read our full update about travel and coronavirus HERE. It includes info on our flexible cancelation policy. 

And if you're looking for specific info on Puerto Rico, reach out to one of our local trip planners. It's free to send a message. 

In the meantime, read on to learn why Puerto Rico is safe—in normal circumstances. We love this island destination, and can't wait to visit it again ourselves. 

Puerto Rico has largely recovered from Hurricane Maria

Recovering from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

We won’t sugarcoat it—Hurricane Maria left Puerto Rico in shambles. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and thousands more were displaced without access to food, electricity, or fresh water (you had one job, FEMA). However: Puerto Rico has made an incredible recovery since the storm. Though the rebuilding continues, things are largely back to normal in much of Puerto Rico, including most traveler-friendly destinations. Speaking of which:

Most major travel destinations are up and running

San Juan and other go-to places in Puerto Rico are back in business. The areas most acutely-affected by Maria’s aftermath are rural towns and villages far off the beaten path (and make no mistake, they are really struggling). That said, for the majority of the island, it’s life as usual. Most of Puerto Rico’s resorts have likewise reopened: see a list of them here.

Tourism actually helps the people of Puerto Rico a lot

Resorts during tourism while traveling to Puerto Rico

It might sound a bit strange, but short of donating to charity, visiting Puerto Rico is one of the best things you can do to aid recovery efforts. Puerto Rico thrives off its tourism industry, and given the difficulties the island has faced recovering capital since the storm, spending your travel dollars here is actually a big boost. Translation: just going to Puerto Rico is helpful.

Note: When you have a ViaHero local help you plan your trip, 70% of the cost goes directly to the Puerto Rican local doing the planning.

Yes, there’s electricity

Electricity has been back in the major cities for a while but finally, almost the entire country has power again. As of a CNN update in August 2018, only 25 homes remain without power, and these are all in small rural villages.

And yes, there’s water

Water in Puerto Rico is safe!

Sure, Puerto Rico’s beaches are known for their crystal clear and breathtakingly blue water. But when it comes to drinking water, things are a bit hit-and-miss. Puerto Rico’s water quality isn't the greatest and hasn’t been for a while—even before Maria (though to be fair, it’s far better than the water in some major US cities). Simple solution: if you're in the cities, you'll be fine. If you're in the countryside and you’ve got a soft stomach, drink bottled water instead of tap.

Note: we ourselves had no problem drinking the tap water in San Juan.

Crime levels are back to normal (and really low)

There was definitely a spike in crime post-hurricane (because no one had any food or water). Nowadays, however, things have calmed significantly and crime is back down to pre-hurricane levels. And given that Puerto Rico is much safer than most US states, that’s saying something.

They’re always looking for volunteers

Volunteering has made it safer quicker at Puerto Rico

While there’s nothing wrong with vacationing in Puerto Rico, you might prefer spending your time volunteering instead of touring. Talk to a Puerto Rican local about what you can do to help and how to add some service to your Puerto Rico itinerary.

Ready to book your trip to Puerto Rico? We thought so! Our team of Puerto Rican locals is here and ready to help you plan your trip. It's like having a best friend in Puerto Rico work with you to create a guidebook full of personalized recommendations and insider safety tips. Feel free to write to us with any questions you have, and make sure to check out:


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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