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Is It Safe to Travel to Puerto Rico Now? Here's What to Know

ViaHero
Updated November 14, 2022

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? Generally—yes! This island destination is full of adventure, beauty, and fun.

Locals tell us that as long as travelers are aware of a few safety precautions, they should be fine traveling to Puerto Rico. 

What to know about Puerto Rico and the COVID pandemic

Like any destination, travel to Puerto Rico comes with new risks because of the pandemic. But the island has been pretty successful in keeping the virus at bay. 

The island took an aggressive stance toward the pandemic early on and was one of the first jurisdictions to issue a mask mandate. Today it is one of the most-vaccinated areas of the U.S. More than 84% of the population is fully vaccinated and 95% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.  

So, what should travelers keep in mind? 

Americans do not need a passport (remember, Puerto Rico is part of the United States) or any COVID-related documentation to visit Puerto Rico right now. 

Masks are highly recommended on public transportation and anywhere that you can’t guarantee the vaccination status of those around you. Individual businesses may also require masks and/or proof of vaccination at their discretion.

Travelers acting badly have been a real problem in Puerto Rico during the pandemic. So be chill and respectful.

Tourism dollars help locals in Puerto Rico

People Is Puerto Rico Safe To Travel To Right Now
People in San Juan | Tatiana Rodriguez/Unsplash

It might sound a bit strange, but short of donating money, visiting Puerto Rico is one of the best things you can do to boost the island's economy. Puerto Rico thrives off its tourism industry!

That means that just going to Puerto Rico is helpful—as long as you prioritize locally owned businesses and avoid the big-name hotels. There are so many wonderful boutique hotels and cool island hostels!

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.

Is the water in Puerto Rico safe to drink?

Water Is it Safe to Travel to Puerto Rico Right Now
Water in Puerto Rico | Zach Castillo/Unsplash

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.

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 had no problem drinking the tap water in San Juan.

Crime levels are really low

Puerto Rico is much safer than most US states, but, like anywhere else, crimes can happen. 

The main thing to watch out for as a traveler in Puerto Rico is pickpockets. Don’t leave your belongings unattended, especially at the beach. 

Ask a local which neighborhoods are safest and which ones to avoid. 

Visiting Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona

Puerto Rico is open for travel and ready to welcome visitors. The San Juan Airport was fully operational within just a couple of days after Fiona made landfall in September 2022. Hotels and activities opened up quickly as well. A handful of beaches and outdoor destinations remain closed, but most of the tourist areas are business as usual.

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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. 

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