Is Puerto Rico Safe for Travel in 2020?

Updated May 21, 2020

Generally, Puerto Rico is a safe place to visit. With some local help, we created this guide to staying safe in Puerto Rico.

Dreaming of an adventure to Puerto Rico but unsure how to start planning because of the coronavirus? We can help! Jumpstart your Puerto Rico trip by working with a local to build a bucket list. You'll get personalized recs for when travel is safe again. Plus, locals will include ideas for how you can enjoy Puerto Rican culture at home. Learn more

It was like planning a vacation with a close friend who knows everything and everyone!
Kate, Recent Traveler
Kate, Recent Traveler

When will Puerto Rico be safe for travel?

Like most places around the world, Puerto Rico has confirmed cases of coronavirus. So, when will Puerto Rico be safe for travel?

Hopefully soon! 

As the world moves towards reopening, you can get a head start on your trip planning. Work with one of our locals in Puerto Rico to design a custom bucket list. Learn more


Read our full update about travel and coronavirus HERE. Or, send a message to a local in Puerto Rico. We offer unlimited, free messaging. 

Puerto Rico has largely recovered from Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico in Fall 2017, tragically killing countless American citizens and destroying much of the island’s infrastructure. However, over the past 2 years, Puerto Rico’s tourism, economy, and natural wonders are well on their way to restoration.

It's an impressive recovery given well-documented issues with federal relief efforts and major political shifts.

With Puerto Rico’s hurricane recovery in its final stages, here are the latest updates on safety at some of the island's popular attractions

As for future storms, keep in mind that your chances of experiencing a hurricane are low. Don’t be dissuaded from seeing all the incredible things Puerto Rico has to offer. Hurricane season is from June to November—and if a storm hits, there will be advance warning.

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Crime rates are lower than many U.S. states

According to FBI statistics, Puerto Rico has a lower violent crime rate than many US states including California, New York, Washington, and Texas. Plus, according to US News and World Report, San Juan’s crime rate is far below the national average.

Puerto Rico is an American territory. That means that the laws and police departments function as they do in the United States. The FBI reports that Puerto Rico's violent crime rates are low—and serious crimes are most often found in neighborhoods where few travelers venture.

Petty theft is the main problem

Petty theft—especially pickpocketing—is the most common issue travelers face in Puerto Rico. Stay aware, take normal precautions, and get some helpful safety tips from a local—after all, no one knows a place like the people who live there. Our trip planners in Puerto Rico will design your trip with safety in mind. 

Most areas of San Juan are safe

Most neighborhoods in San Juan are safe during the day, but at night certain places can get a bit sketchy. Locals recommend that these San Juan neighborhoods are safe during the day or night

Old San Juan, Santurce, Parque de las Palomas, Condado, Miramar, Isla Verde, Santa Teresita, Ocean Park, Hato Rey, Piñones, and Rio Piedras.

And these neighborhoods are generally safe only during the day:

Piñones, Santurce, Parque de las Palomas, La Perla (though this is debated), and Puerta de Tierra.

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    No special vaccinations are needed

    Another reason to visit Puerto Rico: you probably have all your necessary vaccinations already. The CDC only recommends getting the Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccines (if you don’t already have them), particularly if you’re visiting Puerto Rico’s more off-the-beaten-path places

    Note: Although there is no current outbreak of Zika in Puerto Rico, you should consult your doctor about precautions (including vaccines) before you make travel plans.

    The water quality is generally good

    Many people in Puerto Rico opt to buy bottled water—however, the EPA has reported that the island's water quality is generally good. Rural areas (about 3% of the island) have issues with water availability. However, in cities like San Juan you should be fine drinking tap water. 

    You can always buy bottled water to allay any concerns. Or, better yet, invest in a reusable water bottle with a filter. Doing so is a great way to travel in a sustainable way.

    Uber is a solid way to travel

    Taxis can be a bit hit-and-miss in San Juan (and Puerto Rico in general). If you do decide to take a cab, just make sure there’s a meter and that you’ve negotiated your rate in advance so you don’t get ripped off. Or, you can just take an Uber! It's way easier and really cheap. Transportation to and from the airport is also easy to book in advance.

    Languages spoken in Puerto Rico

    If you run into any issues, don’t worry about a language gap—English is the official second language of Puerto Rico, and is widely spoken (especially by authorities). It’s one of the big reasons Puerto Rico is a great travel destination for mainland Americans.

    Ready to start planning your dream trip to Puerto Rico?
    Now more than ever, local knowledge is valuable while planning your trip. Shifting safety policies, establishment hours and outdated online reviews make travel difficult.
    Get recommendations for your future trip, plus ideas on how to explore from home, such as music, recipes, virtual hangouts, and more.
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