ViaHero · December 14, 2018
Q: Is Puerto Rico safe?
A: Yes. Puerto Rico is actually a really safe place to visit. It’s a US territory, subject to US laws, and has US government-funded police. The crime rate in Puerto Rico is lower than the crime rate in many US states like California, New York, and Washington.
Q: Has Puerto Rico recovered from Hurricane Maria?
A: On the whole, yes. As far as travel is concerned, it’s business as usual. The cities are back to normal, the beaches are back to normal, hotels and resorts are open, and Puerto Rican tourism is thriving. There are still lots of issues with the economy, and many less-wealthy people (especially in rural areas) are still rebuilding their lives. But for most Puerto Ricans, life is back to normal.
Q: Is Puerto Rico safe to visit right now?
A: It’s not just safe to visit Puerto Rico right now—it’s actually recommended. Since tourism is the island’s #1 economy, the government of PR is doing everything it can to bring visitors to the island. Every tourism dollar spent in Puerto Rico helps the recovery effort, so traveling to Puerto Rico is basically a good deed. Win-win.
Q: Do I need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?
A: No, you do not need a passport to go to Puerto Rico. PR is a US territory, so to fly there, all you need is the same ID you would need to fly anywhere else in the US (your driver's license, for example).
Q: Do I need to speak Spanish, or will people speak English?
A: English is widely spoken in Puerto Rico. Although Spanish is the island’s primary language, almost everyone—especially people in the cities and those who work in tourism—speak at least a bit. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, you’ll be able to get around just fine. If you encounter a problem, you can always call a local travel expert.
Q: Will my phone work in Puerto Rico?
A: Yes. All US phone plans work. Many major carriers (like Verizon and AT&T) don’t charge roaming either. When it comes to data, though, plans and companies differ—so make sure to check with your provider.
Q: Can I drink the water?
A: It depends. The water quality is overseen by the US government, so theoretically it’s fine. However, there has been some hubbub over water quality since the hurricane. We ourselves had no problem drinking the water when we were in Puerto Rico after the hurricane. If you have a very soft stomach, you may want bottled—but again, we had no problem at all.
Q: Is it easy to find your way around?
A: It depends, but it’s often difficult for travelers to find their way around without maps and GPS. Streets in Old San Juan have European-style signage (basically just a plaque on the corner of one building in each intersection) so it’s helpful to have a local contact.
Q: Do I need to change my money?
A: Nope. Puerto Rico uses the US dollar.
Q: Do I need any special vaccinations?
A: You do not need any special vaccinations. If you don’t already have your Hepatitis A and Typhoid vaccines (which most people do) the CDC recommends getting them—but only if you’re planning on spending a lot of time in extremely rural areas.
Q: Is there Zika in Puerto Rico?
A: Zika does exist in Puerto Rico, but it is very rare. If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, you should talk with your doctor before traveling to Puerto Rico or anywhere else that has experienced Zika.
Q: What outlet voltage does Puerto Rico use?
A: Puerto Rico uses 100v outlets, just like the rest of the US.
Q: What’s the weather like?
A: It’s really, really nice. Puerto Rico’s climate is always warm and a bit humid, but never terribly hot. Daily highs and lows all range within the 70s and 80s. Certain areas of the island can be a bit warmer or cooler than others depending on the season and location, but not too much.
Q: Can I use Uber in Puerto Rico?
A: Yes. Uber serves the greater San Juan area, which includes the entire northeastern half of the island.
Q: Is the traffic bad?
A: It depends what your standard is. Let’s put it this way—the traffic is worse than in Kansas but not nearly as bad as in New York or Los Angeles.
Q: Is it safe to swim in the ocean?
A: Of course! Puerto Rico’s beaches are some of the best in the world. Seriously, they’re ranked.
Q: I have dietary restrictions. Will it be difficult to find good food in Puerto Rico?
A: Puerto Rico is known for its incredible cuisine and for its freshly-grown fruits and vegetables. Cities like San Juan and Ponce are culinary capitals, so it’s easy to meet any type of diet in Puerto Rico. Also, the coffee, chocolate, and seafood are to die for.
Ready to head down on a phenomenal Puerto Rican holiday? Get the most out of your experience by having a local