It's no secret that Puerto Rico has had a hard go of things lately. Political upheaval and continuing recovery efforts post-Hurricane Maria make frequent headlines. But 2020 is an excellent time to visit Puerto Rico. This short Puerto Rico tourism update includes everything you need to know about traveling to Puerto Rico in 2020.
JANUARY 20th, 2020 UPDATE: A couple of strong quakes have rocked Puerto Rico recently. However, our friends at Discover Puerto Rico report that "Puerto Rico continues to be open for tourism, and the people of Puerto Rico are eager to welcome you to our island. Recent earthquakes impacted the southern coast of our Island only."
Looking for an update from someone on the ground? We encourage you to message one of our local trip planners for advice about traveling to Puerto Rico.
Although parts of Puerto Rico are still recovering from Hurricane Maria, the island has made enormous strides—in fact, tourism demands are back to pre-Maria levels. And tourism dollars majorly help the economy. The CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, Brad Dean, noted that tourism makes up 10% of Puerto Rico's GDP. Following the storm, he said: "The people of Puerto Rico have shown great resiliency...they are writing the textbook on how to use tourism to fuel economic recovery."
This means every minute you spend enjoying piña coladas on the white sands of a pristine Puerto Rican beach, you’re aiding the island’s recovery effort. It's a win for you, and for the island's economy.
(Plus, when you connect with a Puerto Rico local to plan your trip, more than two-thirds of the flat fee goes directly into their pocket.)
Speaking of piña coladas, locals recommend getting a free sample at Barranchina in San Juan. They claim to have invented the drink!
Make no mistake: some parts of Puerto Rico are still struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But for the majority of the island, including popular spots like San Juan, Ponce, Arecibo, it’s life as usual. You can stop worrying if it’s safe to travel to Puerto Rico right now—it is.
Enjoy insider tips and advice—if you're hoping to get off the beaten path in Puerto Rico (we recommend it!) work with one of our locals to design an itinerary that takes you away from the tourist hubs. You'll explore places that visitors normally miss, equipped with local knowledge about safety and things to do.
Almost all of Puerto Rico’s hotels are open for business. The beaches are ready for swimming and sunbathing, and even remote places to visit like El Yunque rainforest are receiving visitors.
Get local insights! One of our trip planners in Puerto Rico called El Yunque "a rite of passage for an adventurer" and recommended ending your hike with a dip in one of the rainforest's "deep blue pools."
As if you needed another reason to visit Puerto Rico, you should know that it’s an inexpensive vacation. Although Puerto Rico uses the US dollar (remember: it is a US territory), the cost of living in Puerto Rico is much lower than it is on the mainland. For example, restaurant prices are, on average, about 25% lower in Puerto Rico than in the continental US.
If you travel to Puerto Rico right now you're in for a real adventure—whether that means exploring old forts in San Juan, surfing in Rincon, sipping piña coladas in Ponce, or enjoying the white sands of Playa Flamenco.
And why travel like a tourist when you could see Puerto Rico like a local? Working with our trip planners is like having a best friend in Puerto Rico—someone who knows and loves the island, and can tailor their recommendations to your interests.