Solo Travel in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an amazing island to explore as a solo. Puerto Ricans are warm and friendly and proud to be from Puerto Rico. With a continually tropical climate, the island is just as warm as its inhabitants.
For the Puerto Rico solo female traveler, below is our solo travel Puerto Rico guide, including the best places to go in Puerto Rico solo, what to see in Puerto Rico, which tour company to use, the best places to stay in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico transportation, and the best way to get around Puerto Rico.
Find out how to get from the airport, what to do in each place, and examples of a Puerto Rico travel itinerary. All companies included below have been recommended by solo female travellers in our solo community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. Just choose the relevant section or read the full article.
* Before you solo female travel in Puerto Rico, check what paperwork or visas are required for the USA
N.b. By booking through this page for your solo trip to Puerto Rico, you are helping to improve the lives of vulnerable girls about the globe. Thanks for helping.
- Solo Travel in Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Attractions
- What To Do in the Evenings in San Juan
- Where To Stay in Puerto Rico
- Tours in Puerto Rico
- Getting Around Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Itinerary
- Best Time To Visit Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Travel Insurance
- Puerto Rico Airports
- Travelling Onwards
- Conscious Travel in Puerto Rico
- Frequently Asked Questions About Puerto Rico
- Map of Puerto Rico
- Planning a Trip to Puerto Rico
Solo Travel in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is still recovering from Hurricane Maria and Irma and although most of the infrastructure has been restored you may find that electricity will be temporarily cut out for a short period. The prices seem to have increased too but Puerto Rico remains a solo female-friendly destination and is welcoming visitors back to its island.
Is Puerto Rico safe for female travelers? Puerto Rico is safe for solo travellers but as with anywhere just be careful at night. There have been instances of people being robbed so don’t take valuables out if you don’t need to prevent yourself from being a target.
There are many safe places to visit in Puerto Rico as the island is safe but avoid La Perla at night. This colourful district by the coast may look inviting but it’s a no-go area in the evenings. If you are hiking solo don’t wander off the main paths especially in the rainforest area of El Yunque to prevent yourself from getting lost.
The most spoken language is Spanish but say a few phrases in Spanish to a waiter and they usually reply to you in English. If you do speak Spanish, some of the words may not be what you’re used to as in ‘Guagua’ for bus or “menudo” for coins and “china” for orange.
Because Puerto Rico is a destination on cruise itineraries, you’ll see plenty of tourists here and if you’re solo you’ll probably meet a few Americans too. For San Juan solo travel, the Salsa Club in Old San Juan (the old city) is a good place to meet (and dance with) locals and other travellers on the island.
Puerto Rico Attractions
Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean. The smallest of the Greater Antilles, Puerto Rico is actually a group of islands and has more than 140 islands and islets within its archipelago. The main island, Puerto Rico is 100 miles long and 35 miles wide.
With forts, a rainforest and 200 miles of white sand beaches, Puerto Rico is a Caribbean paradise. Although it is part of the USA it has a Spanish, Caribbean flair and feels different to the U.S. Discover the best of Puerto Rico below.
San Juan is the capital. The old town is a colourful array of pastel-coloured buildings, cobbled streets and restaurants serving a fusion of cuisine. If you are looking for somewhere to spend the majority of your time on the island then Old San Juan is a great place to base your trip.
New San Juan has the Condado Lagoon and high-end boutiques. Whereas Old San Juan has a charm with plazas and Spanish colonial architecture with restored balconies that have retained their original characteristics. Even the banks are pretty here.
Having one of the largest harbours in the Caribbean means that the capital is also a mecca for cruise ships that operate cruises from Puerto Rico. There’s a reason that this is one of the most popular destinations.
Historic, colourful and cultural, Old San Juan is one of historic importance. For things to do in Old San Juan, visit UNESCO Heritage Sites and forts that span five centuries of history, or the second oldest cathedral in the Americas.
Things To See in San Juan Puerto Rico
For the shopping GatG, one of the things to do in San Juan is mooch around Las Americas, a shopping mall with all the U.S. brands you need. Visit the top floor to see artwork by Puerto Rican artists. You’ll also find a Local Farmer’s Market from Thursday to Sunday where you can pick up some local produce to take home.
Arty & Museum GatGs will love the Museum of Contemporary Art, or the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, a Neoclassical museum with local artwork. But you don’t even need to go inside a museum to appreciate some of the island’s best artists.
Street Art is everywhere and you can take a graffiti tour in the vibrant area of Santurce to see this colourful area and find out about the artists behind the spray cans. Visit the upmarket beachfront neighbourhood of Ocean Park when you're here.
Old San Juan Things To Do
One of the cheap things to do in Puerto Rico is to explore Old San Juan. The old town is easy to explore on foot but if you’re feeling tiresome there’s a free train tour around the old part. Just look for the numbered bus stops to join the train. It’s not a proper tour but it will help you to get around and is a good idea on day one for recognising the surroundings.
Connected to the main island by bridges, Old San Juan was once a walled city. There is so much history here and things to see in Old San Juan. The San Juan National Historic Site is the perfect place to explore the forts and the country’s history.
Castillo San Felipe Del Morro is one of the must sees in Puerto Rico. It was one of the first military defences in the Americas and you can learn more on one of the free tours held at 10.30 or 14.30 in Spanish and English.
Visit Fort San Cristobal which is one of the best-preserved forts in the Americas, and San Juan tourist attractions, built to protect the inhabitants. Take a tunnel tour and visit the outer battlements but make sure you turn up in advance to buy your ticket for these additions.
Just walking around Old San Juan is a history lesson. Start from Banco Popular and walk along the promenade until Fort El Morro past locals selling homemade crafts, stopping for refreshments along the way.
If you need somewhere to stretch your legs this is the perfect place to do it and you’ll often see people jogging along it too. See the city’s churches along Calle Sol and see if you can spot the island’s smallest house.
If history isn’t your thing then you may prefer to take a sailing trip at sunset from the harbour instead. The catamaran gives you a different view of the island’s fortifications and is a good way to meet others.
You can even take a ferry from here to the Bacardi Rum Factory, another of the Puerto Rico tourist attractions, which is definitely worth a visit. See the rum process from fermentation to the bottle and enjoy a rum cocktail in the tropical breeze before coming back to San Juan. It's the best place to visit in Puerto Rico for rum lovers.
Don’t leave Old San Juan without a visit to La Fortaleza Palace, another of the things to see in Puerto Rico. This unusual blue and white palace is the official residence of the island’s governor.
The locals seem to have music flowing through their DNA and the island has produced some of the world’s biggest music stars such as Ricky Martin and Luis Fonsi. Luis Fonsi even filmed his video for ‘Despacito’ in La Perla, a coastal shanty town that sits outside of the city walls.
Once Puerto Rico’s most dangerous area, this colourful barrio also produced the group Calle 13 who sing about their Puerto Rican barrio. La Perla was badly hit by Hurricane Irma and Maria and is still rebuilding its historic barrio.
If you’re a beach GatG then you have more than 200 miles of white sand beautiful beaches to choose from. Isla Verde beach is the most accessible Puerto Rico beach if you are staying in San Juan.
This urban beach is 15 minutes from the capital (near the airport). Buses do run here from San Juan. For water sports GatG you can surf, jet ski, parasail or paddle board here. There are also options to scuba dive or hike along the forest and coastal trail.
After San Juan, Ponce is Puerto Rico’s second-largest city, on the opposite side of the island to San Juan, situated on the south coast. It’s one of the cities in Puerto Rico for Arty and Museum GatGs with artwork from the island and Europe displayed at the Museo de Arte.
This region has some beautiful architecture such as the Centro Cultural de Ponce Sola de Pereira, and the Museum of Puerto Rican Music – a former neoclassical residence which now showcases historic musical instruments.
The Museo Castillo Serralles is also housed in a grand mansion. From Ponce, you can visit coffee plantations, some of which are now museums to sample the island's coffee.
One hour’s drive from Ponce is the colonial city of San German. San German was the 2nd city founded in Puerto Rico by the Spanish. If you’re wondering where to go in Puerto Rico for a mix of architecture, this Puerto Rican town has a mix of Edwardian, Spanish baroque, and Art Deco.
See Calle Ruiz Belvis, a plaza of red and black cobblestones, San Germán de Auxerre, the town’s most impressive church, or Casa Juán Perichi, an example of Victorian architecture Puerto-Rican style.
Not that many visitors make it to the west coast so if you want to escape the cruise ship tourists on the island then La Parguera Nature Reserve is one of the best destinations in this region. If you’re a water GatG you can dive or snorkel in the reserve or even try your hand at sea fishing. This fishing village is an eco-destination that not many travellers visit.
Gilligan’s Island is a gem on the west coast where you can escape and explore the mangroves (visit during the weekdays for fewer people).
Nature in Puerto Rico
For those unsure of where to visit in Puerto Rico for nature. Nature GatGs should venture to the island’s very own rainforest. El Yunque National Forest in the Rio Grande municipality is one of the best places to see in Puerto Rico with its waterfalls and nature trails and is easy to explore by yourself. Just follow the others walking along the route who stop to have their packed lunch on a rock.
As well as El Yunque National Park, Bosque Estatal de Guánica is a Biosphere Reserve and one of the best preserved in the Caribbean. It's another of the best places in Puerto Rico for nature where you can experience a subtropical and dry forest and hike to your heart’s content.
Head north to Cueva Ventana in Arecibo, a natural limestone formation with breathtaking views. The cave opens up to a natural window of stunning views making it one of the most-loved spots on the island.
History GatGs can admire engravings in the stone and petroglyphs that date back to pre-Columbian times. It's one of the unique things to do in Puerto Rico and you can take a guided tour to learn more about the area whilst you hike.
Adventure in Puerto Rico
For the adventurous GatG, one of the fun things to do in Puerto Rico is to fly along the island’s zip wire at Toro Verde, the longest zip line in the world. Zip lining is just one of the land adventures in Puerto Rico island.
Aventuras Tierra Adentro – For adventurous things to do in Puerto Rico, this Puerto Rican company offers all kinds of adrenalin adventure such as canyoning, rock climbing, zip lining or caving adventures in the famous Rio Camuy cave system at Camuy River Cave Park. A must do in Puerto Rico for those seeking adventure on the island.
If you love star gazing, drive yourself to the giant telescope at Arecibo, or visit Mona Island for some spectacular stargazing activities in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico's Islands
There is so much more to explore in Puerto Rico than just Puerto Rico itself. Being an archipelago of islands means that there are other islands to explore. Culebra and Vieques are the main islands and are easily reachable from Ceiba, the gateway to the islands.
Culebra may be the smallest but it has one of the best beaches in the world and the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Flamenco Beach is just stunning and you can spend hours here sampling food from the local sellers and enjoying the amazing scenery. This island is also a mecca for scuba diving due to its fantastic visibility and coral reefs.
Rosario is a good spot for snorkelling and Zoni beach is good for a kite surfing lesson. If you look closely enough you can see turtles in the water at Tamarindo but it is rocky, or head to Melones beach for the perfect Caribbean sunset.
Culebra also has a smaller island called Culebrita. This uninhabited islet is perfect for hiking GatGs. Reachable by boat you can hike the nature reserve and walk to one of the oldest lighthouses in the Caribbean. Culebrita is a wildlife refuge so keep your eyes peeled for birds and wild turtles if you visit.
Another uninhabited island is Cayo Luis Pena which is also one of the nicest cays. As part of the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, it has coral reefs to swim or snorkel. You can kayak to here or take a water taxi.
Vieques is the biggest island and offers a different vibe to Culebra. The island is mainly a wildlife refuge and you’ll see wild horses just roaming around. If you’ve ever wanted to kayak in one of the world's bioluminescent bays, take a side trip to this island to see this natural wonder at Puerto Mosquito (Mosquito Bay).
This is a Puerto Rico must see and one of the best things to do in Puerto Rico. If you don't have enough time to stay on Vieques, there are tours from San Juan to the bioluminescent bay Puerto Rico.
If you do stay here, hire a jeep to explore beach caves, the 19th-century Spanish fort and the island’s museums (they are small though). Visit Esperanza beach then walk to Cayo de Tierra which is connected to Esperanza by sand. Hike Monte Pirata, kayak through mangroves or go sailing at sunset to experience this island’s vibe.
If Vieques is too big of an island for you then you may prefer to escape to an even smaller island. Cayo Afuera is surrounded by coral reefs and kayaking around it is a great way to spend an afternoon.
Puerto Rico does have two other islands nearby; Mona Island (named ‘The Galapagos of the Caribbean’) and Caja de Muertos, known for its turtles, nature reserve, and Pelican Beach. This island is one of the most enchanting of Puerto Rico’s natural attractions. Take the ferry from Ponce to reach here.
What To Do in The Evenings in San Juan
If you're what to do in Puerto Rico in the evenings, just walk around Old San Juan to watch live dancing taking place on Friday nights in Plaza Colon and other squares in the old town. Just listen out for the clapping and cheering and head to the source to find it. Carolina is where you’ll find the clubs.
It’s perfectly safe if you want to head to a bar or two alone here or just find a traditional Puerto Rican restaurant to wile away the hours. Old San Juan has a famous salsa club and you don’t need a partner to go. Just turn up, order a drink and hang at the edge of the bar waiting for someone to ask you to dance.
Dancing salsa is one of the top things to do in Puerto Rico, and the club is small and intimate with an amazing live band.
If you like the cinema, the Fine Arts Cinema is a stylish place to while away an evening or you could head to Dingy Dock to enjoy some fresh fish and watch people pulling up in their boats. To meet others head to the Poetry Cafe in Poets Passage every Tuesday night from 7 pm for the open mike night. It’s free and you can listen to others performing and even perform yourself.
Other Places To Visit in Puerto Rico
Other places to visit in Puerto Rico are Cayo Icacos which you can reach on a day tour from Fajardo to see its turquoise waters on one of the Puerto Rico adventures. The Salinas de Cabo Rojo is one of the eco-tourist attractions in Puerto Rico.
These stunning salt flats can be viewed from a lookout tower or you can take one of the guided visits by the knowledgeable staff to learn more about this area.
For those who enjoy getting spooked, one of the unique things to do in Puerto Rico is to take a ghost tour, searching for the ghost of an actress at Teatro Tapia, or the energy of former prisoners in Morro. A spooky must see in Puerto Rico.
I loved this island and recommend solo travel to Puerto Rico for music, delicious cuisine and gorgeous beaches.
Aventuras Tierra Adentro – One for the adventurous GatG, this Puerto Rican company offers all kinds of adrenalin adventure tours Puerto Rico such as canyoning, rock climbing, ziplining in Puerto Rico, or caving adventures in the famous Rio Camuy cave system.
Even if you don’t like rum, a trip to the Bacardi Rum Factory is worth a visit. The distillery of the world’s favourite premium spirit brand was opened on the island in 1936 and covers 127 acres of land. The $12 tour of this Puerto Rico tourist attraction includes a short movie and a cocktail at the end or you can book a mixology tour instead. Check details and prices
El Yunque Rainforest – This half-day tour takes you from San Juan to El Yunque. You’ll experience the walking trails of this ecosystem, see the waterfall and get a panoramic view of the rainforest from the Yukaho Tower. Check prices, dates and availability
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated excursions in Puerto Rico, and Puerto Rico activities. Choose from a full-day catamaran Puerto Rico tour around Culebra, a nature walk in El Yunque National Rainforest or a kayak eco-adventure on Bioluminescent Lagoon.
Some of the tours require a minimum of 2 people but there are several Puerto Rico excursions to book as a solo including an Old San Juan walking tour and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. * Check all tours and prices here
Where To Stay in Puerto Rico
No matter what your budget is, the islands have a variety of accommodations for female solo travel to Puerto Rico. You’ll find everything from colourful hostels to all-inclusive resorts in Puerto Rico.
Stay in a swanky resort such as Palmas del Mar where you can choose half-board options or opt for a cute guest house along the coastline. If you are planning to experience rural life there are country inns in some of the island’s most beautiful natural and historic spots.
There is also Airbnb Puerto Rico which connects you to staying with locals whether you choose to just book a room or a whole apartment.
All of the budget Puerto Rico accommodations below have been recommended by myself and solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. To find the best hotels in Puerto Rico for solos, click on the following link and check reviews from other solos. * Check rates and availability for all accommodation in Puerto Rico
If you’re a surfing GatG this Surf House is perfect for surfing the waves on the island. There are hammocks for chilling out and a patio and pool table for challenging others to a game. The hosts are really friendly and the accommodation is clean, comfortable and colourful.
If you’re not into surfing you can just take advantage of the beach or snorkel or dive instead. Breakfast is included. Choose from a standard queen room, a double with a shared or private bathroom or your own studio. * Check rates and availability: WSSM Surf House
This hostel is one of the best places to stay in San Juan Puerto Rico if you are on a budget. It has everything you need from welcoming staff to a kitchen where you can cook your own dishes and a supermarket just outside. It’s really sociable and easy to meet others in the garden and terrace. There’s also a bbq too.
It’s easy to get from the airport on the local bus and the front desk is open 24 hours so if you are arriving late there will be someone to check you in. The hostel is really secure with plenty of cameras. Choose from a bed in a 10-bed mixed dorm, or a female-only dorm, or you can camp on the roof in a tent or just a hammock. Very unique! * Check rates and availability: Nomada Urban Beach Hostel
If you prefer to stay by the beach Mango Mansion is perfectly situated on Condado Beach. It’s near the nightlife if you want to sample the island’s bars (the area is very safe). The beds are really comfortable with memory foam mattresses so you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep and there is air conditioning for the warm nights.
The staff are great and you can socialise if you want to or just keep yourself to yourself. A good breakfast is also included. Choose from a deluxe 4 or 6-bed dorm room or a superior 4-bed mixed dorm with an ensuite. * Check rates and availability: Mango Mansion
Situated in Old San Juan, this historic building is close to the shops, cafes and restaurants. The rooms are spacious and have character and come with air-conditioning and a TV. The receptionists are helpful and can arrange any taxis that you may need.
Plus there’s a lobby and kitchen area too. Each room has a different name. Choose from a sol room, a luna room, princesa room or a suite. * Check rates and availability: Fortaleza Suites Old San Juan
This stylish 3-star hotel is situated in Old San Juan, a short walk away from the port. There’s a great view from the rooftop, coffee is complimentary and you’ll receive lovely hospitality from the front desk which is available 24 hours.
The rooms are beautifully decorated and have air-conditioning and a large digital TV with Netflix for those solo evenings. Plus it is adults only! Choose from a queen room, a deluxe double room or a queen room with a balcony. * Check rates and availability: El Colonial Adults Only
Culebra International Hostel is just a short walk to the beach and a 10-minute walk into town. Arriving by ferry it’s very easy to find on foot. It is a quiet hostel and the perfect place to chill on a tropical island.
They offer dinner every day at an additional cost if you prefer to eat there or you can stroll along to one of the three restaurants nearby. They are a great hostel to stay in and gave me a warm welcome to their island. Choose from a deluxe 4-bed private or 6-bed mixed dorm room (all ensuite). * Check rates and availability: Culebra International Hostel
Getting Around Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico isn’t the easiest island to get around. Whether you are hiring a car or relying on public transportation in Puerto Rico, here's how to travel in Puerto Rico.
Car rental Puerto Rico – To explore Puerto Rico and get off the beaten path, hiring a car allows you to reach all the best places in Puerto Rico on your own day trip and stop off along the way. How long does it take to drive around Puerto Rico? Approximately seven hours.
Even though websites show prices of car hire from $30 a day, you need to pay extra for insurance so allow for $50 plus a day instead. Rental cars aren’t generally allowed to be taken off the island so if you are planning to visit Vieques or Culebra you may need to rent another car on the islands or hire a golf cart instead (a novelty way of Puerto Rican transportation).
You don’t need to hire a car from the airport if you are choosing to spend a few days in the capital at the beginning of your trip.
Getting around San Juan Puerto Rico – San Juan is a walkable city and car hire companies such as Enterprise Car has a drop-off point in Plaza Colon so you don’t need to go back to the airport to drop off your car rentals. Another way of getting around in San Juan is on the Tren Urbano, the San Juan metro that runs in San Juan, Bayamón, and Guaynabo.
Take the free trolley service to the most popular sites. Just stand at one of the trolley stops which are numbered for the free ride. This San Juan transportation runs until 7 pm Monday to Sunday and starts at 7 am Monday to Friday and 9 am on the weekends.
How to get around Puerto Rico without a car – Although there is a San Juan bus service, outside of the capital public transport barely exists. Hiring a car or taking a tour are the only options to really get around the island. Click here for routes for the bus in San Juan. There is also Uber in Puerto Rico.
Other transportation in Puerto Rico are shared shuttles on Culebra from the island to the ferry terminal and Flamenco Beach (or you can hike a bike to explore the island). Vieques has publicos (taxis) but they don’t go everywhere so you may have to walk or hire a scooter or car to reach certain places.
Ceiba is the new gateway to the islands (it used to be Fajardo). Ferries leave from here and take 45 minutes to Culebra, and 30 minutes to Vieques on the passenger ferries. The ferries don’t necessarily come back the same day so plan to stay overnight.
Buy your tickets at the ticket windows. Check here for the ferry times. You can fly to Culebra with Air Flamenco from Ceiba or San Juan. Vieques Air Link also operates from Puerto Rico to the islands.
Puerto Rico Itinerary
Puerto Rico is an ideal destination for a long weekend if you are flying from the USA. Seeing Puerto Rico in 5 days gives you enough time to explore New and Old San Juan and have some beach time too. Whether you are looking for a Puerto Rico itinerary 5 days, one week in Puerto Rico or longer, below are example itineraries for travelling Puerto Rico alone,
5 Day Puerto Rico Itinerary
Base yourself in San Juan spending time in Old San Juan visiting the old forts and either Isla Verde, or Condado Beach. Hire a car and drive around the island visiting; the Bacardi Rum Factory and El Yunque.
Puerto Rico Itinerary 7 Days
San Juan (3 nights), Ponce (2 nights), and Rincon (2 nights).
Puerto Rico Itinerary 10 Days
San Juan (5 nights), Culebra (3 nights), Vieques (2 nights).
San Juan (3 nights), Ponce (2 nights), Rincon (1 night), Culebra (2 nights), and Vieques (2 nights).
Best Time To Visit Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate making it a good destination to visit for the majority of the year. The summer months can be a bit rainy with the north coast receiving more rain than the rest of the island. It doesn’t usually rain for long so don’t let this put you off travelling here during this time. The low season is between June to November due to the hurricane season.
High season is from December to April so you may prefer to see Puerto Rico from April to June or September and October which is the best time to go to Puerto Rico.
If you love festivals visit Vieques in mid-July for the Patronales, a salsa and calypso music festival held on the island. Check that the festival is on when you want to go. The chart below shows the annual weather for San Juan from January to December to help you plan a trip to Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico Travel Insurance
Puerto Rico is a gorgeous archipelago to explore but because it is part of the USA, travel insurance is always recommended for your trip to Puerto Rico to cover you for medical assistance and accidents.
True Traveller and World Nomads are two insurance companies which can cover travel to USA. True Traveller is available to UK and European residents, and World Nomads is available to over 100 countries worldwide, including the USA and UK. For digital nomads, Safety Wing is a nomad insurance that covers people from all over the world.
All companies allow you to buy insurance when you are already on the road and offer different plans depending on your needs including additional adventure cover.
N.b. World Nomads provides travel insurance for travellers in over 100 countries. As an affiliate, we receive a fee when you get a quote from World Nomads using this link. We do not represent World Nomads. This is information only and not a recommendation to buy travel insurance.
Puerto Rico Airports
Puerto Rico has two airports, the main one being in San Juan. Flights from New York also go to Aguadilla on the west side of the island.
San Juan – Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) is a 15 minute drive to San Juan. A taxi costs approximately £30, the same cost as a shuttle which leaves even 15 minutes. Find out more about the shuttle here.
Aguadilla – From Rafael Hernandez International (BQN) you need to take a taxi for £15 which takes 12 minutes.
* Feel more confident with someone waiting for you at the airport with a San Juan airport hotel shuttle with Hoppa, a reliable and safe service for solo females.
Travelling Onwards (check visas before you travel)
Puerto Rico is part of the USA so if you are visiting from outside of the US and have your ESTA you can travel to the rest of the U.S afterwards (if you are within the allocated number of days). As Puerto Rico is an island there are no land borders.
Where can I go from here?
- US Virgin Islands – 35 minutes
- United States – 2 hrs 45 mins (Fort Lauderdale)
- Dominican Republic – 2.5 hours
Conscious Travel in Puerto Rico
Social Impact Projects
Casa Pueblo – Nestled in the central mountains of Puerto Rico you can find Casa Pueblo, a community-based organisation with much to offer. They mainly work towards sustainably developing the region and implementing community-based management.
The cultural centre offers a range of educational and cultural programs, a library, a gift shop (do not forget to buy their own locally harvested coffee!), as well as a collection of historical photographs. Admission is free but tips are much appreciated and go towards a good cause!
Café Ama – Imagine being 10 years old and already being able to call yourself an entrepreneur! Well, Supergirl Ama can! Ama founded Café Ama Love which is a social impact arabica coffee brand, ethically grown in Puerto Rico.
All proceeds go towards the Friends of Puerto Rico SEEDS Youth Entrepreneurship Program which supports children in becoming the business leaders and social advocates of tomorrow! All proceeds stay local, so you can sip your Ama Love cup of coffee with the knowledge that local youths will be empowered!
Stay Eco in Puerto Rico
Hix Island House
Nestled within the tropical greenery Puerto Rico has to offer, Hix Island House makes an ever-lasting impression on all kinds of travellers and receives a nod or two from any architecture- enthusiast. As the Caribbean’s first all-solar guesthouse, this hotel knows how to make a green statement, as well as is known to grace the pages of National Geographic or even Vogue!
Sit back, relax, or even take a yoga class, while knowing that the Hix Island House collects rainwater, returns shower and basin water to mother nature by rerouting it back to the fruit trees and plants surrounding the area, and was awarded the first Sustainable Tourism Facility certification from Puerto Rico Tourism.
Issues affecting vulnerable girls in Puerto Rico
* In the first months of the national lockdown Puerto Rico experienced a dramatic uptick in gender-based violence. In 2020, according to Puerto Rico's Gender Equality Observatory gender violence cases increased by around 62% compared to the previous year.
Despite the government declaring a state of national alert on gender-based violence in 2019 and again in 2021, they have still refused to incorporate discussions around gender into the school curriculum. Read from Amnesty.
* Furthermore, women’s and girl’s rights to adequate and effective health care services were dealt a huge blow in 2019 when the Puerto Rico Senate passed legislation limiting access to abortions for women under 18. Read more…
Frequently Asked Questions About Puerto Rico
- Can I drink the water? Yes, but since Hurricane Maria, you may feel more comfortable drinking bottled water or you may prefer to take your own water filter with you.
- Is tipping expected? Yes. It is part of the US with the same tipping culture. If it’s not included in your bill then a 10-15% tip is expected.
- Fixed price or barter? Fixed price
- Any ATMs? Yes in San Juan, Ponce, Vieques and other areas on the island
- Which side of the road do they drive? The right-hand side
- Good for vegetarians? Puerto Rican food does include meat but you can find a few vegetarian and even vegan-free cuisine.
- Any seven wonders of the world? No, but the bioluminescent bay in Vieques should be.
Map of Puerto Rico
Planning a Trip to Puerto Rico
If you are planning Puerto Rico solo travel, here are some useful links to help you plan a trip to Puerto Rico, including airlines which fly there, vaccinations required and UNESCO sites to see.
Current Time in San Juan
Capital – San Juan
Population – 3.3 million
Language spoken – English, Spanish
Local Currency – U.S. Dollar
Did you know? Cuban traditions have been blended within Puerto Rican’s culture after many Cubans arrived on the island in the 1960s.
Lingo – People speak English and Spanish