It took 11 years since we moved to the US for my husband and me to visit this island. It used to be on the top of our US places to visit list but since there are so many islands in the Caribbean to visit we thought… Puerto Rico can wait. Oh boy… little did we know that we were missing so much and if we had known better then we have flown there the moment we had the chance.
I am from the Philippines, a beautiful tropical island while my husband originates from Cape Town, one of the most charming cities on earth so you should figure out that yes, we would know what a perfect travel destination looks like. In that regard, we have to say that yes… Puerto Rico definitely counts as one…
Let me start with the weather, ease, and security
Puerto Rico is a tropical destination so expect to get warm weather whole year round but also a fair bit of rain. Yes, it rains almost every day somewhere on the island even if it’s just for a couple of hours. The Islands of Puerto Rico travel guide gives you great information on the weather which can help you to plan your travel.
For those of you who are US based, you should rejoice, after all, it is a US territory. There are non-stop and direct flights from all over the US to the main airport of San Juan and double easy because you don’t need a passport (your US Driver’s License or State ID should do but it is still recommended for foreigners to bring proof of immigration status). Additionally, you don’t need to change currency, there are no foreign transaction fees, they speak English – even though the main language of the island is Spanish – and your phone works without those nasty roaming charges. Yay! Even your health insurance should still cover you while you’re there so likely the travel insurance you have with a credit card will suffice (I always recommend you have some level of travel insurance to cover those unexpected events that can happen while on the road).
Puerto Rico is generally safe but of course, you have to exercise some precautions. We felt very safe as we walked around San Juan and also while we were driving around the island.The local driving habits are laid back island style but without that disregard for traffic laws often associated with Latin America and the Caribean so I can say it is a pretty pleasant experience and is well within the comfort zone of all but the most timid of drivers. I recommend that you consider hiring a car which will open up more possibilities to explore and discover the island – as well as getting those impulsive photo shots along the way.
Back to the issue of safety… here are few suggestions to keep you safe during your trip:
- Always be on alert with your belongings. I always suggest using a sling or belt bag and keeping a low profile. People wearing high-end name brands or expensive jewelry are often the targets of opportunistic thieves.
- Take tours from reliable operators; you can get a suggested list from the tourism office or your travel agent can help you find one.
- For health and safety use insect repellents to avoid the spread of the likes of the Zika virus.