While it is difficult to live comfortably in San Juan on less than $80 per day, it is possible if you self-cater, take the bus everywhere, and stay in the cheapest hotels. In theory, you would find this kind of budget easier outside the city, but without a car (which will add at least $50 per day), your options are severely constrained. With proper preparation, you may travel the island for $100–150 each day, and in elegance for more than $200. In Puerto Rico, decent midrange lodging may vary in price from $80-$250 depending on the time of year, but you should be able to find cozy two- to three-star accommodations for between $75 and $150. Eating out may be costly.
You should be able to find anything for between $20 and $30 for supper at a restaurant, particularly in urban areas. Breakfast should cost less than $10 and lunch is significantly less expensive (around $20). Local snacks are equivalent in price (and fat content) to US fast food, which is also readily accessible everywhere, and may be purchased for a few dollars at any time. Sales tax is enforced in Puerto Rico, and tipping is customary in restaurants and hotels. Continue to read and we will be sharing more details with you on Puerto Rico currency and what else to expect during your stay.
Most museums and tourist destinations have quite affordable admission costs; government-sponsored facilities are often free, while privately managed institutions seldom charge more than $10. Kids, elders, and students often get discounts. Diving, for example, will cost an additional $80-100 a day.
Puerto Rico currency
Puerto Rico uses the US dollar, which is made up of 100 cents and is often written as $ (though it is sometimes occasionally called the peso locally). Coins include the 1 (penny, chavo, or perrita in Spanish), 5 (nickel, vellon, or ficha), 10 (dime), and 25 notes and $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 coins (quarter or peseta). Also possible are $1 coins. Check http://www.xe.com for the most recent exchange rates.
The easiest and safest way to get cash for everyday costs is through an ATM (cajeros automaticos), which are present in almost all cities and towns. Travelers may withdraw money using bank debit cards or credit cards. Many ATMs accept Visa, MasterCard, Accel, Cirrus, Interlink, Plus, and Star, even though some only accept domestic account holders. The Banco Popular ATMs are the most widely used. The typical banking hours are Monday through Friday, 9 am to 4 pm, with some branches being open on Saturday mornings (all Citibank branches open Mon–Fri 8.30am–5pm, Sat till12.30pm).
The majority of hotels accept credit card payments; Visa and MasterCard are the two brands that are most often used. Additionally, American Express and Diners Club are pretty well known. Debit cards may be accepted in shops in urban regions, although they are often not in rural ones.
Money changers are uncommon in Puerto Rico outside of the international airports, therefore if you need to convert foreign cash, you’ll have to go to Banco Popular, the sole institution with a foreign exchange department (phone t787/722-3240 for the closest branch). If Puerto Rico is your main destination, travelers’ checks are becoming more and more out of date there and are probably more bother than they’re worth. For obvious reasons, US dollar cheques are the simplest to cash.
Read: Is Traveling A Hobby? The Ultimate Guide To An Exciting Way Of Life Learn about the Downsides Of Traveling As A Hobby
Personal safety and crime
In spite of troubling crime rates and well reported carjackings, visitors visiting Puerto Rico seldom encounter problems. Contrarily, the majority of the island is quite secure, with just the rare issue of petty theft (particularly away from the beaches), and even the rough streets of San Juan pose no threat if you stay in the main tourist areas and use common sense. On paper, however, it doesn’t seem promising. In 2010, Puerto Rico had the highest homicide rate on the US mainland outside of Washington DC (22.5 per 100,000 inhabitants), while murder and robberies increased from 2008 and 2010.
Drugs are Puerto Rico’s primary issue; the Colombian cocaine gangs, who normally carry the product through from the Dominican Republic, have made the island one of their most significant transshipment sites to the US mainland. Police attribute 75% of all homicides to gang fights, which they believe to be the primary cause of gun crime’s association with the drug trade (the remainder are mostly a result of domestic disputes). Visitors are seldom impacted by any of this since crime is mostly focused in neighborhoods far from popular tourist destinations (which are already highly policed), and if you use care at night, you shouldn’t have any issues. The majority of the scary tales you may hear are from the 1990s, and Puerto Rico has made tremendous strides in recent years to reduce petty crime. To report an emergency, dial 911.
The outlets in Puerto Rico accept the identical two-prong plugs as those in the US and Canada since the electrical current there is precisely 110 volts.
US residents do not require a passport to visit Puerto Rico since it is a commonwealth of the US; all you need is an official government-issued photo ID, such as a valid driver’s license.
For everyone else, entering Puerto Rico requires the same documents (passport and visa) as entering the US. However, take note that there is no passport check on flights between the US mainland and Puerto Rico; upon arrival in the US, non-US nationals will have passed immigration. Visa waivers, often known as visa-free entry, are available to citizens of 27 nations, including Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and the UK, for up to 90 days. However, you must first complete an online basic immigration form known as the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) in order to travel. The ESTA price is $14.
Upon arrival, you will also need to show Immigration a machine-readable copy of your passport as well as a completed visa waiver form (I-94W), which will be given to you by your airline (it’s the green one, not the white one). Canadians must now have a passport in order to cross the border, but they are not needed to have a visa to visit the US or Puerto Rico for up to six months. To learn more about visas, go to http://www.travel.state.gov. Visit http://www.cbp.gov for information on customs. The closest US embassy must receive applications for tourist visas from South Africans and other nationals who are ineligible for ESTA.
Puerto Rico is one of the most developed Caribbean locations, therefore there aren’t many health dangers for visitors or locals from other countries. The level of medical treatment is on par with that of the US mainland, so following the typical measures should be sufficient to keep you well. Make an emergency call to 9-1-1.
The health care system in Puerto Rico was privatized in the 1990s and functions much like the one in the US: tourists must pay for medical services up front and then reimbursed by their insurance companies afterwards. The cost of care may range greatly, from $300 and higher for A&E treatment to less than $60 for a visit to a neighborhood doctor.
There are pharmacies (farmacias) all over the place, and US retailer Walgreens (www.walgreens.com) is well-represented there with many of its locations in the cities operating around the clock.
Your main health risk in Puerto Rico is probably heat or dehydration, but there is also a small chance of mild gastrointestinal disturbances, with traveler’s diarrhea being the most typical complaint. Although serious cases may need medications, most infections subside in 24 hours with lots of clean liquids and avoidance of solid foods. Prevention is crucial; steer clear of undercooked or unpeeled produce, unpasteurized milk, and anything that seems to have been exposed to the sun. Avoid meals from street sellers, kioscos, and raw seafood, and only consume bottled or filtered water if you often get stomach trouble. Even though hepatitis A, typhoid, and tetanus are not widespread in Puerto Rico, it is always a good idea to be up to date on your vaccinations before traveling.
Although there is no malaria in Puerto Rico, dengue fever, a virus spread by mosquitoes that has symptoms that are similar to malaria, can sometimes arise. Although there is no known treatment for dengue fever, people are seldom at danger of dying from it, and the flu-like symptoms often go away after a few days of rest. Seniors and small children are the groups most at risk.
Avoiding mosquito bites is the best method to avoid contracting dengue fever. You should always take precautions against insects since the aedes aegypti mosquitoes that spread dengue sting day and night. Wear loose-fitting, long sleeves and pants, stay away from dark colors, and cover exposed skin with insect repellent with 20–35 percent DEET. Make sure your room is completely enclosed or has mosquito netting at night. Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at http://www.cdc.gov for additional information about dengue.
It’s crucial to get insurance before visiting Puerto Rico, not only to protect against sickness and accidents but also to insure against theft. However, it’s important to make sure you are protected. For example, certain all-risks home insurance policies may cover your belongings while you are traveling, and many private medical insurance plans provide coverage while you are away, which is particularly important for US visitors. You should make sure this is covered as well given the chance that you’ll be driving in Puerto Rico.
In Puerto Rico, there are many small hotels, eateries, and coffee shop chains like Starbucks that provide free wi-fi connections for visitors who are bringing their own laptop computers. Otherwise, getting online might be difficult since there aren’t many internet cafés and only the best hotels often offer business centers or computer rooms where you can browse the web.
Finding the closest public library (biblioteca pblica), which increasingly offers free internet connection, is the greatest option for individuals without laptops. The main drawback is that many have nighttime hours that are restricted for computer use, and many prioritize students.
Purchase a Skyroam Solis for pay-as-you-go limitless Wi-Fi when traveling in Puerto Rico. It is compatible with 130+ countries and has a daily flat pricing. Five devices may be connected at once. Starting prices are as low as €5 per day.
In Puerto Rico, the majority of big hotels provide laundry services, however you may locate lavanderas (laundromats) that are far more affordable and normally charge $2 for 8–9kg in practically every municipality. Additionally, there are self-service coin laundries that accept quarters and normally charge $1.50 for a load.
The US Postal Service is in charge of managing mail in Puerto Rico; post offices, stamps, and pricing are all similar to those in the US, and the majority of post office staff understand at least a little English. Although mail delivery to the mainland is generally dependable, it might sometimes take up to two or three weeks to send letters and cards back to Europe. Almost every town has a post office, which is typically open Monday through Friday from 8 am to 4 or 5 pm and sometimes on Saturday mornings.
The typical business hours are 8.30 am or 9 am to 5 pm, Monday through Friday. Generally speaking, stores are open from nine until six, closing later on Friday and often all day on Sunday, particularly in rural regions. Government offices are open from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm, which implies that in most towns, museums and galleries are likewise open during these hours Monday through Friday, shutting on Sunday and often Saturday. In contrast, privately owned attractions and the majority of San Juan’s museums and galleries are only open on the weekends, shutting on Monday and sometimes Tuesday. to see a list of observances and festivals.
These details can help you to plan your visit to Puerto Rico with ease. Keep these in mind and you will eventually figure out how to get the most out of your stay in the country as well.