Guide to Traveling to Puerto Rico

Platea Tip:

Don’t forget to check out the Puerto Rico COVID guidelines before traveling to the island. Vaccinated, unvaccinated, domestic and international travelers must follow established protocols to enter.

El Yunque
El Yunque Rainforest on the east coast / Discover Puerto Rico

Where to Go

Puerto Rico, broken down into six regions, rewards travelers with an incredible diversity of experiences. Within easy reach is San Juan, the island’s vibrant capital and cultural heart. Beyond the city’s historic landmarks, world-class museums and celebrity chef-helmed restaurants, Puerto Rico’s natural beauty unfolds. Cloud-laced rainforest, pristine Caribbean beaches, soaring mountains and mystical underground caves beckon travelers wild at heart. A carefully planned seven-day itinerary provides the perfect initiation into Puerto Rico’s signature experiences. With so many options, you can’t go wrong with any region.

Read more: Regional Guide to Puerto Rico

When to Go

With balmy tropical temperatures, diverse topography and a packed calendar of events, Puerto Rico is one of the Caribbean’s most inviting destinations, regardless of the season. From swimming with leatherback turtles and world-renowned surfing to glamorous food festivals and pulsating music around the clock, there’s something for every type of traveler. Puerto Rico is one of the hottest destinations in the Antilles, so planning ahead is highly recommended to secure the best flight and hotel prices, which vary dramatically according to the season.

Read more: Best time to visit Puerto Rico

Flamenco Beach Culebra
Culebra Beach / Omark Reyes / Discover Puerto Rico
Airplane silhouette over a tropical beach with palm trees. Travel and resort vacation concept
Airplane over tropical beach / Anton Petrus / Getty Images

Getting There

Puerto Rico is one of the most accessible and hassle-free tropical destinations for domestic U.S. travelers. From the eastern seaboard, you can board a flight after breakfast and have lunch with your feet in the sand. Most major airlines operate direct flights to San Juan from key city hubs in the U.S. and budget airlines, including Jetblue, Southwest and Spirit have added routes to San Juan, Aguadilla and Ponce. International flagship carrier Iberia offers direct flights from Europe (Madrid) and Virgin has flights from London and Manchester, with connecting flights via JFK or Atlanta.

Read more: How to get to Puerto Rico

Where to Stay

From luxury resorts and boutique hotels to eclectic guesthouses and rustic paradors, few Caribbean islands offer such a diversity of accommodations as Puerto Rico. In the Metro area, colonial-style inns dot the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan while sleek modern hotels rise above Condado Lagoon. Across the island, you’ll find all the familiar hotel chains, including some of the Caribbean’s most luxurious ‘Reserve’ hotels and eco-friendly lodges. For long-stay travelers, Puerto Rico’s huge Airbnb inventory features unique, characterful lodgings, often in magnificent settings.

Read more: Where to stay in Puerto Rico

Fairmont El San Juan Hotel / Kip Dawkins / Discover Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Car Rental Roadtrip
Car Rental Roadtrip / Beautiful Destinations / Discover Puerto Rico

Getting Around 

Puerto Rico is a compact island that spans a range of topography and natural wonders—coast, mountains, desert, marine preserves, rainforest. Even travelers with limited time can pack in a wealth of experience. Renting a car is by far the best way to explore the island on your own terms. For travelers on a budget, public transportation is a viable, if time-consuming, option. To access some of Puerto Rico’s finest assets—Vieques and Culebra—a short domestic flight or ferry ride is required. 

Read more: Getting around Puerto Rico

What to Eat

Puerto Rico is a destination unto itself for foodie travelers. A legacy of diverse cultural influences and an inspired, chef-driven focus on native ingredients has ignited a passion for all things local. Across the island you’ll find gourmet restaurants, no-frills storefronts, funky food trucks and chic cocktail bars serving authentic fare alongside innovative riffs on homestyle classics.

Read more: What to eat in Puerto Rico

Assortment of Traditional PR Cuisine / Discover Puerto Rico

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