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Practical information Puerto Rico

Amy Adejokun
Amy Adejokun Section editor

Puerto Rico : Travel Information before you go!

Area

8959.0

Flights

Between 13 and 16 hrs. San Juan is 4,205 mi from London.

Population

3887652

Airports

Luis Munoz Marin international airport is located 10 miles East of San Juan. If you are travelling light and have lots of time ahead of you, you can take the buses T1, M7 or A7 which drop passengers off at Isla Verde, Condado et San Juan. You can also rent a car from one of the numerous companies directly from the airport. Taxis will take you to Isla Verde and Punta Las Marias (USD 8), to Condado, Ocean Park or Miramar (USD 12) and to the Old San Juan and Puerta de Tierra (USD 16) for a fixed fare. It is advisable to pay for the journey before setting off, next to one of the hosts in the airport.

Security

Attacks and crime: Puerto Rico is no more dangerous than any other destination. For safety measures, avoid leaving valuables on show and if possible, leave them in the hotel safe.

Languages

Spanish and English.

Required travel documents for




Religion

85 % Roman Catholic, 8 % Protestant and 7% other.

Currency

The currency is the US Dollar, also referred to as the 'Peso' and it is split into 100 cents. USD 1 = about £0.50. The major credit cards are accepted in banks and automatic cash machines (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Diner's Club, Discovery, Interbank and Barclaycard). Travellers cheques are widely accepted, but it is preferable to have them in US Dollars, which will allow you to use them directly in hotels, shops and restaurants. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 3:30 pm, and some are open on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Local transportation

Buses. Except for San Juan, there is no regular bus or coach network to travel on the island. The "carros publicos" or "guaguas" however will take you to numerous places on the island. They generally leave from a city's main square. They are very cheap but undoubtedly require patience, as they hardly ever leave before having filled up with passengers, which can take from 10 minutes to several hours depending on the day and destination.
Flights. American Eagle, Vieques Air Link, Isla Nena, Flamenco Airlines, Carib Air and Air St-Thomas ensure domestic flights to MayagŁez and Ponce (from the international airport: USD 100 to 140 for a return ticket), to Vieques (leaving from Isla Grande and Fajardo: USD 100 for a return ticket), to Culebra (leaving from San Juan and Fajardo: USD 70 for a return ticket) and to St Thomas and several islands of the Caribbean.
Taxis. You will easily find taxis in cities (the average fare being $10), but not so easily in small towns.
Driving. It is fairly easy to rent a car on the island from agencies such as Thrifty (367 2277), Avis (321 3652), Budget (472 3325) or Hertz (263 0678). It is, however, recommended to book in advance. A national driver's licence is accepted but you have to be at least 25 years of age and have a credit card. The Puerto Rican road network is dense and in fairly good condition. Driving is on the right and driving regulations are similar to those of the United States and Canada.

Health

No particular vaccine is required. However, be sure to be protected against poliomyelitis, diphtheria and tetanus. Medical care is excellent but very costly. It is recommended to subscribe to good medical repatriation insurance before departure. Even though the water is said to be drinkable, favour mineral water in bottles rather than tap water. Avoid swimming in stagnant water due to risks of contracting bilharzia.

Electricity

Voltage of 110 V. Flat electrical plug. Adapter needed.

Tourist numbers

Not known.

Taxes and tips

The marked prices generally include taxes, except in certain cases: for hotel rooms and jewellery (an extra 9 to 11%). Contrary to in Europe, service and tips are not included in the rates. Thus, you must calculate them and not forget to include them when paying in restaurants, bars, night clubs and taxis.

Telephone

To call Puerto Rico from the UK: dial 00 + 1 + 787 + number you are trying to reach.
To call the UK from Puerto Rico: 011 + 44 + number you are trying to reach excluding the initial zero (because of the price, choose to phone from a telephone box rather than from a hotel).
Emergencies: 911 (or 0 for an operator).

Puerto Rico : Useful addresses in the country

Before leaving

United States Embassy. 24 Grosvenor Square London, W1A 1AE United Kingdom Tel: (0)20 7499 9000 01 43 12 22 22.

08 36 70 14 88.
for all tourist information, Puerto Rico is represented in Madrid:
Calle Serrano 1, 2 A. 28001 Madrid. Tel.: 00 34 91 431 2128. Fax: 00 34 91 577 5260.

At the destination

British Consulate of United Kingdom
Torre Chardon, Suite 1236. 350 Chardon Avenue. San Juan, Puerto Rico 00918 PostCode: 918 Tel.: (1) (787) 758 9828 [1] (787) 723 9662.

Puerto Rico Tourism Company
La Princesa Bldg. #2 Paseo La Princesa, Old San Juan, P.R. 00902. P.O. Box 902-3960. San Juan, P.R. 00902-3960. Tel.: (787) 721-2400
or 1-800-866-7827 (free number).