Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island that is an unincorporated territory of the United States. It has a rich history and culture, with influences from Spanish, African, and Taíno cultures. This is also the reason for the country's vibrant arts scene, music styles such as salsa and reggaeton, and diverse cuisine.
Did you know that Puerto Rico is the birthplace of the piña colada cocktail? Many digital nomads are attracted to Puerto Rico for its warm weather, welcoming and diverse community, beautiful beaches, and exotic island life.
Now lay back and relax, imagine yourself on the snow-white beaches, sipping a piña colada. Find out more about why Puerto Rico should be your next travel destination.
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🇵🇷 Entry requirements for Puerto Rico
- Valid visa: Passport holders from countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which includes most European countries, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and others, can enter Puerto Rico for up to 90 days without a visa.
However, they must obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) before traveling to the United States, including Puerto Rico. Passport holders from non-VWP countries, including China, India, Russia, and many others, must obtain a visa before traveling to Puerto Rico.
Canadian passport holders do not need a visa to enter Puerto Rico for tourism or business purposes for up to six months, but they must obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) before traveling.
- Vaccination: All travelers to Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19, meaning they have received their final dose of a vaccine at least two weeks before travel.
All travelers must also complete a travel declaration form through the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal. It is also mandatory wearing a Mask in all indoor settings, and in outdoor settings where social distancing is not possible.
- COVID-19 Test: Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than three days before travel to Puerto Rico. This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of vaccination status.
✈️ How to get to Puerto Rico
- Plane: Most travelers to Puerto Rico arrive by air. The main airport is Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) located in San Juan, which is served by many major airlines. You can also fly into Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN) in Aguadilla or the Mercedita Airport (PSE) in Ponce. A taxi ride from San Juan airport to the city center is 18 Euros.
- Cruise: Puerto Rico is a popular destination for cruise ships, and San Juan has a major cruise port that is served by many cruise lines.
- Ferry: You can take a ferry from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico, which is operated by Ferries del Caribe. Typically the journey takes between 12-15 hours with departure from Santo Domingo at 8:00 PM and estimated arrival time in San Juan the next morning at 09:00 AM. A standard cabin is approximately 400 Euros.
🚌 Public transport
- Bus: The main mode of public transportation in cities in Puerto Rico is buses. The public bus system is known as the "AMA" (Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses) and operates in San Juan and other major cities on the island. The buses are generally safe, reliable, and inexpensive. However, the bus routes and schedules can be confusing for visitors who are not familiar with the area.
- Taxi: The taxis in Puerto Rico are regulated by the government and should have a visible license or identification number on the vehicle. The fare is set by the government and based on a meter. Make sure the driver starts the meter at the beginning of the ride.
- Uber: Uber is available only in San Juan. Uber drivers in Puerto Rico are required to have commercial licenses.
🏡 How to find a place
- Airbnb: Airbnb is a popular and convenient option to find short-term apartment rentals in Puerto Rico. Many apartments listed on Airbnb are fully furnished and equipped with amenities such as wifi, kitchen appliances, and laundry facilities.
- Facebook: There are many Facebook groups, such as Puerto Rico Housing For Rent, Airbnb Puerto Rico, and other online communities dedicated to housing and rentals in Puerto Rico. Joining these groups and posting your rental needs can help you find available apartments and connect with landlords or property managers.
🏘 Where to stay in San Juan
- Old San Juan: This neighborhood is known for its historic charm, colorful streets, and beautiful architecture. It offers a unique blend of old-world charm and modern amenities. It is a popular destination for tourists and expats, with many restaurants, cafes, and shops.
- Santurce: This is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood and the main hub for the arts and culture scene. It has a lively nightlife and offers many restaurants, cafes, and bars. It is also home to many coworking spaces and startups.
- Condado: This neighborhood is close to the beach and offers many high-end restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is a popular destination for tourists and expats, with many luxury hotels and apartments.
- Miramar: Miramar has a more upscale vibe and offers many high-end restaurants, cafes, and shops. It is located close to the beach and offers beautiful views of the ocean. Prices can be expected to be higher.
🧑🏻💻 Where to work from in San Juan
- co.co.haus: Co.co.haus is a coworking space located in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan and offers a modern and collaborative working environment. The team organizes events and workshops regularly to benefit as much as possible from a passionate coworking community. The hot desk costs €250 per month.
- Piloto151: Piloto is located in the heart of San Juan's vibrant arts and culture district, with easy access to restaurants, cafes, and other local businesses. The space is designed to be modern and stylish, with an open and collaborative atmosphere. The hot desk is available for €350 per month.
- 787 Coffee: The cafe has a cozy and inviting atmosphere, with plenty of natural light and seating options. You can use the wifi and enjoy working with snack variations from their menu.
- Coffee Therapy: Coffee Therapy offers a comfortable and conducive environment for remote work, with plenty of seating options, power outlets, and free wifi. The cute café also serves a wide variety of coffee and food options, including vegetarian and gluten-free options, making it a great place to fuel your workday.
- Cuatro Sombras: The cozy café has multiple locations in San Juan and is a popular spot for digital nomads to work from. They offer free wifi, ample seating, and a relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, their coffee is highly rated and they serve light snacks and breakfast items.
- Caficultura: This café is located in the heart of Old San Juan and offers free wifi, indoor and outdoor seating, and a relaxed atmosphere. Additionally, they serve breakfast, lunch, and coffee, making it a convenient spot to spend a few hours working remotely.
🚊 How to travel around
- Plane: If you want to travel quickly and efficiently, you can also fly between cities or islands. Puerto Rico has several airports, including the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.
- Bus: The Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) provides bus services throughout the San Juan metropolitan area and some neighboring towns. The buses are relatively inexpensive, but the schedules may not be very frequent or reliable.
- Taxis: Taxis are readily available in larger cities and tourist areas, and they are generally affordable. However, be aware that some taxi drivers may not use a meter, so it's important to agree on a price beforehand.
- Uber/Lyft: These ride-sharing services are available in Puerto Rico and can be a convenient option for getting around.
- Car Rental: Another good option for getting around Puerto Rico is by renting a car. Several rental companies, such as Alamo, Budget, or Avis are available at the airport and throughout the island. The roads are generally well-maintained, and it's easy to navigate. Generally, you can expect to pay anywhere from €20 to €60 daily for a basic economy car.
- Ferry: There are several ferries available that travel between the mainland and the smaller islands, including Vieques and Culebra. Tickets can be booked online or in person at the ferry terminal.
- Old San Juan: Founded in 1521, Old San Juan is one of the oldest cities in the Americas and served as a key port for Spanish galleons in the 16th and 17th centuries. The historic district of Puerto Rico's capital city is a colorful and charming area full of cobblestone streets, historic forts, and beautiful colonial architecture. Some of the most notable landmarks in Old San Juan include El Morro, Castillo de San Cristobal, La Fortaleza, San Juan Cathedral, and the Paseo de la Princesa.
- Santurce Market: A vibrant open-air market featuring local artisans, food vendors, and live music, Santurce Marketplace is a great place to experience the culture and flavors of Puerto Rico. You can browse a variety of handmade goods, such as jewelry, clothing, and home decor, all made by local artisans. There are also several food vendors selling traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, as well as international options. Live music is often performed at the market, adding to its lively and festive atmosphere.
- Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico: This world-class art museum features a diverse collection of Puerto Rican and international art. It has a collection of over 5,000 pieces of art, spanning from the 17th century to the present day. The collection includes works by famous Puerto Rican artists, as well as pieces by international artists like Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, and Salvador Dalí. The entrance fee is €15.
- La Parguera: La Parguera is a small and picturesque fishing village located on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico, near the town of Lajas. It is known for its beautiful bioluminescent bay, where microscopic organisms in the water glow at night and create a stunning natural light show. To get to La Parguera from San Juan, the easiest way is to rent a car and drive. The drive takes about two and a half hours, and the route includes a scenic drive through the mountains and countryside of Puerto Rico.
- Bioluminescent Bay: One of only a few bioluminescent bays in the world, this natural wonder in Vieques Island boasts water that glows at night due to the presence of microscopic organisms. To get to Vieques from San Juan, you can take a short flight from the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport or drive to the town of Fajardo and take a ferry to the island. Once on Vieques, you can take a guided kayak tour of Mosquito Bay, which is the most popular way to experience the bioluminescent bay. The tour typically includes a short paddle through the bay at night, where visitors can see the glowing organisms up close and even swim in the bioluminescent water.
💡 Good to know
- Internet: Median speed for fixed broadband in Puerto Rico is 31.40 Mbps download and 23.80 Mbps upload speed.
- Sim card: Best options for prepaid sim cards are Claro, AT&T, or T-Mobile. Plans generally start around 10 Euros for 1 GB of data for 7 days and go up to 60 Euros for 20 GB. data for 30 days.
- Socket Type: Type A, B.
- Digital nomad community: The digital nomad community in Puerto Rico is growing rapidly, with a number of coworking spaces, cafes, and other work-friendly venues popping up throughout the island.
- Currency: The currency used in Puerto Rico is the US Dollar.
- Climate: Puerto Rico has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The average temperature is around 27°C, and the rainy season runs from May through October, with the heaviest rainfall occurring in August and September. The hurricane season also runs from June through November, although the peak of the season is usually in September.
- Culture: The culture is a vibrant and rich blend of Spanish, African, Taíno, and American influences, expressed through music, dance, food, art, and a strong sense of community and family.
🚧 What to avoid
- Don't leave valuables unattended: Like in any destination, it's important to keep your valuables safe and secure. Avoid leaving them unattended in your rental car, on the beach, or in other public places.
- Don't walk alone at night: While Puerto Rico is generally safe, it's always a good idea to take precautions when walking alone at night, particularly in urban areas.
- Don't ignore weather warnings: Puerto Rico is prone to hurricanes and tropical storms, so it's important to pay attention to weather warnings and take appropriate precautions if a storm is approaching.
🚴🏻♀️ How to stay healthy
- Hiking: Puerto Rico has a variety of beautiful hiking trails, including in El Yunque National Forest, Toro Negro Forest Reserve, and the Guánica Dry Forest. Toro Negro Forest Reserve for example is a less crowded destination that offers several hiking trails through lush forests and mountains. The reserve is home to many species of flora and fauna, and you can enjoy stunning views of the surrounding countryside. Toro Negro is located about 1.5 hours from San Juan. Best way to get there is with a rental car.
- Biking: Puerto Rico has a growing network of bike trails, including the Paseo Lineal in San Juan, which runs along the city's coastline. It is a 3,5 kilometers long pedestrian and bike path, starting at Escambron Beach and ending at the Puerta de San Juan. Bikes can be rented from various locations throughout the island.
- Ziplining: There are several zipline parks throughout the island, including Toro Verde Adventure Park, which features the longest zipline in the world. To get there it takes approximately 1 hour of driving. The entrance fee for the park is 10 Euros and prices for zipline courses range from €60 to €150.
- Snorkeling/diving: Puerto Ricos has many destinations, perfect for watersports. If you are looking for a great spot, check out Culebra Island which offers great snorkeling and diving opportunities. The island is home to several beaches with clear waters and coral reefs, including Flamenco Beach and Tamarindo Beach. To get to Culebra, you can take a ferry from Fajardo or a small plane from San Juan.
- Yoga: Many hotels and wellness centers offer yoga classes, meditation, and other wellness activities. There are also several yoga studios throughout the island.
- Water Quality: Yes, you can drink tap water in Puerto Rico, but due to possible bacteria we recommend you stick to bottled or filtered water.
- Air Quality: The air quality in Puerto Rico is good.
Experiences to share or questions to ask about Puerto Rico?
Where to travel next? Destinations close to Puerto Rico.