San Juan Visitors Information
San Juan offers a colorful, vibrant culture and Old World charm and elegance. It is one of the most unique and accessible places to travel under the U.S. flag and is far from an ordinary Caribbean destination. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico), the official name since 1952, is an “unincorporated territory” of the United States having a population of about 3.1 million people. Traveling to Puerto Rico is just like flying to another U.S. state, and is very convenient with over 588 nonstop flights to main cities in the United States, 30 flights to the Caribbean, and 28 flights to Central and South America every week, the island is the main regional hub. No passport is required for U.S. citizens, and those arriving from the U.S. do not have to go through customs. Keep in mind that San Juan is a popular cruise ship port. Traveling into the city on a Saturday or Sunday is particularly busy. Therefore, when planning your trip, please make sure to make your flight reservations early.
February is a most desirable time of year in Puerto Rico, a beautiful tropical paradise. One can escape the cold months of winter and enjoy the warm sun. In fact, it is always summer in San Juan with an average temperature of 81 degrees F. Because Puerto Rico is a tropical island, it typically rains every day somewhere on the island. Rain showers are typically scattered in the afternoons, however, and do not last very long.
Suggested safety tips while visiting San Juan
As you may be aware, recently Puerto Rico has been facing some negative publicity related to the security on the Island. Certainly, as any other metropolis, we are exposed to these kinds of situations.
We have included some common safety precautions to help ensure a great experience on the beautiful Island. Follow these 6 travel safety tips to help you take a trip that is memorable for all the right reasons.
1. Make Copies of your ID and Passport: Make two photocopies of your license or passport in case either is lost or stolen. Bring one copy and store it separately from your original and leave another with a friend or relative. The U.S. Government also offers the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, a free service for U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad. The program permits enrollment with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate, which can assist during an emergency such as a lost or stolen passport.
2. Streamline your wallet: Lost wallets are the leading cause of identity theft. Only carry the card(s) you plan to use on your trip, and leave your checkbook and the rest of your cards at home. If you decide to bring more than one credit card, consider stashing the extra, along with account information and customer service numbers for the cards you have with you, in a hotel safe or other secure location.
3. Check out guides: Before you book that zip-lining, parasailing or river rafting trip, check online for any customer reviews. Seeing what others have to say about the company and the excursion can help you choose a safe and well-run adventure.
4. Travel like a local: When visiting any location, know your surroundings and plan your route in advance. Be aware of how the locals talk and dress and consider whether certain actions will make you stand out as a tourist.
5. Check the weather: Into every life — and vacation — a little rain must fall, so take steps to protect yourself from lightning, hail, thunderstorms, and severe weather by monitoring the local weather and packing the appropriate gear. Also, keep tabs on the weather at home to make sure your property is protected.
6. Avoid oversharing online: Posting photos or checking in on social media sites advertises your absence from home. Real-time updates can be tempting but wait until you return safely home before sharing your adventures.
Additional safety guidelines --
- Always remove your meeting name badge when you leave the convention center.
- If you are walking between any destination and your hotel or the convention center, plan your travel route before you depart.
- Use caution when walking on sidewalks and crossing streets and be careful to cross only at designated crosswalks.
- Avoid visible use of cell phones while you are walking.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Make sure your belongings are secure.
- Walk with your colleagues.
- When transportation is needed, take or share a taxi or Uber.
- Check the local weather and pack the appropriate gear before you leave.
Getting Around San Juan
Taking a taxi is the easiest and fastest way to get around in San Juan if you do not wish to rent a car. If you wish to take a taxi from the airport, taxi areas are located in Terminal A on the “Arrival” level and in Terminal B and C in the baggage claim areas. From other locations around the city, you can either wave one down on the street or call one by phone. Some taxis have fixed rates and some are metered, it all depends where you are going.
Following is a list of cab companies that serve the San Juan area:
San Juan Taxis: +1 407-729-4083
Taxi Services Puerto Rico: +1 787-382-6220
Go Taxi Puerto Rico: +1 787-955-6666
Wilbert Taxi Service: +1 787-479-9767
Uber is now available on a limited basis in Puerto Rico, but Lyft currently is not in service. Uber is not allowed to pick up passengers arriving at the airport, but they can take passengers to the airport for a departing flight.
Renting a car is a convenient way to explore Puerto Rico if your plans take you outside the metro area. Most of the well-known car rental companies can be found at the Luis Muñoz Marín Airport and in and around the larger cities. Local companies also offer competitive prices and great service. For a list of car rental companies at the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, go to https://www.san-juan-airport.com/car-rental.php
The Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) is located in the airport departure level in Terminal A and D. You can get straight to downtown by AMA bus route 50. The bus is an economical way to enjoy San Juan, but it requires planning and patience. Please be aware that exact change only is accepted and strict operating hours do apply. Buses may be full during work rush hours. You can expect to save money, but anticipate a much longer trip vs. taking a taxi. For more information on schedules, stops, and fares, please go to https://sanjuanpuertorico.com/bus-routes-map/
Puerto Rico is in the U.S. Eastern Time Zone, which is one hour ahead of Central Standard Time, two hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time and three hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time.
Currency and Methods of Payment
Puerto Rico uses the U.S. dollar. Cash, debit, and credit will work just fine. ATM’s (ATH’s in Puerto Rico) are located just about everywhere and are easy to access and use. VISA, MasterCard, and debit cards are the most commonly accepted methods of payment. American Express, Discover, and Diners Club are not as commonly accepted in Puerto Rico.
It is against the law to drive while using a handheld cell phone or other electronic device. Drivers may use hands-free cell phones that are voice activated, or activated by one touch, provided they are securely attached to the vehicle or the driver’s body (such as an earpiece).
The legal drinking age in Puerto Rico is 21. Photo identification is required to be served or to purchase alcoholic beverages or to enter nightclubs serving alcohol.
The current in Puerto Rico is 110 volts AC, same as the United States.
The average daily temperature in Puerto Rico is 81 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep in mind, however, that no matter what the weather may be outside, meeting rooms at the convention center may be cool, so please plan accordingly.