Puerto Rico arrival
Airplane: Puerto Rico is the most accessible island in the Caribbean. Several US airlines fly to San Juan, with Miami having most of the flights. British Airways (London, daily, with connecting flights to Miami), Iberia (Madrid, with connecting flights to the Dominican Republic) and the Lufthansa subsidiary Condor (Frankfurt) fly from Europe.
Many flights from Central and South America to San Juan go via Miami, New York or Houston. However, some airlines such as Mexicana and LACSA and Mexicana also fly direct to San Juan from Latin American cities.
Connections between Puerto Rico and Antigua, Barbados, Haiti, Jamaica and Trinidad are offered by BWIA. ALM Antillean Airlines offers flights between Puerto Rico and Aruba, Bonaire, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela and St. Maarten.
Flights between Caribbean destinations and Puerto Rico are also offered by Cape Air, Air St. Thomas, Vieques Link Air, Air Sunshine and others.
The most popular routes from the United States to Puerto Rico depart from New York and Miami, but there are direct flights from numerous other cities in the United States. Almost all major airlines fly to Puerto Rico, Jet Blue is currently the most popular and cheapest alternative.
Airports: San Juan’s recently upgraded Aeropuerto Internacional de Luis Munoz Marín(often abbreviated LMM) is only 3 kilometers east of the city in a suburb on the beach of Isla Verde. Buses, airport shuttles and taxis drive into the city, the journey time is about half an hour. You can also rent a car at the airport.
Most international flights land in San Juan, but Aguadillas Aeropuerto Rafael Hernandez (BQN) on the northwestern tip of the island also receives some international flights from the USA (mainly New York).
Ponce and Mayagüez have small airports for domestic flights. San Juan’s original airport on Isla Grande is now used primarily for flights to the Puerto Rican islands of Culebra and Vieques.
Ship: the main port in Puerto Rico is San Juan. For cruise ships, San Juan is the second most important port in the western hemisphere (after Miami). More than a million cruise passengers visit San Juan annually.
The cruise ships anchor on Calle La Marina, which is near Old San Juan. Some of the cruise lines offering stops in Puerto Rico include Celebrity, Carnival Cruise Lines, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Costa, Cunard, Seabourn, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises.
From Fajardo to the east of Puerto Rico, there is a high-speed ferry operated by Transportation Services Virgin Islands to St Thomas in the US Virgin Islands, but it runs only irregularly (around twice a month).
A ferry connects Mayagüez in the western part of the island Santo Domingo(Dominican Republic). It sails three to four times a week and takes about 12 hours for the adventurous ocean voyage.
Best time to travel to Puerto Rico
The tourist season in Puerto Rico is from December to April, but this has more to do with the rather unpleasant weather in North America with the conditions in Puerto Rico. During these months the island is literally inundated with visitors, prices are highest and accommodation is difficult to find.
The period between May and August is attractive for surfers, during this time there are many waves on the coasts of Puerto Rico.
A good compromise to escape the biggest crowds of visitors to Puerto Rico and still enjoy nice weather should be the months of May and November.
Of course, there are far fewer tourists on the island during the official hurricane season (May to November). Although hurricanes are rare, they can cause significant damage. Be sure to check the weather forecast if you are in Puerto Rico during this time, especially August, September, and October. If you plan to travel inland, bring a sweater for the evenings. Especially in the mountains it cools down at night all year round.
Money in Puerto Rico
Local currency: 1 US dollar equals 100 cents.
Currency abbreviation: US $, USD
Banknotes come in denominations of 1, 2 (rare), 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 US dollars, while coins are in circulation with values of 1, 5, 10, 25 and 50 cents and 1 US dollar.
Credit Cards: All major international credit cards are accepted.
ATMs are called a todos horas, ATH, in Puerto Rico. They are common, even in small towns. Credit cards and cards with the Cirrus and Maestro symbols are accepted. However, you should have enough cash with you when traveling to the interior of the island.
Travelers checks are accepted in all major currencies, but travelers checks made out in US dollars are easier to use.
Foreign exchange regulations: No restrictions, however, amounts of more than 10,000 US dollars (including stocks, money orders and travelers checks) must be declared when entering and leaving the country. Gold coins and quantities must also be declared upon entry.
Bank opening times: Mon – Fri 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.