The beautiful island of Puerto Rico is a multi-faceted destination brimming with culture, character, entertainment and outdoors options. From the most sophisticated of hotels and restaurants to the “bare basics” of nature you’ll find that world-class travel experiences are plentiful and unforgettable in Puerto Rico.
We might be a tropical island in the Caribbean, but we’re also a U.S. Commonwealth. That not only means you can travel overseas and not have to carry a passport if you’re a U.S. Citizen, it means your flight is considered domestic. There’s only one Puerto Rico, but there are many ways to get here. There are over 588 non-stop 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 also the cruise capital of the Caribbean; its ports welcome thousands of sea travelers daily.Here are some other interesting and note-worthy facts:
It can be really boring for a meteorologist here. The average year-round temperature is a balmy 82º F (28º C), with mild easterly trade winds. Most days are sunny and stunning, although there tends to be a bit more rain between August and October.
In Puerto Rico you willl find just about every type of ethnic cuisine here that satisfies every palate, including our local “cocina criolla” which you must try as soon as you arrive. There are also plenty of major American fast-food and casual dining chains island-wide.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth so the U.S. dollar it is. No need to exchange currency. ATMs are generally easy to find. Most businesses accept major credit cards, as well as traveler’s checks.
CUSTOMS AND DOCUMENTS
Passports aren’t needed for U.S. citizens who travel between Puerto Rico and the U.S. (Perk of being a U.S. Commonwealth.) Foreign nationals should have valid passports and visas as required. Travelers flying from Puerto Rico to the U.S. are subject to check-in baggage inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the airport, since taking certain fruits and plants into the U.S. mainland is prohibited.
If you do need to drive anywhere just keep in mind that gas is sold by the liter and distance is measured in kilometers. Speed, however, is measured in miles per hour. Many national and local car rental companies operate at the airport and at key locations in the tourist districts.
Yes, you can gamble. And a good thing about gambling in Puerto Rico is that you will find one in almost every hotel lobby around the Island.
In Puerto Rico, Spanish and English are the official languages; most Puerto Ricans speak English.
SIZE AND POPULATION
Puerto Rico is approximately 100 by 35 miles (160 by 56 km), which is roughly the size of Connecticut. The Island‘s population is 3.6 million.
Puerto Rico has a 7% sales and use tax. There is an 11% tax on room charges in hotels with casinos, 9% tax on hotels without casinos and 7% on small inns.
As in the U.S. mainland, a 15% to 20% tip is customary. Some hotels and restaurants add a 10% to 17% service charge to the total bill.