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Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Everything You Need to Know

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Traveling to Puerto Rico right now may bring a lot of questions, which is why we are here to help!

The past two years have been crazy with traveling, and everyone has needed to change and adapt to all that is happening around us. The number one thing that is advised against is traveling. While we don't want to encourage trotting around the globe, it is only normal to wonder- what is the new normal? How will I be affected if I travel? What precautions do I need to take?

It's important to address these issues, and to be in the know, as people all over are getting anxious to explore new places. As of now, US citizens are still somewhat limited to where they can travel to, as the numbers are rising exponentially. The best option is to stay WITHIN the United States. Here is everything you need to know about traveling to Puerto Rico right now.

Why Choose Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now?

Staying within the US doesn't mean you can't see some really awesome places! Whether you *safely* take a road trip through states that are not in the danger zone, or if you explore US territories that are outside of the continental US, there are some great trips out there, and you can still enjoy some amazing spots.

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First things first, it's very important to know which areas are accessible, which are high risk areas, and which are the safer options. Hawaii is very strict, and many states are in danger zones, so I have decided to travel to Puerto Rico! Here are some things to know before traveling to Puerto Rico right now.

traveling to Puerto Rico right now: Icacos Island

Puerto Rico is the perfect place for a sunny getaway, and is still located inside the US.

Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Before You Go

Although Puerto Rico is in fact part of the US, it is very important that you are aware of the guidelines when traveling anywhere. Here is how to prepare before hopping on that plane:

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Get a COVID-19 Test

Getting a COVID-19 test is not just a recommendation, but a requirement. It must be taken within 72 hours of flying, which means it needs to be done 3 days before. Keep in mind, that not all facilities will give results within 3 days, so it is important to ask the office if they can deliver the results in this short time frame.


Many places require appointments, so make sure that you do your research beforehand, call, and cover all of your bases. The good thing is, that in most cases, the tests are covered by insurance, and therefore won't cost anything (or much depending on your policy). Make sure that the office knows which insurance company you have and that they accept that insurance.

It may sound silly, but it is also to be noted that you must go to an office in your home state. This may not be an issue for many people, but for example if you have New York insurance and live in New Jersey (like me), you will need to make sure you go to a doctor in New York.

Update: You no longer need a negative Covid test to enter Puerto Rico. Yay!

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The Test

The test only takes a few moments, but it is definitely not the most pleasant. Tests are "swab tests" and go through the nose.

Despite the memes you may see on Facebook, no the swab does not touch your brain. It does although touch the back of your throat. It is a little uncomfortable, but doesn't hurt as much as you would think, and only takes a moment.

The Results

Results are usually given through a patient portal. The office may call or email you to let you know the results are ready, but just confirm before leaving your doctor's office. Make sure that you have the confirmation ready for when you land at the airport.

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Bring a Mask (or several)

Masks are mandatory on the streets, even if there aren't people around. In restaurants you can take your mask off, but need to have it on while walking through the establishment. 

In public you may see people around that will take them off, but we urge you to wear a mask and respect the island. As a visitor please follow the rules, even if other people aren't. Not only are there plenty of police patrolling the areas, but it is also common descency to abide by the rules and be respectful.

Update: Masks are no longer needed on the streets, but are requested inside. They are mandatory on public transportation, including ferries to Vieques and Culebra.

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Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Upon Arrival

When arriving at the airport, as you get your luggage (or before you exit the airport), you will need to fill out the health quesitionaire that is provided through a bar code to do on the internet. Once finished, you will show the bar code and the negative COVID-19 results to the authorites before being able to leave the airport.

traveling to Puerto Rico right now

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Update: You no longer need to fill out any questionnaire, and can freely pass through the luggage area without having to do anything extra.

Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Getting Around

While experiencing this beautiful island, we highly suggest renting a car, as public buses are running very minimally. It is also much easier to get around by car and see the places that are off the beaten path.

The best place to rent is inside the city of San Juan, as there are many different fees renting from the airport (that they don't show online).

Rental Cars

If you have an early flight going back we suggest getting a rental car inside the airport. We say inside because the ones on the outside cost more due to extra fees from being associated with the airport, and also for being outside the airport. 

Not to mention, the ones on the strip outside the airport (such as Payless, Thrifty, & Dollar) are more inconvenient to get to, as you need a shuttle to get there. If you can though, we definitely suggest getting a rental car inside the city. We also suggest getting a 4x4 as there are many roads that aren't very smooth.

Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Where to Stay

Most places are back up and running through Puerto Rico right now. However, it's important to know that the islands of Culebra and Vieques are limited. Culebra is now running limited ferry services, and tickets must be purchased in advance.

Vieques on the other hand, does not offer ferry service to those who are not local. You can fly into there without any problem.

Update: Ferries to both Culebra and Vieques are running for both locals and tourists daily.

Since some places are still closed, we suggest moving around the island, and not staying in just San Juan. We spent a night in different cities moving from San Juan east and then around the island clockwise.

Colorful buildings, beautiful beaches, and lush rainforests- who wouldn’t want to visit Puerto Rico? The capital is visited by many travelers, especially those cruising. Here some of the most popular things to do for a trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico.Where is San Juan?San Juan is the capital of the island

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Want to book your place to stay in Puerto Rico? Simply check the accommodation down below:

Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Things to Do

Right now there are much more places open than when I first wrote this article. Beaches are now back open, curfew no longer in place, and a lot of establishments are back up and running. Here are some cool things you can do while traveling to Puerto Rico right now:

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Visit El Yunque

El Yunque is in fact open! It is important to note though, that you must reserve a ticket in advance. The ticket is only $2 per vehicle, and can be purchased here. There are limited spots available, and two time slots to choose from which are 8 am-11 am or 12 pm-3 pm.

The good thing about this is that there are much fewer people than usual, allowing you to really enjoy each stop in the rainforest. Tickets will be checked at the Coca Falls.

There were people that were staying past the end of the time slot of 11 am. But we left around that time because we didn't want to get in trouble. We suggest asking at the entrance.

El Yunque, Puerto Rico is the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest Service, and one of the most popular rainforests in the world. No trip to Puerto Rico is complete without a visit to this beautiful place.With an average rainfall of 120 inches a year, there is a very

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Suggested Read: Visiting El Yunque, Puerto Rico: The Only US Rainforest

Want to book an excursion? Here are a few that you can choose from:

Take a Dip in the Waterfalls and Swimming Holes

Since swimming in the ocean wasn't allowed, we went to so many different waterfalls and swimming holes to cool off. They only had a few locals and were free of charge! A lot of the gates were closed making them look like they were off limits, but many people went.

Just make sure to eat before or bring food as the majority either don't have a restaurant, or the restaurants are closed. Bring sunscreen, a bathing suit, some water, and enjoy! Water shoes are also a good idea in these areas as you may have to walk along rocks.

La Planta Arecibo, day trips from San Juan
Charco el Hippie, Puerto Rico
Arecibo Waterfall Puerto Rico

There are so many great and free places to swim around Puerto Rico.

Our personal favorite was Charco El Hippie (top right photo), which was recommended to us by a local! Some other great spots are Gozalandia Falls, Charco Azul, and Rio Tanama in Arecibo.

*Keep in mind that when this article was written, the beaches were closed. However, they are now open again and free to use.

There's nothing like a good waterfall, and Puerto Rico has got plenty of them! With tropical weather and high temperatures year-round, waterfalls and watering holes make the perfect place to cool off. Not only is it great if you want something different than your typical beach, but they are also

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Check Out the Small Beach Towns

As Puerto Rico is an island, there are an endless amount of beaches! A lot of restaurants and shops may be closed in the beach towns, but there are still some options for food. As well, there are plenty of cute and colorful places to walk around and enjoy the view of the beach. 

Crash Boat Beach Aguadilla, Instagrammable spots in Puerto Rico

Crash Boat Beach, Aguadilla

Some of our favorite beach towns were Aguadilla, Islabela, Malecon, La Parguera, and Boqueron. In Isabela we absolutely loved Playa Jobos, which is full of surfers, and a cute restaurant called Umas. Walk up on the rocks on the right to experience the giant splashes from the waves crashing down!

It's no secret that Puerto Rico has some pretty great beaches. Being an island, you can only imagine how many beaches there are! While there are an incredible amount of beautiful spots to hit. We've decided to make a list of our top ten beaches in Puerto Rico.These aren't just

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Stop at a View Point

There are a few spots that we went in Puerto Rico with some really spectacular views. If you head inland a bit, the mountains are just stunning. Our two personal favorites were "Cerro de Punta", which is the highest point in Puerto Rico, and "Curva del Arbol" in Salinas This spot features a colorful bench, and a swing attached to a tree.

Cerro de Punta, Puerto Rico

Cerro el Punto is the highest point on the island of Puerto Rico.

Visit the Colorful Villages

If it's one thing Puerto Rico knows how to do, it's to add happiness and color everywhere! In the south west of the island there is an area called Yaucromatic, which is located in Yaucro. It features an area of beautifully colored houses, stairs, and even a painted tree.

We also stumbled along a gorgeous smaller version of Yaucromatic in the town of Aguadilla, which is located in the north east of the island. Wander along the streets and enjoy all of the different colorful buildings, and take that perfect instagram- worthy shot!

Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now: Other Things to Know

We've covered almost everything about traveling to Puerto Rico right now, but there are still a few things to know when traveling! Here are a few things you need to know:


The current curfew for Puerto Rico is from 11 pm-5 am. You must be inside at these times. There are police patrolling the streets, and if you get caught you will not just get a fine, but may also get arrested.

Note: This was the case in February 2021. There is no longer curfew anywhere.


Alcohol was unable to be served past 7 pm, so unfortunately that meant no drinks with your dinner. This rule is luckily no longer in effect now, so drinks are back on the table!

What's Open

At times like this, you can not rely on Google to tell you if an establishment is open or not. The best thing to do is just not have your expectations high, and be prepared for a back up plan. Try to eat dinner earlier than later, as restaurants will stop serving earlier than normal.

Main Points of Traveling to Puerto Rico Right Now

We've gone through almost everything you need to know about traveling to Puerto Rico right now. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments! Here is a reminder:

  • Don't forget to get your COVID-19 test!
  • Wear a mask at all times (now only on public transportation), and bring hand sanitizer with you.
  • Culebra is open, again but tickets are limited and should be purchased in advance
  • Vieques is only open to foreigners by flight (back open again).
  • Beaches are now open again.
  • Alcohol can be served at any time once again.
  • Curfew is from 11 pm-5 am. Make sure you are inside at these times.
  • Don't rely on Google, as many places' hours are different than normal.
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As coffee lovers, we always enjoy the energy of caffeine. It helps us get the best free travel guides out there for you! 😄

Puerto Rico is a beautiful island, and a great choice to visit now that it isn't full with so many tourists.

Phone plans work, the currency is the same, and there are so many great ways to enjoy traveling to Puerto Rico right now without having to spend a lot of money. If you cho0se to travel here just remember to be respectful and stay safe!

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