Puerto Rico

Overview

Introduction

Puerto Rico is one of the biggest islands in the Caribbean, and it has much more to offer than rain forests. It also has caves, mountains, coral reefs, white-sand beaches, championship golf courses, fantastic cuisine, world-class shopping and a vibrant culture.

The sounds of Puerto Rico's El Yunque National Forest will no doubt draw visitors—giggling children running by, tree frogs croaking and the rustle of the leafy canopy. What's more, the rain forest is close enough to San Juan for a day trip.

Puerto Rico visitors will also find that the country is quite modernized. The capital of San Juan is a large city that offers glamorous resorts, hotels and casinos, and a busy business district, as well as the largest and most technically advanced convention center in the Caribbean.

San Juan also has one of Latin America's most impressive colonial areas. Such a combination of natural beauty and urban attractions is part of the reason Puerto Rico is so popular with tourists.

Puerto Rico sustained severe damage during Hurricane Maria in September 2017. Recovery efforts may take years, but the island has made great strides already. Cruise operations resumed in October 2017, and the island expects more than a million passengers in 2018—most passing through San Juan. Air travel was rapidly restored and Luis Munoz Marin International is operating regularly. More than 80% of hotels are now open; newly renovated properties are opening steadily, while larger luxury properties may not reopen until as late as 2020. Most malls, restaurants and touristic attractions are now open, although a few may have reduced hours or limited access. Call ahead to confirm.

All utilities—ATMs, hospitals, telephones, bus routes—are 100% operational. However, as you move away from city centers, you are more likely to see deteriorated roads and downed utility lines. Exercise caution driving on rural roads, especially after dark. In general, services are less reliable in the central mountain zone. Islandwide, visitors are unlikely to experience service disruption, as many hotels and resorts are becoming increasingly self-reliant, favoring the use of generators, self-generated power sources and on-site water treatment facilities.

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