Whether it is your first time planning Puerto Rico travel or your 1000th time, there are always questions that travelers have about traveling to Puerto Rico. While traveling to Puerto Rico is quite easy, we have taken the time to answer frequently asked questions when planning travel to Puerto Rico.

Here are some the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about Puerto Rico travel:

1. Where is Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is located in the Caribbean near the equator. It is south of Florida next to the British Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. It is located near many islands that are popular destinations for tourists who like tropical and warm environments.

2. Is Puerto Rico a part of the United States?

Puerto Rico is an incorporated territory of the United States, meaning it is not a US state but is a piece of land owned by the United States. This means that the people of Puerto Rico are US citizens but do not have the ability to vote in presidential election.

3. Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico?

No. Since Puerto Rico is owned by the United States, US travelers do NOT need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico.

Be sure that you have an updated ID which matches the standards on the REAL ID program. To fly domestically your ID will have to have the REAL ID Gold Star Designation (pictured below). This will be required beginning May 3, 2023.

ID requirements for Puerto Rico travel
Image Credit: Illinois Secretary of State (https://realid.ilsos.gov)

4. What language do they speak in Puerto Rico?

The main images that are spoken in Puerto Rico are Spanish and English. Only a small percentage of Puerto Ricans speak English, but most of them are employed in the tourism industry and are the people that travelers will encounter the most.

5. What is the drinking age in Puerto Rico?

The drinking age in Puerto Rico is 18. Some clubs only allow patrons who are 21 and over to enter so be sure to check the age requirements of each club before you go.

6. When is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?

Hurricane season in Puerto Rico is from June 1 – November 30.

7. Is weed legal in Puerto Rico?

No. Weed is not legal for recreational use in Puerto Rico. You will only be allowed to purchase marijuana if you have a medical marijuana card.

8. Is Puerto Rico safe?

Puerto Rico travel is just like travel to any other destination. The tourist areas are safe. You should always use common sense and do not wander off into any neighborhoods alone. There are some bad neighborhoods in Puerto Rico that you should not be trespassing in.

Tourists should avoid Puerta de Tierra, El Parque de las Palomas, Piñones, and La Perla at night and exercise extreme caution in those areas. Some safe and reputable areas are Rio Grande, Fajardo, Ponce, Cabo Rojo, Vieques, Culebra, and Rincon.

9. Is the water safe to drink in Puerto Rico?

Yes. Puerto Rico has the same sanitary standards for water as the United States. The water is safe to drink.

10. Should I rent a car in Puerto Rico?

If you want to explore the entire island and plan on going to many different cities on the island then yes you should rent a car. If you plan on renting a car, check out this post about the most scenic drives throughout Puerto Rico. Click here to read.

If you plan on exploring one central location such as San Juan, there are many taxis available and a rental car will not be needed.

Plan your itinerary and figure out what you want to do in Puerto Rico before you make a decision on renting a car. If your visit is mostly guided tours and excursions of Puerto Rico, they mainly provide transportation and a rental is not necessary. If you plan on hiking El Yunque Forest by yourself, you will need a car for the ride to the area.

Tip: If you have a tour outside of San Juan, it will be extremely difficult to get a taxi or UBER back to your starting point. The Impulse Traveler recommends arranging a pick up with a taxi driver before you depart San Juan or you may end up stranded or having to pay an expensive transportation company.

11. Will my phone work in Puerto Rico?

Yes. You will not need a special international phone plan in Puerto Rico. The 4G LTE networks works with most cellphone companies and there is WiFi at many hotels and restaurants.

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