The way to get round in Puerto Rico

​​Congestion is part of life in Puerto Rico, the place everybody and their grandmother owns a automotive, and driving is the predominant mode of transportation. That is additionally on account of Puerto Rico being a big island, the dearth of public transportation and quite a few far-flung locations. 

That mentioned, it’s completely attainable to navigate the capital of San Juan by bus, metro, taxi and on foot. As for the remainder of the island, listed here are one of the best methods to get round.

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Service could also be erratic however buses are an inexpensive technique to get round Puerto Rico © Getty Photos / iStockphoto

San Juan has a bus community and a metro system

San Juan is the one metropolis in Puerto Rico that’s served by an in depth community of unpolluted, air-conditioned metropolis buses. Nevertheless, route maps and data may be onerous to search out and few bus stops point out which buses cease the place. Service will also be erratic, with wait instances between 30 and 60 minutes. Ask round at bus stops, the place veteran riders will provide recommendation.

San Juan is the one metropolis in Puerto Rico with an inexpensive, efficient metro. Trains run each 16 minutes day by day between 5:30am and 11:30pm, connecting the favored neighborhood of Santurce with the college campus of Río Piedras and procuring facilities in Hato Rey and Torrimar with far-flung Guaynabo and Bayamón.

Biking on the street in Puerto Rico is an excessive sport

To place it bluntly, biking throughout Puerto Rico is foolhardy at greatest, and tantamount to a dying want at worst. Cyclists should take care of a number of hazards, from nightmare site visitors and poor street situations to harmful drivers, and a common lack of expertise about cyclists’ wants. Biking after darkish is a significant no-no.

…besides in San Juan, the place there are designated bike lanes

Leisure biking is feasible in San Juan, the place there’s a nice and protected cross-city route alongside the shoreline from Outdated San Juan by means of Condado and Isla Verde so far as Piñones (the final half is on a delegated bike lane). Lease quite a lot of well-maintained bikes, together with mountain, street, electrical, hybrid and cruisers from San Juan Bike Rentals – it will even ship your wheels to your lodge.

Driving is the one choice in some elements of Puerto Rico

A lot of Puerto Rico’s roads are in poor form, particularly after being battered by latest hurricanes. Outdoors the well-maintained Expressway toll roads, bumps, potholes and damaged guard rails are a reality of life, together with erratic driving, animals wandering out onto the street and extra automobiles per sq. mile than another place on earth.

Regardless of all that, having your personal wheels is essentially the most handy approach of getting round outdoors the capital, and downright important if you wish to roam the countryside, go to nationwide parks, or discover the spectacular 167-mile Ruta Panorámica that runs alongside the mountainous backbone of the island from Mayagüez to Cayey.

Automotive-rental charges in San Juan are very aggressive; elsewhere, not a lot. A automotive costing US$30 or much less a day in San Juan will value US$60 or extra in smaller cities and on the islands. Some firms prohibit taking leases from the mainland to Culebra and Vieques.

The entire main worldwide car-rental firms function on the island, particularly on the airport in San Juan. There are additionally native corporations, notably in smaller cities and on the islands.

Native tip: For those who’re limiting your journey to San Juan, a rental automotive is a legal responsibility; the site visitors is horrible, and parking is scarce. Use public transportation and taxis as an alternative. Parking is an actual downside in central Ponce additionally.

Ferries head for some islands, in any other case rent a non-public boat

Frequent day by day ferry providers serve the islands of Vieques and Culebra, departing from Ceiba’s ferry terminal a 25-minute drive south of the port of Fajardo. Up-to-date ferry schedules and tickets are available online; arrive on the terminal at the least an hour earlier than the boat departs. In January, if you happen to’re fortunate, you’ll be able to generally spot humpback whales from the ferry. Providers may be delayed and/or cancelled altogether throughout hurricane season (early June to late November). There are not any ferries between Vieques and Culebra.

There are additionally no ferries to tiny, uninhabited Isla Mona – an journey vacation spot for divers and wildlife lovers – off Puerto Rico’s west coast. The one technique to get there may be by personal boat with accredited operators akin to Acampa Nature Adventures or Adventures Tourmarine.

Inner flights are restricted and often not value it

Every day home flights join San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín airport with Mayagüez on the mainland’s west coast, and with the offshore islands of Culebra and Vieques off the east coast. Nevertheless, given the way it takes two hours to drive from San Juan to Mayagüez and an hour to drive from San Juan to Fajardo earlier than taking a (less expensive) ferry to Culebra or Vieques, there may be little motive to fly.

Locals walk along the Princess Walk Promenade in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Exploring on foot is not attainable all over the place in Puerto Rico however a stroll alongside the promenade in San Juan is at all times a pleasure © Getty Photos / iStockphoto

Strolling is a pleasure within the historic facilities of San Juan and Ponce

Outdated San Juan and the historic middle of Ponce are splendidly walkable and a pleasure to discover on foot. The identical can’t be mentioned concerning the majority of Puerto Rico’s cities and cities, with their usually nonexistent sidewalks and cookie-cutter city sprawl.

Públicos are the most cost effective technique to journey the island

The most cost effective technique to get round Puerto Rico is by públicos – public minibuses that run prescribed routes throughout daylight, both between locations akin to San Juan and Ponce or Mayagüez, or short-haul. Públicos are vans with the vacation spot clearly written within the entrance window, leaving as soon as they’re full. Some are busiest with commuters within the early morning and night, whereas others run to distant locations and may depart you stranded on account of their infrequency. Taking a público is a superb native expertise, offered you don’t thoughts being highly regarded and squeezed in with 1,000,000 different passengers. There isn’t any central supply of information about schedules or costs; simply flip up at a público terminal or van stand close to a smaller city’s central plaza, and ask round.

Taxis and Uber are available in bigger cities

Taxis are ubiquitous in San Juan and bigger cities across the island. It’s usually faster to stroll out to a taxi rank or flag down a passing taxi than get by means of to 1 on the telephone. Meters are hardly used, so at all times agree on the value earlier than setting off. The one exception is San Juan: “vacationer taxis” are regulated by the Puerto Rico Tourism Firm, and glued charges are decided by the zone your vacation spot falls into.

Uber is common, cheap, and covers San Juan, a lot of the north coast (together with Arecibo and Fajardo), in addition to the japanese half of the island (Caguas, Fajardo) and a part of the south coast (Guayama and round). It doesn’t cowl Ponce, Cabo Rojo or Mayagüez. Inside San Juan, taxi lobbying teams have pushed for laws that prohibits Uber from choosing up or dropping passengers off on the airport or at sure accommodations.

Accessible transportation in Puerto Rico is enhancing

Journey is changing into simpler for these with mobility points because of the People with Disabilities Act (ADA). Public transportation providers (akin to San Juan’s public bus and metro, plus taxis) at the moment are required by legislation to be wheelchair-accessible. On prime of that, there are wheelchair-accessible shuttles from the airport, whereas Equipos Pro Impedidos Caguas gives wheelchair-accessible automobile leases.