Is Puerto Rico Safe

Do you want to know is Puerto Rico safe to travel? Many people who travel to the Caribbean go to Puerto Rico and for a good reason. Puerto Rico is nothing less than a paradise, with its beautiful beaches, calm turquoise seas, rich history, lively culture, and tropical mountainous areas. 

It has flaws, just like other places that people go to. Puerto Rico has a long history of gun crime, drug dealing, and gang activity, which could put your safety at risk.

The island is hit by earthquakes and storms, with the most recent one happening in 2017. Even though Puerto Rico has gotten back on its feet since then, you may be thinking if it’s safe to go there.

Here’s a guide to the best places to visit in Puerto Rico, as well as tips on how to stay safe.

Is Puerto Rico Safe?

Most visitors to Puerto Rico are safe as long as they plan their trip around hurricane season. You should also take the usual steps to avoid pickpocketing and robbery, which are the most common crimes in Puerto Rico that affect tourists. 

Crime is less common in Puerto Rico than in many other parts of the United States, so tourists can feel safe there. It’s one of the best places in the Caribbean. Most gun violence in Puerto Rico is related to drug trade and gang activity, which usually doesn’t affect tourists. 

Pickpocketing and robbery are the most common crimes in Puerto Rico. You can avoid these crimes by not leaving valuables out in the open in your car, keeping important papers in a safe at your hotel, not wearing expensive jewellery, and going to beaches and other sites during the day.

You should be more worried about the weather than crime when you go to Puerto Rico. Every year, from June to November, hurricanes hit the island. September is the busiest month. 

There is no way to know when a storm will hit Puerto Rico or how strong it will be until a week or two before it does. Most of the time, that’s not enough time to change plans for a trip to Puerto Rico.

Crime in Puerto Rico: What You Need to Know

There are a few things visitors should know about crime in Puerto Rico. First of all, small thefts or pickpocketing are the most common crimes that happen to tourists. Locals say that the best way to avoid this is to keep an eye on your things at all times, especially when you’re enjoying one of Puerto Rico’s beaches. 

Overall, locals say that simple safety rules should be followed. Don’t walk at night by yourself. Know where to stay away from. Try not to show off your expensive items or jewellery. 

What about really bad crimes? It’s true that Puerto Rico has had a high murder rate in the past. But this has gotten better over the past few years, and most murders are linked to gang activity. 

If you’re worried about crime in Puerto Rico, talk to someone who lives there to find out what it’s like to live there. They can talk about the safest things they do. 

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9 Things You Should Know about Puerto Rico

Beautiful Puerto Rico is one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, but there are a few things you should know before you go. Our travel safety expert shares his tips.

Rich Cultural Heritage

Puerto Rico boasts a diverse cultural heritage influenced by its indigenous Taíno roots, Spanish colonization, and African traditions. The island’s unique blend of cultures is evident in its language, music, art, and cuisine. Spanish and English are the official languages, but many locals also speak a dialect called “Spanglish.” Traditional music genres like salsa, reggaeton, and bomba have originated in Puerto Rico, making it a hub for musical creativity.

Breathtaking Natural Beauty

From lush rainforests to pristine beaches, Puerto Rico offers an abundance of natural beauty. El Yunque National Forest, located in the northeastern part of the island, is a tropical paradise filled with hiking trails, waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. For beach lovers, Flamenco Beach in Culebra and Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo are among the most stunning beaches in the Caribbean, with crystal-clear waters and white sandy shores.

Historical Landmarks

As the oldest city under the U.S. flag, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, is home to a wealth of historical landmarks. One of the most iconic sites is El Morro, a 16th-century fortress that protected the city from seaborne attacks.

Another must-visit location is Old San Juan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site filled with colourful colonial buildings, cobblestone streets, and charming plazas. Exploring these historical landmarks provides a glimpse into Puerto Rico’s past.

Vibrant Festivals

Puerto Ricans are known for their lively and colourful festivals, which celebrate their rich cultural traditions. The most famous festival is San Juan Bautista Day, held in June, featuring parades, music, dance, and traditional food.

The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, held in January, transforms the streets of Old San Juan into a massive party with live music, food stalls, and arts and crafts vendors. These festivals are a great way to experience the local culture and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.

Culinary Delights

Puerto Rican cuisine is a mouthwatering fusion of flavours influenced by various cultures. One iconic dish is mofongo, made from mashed plantains mixed with garlic, pork cracklings, and other ingredients.

Another staple is arroz con gandules, a flavorful rice dish cooked with pigeon peas and seasoned with sofrito. For seafood enthusiasts, trying fresh ceviche or grilled fish is a must. Don’t forget to sample some traditional pastries like questions and mantecaditos to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Outdoor Adventures

Adventure seekers will find plenty of opportunities for thrilling outdoor activities in Puerto Rico. The island is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts, with popular activities such as surfing, paddle boarding, and snorkelling.

If you prefer to stay on land, you can explore the mesmerizing Camuy River Cave Park, home to one of the largest cave systems in the world. Additionally, Puerto Rico offers excellent hiking trails, including the challenging but rewarding trek to the top of El Yunque’s Mount Britton.

Bioluminescent Bays

Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays: Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Laguna Grande in Fajardo, and La Parguera in Lajas. These natural wonders are a must-see when visiting the island. Witnessing the glowing waters caused by microscopic organisms known as dinoflagellates is a magical experience. Kayaking through the bio bays at night allows you to fully appreciate the luminescent beauty of nature.

Accessible Travel Destination

As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico offers the convenience of traveling without the need for a passport for U.S. citizens. Flights to Puerto Rico are readily available from various U.S. cities, making it an easily accessible destination.

The island’s infrastructure, including roads and public transportation, is well-developed, allowing visitors to explore its many attractions with ease. Additionally, Puerto Rico’s status as a commonwealth ensures that U.S. currency is widely accepted, making financial transactions hassle-free.

Warm and Welcoming Locals

One of the most delightful aspects of visiting Puerto Rico is the warmth and hospitality of its people. Known as “boricua,” Puerto Ricans are known for their friendliness and welcoming nature. Locals are often happy to share their culture and provide recommendations on the best places to visit and things to do. The warm smiles and helpful attitude of the Puerto Rican people will make you feel right at home during your stay.

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Tourist Scams in Puerto Rico to Avoid

As with any popular tourist spot, there have been scams and plans set up in Puerto Rico to take advantage of tourists who don’t know what’s going on. Here are some of the most common ways that tourists get ripped off:

Fake Taxi Drivers: 

Some con artists pretend to be cab drivers and take advantage of tourists who don’t know the area. They might charge too much for rides or take people on unnecessary long routes to get more money. Make sure that the cab you’re getting into is licensed and has the name and phone number of the taxi company written on it.

Timeshare Presentations: 

Some resorts and companies that rent out vacation homes will give you free stuff or give you a big discount if you go to a timeshare show. But these talks can be stressful and last much longer than they say they will. Before you go to a meeting, learn about the company and read reviews from people who have been there before.

Street Vendors: 

Even though many street sellers in Puerto Rico are honest, some may sell fake goods or charge too much for souvenirs. Before you buy something, it’s always a good idea to talk about the price and make sure you’re getting what you paid for.

Money-Changing Scams: 

Make sure you change money at a bank or exchange office that you can trust. Some con artists may offer to change money on the street, but they may give you fake bills or use sleight of hand to steal some of your money.

Rental Scams: 

Be careful about getting cars or rooms from companies you don’t know or that don’t have licenses. Before making a reservation, you should always look into the company and read reviews, and you should check the rental carefully before giving the money.

“Helpful” Locals: 

Some scammers may pretend to be friendly neighbours who offer to show you around or help you with your bags. Then, they might ask for money for their help or steal your things while you’re not looking. It’s best to politely refuse any help that isn’t asked for and to be careful around strangers.

Is Puerto Rico Safe for Travel?

Puerto Rico is a US territory that has a lot of things. It’s home to San Juan, which was formed in 1521 and is the third-oldest capital in the Americas. It’s full of beaches, has lush rainforests to explore, and has some of the best food in the world. Puerto Rico is a paradise in the Caribbean.

Or is it? Guns are used to kill a lot of people in Puerto Rico, and almost all of the people who are killed are in gangs. The problem has been getting worse, and even a recent gang war didn’t stop it. Also, there are storms that are very bad.

Puerto Rico has a lot of possible dangers, which is possibly why you’re asking, “Is Puerto Rico safe?”

Don’t worry, we’ve made this amazing safety guide full of tips to help you move safely.

No need to worry if you’re a first-time solo traveller planning a trip to Puerto Rico. Our helpful guide covers everything from whether or not it’s safe to drive in Puerto Rico to tips for solo female travellers there. It even talks about whether or not you should bring your kids to Puerto Rico.

Is Puerto Rico Safe to Live in?

Puerto Rico, like any other place, has its own unique characteristics and safety considerations. Overall, Puerto Rico is generally considered safe to live in, but it’s important to be aware of certain factors.

Crime rates in Puerto Rico have historically been higher compared to some other parts of the United States. However, the situation has improved in recent years, and the government has been working to address the issue. As in any location, it’s recommended to exercise caution and take necessary safety precautions, such as being aware of your surroundings, avoiding high-crime areas, and securing your belongings.

Ultimately, when considering a move to Puerto Rico or any other location, it’s advisable to conduct thorough research, visit the area if possible, and consult with locals or experts who can provide insights into the specific neighbourhood or community you’re interested in.

Is it Safe to Travel to Puerto Rico Alone?

If you already know us, you know that we are big fans of travelling alone. The pros range from being able to do what you want to grow as a person. But there are problems, too. Getting tired of it all, even bored, and sometimes lonely…

Puerto Rico is a great place to travel by yourself, and it’s also safe. On this beautiful Caribbean island, you can do a lot of different things. But we have a few tips for Puerto Rico solo travel that will help you have the best time ever and stay safe.

15 Top Travel Safety Tips for Puerto Rico

You might not want to go to Puerto Rico. But it’s really all right. It is pretty safe to go there. In fact, it’s safer than most places in the US, and it’s also a lot more beautiful. As always, though, it pays to know how to travel smartly, so here are our top safety tips for going to Puerto Rico to help you out.

  1. Be careful with your things. Don’t leave them unattended, especially at the beach. Also, don’t hang bags from chairs or wear bags that dangle down. You might want to buy a money belt to hide your money.
  2. Try not to look too much like a tourist, because that will probably make thieves more likely to target you. Try to fit in instead.
  3. Know about the “Blue Laws“—you can’t drink on the streets of Old San Juan. This rule is also in other places, so find out and be aware.
  4. Be careful in towns at night, especially in San Juan. After dark, crime is just more likely to happen. People will try to sell you drugs and other things.
  5. Stay away from casinos. These housing projects are usually fine during the day. But DO NOT go there at night. Gangs work here.
  6. Drugs are still against the law in the US, so stay away from them. Why give money to the gangs?
  7. Learn some Spanish. People speak English, but outside of tourist places, most people speak Spanish. A few words will help a lot, so get ready to learn a new language.
  8. Keep an eye out for weather alerts. Hurricanes and tropical storms can both cause floods. Check the news often.
  9. If you go hiking in a jungle, be careful not to get lost. Bring a plan, be ready, and let people know where you are going.
  10. There are poisonous plants in the jungle, so cover your legs and arms when you hike. Don’t touch the plants or animals either.
  11. Take a good medical kit with you. In this kind of weather, even a small cut can get infected, so make sure to take care of it.
  12. Follow the signs on the beach, because riptides can kill you. Even though the sea looks nice, it could be very dangerous.
  13. If you get caught in a riptide, don’t swim against it. Instead, swim parallel to the shore and go back when the current isn’t as strong.
  14. Coral, sea urchins, and jellyfish are all things you don’t want to touch, so watch where you swim.
  15. Cover up against bugs – sandflies/mosquitoes. Both the Zika virus and dengue fever can be spread by these bugs. Use DEET-based bug spray to keep mosquitoes away.

Is it Safe for Solo Female Travelers in Puerto Rico?

Since Puerto Rico is a US territory, the rules and safety tips are the same as when travelling in the US. On the island of Puerto Rico, it’s not rare for women to travel alone, but if you’re not from there, you’ll stand out more than a local woman. You might have to deal with things like being picked on or teased. Most of the time, it is spoken.

So, it’s safe for women to travel alone to Puerto Rico, but you should still do everything you normally do to stay safe. To help you even more, we have some tips that are just for women travelling alone in Puerto Rico.


Puerto Rico is a safe destination for tourists, especially during hurricane season. To avoid pickpocketing and robbery, tourists should plan their trip around hurricane season and avoid drug trade and gang activity. To avoid these crimes, keep valuables out of reach, keep important documents safe, avoid expensive jewellery, and visit beaches during the day. Hurricanes hit the island annually from June to November, with September being the busiest month.

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