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Travel Guidelines

Puerto Rico is enforcing local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), alongside U.S. Travel Association (USTA) guidelines , such as social distancing, mandatory face coverings in public areas, and a variety of mandates for businesses – including, but not limited to, reduced capacities and high standards of cleanliness in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines.

Travelers entering the Island are required to fill out a Travel Declaration Form through the Puerto Rico Health Department’s  online portal , get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the Island, and show proof of a negative result or they must quarantine. An Island-wide curfew is in effect from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and excluded from the CDC requirement to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland United States. Quarantine mandates, recommendations, and entry requirements may vary by state.

Public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distancing guidelines. Public alcohol consumption is prohibited. Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations are open, with supermarket delivery services available through midnight. Restaurants are operating at 30% capacity, while casinos, museums, and pools at hotels are operating at 50% capacity. Bars remain closed.

A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States influences Island-wide orders that prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors. For travel recommendations provided by the CDC, please see here .

Island Arrival

To further safeguard residents and visitors, all arriving passengers must comply with the following measures before arriving in Puerto Rico:

  • Complete an online Travel Declaration Form from the Puerto Rico Health Department, which can be accessed at www.travelsafe.pr.gov or www.viajaseguro.pr.gov . Kiosks at the airport are also available for travelers to fill out the form upon arrival, as it is a requirement to exit the airport.
  • Demonstrate a negative molecular COVID-19 test result (which consists of a nasal or throat swab), taken no more than 72 hours prior . Testing sites on the mainland U.S. can be found here . It is highly recommended to get tested prior to arriving on the Island given limited resources.
  • Obtain Airport Exit Confirmation number and QR Code , which travelers will automatically receive when uploading their molecular test results to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal.

Airport Processes:

  • The Puerto Rico National Guard is assisting with enhanced health screenings of all arriving passengers at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, where all passenger flights are currently being diverted. Face masks are mandatory.
  • All arriving travelers will be pre-screened via thermographic cameras to monitor temperatures, and enhanced protocols will take place at baggage claim before exiting the airport.

Asymptomatic Traveler (person who doesn’t present COVID-19 related symptoms)

  • If an asymptomatic traveler (a person who doesn’t present COVID-19 symptoms) arrives on the Island with a complete Travel Declaration Form , a negative molecular COVID-19 test result , and an Airport Exit Confirmation number and QR Code , the traveler can proceed with their trip.
  • If the molecular test result is negative, the 14-day quarantine will be lifted.
  • If the molecular test result is positive, the traveler must isolate and seek medical attention. Travelers placed in isolation will be responsible for covering their own medical expenses/extended stay.
  • If the on-Island molecular test result is negative, the quarantine will be lifted.
  • If the on-Island molecular test result is positive, the traveler must isolate and seek medical attention. Travelers placed in isolation will be responsible for covering their own medical expenses/extended stay.
  • If the traveler chooses to not take a molecular COVID-19 test on the Island, they must quarantine for 14 days and cover their own extended stay.

Symptomatic traveler (person who is displaying COVID-19 related symptoms)

  • A list of testing sites in Puerto Rico will be available at the airport and can also be found here .
  • If a negative molecular test is not provided, the traveler will be required to quarantine for 14 days, or the length of their stay.
  • If the molecular test is negative, the quarantine will be lifted.
  • If the molecular test is positive, the traveler will continue to isolate and seek medical attention at the traveler’s expense.

Experiences

  • Public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Public alcohol consumption is prohibited.
  • Museums are operating at 50% capacity.
  • Hotel pool facilities are open at 50% capacity.
  • Common areas at hotels close at 12:00 AM, in accordance with the Island-wide curfew.
  • Marinas are open from 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM, following social distancing guidelines.
  • Some attractions and tours are open. Visitors should connect with their tour operators directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols.
  • Access to Old San Juan from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM will be limited to residents and tourists staying in the area.
  • Sports events, as well as sports and recreational activities, are permitted, following local guidelines.
  • Businesses across the Island close at 11:00 PM to comply with the Island-wide curfew.
  • Malls and other retail stores are operating at 50% capacity with curfew hours while restaurants will remain at 30%.
  • Supermarkets, pharmacies, and gas stations are open within curfew hours.
  • Hair salons, barbershops, and individual spas are open via appointment, with the exception of saunas.
  • Gyms and casinos are open at 50% capacity. Theaters remain at 30%
  • Bars and discos remain closed.
  • Taxis are accessible from 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM, except for airport service (available continually.)
  • The Puerto Rico Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) and Tren Urbano subway system are operating.
  • Ferries to Culebra are operating. Ferry service to Vieques remains available to residents only.

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? Should I / should travelers cancel their trips?

If you are sick, an older adult, or someone with chronic medical conditions, leading health authorities recommend delaying or avoiding travel. For information about the CDC’s classification for travel to Puerto Rico, please visit their website here .

Puerto Rico is enforcing local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), alongside U.S. Travel Association (USTA)  guidelines , such as social distancing, face coverings in public areas, and a variety of mandates for businesses – including but not limited to reduced capacities and high standards of cleanliness in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines. A new executive order with the latest measures being enforced on the Island was issued on February 4th, in place through March 14th.

An overview of measures at present:

  • An Island-wide curfew is in effect from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies.
  • Gyms and casinos are open at 50% capacity. Theaters remain at 30%. Bars and discos remain closed.
  • Museums are operating at 50% capacity, within curfew hours.
  • Malls and other retail stores are operating at 50% capacity, within curfew hours while restaurants will remain at 30%.

If my vacation is booked for the coming weeks, will I be able to enter Puerto Rico?

Yes, given the Island is a U.S. territory, our borders aren’t closed. However, travelers must comply with all necessary requirements, included in the latest travel advisory. Puerto Rico is enforcing local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), alongside U.S. Travel Association (USTA) guidelines , such as social distancing, face coverings in public areas, and a variety of mandates for businesses – including but not limited to reduced capacities and high standards of cleanliness in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines. A new executive order with the latest measures being enforced on the Island was issued on December 3rd. For further information about the CDC’s classification for travel to Puerto Rico, please visit their website here .

Given current restrictions, visitors should connect with their hotels and tour operators directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols.

Is Puerto Rico a hotspot for COVID-19?

According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Puerto Rico is categorized Level 4 due to the high level of COVID-19 cases on the Island. Travel may increase the chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. For more information from the CDC, see here .

What do I need to enter Puerto Rico?

All arriving passengers must comply with the following measures before arriving in Puerto Rico:

  • Before landing, complete an online Travel Declaration Form from the Puerto Rico Health Department, which can be accessed at www.travelsafe.pr.gov or www.viajaseguro.pr.gov . Kiosks at the airport are also available for travelers to fill out the form upon arrival, as it is a requirement to exit the airport.
  • Demonstrate a negative molecular COVID-19 test result (which consists of a nasal or throat swab), taken no more than 72 hours prior. Testing sites on the mainland U.S. can be found here . It is highly recommended to get tested prior to arriving on the Island given limited resources.

What are the airport processes if I do or don’t meet the requirements to enter the Island?

The Puerto Rico National Guard is assisting with enhanced health screenings of all arriving passengers at the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan. Face masks are mandatory at the airport and in public areas. All arriving travelers will be pre-screened via thermographic cameras to monitor temperatures, and enhanced protocols will take place at the baggage claim before exiting the airport.

What is the airport doing to ensure health & safety?

  • The use of face masks by everyone who transits and work at the airport
  • Only passengers are allowed to enter the terminals
  • All screens throughout the airport emphasize COVID-19 prevention guidelines
  • About 100 hand sanitizer stations have been installed
  • The addition of a third layer of disinfection with new fogger-type equipment that allows for more thorough sanitation, in less time
  • A double and high-efficiency air conditioning filter system in compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Touchless hand dryers have been installed in bathrooms
  • An increase in the frequency and intensity of bathroom cleanings, which are performed every 30 to 60 minutes, based on traffic
  • Installation of acrylic barriers at airline check-in counters
  • Increasing the frequency of cleaning boarding pass printing and registration kiosks, in addition to promoting online registration to minimize contact

What type of testing do I need to do prior to my visit to Puerto Rico?

Travelers must take a molecular COVID-19 test, which consists of a nasal or throat swab, taken no more than 72 hours prior to their trip. Testing sites on the mainland U.S. can be found here .

If I take the test a week before, would those results be accepted?

Travelers must present a negative molecular COVID-19 test, which consists of a nasal or throat swab, no more than 72 hours prior to their trip or they must quarantine. However, if an asymptomatic traveler (a person who doesn’t present any symptoms) arrives on the Island with a complete Travel Declaration Form, but without a negative molecular COVID-19 test result and is not awaiting results, a Testing Authorization Voucher will be provided for the traveler to get tested locally. A list of testing sites on-Island will be provided at the airport and can also be found here .

While awaiting results, the traveler will need to quarantine for 14 days at their lodging property, cover their COVID-19 testing fee, and possible extended stay. If the on-Island molecular test result is negative, the quarantine will be lifted.

Do children need to get tested for COVID-19?

Yes. Anyone above the age of 2 must get tested.

Is Puerto Rico accepting travelers from U.S. states with a high number of positive COVID-19 cases?

As a non-incorporated territory of the U.S., Puerto Rico abides by Federal Law and established restrictions on the entry of certain travelers. For more information, visit the CDC .

A continuous assessment of the situation in Puerto Rico and in the United States will influence Island-wide orders that prioritize the health and safety of residents and visitors.

Under the new CDC rule, do I have to get a molecular COVID-19 test to return to the United States from Puerto Rico?

Given Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, the destination is excluded from the CDC requirement and you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 test result to return to the mainland United States. The CDC still recommends getting tested 3 – 5 days after arrival and staying home for 7 days post-travel. Quarantine mandates, recommendations, and entry requirements may vary by state.

If I’m in Puerto Rico or going to Puerto Rico, are things open or operating normally?

To protect their health and safety, travelers should note measures are in place and are being strictly enforced, including social distancing and face mask requirements. Those who do not wear face masks in public are subject to a fine. An Island-wide curfew on the Island is in effect from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies.

  • Cruise operations: All ports are currently closed for cruise ship vessels.
  • Hotels and small inns: Most hotels and small inns remain open, with distancing measures and face coverings mandatory in public areas. Hotel pool facilities are open at 30% capacity, while spas and wellness centers remain open by appointment, within curfew hours. Restaurants inside hotels are open and welcoming guests at 30% capacity with reservations recommended but are otherwise limited to carry out or delivery services. Room service remains available for guests. Most common areas at hotels close at 11:00 PM, in accordance with the Island-wide curfew. However, high contact common public areas, such as children’s playgrounds, must remain closed for the duration of this executive order. Starting on January 8th, they will close at 11:00 PM.
  • Independent rental units that follow PRTC standards: Hosts are only permitting the entrance of registered guests only as no group gatherings are allowed. Rentals are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, including the proper sanitation of kitchenware, glassware, and utensils. They will be equipped with hand soap, hand sanitizer, and sanitizing wipes for guest convenience.
  • Restaurants + Supermarkets: Restaurants are operating at 30% capacity, with reservations recommended, and required to conspicuously post the number of patrons that constitutes 30%, making such posting visible to patrons inside and outside of the restaurant. Delivery for restaurants and supermarkets is available until midnight. Alcohol sales are permitted within the curfew hours, as are operations of restaurant dining rooms, including those in hotels.
  • Small Businesses + Shopping Centers: Malls and other retail stores are operating at 50% capacity. Clothing stores do not permit try-ons in the store.
  • Salons + Spas: Hair salons, barbershops, and individual spas are open, via appointment, with the exception of saunas. Guests are not permitted to congregate in waiting areas. Wellness centers and spa services can operate within curfew hours.
  • Casinos: All casinos are operating at 50% capacity, within curfew hours.
  • Beaches + Nature Reserves: Public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Public alcohol consumption is prohibited.
  • Golf Courses: All golf courses are open, within curfew hours.
  • Museums + Theaters: Museums are operating at 50% capacity while theaters remain at 30%.
  • Attractions and Tours: Some attractions and tours are open. Visitors should connect with their tour operators directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols. Access to Old San Juan from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM will be limited to residents and tourists staying in the area.
  • Transportation: Taxis are accessible from 5:00 AM – 12:00 AM, except for airport service. The Puerto Rico Metropolitan Bus Authority (AMA) and Tren Urbano subway system are operating as well as ferries to Culebra. Ferry service to Vieques remains available to residents only.

How can travelers protect themselves?

We urge those visiting to adhere to the measures put in place by the government of Puerto Rico, which includes abiding by the curfew, social distancing, and face coverings, or be subject to a fine.

Additionally, travelers should adhere to healthy travel practices to help protect themselves and prevent the spread of disease. These are the same personal best practices that are standard for a typical flu season and include avoiding close contact with people who show signs of illness, avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands, and washing your hands often with soap or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage .

I recently got vaccinated. Am I still required to get a molecular COVID-19 test prior to my trip to Puerto Rico?

Yes. All travelers arriving to the Island are required to get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the Island and show proof of negative results.

Do I have to wear a mask after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine?

Yes. The CDC recommends that during the pandemic, people wear a mask that covers their nose and mouth when in contact with others outside of their household. Additionally, Puerto Rico is enforcing mandatory face coverings in public areas. For more, we recommend visiting the CDC website here .

What should travelers do if they begin experiencing COVID-19 symptoms? What immediate steps should they take?

Travelers experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should stay in their hotel rooms and contact their hotel front desk to get support. If travelers are not staying at a hotel, contact the nearest hospital directly. It’s important that travelers and hotel staff call hospitals first before visiting, so that appropriate transportation, screening, and care can be arranged, to protect those feeling ill and others.

Puerto Rico hospitals adhere to the same federally mandated health safety guidelines as those on the mainland. Common mainland franchises like Walgreens and CVS pharmacies are available Island-wide and are enforcing high standards of health safety throughout the Island.

What actions is the Island taking to prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Puerto Rico was the first U.S. destination to use thermographic cameras in their airport and implement a curfew, effective for everyone including tourists. A curfew on the Island is in effect from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies. Strict social distancing measures are in place Island-wide, with face coverings mandatory in public.

The Puerto Rico National Guard is assisting with enhanced health screenings of all arriving passengers at the Island’s airports, where face masks are mandatory and thermographic cameras remain operating to monitor temperatures. All flights, to-date, have been diverted to the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan (SJU).

More on what’s in place, in Puerto Rico:

The tourism industry in Puerto Rico has also taken specific steps to ensure that partners on the Island and their teams have the latest information on COVID-19, including prevention measures on the Island, personal prevention tips to use themselves and to share with travelers, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and guidance for what to do if they or their guests begin experiencing symptoms.

What health & safety protocols does the Island have in place?

High standards of health and safety have been implemented throughout the Island, which includes local measures developed by the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), alongside U.S. Travel Association (USTA) guidelines , to safeguard the wellbeing of residents and visitors.

Transportation: Certified transportation carriers are properly disinfecting vehicles and have hand sanitizer available. Drivers wear gloves when handling doors and luggage. Face coverings are mandatory for drivers and passengers. Ridesharing options like Uber have released regulations that also mandate face coverings for drivers and passengers, with no front seat passengers permitted.

Dining: Options within the lodging section ensure floor plans maintain distancing protocols, with buffets, salad bars, and self-serve options eliminated, and reusable menus prohibited. Employees are required to use face coverings and if serving guests, gloves

Lodging: Thoroughly sanitized properties that follow PRTC standards may be certified with Island-specific health certification seals. Guests will receive a Health & Safety guide detailing the specialized measures implemented by each property individually. We recommend visitors connect with their hotels/hosts directly for additional information.

  • Hotels/Resorts: Temperature checks, screen symptoms, and disinfect luggage in reception areas are conducted upon entry while following high standards of cleanliness and housekeeping procedures in accordance with CDC and EPA guidelines. Hotel pool facilities and fitness centers are open at 50%, while spas remain open. Face coverings are required in public areas, with limited capacity encouraged in elevators. Furniture, chairs, tables, and surfaces will be sanitized continuously. Most common areas at hotels close at 12:00 AM, in accordance with the Island-wide curfew. However, high contact common public areas, such as children’s playgrounds, must remain closed for the duration of this executive order.
  • Short-Term Rentals: Hosts are responsible for thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting the property, following the health and safety protocol enforced by the Government and the PRTC, including the proper sanitation of kitchenware, glassware, and utensils. Only registered guests are permitted to stay at the property as group gatherings are prohibited. Guests are required to complete a Travel Declaration Form from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.

Attractions: Some attractions and tours are open. Visitors should connect with their tour operators directly for additional information about operation status and specific protocols. Public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Public alcohol consumption is prohibited. Gyms and casinos are open at 50% capacity. Theaters remain at 30%. Bars and discos remain closed. Museums, malls, and other retail stores are operating at 50% capacity.

Are Island hospitals equipped to address coronavirus?

All hospitals on the Island have established protocols for admitting, treating, and collecting samples from patients who are experiencing symptoms, and hospital staff will work with the Department of Health if testing is needed. Funds have been made available on the Island to help hospitals prepare facilities, purchase materials, and train nurses and paramedic staff.

Puerto Rico also has epidemiologists throughout the Island, who specialize in disease control and prevention, to advise on transportation, testing, and care for individuals who think they may have COVID-19.

Where will people be housed if they need to be quarantined?

The 14-day quarantine is mandated until proof of a negative molecular test result is uploaded to the Puerto Rico Health Department’s online portal . Travelers must quarantine at their hotel or lodging option. We recommend visitors connect with their hotels/hosts directly for additional information.

What will hotels, restaurants, and tour operators do if a staff member tests positive?

The CDC has outlined  specific guidance for businesses and employers , with information on what to do if employees are sick, cleaning advice, and contingency planning.

Along with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), we have also provided guidance and information to all tourism partners. The industry has specific measures in place to ensure hotel management, businesses, and other partners within the industry have the latest information on COVID-19, including prevention measures on the Island, personal prevention tips for their teams and travelers, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and guidance for what to do if their staff or guests begin experiencing symptoms.

It is critical to seek medical advice from a regional epidemiologist if you are concerned your  guests or staff may have COVID-19 . Symptoms include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, sore throat, fatigue, and shortness of breath. The Puerto Rico Health Department has specific protocols in place with state epidemiologists to screen and test patients. More information on specific steps can be found in the latest industry guidance from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company .

What will hotels, short-term rentals, restaurants, and tour operators do if a tourist who has recently visited them tests positive?

Along with the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), we have provided guidance and information to all tourism partners. The industry has specific measures in place to ensure hotel management, businesses, and other partners have the latest information on COVID-19, including prevention measures on the Island, personal prevention tips for their teams and travelers, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and guidance for what to do if their staff or guests begin experiencing symptoms. More information on specific steps can be found in the latest industry guidance from the Puerto Rico Tourism Company . This guidance is consistent with what the CDC has outlined for businesses and employers .

Given the curfew issued by the Governor of Puerto Rico, do tourists have to stay in their rooms?

A curfew on the Island is in effect from 12:00 AM – 5:00 AM, except for emergencies. Starting February 8th, it will be in effect from 12:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Can tourists staying at hotels use the pool and/or go to the beach?

Public beaches and natural reserves are open for recreational use, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Public alcohol consumption will be prohibited. Hotel pool facilities are open at 50% capacity. Please consult with your specific property for other policies in place.

Can I go to Vieques & Culebra?

Ferry service to Culebra is currently available, and service to Vieques remains available to residents only.

Can I hang out in the lobby of my hotel when I’m in Puerto Rico?

If in a public area of a hotel or resort, social distancing and face coverings are mandatory, or individuals will be subject to a fine. Please consult with your specific property for other policies in place.

Are the beaches OK to go to if I keep my distance from people?

Public beaches and natural reserves are open, following social distancing guidelines and with the use of masks when not in the water. Public alcohol consumption will be prohibited.

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Entry Requirements and Customs in Puerto Rico

Entering Puerto Rico During the Covid-19 Pandemic

In response to the global coronavirus pandemic, Puerto Rico has established the following rules for entering the island:

Each visitor must complete the Travel Declaration Form via the government's online portal .

Fully vaccinated travelers entering via domestic flights (from the U.S. mainland) will need to upload copies of their vaccination cards . Those travelers are not required to submit Covid-19 test results.  

Each unvaccinated or international visitor  must submit negative results from a PCR or antigen test  taken no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the island. Those who arrive without having uploaded results will receive a $300 fine. 

Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, American citizens who visit the island are exempt from the CDC requirement to provide negative Covid-19 test results before returning to the mainland .  

For a complete rundown of Puerto Rico's entry requirements and safety restrictions while on the island, visit the official tourism site,  DiscoverPuertoRico.com .  

And for a helpful overview of pandemic travel rules in Puerto Rico and other Caribbean destinations, visit Frommer's frequently updated resources page . 

U.S. citizens coming from mainland destinations do not need passports to enter Puerto Rico. However, it is necessary to produce a government-issued photo ID to board a plane.

Visitors from other countries, including Canada, need a valid passport to land in Puerto Rico. For those from countries requiring a visa to enter the U.S., the same visa is necessary to enter Puerto Rico.

It is advised to always have at least one or two consecutive blank pages in your passport to allow space for visas and stamps that need to appear together. It is also important to note when your passport expires. Many countries require your passport to have at least 6 months left before its expiration in order to allow you into the destination.

Passport Office Links for Select English-Speaking Countries

  • Australian Passport Office (tel. 131-232 )
  • Canada Travel and Tourism Services
  • Ireland Passports  
  • New Zealand   Online Passport Service  (tel. 0800/225-050 )
  • United Kingdom Passports   (tel. 0300/222-0000 )
  • United States Passports

The U.S. Department of State has a Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allowing citizens of participating countries to enter the United States without a visa for stays of up to 90 days. To find a list of participating countries and other info about the program, visit the website of the U.S. State Department .  

Citizens of all other countries must have 1) a valid passport that expires at least 6 months later than the scheduled end of the visit to the U.S. and 2) a tourist visa.

For information about U.S. visas, go to travel.state.gov .

U.S. citizens do not need to clear Puerto Rican Customs upon arrival by plane or ship from the U.S. mainland.

International travelers should consult the official website of U.S. Customs and Border Protection for information on what can be brought into Puerto Rico.  

Before departing the island, U.S.-bound travelers must have their luggage inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture due to laws that prohibit bringing fruits and plants to the U.S. mainland. Otherwise, you can bring back as many purchased goods as you want without paying duty.

For information on what non-U.S. citizens can bring home from Puerto Rico, be sure to check with your home country. Some helpful links for several English-speaking nations:

• Australia :  abf.gov.au  (click "Entering and leaving Australia")

• Canada :   cbsa-asfc.gc.ca

• New Zealand : customs.govt.nz

• United Kingdom :   gov.uk

Medical Requirements

If you have a medical condition that requires syringe-administered medications, carry a valid signed prescription from your physician; syringes in carry-on baggage will be inspected. Insulin in any form should have the proper pharmaceutical documentation. If you have a disease that requires treatment with narcotics, you should also carry documented proof with you—smuggling narcotics aboard a plane carries severe penalties in the U.S.

Note : This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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Puerto Rico Travel Restrictions

Traveler's COVID-19 vaccination status

Traveling from the United States to Puerto Rico

Open for vaccinated visitors

COVID-19 testing

Not required

Not required for vaccinated visitors

Restaurants

Recommended in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

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Can I travel to Puerto Rico from the United States?

Most visitors from the United States, regardless of vaccination status, can enter Puerto Rico.

Can I travel to Puerto Rico if I am vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Puerto Rico without restrictions.

Can I travel to Puerto Rico without being vaccinated?

Unvaccinated visitors from the United States can enter Puerto Rico without restrictions.

Do I need a COVID test to enter Puerto Rico?

Visitors from the United States are not required to present a negative COVID-19 PCR test or antigen result upon entering Puerto Rico.

Can I travel to Puerto Rico without quarantine?

Travelers from the United States are not required to quarantine.

Do I need to wear a mask in Puerto Rico?

Mask usage in Puerto Rico is recommended in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation.

Are the restaurants and bars open in Puerto Rico?

Restaurants in Puerto Rico are open. Bars in Puerto Rico are .

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Puerto Rico Lifts All COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Travelers — What to Know

Starting March 10, travelers heading to Puerto Rico on a domestic flight won't be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

travel puerto rico requirements

Puerto Rico will eliminate all pandemic-related border protocols for domestic travelers this week, opening the door to much easier travel between the island territory and mainland United States.

Starting March 10, travelers heading to Puerto Rico on a domestic flight won't be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test, nor will they be required to complete a travel declaration form before their trip, according to Discover Puerto Rico , the island's destination marketing organization.

"Traveling to Puerto Rico is becoming easier as the Island continues to lead vaccination efforts and contagion rates continue to decrease,'' Brad Dean, the CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, said in a statement . "Today's announcement lifting entry requirements for domestic travelers and reducing restrictions on Island, will bring a new travel experience to those visiting. As the pandemic evolves, so will our efforts surrounding the health and safety of visitors and residents."

In addition to new entry protocols, the island will eliminate the requirement that people show proof of vaccination or a negative test to enter businesses like hotels and restaurants, but individual venues will be allowed to implement their own rules.

The island, which boasts one of the highest vaccination rates in the country at 81.7% , will also lift its mask mandate, instead simply recommending masks be worn.

The new travel rules are an expansion of the island's decision to ease some restrictions earlier this year when officials eliminated a pre-arrival testing requirement for vaccinated travelers and allowed unvaccinated travelers to skip quarantine if they arrived with proof of a negative test taken within the past two days.

While the rules are changing for domestic visitors, international travelers who fly to a U.S. territory must still show proof of a negative test taken within one day of their departure . American travelers heading back to a U.S. state after visiting Puerto Rico are exempt from the testing requirement.

Puerto Rico isn't alone in dropping COVID-19-related travel restrictions. In the U.S., Hawaii plans to end its Safe Travels program for domestic visitors later this month, and several cities have lifted vaccine mandates on indoor spaces like bars and restaurants, including New York City and Los Angeles.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram .

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Puerto Rico Drops All COVID Restrictions for Travelers Arriving on Domestic Flights

As of march 10, u.s. travelers no longer need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test result to enter the u.s. territory. here’s what else you need to know to visit puerto rico safely and respectfully..

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Puerto Rico Drops All COVID Restrictions for Travelers Arriving on Domestic Flights

Travel to Puerto Rico just got a lot simpler.

Photo by Shutterstock

Starting March 10, 2022, travelers no longer need to present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result to travel to Puerto Rico if they are arriving on a domestic flight from the U.S. mainland. Travelers arriving on international flights must follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s requirement to show proof of vaccination (one or two doses, finished at least 14 days prior, booster not required) and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

Also as of March 10, there are no longer capacity limits or a requirement to show proof of vaccination status or a negative COVID-19 test for entrance at any restaurant, bar, theater, event venue, and beyond. Masks are no longer mandatory on the island; however, they are recommended for situations where “ vaccination status cannot be guaranteed .” Still, individual establishments may establish their own mask requirements and safety guidelines, such as proof of vaccination.

Here’s what else you need to know about traveling safely and responsibly in Puerto Rico right now.

Is Puerto Rico open for travel?

If you’re an American traveler coming from the mainland United States, yes.

If you’re traveling internationally, it’s open, but there are rules. Per Discover Puerto Rico, the official tourism organization of the island, all travelers above age two arriving on international flights must present a negative PCR or antigen COVID-19 test taken a day before departure and have proof of vaccination.

Unvaccinated travelers arriving on international flights will only be allowed in if they are U.S. citizens.

What travel restrictions are in place to go to Puerto Rico?

As of March 10, travelers arriving on domestic flights from the mainland United States are no longer required to present a vaccination card or negative COVID-19 test results.

If a traveler tests positive while in Puerto Rico, they will be required to quarantine and cover their own medical and extended stay expenses until the Health Department releases them. Those who want to be released from quarantine will have to undergo a test and share the negative results with the government. Those who break quarantine orders will be fined up to $5,000 for the first offense and up to $10,000 for any additional offenses.

Are COVID-19 tests required to return to the mainland United States from Puerto Rico?

No. As a U.S. territory, Puerto Rico is excluded from the new CDC order that requires all international passengers flying into the United States—including returning U.S. citizens—to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to boarding.

However, the CDC still recommends that unvaccinated people get tested one to three days before traveling back from Puerto Rico. Upon returning home, the CDC also recommends self-quarantining for five days and getting tested three to five days after travel. The CDC asks that vaccinated travelers self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and isolate and get tested if any develop after their trip.

What airlines have flights to Puerto Rico right now?

Because Puerto Rico never closed its borders, major U.S. airlines continued to fly to and from the island. However, in order to better track people arriving in Puerto Rico, between March 2020 and April 2021, flights were only allowed in and out of San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport.

Rafael Hernández Airport in Aguadilla (BQN) and the Mercedita International Airport in Ponce (PSE) reopened to passenger travel on April 1, 2021 . As of March 10, 2022, airlines flying to Puerto Rico’s airports include American, Delta, Frontier, Spirit, Southwest, and United, among others.

How much is actually open in Puerto Rico?

While there used to be an island-wide curfew, capacity limits for businesses, and a mask mandate for both indoors and outdoors, as of March 10, there are no limitations. In other words, everything is open.

Where to stay in Puerto Rico

Many hotels in Puerto Rico stayed open throughout the pandemic for displaced travelers and frontline workers and reopened to local leisure travelers starting in June 2020. Because some businesses are requiring proof of vaccination or negative test results upon arrival, check with your hotel to learn what their protocols are before booking.

The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico reopened for nonessential stays on June 2, 2020. In addition to implementing social-distancing measures like touchless check-in and check-out services per Hyatt’s Global Care and Cleanliness Commitment , Hyatt also installed UV light purifying air conditioners in all 579 rooms on the property.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve reopened on July 1, 2020. The mostly open-air property is set right on the northern coast of Puerto Rico, a 35-minute drive from San Juan’s Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Many of the hotel’s 115 guest rooms come with direct beach access and private plunge pools, making it easier to social distance and limit indoor interactions with other guests. As a Marriott property, Dorado Beach is following health and safety protocols in accordance with Marriott’s Global Cleanliness Council.

The Associated Press contributed to this article. This article originally appeared online in June 2020; it was updated on May 24, 2021, on May 25, 2021, and again on March 10, 2022, to include current information.

>> Next: The AFAR Guide to Puerto Rico

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A beginner's guide to visiting Puerto Rico: Everything you need to eat, see and do

Victoria M. Walker

Puerto Rico is beloved by travelers around the world, and for good reason.

From bioluminescent bays, pristine Caribbean beaches and lush forests to historic streetscapes, a vibrant local food scene and fascinating cultural attractions, each region of Puerto Rico offers visitors a distinct experience.

And there's simply never a bad time to visit. Better yet, you can often find cheap nonstop flights to both San Juan's Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) and Aguadilla's Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN) on the stunning northwest coast. If you're traveling from the U.S., you don't even need a passport or have to change your money.

It's a perfect tropical weekend getaway from the Eastern Seaboard; you can board an early morning flight and enjoy lunch and a pina colada with your toes in the sand.

In short: Paradise awaits.

travel puerto rico requirements

Where to eat and drink in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a wonderful destination for foodies. Along the cobblestone streets of Old San Juan, you'll find gourmet cuisine served in elegant, historic townhomes rubbing shoulders with atmospheric hole-in-the-walls that serve traditional fare.

Following Hurricane Maria, restaurants became ever keener to support local agriculture and celebrate food that is grown entirely on the island. The result is farm-fresh, hyper-seasonal cuisine infused with Creole, Taino and Spanish influences.

The much-loved national dish is mofongo — deep-fried mashed plantains served with a side of seafood or meat and chicken broth soup. Among the best places to try it are Santaella in San Juan and Mi Casita in Pinones.

travel puerto rico requirements

Lechon — a whole pig roasted over a fire for at least four hours — is another hearty mainstay of traditional Puerto Rican cuisine. Around an hour's drive south of San Juan, dozens of lechoneras dot the famed Ruta de Lechon, or "Pork Highway," where trays of succulent, tender pork are served at communal tables, usually accompanied by copious cold beer and live music.

If you want to graze on authentic local delicacies beachside, head for Luquillo (near El Yunque National Forest), where more than 60 kiosks ranging from rustic beach bars to full-service restaurants serve authentic Creole cooking as well as Latin American signature cuisine.

A colorful pit spot while exploring San Juan's trendy Santurce district, Alcapurria Quema is a no-frills Santurce locale that's one of the best places to try Puerto Rico's ubiquitous local snack, alcapurrias: deep-fried fritters made from plantains (or grated yucca) stuffed with flavorful beef, pork or fish.

Fine dining in Puerto Rico

If you want to splurge, San Juan has plenty of upscale dining venues.

Located inside the elegant Condado Vanderbilt Hotel, 1919 is widely hailed as the best fine dining restaurant in Puerto Rico. Helmed by Juan José Cuevas, who worked at the Michelin-starred Blue Hill in New York, menu highlights include scallops with organic mushrooms, kale and sunchoke, as well as robalo (snook) with pistachio, local white beans and dill. For an unforgettable dining experience, opt for the chef's menu ($199) accompanied by sommelier-selected wine pairings. Make a reservation, dress the part and enjoy every moment. It's one of the island's most expensive restaurants, but worth it.

Vianda 's stylish midcentury modern-style bar and sleek, moody dining room draw well-dressed locals with its innovative mixology and farm-to-table cuisine. Vianda means "root vegetable," and the small, seasonal menu riffs on Puerto Rico's rich culinary heritage while showcasing the island's incredible bounty of tropical fruits, vegetables and herbs. Start the evening with a Corazon de Melon ($15) cocktail, made with tequila, watermelon, cucumber, mint and rosemary, followed by a signature entree such as the Mar y Tierra, a rich medley of cod loin, crispy pork belly, mussels, sofrito butter and white beans ($44).

Most epicureans will have heard of Marmalade , the internationally renowned restaurant credited with putting Puerto Rico on the foodie map. It remains one of the best gourmet dining experiences on the island. Iowa native chef Peter Schintler deftly blends indigenous and international ingredients to produce a truly memorable five-course prix fixe menu ($135 per person). It changes frequently, but menu classics include local organic rabbit with black olive garganelli and grilled ahi tuna with peanut-miso broth.

Chef José Santaella 's namesake restaurant is a lively, fun place to dine on nouvelle Puerto Rican cuisine with family and friends. The edgy industrial decor (it used to be a hardware store) contrasts with the menu's vibrant "tropical creole" gastronomy. Arrive early for cocktail hour and try a Lady Bullet (Woodford Reserve bourbon, fig marmalade, lavender syrup, orange bitters and lime juice; $16) and stay for the duration, grazing on delectable small plates, including wagyu sliders ($26), grilled Spanish octopus ($32) and escargot ($18).

What to see and do in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico has a ton of sightseeing you'll want to add to your itinerary, too.

El Yunque National Forest is just 45 minutes from San Juan and is the only tropical rainforest on U.S. soil. It's famous for its incredible hiking, an abundance of waterfalls and endemic wildlife.

travel puerto rico requirements

There are just five bioluminescent bays in the world, and Puerto Rico is home to three: Bahia Mosquito, Laguna Grande and La Parguera. To access Puerto Rico's bio bays via kayak or paddleboard, you'll need to paddle through dark mangrove channels — signing up with a tour operator is definitely the way to go. Most companies operate two tours each night, at sunset and 9 p.m.

The protected wildlife reserve of Bahia Mosquito is located on Vieques, an island municipality a short flight from San Juan. Famed for its picture-perfect crescents of sand, boutique hotels and crystalline waters, Vieques is the quintessential Caribbean idyll. Boasting the highest concentration of phosphorescent dinoflagellates (plankton that make the water sparkle with just the touch of a hand), Mosquito Bay is the brightest of the world's five bio bays.

For travelers with limited time, Laguna Grande is the most accessible bio bay in Puerto Rico, less than an hour's drive from San Juan on the northeast coast. What sets Laguna Grande apart is that the bay is actually a lagoon nestled within an area of spectacular natural beauty.

Puerto Rico is replete with gorgeous, sandy beaches. Near Luquillo, La Pared is an often deserted stretch of almost golden sand. The beach town of Naguabo, in the southeast corner of the island, is also incredibly quiet, and palm trees frame the soft, sandy beach and turquoise water.

travel puerto rico requirements

Ponce is Puerto Rico's second-largest city. Located on the island's southern coast, it's chock-full of history. Be sure to check out Plaza Las Delicias, which has a cathedral as well as an old firehouse (Parque de Bombas) that's now a museum.

Museo de la Musica Puertoriquena has a rich history dating back to the 19th century. Here, you'll find traces of Taino, Spanish and African influences. You'll also learn about Puerto Rico's musical history, which you can now hear throughout other parts of the Caribbean, the mainland and around the world.

Where to stay in Puerto Rico

Hyatt regency grand reserve puerto rico.

Fresh from a multimillion-dollar face-lift, this 579-key beach resort reopened in 2019 as the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve.

Rooms (starting at 520 square feet), suites and villas are contemporary and inviting, with simple wooden furnishings, marble floors, a white-on-white color palette and furnished terraces and patios. Bathrooms feature rainfall showers with separate tubs and Pharmacopia toiletries.

Beyond the hotel's natural assets — a beautiful white-sand beach and 72 acres of flamboyant tropical vegetation — amenities include a lagoon-style pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a luxurious spa, two Tom Kite-designed 18-hole championship golf courses and several upscale restaurants serving everything from Pacific Rim cuisine and sushi at Nori Asian to prime cuts of beef and seafood at Prime 787, a contemporary American steakhouse.

The hotel can arrange a number of activities nearby, including horseback riding, an all-terrain-vehicle excursion at nearby Carabali Rainforest Adventure Park and hikes through El Yunque National Forest.

Rates at the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve start at $300 or 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort

The rambling 255-key Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort is the only Hilton hotel outside of the San Juan area.

While rooms are rather spartan and generic, they have an inviting beachy vibe with a green-and-white color palette, light wood furnishings, tiled floors and balconies with ocean views (in most rooms). Comfort-enhancing modern touches include coffee makers, minifridges and flat-screen televisions.

At this amenity-rich, family-friendly resort, there's plenty to keep adults and children entertained, including two expansive pools, a 27-hole championship golf course, a miniature golf course, tennis courts, a playground and a splash park. It's also home to one of the largest casinos in Puerto Rico and four restaurants: El Bohio, La Cava, La Terraza and Sancho's Sushi Bar.

While it isn't the splashiest Hilton property in Puerto Rico, it's a great base for exploring Puerto Rico's southwest coast.

Rates at the Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort start at $230 or 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort

travel puerto rico requirements

Located between El Yunque National Forest and Espiritu Santo River State Preserve, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort places guests within striking distance of two of Puerto Rico's top attractions.

Designed by Puerto Rican fashion designer Nono Maldonado, the spacious (and completely refurbished) accommodations channel a breezy Caribbean aesthetic with a serene white-and-cream color palette, abstract artworks and sleek, modern furnishings.

However, it's the luxe details and exquisite service that really set this property apart. There's the cozy pillow-top bed dressed with a cashmere throw, the marble spa-style bathroom with a centerpiece deep soaking tub that's stocked with luxe Frette bathrobes, and, of course, the St. Regis' private butler service.

A surfeit of amenities include a beautifully landscaped swimming pool, a lavish spa, a Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed golf course and three acclaimed restaurants.

Rates at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort start at $695 or 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

Puerto Rico's most exclusive resort, Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve , combines unbridled luxury and impeccable attention to detail with a sustainable ethos. Built by the Rockefeller family in the 1950s, it remains a magnet for tycoons, celebrities and, these days, cryptocurrency investors.

Nestled on a glorious 2-mile beach amid a riot of mature tropical vegetation, beautifully appointed rooms and suites are equipped with every creature comfort imaginable and assigned their own private butler. Standard rooms are huge (they start at 1,000 square feet), while deluxe suites also feature private plunge pools.

The resort's amenities are, as you'd expect, exceptional. There are two gorgeous pools fronted by swaying palms, three Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf courses and one of Puerto Rico's finest restaurants: Coa, a culinary homage to the region's Taino roots. A roster of family-friendly activities includes the signature Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment program.

Rates at Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve start at $1,995 or 170,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Related: Puerto Rican renaissance: A review of Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve

The details

Getting there.

If you're interested in visiting Puerto Rico, flights are plentiful. There are more than 120 nonstop flights between the island and major mainland U.S. cities, according to Discover Puerto Rico . That means you can fly nonstop between the island and cities like New York, Miami, Fort Lauderdale and Chicago. Most of the nonstop routes are to San Juan.

While the cheapest available flights to Puerto Rico typically range from $300 to $600, you can pick up deals with both legacy carriers as well as low-cost carriers such as Spirit Airlines and Frontier Airlines .

Of course, a cheap deal isn't the only way to get to the island.

You can easily use points and miles to get you from major cities to Puerto Rico. American Airlines , for example, offers off-peak MileSAAver awards from 17,000 miles one-way in economy or 59,000 in business class.

With United Airlines , expect to spend between 20,000 and 65,000 miles for a one-way ticket from cities like Newark and Chicago.

But perhaps the best way to use points to visit Puerto Rico is through JetBlue .

travel puerto rico requirements

On JetBlue, you have several destinations beyond San Juan to consider. For instance, you could fly round-trip from New York to Aguadilla for just $274 or 23,000 TrueBlue points in August this year, or to Ponce for $386 or 31,000 TrueBlue points round-trip.

You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to JetBlue at a 1:1 ratio, but this might not be the best use of your Chase points .

JetBlue is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards as well, but TPG doesn't recommend transferring Amex points to JetBlue because of the limited value you'll get. Additionally, points transfer at a weak 250:200 transfer ratio.

You can also transfer Citi ThankYou Rewards to JetBlue, though the transfer ratio isn't great — either 1:0.8 or 1:0.5, depending on which Citi card you have.

Do you need a passport to go to Puerto Rico?

Nope! Puerto Rico is an unincorporated U.S. territory, so you don't need a passport or a visa to visit if you're a U.S. citizen. Just bring your state ID and you'll be good to go.

Getting around

Ride-hailing Uber is the only ride-hailing app that made its way to Puerto Rico and survived the pandemic. The mobile app is equally as effective as it is on the mainland and is very popular with locals for its competitive rates (compared to local taxis), efficiency and reliability.

Taxis Within San Juan, taxis are frequent, reliable and comfortable; look for white cabs labeled Taxi Turistico. Designated taxi stands are located at key tourist points in San Juan (including cruise ship piers, major hotels, Plaza de Armas and Plaza Colon). Taxis operate a fixed-rate system according to specified zones, but they can be pricey. Once you leave the metro area, it becomes increasingly expensive to travel between towns.

If you plan to stay in neighborhoods like Old San Juan, you probably won't need a car, Uber or taxi since the area is pretty walkable.

If you're a public transportation geek like me, make sure the Tren Urbano is on your radar. It's an 11-mile rapid transit system that serves San Juan, Guaynabo and Bayamon. The trip between Bayamon and San Juan is just 30 minutes, and the one-line train system has 16 stops; it passes through the University of Puerto Rico as well as the Santa Rosa shopping mall. It's very affordable, too: A regular fare is just $1.50 and if you're between the ages of 60 and 74, just 75 cents. Better yet, if you're 6 years of age or younger, or 75 or older, it's free.

Renting a car in Puerto Rico is pretty straightforward with all the major rental companies to consider, including Avis, Enterprise and Hertz, each of which is located at the airport.

The best times to visit Puerto Rico

The majority of hurricanes in Puerto Rico typically occur between August and October, while hurricane season runs from June 1 to Nov. 30, according to the U.S. National Weather Service . Notably, Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, 2017.

Many people I spoke with on the island said, "Summertime is all the time" in Puerto Rico, with temperatures hovering in the 80s daily. If you're trying to avoid the infamous daily Caribbean rains, you'll want to plan to visit between January and March, as precipitation is low .

travel puerto rico requirements

If you want to avoid the hordes of people traveling during spring break but still want to visit before hurricane season kicks in, the spring is the best time to score flight and hotel deals. As an added bonus, you'll have the beach all to yourself.

Bottom line

Puerto Rico has come a long way since Hurricane Maria in 2017 and Fiona in 2022. Let it be known that the island is open for travelers — and eager for the business. From beach resorts to landmarks, excellent food and great hospitality, there's something for everyone who makes the short flight down to visit.

Related reading:

  • The best hotels in Puerto Rico
  • 8 reasons to visit Puerto Rico in 2023
  • Best points hotels in the Caribbean
  • Start booking your summer trips now — here's why
  • The 26 best Marriott hotels in the world

Puerto Rico to drop COVID-related entry requirements for US travelers

travel puerto rico requirements

Puerto Rico this week is dropping   nearly all travel-related COVID-19 restrictions for domestic travelers from the U.S. as case counts on the island continue to fall.  

Starting Thursday, domestic visitors from the U.S. will no longer need to show proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test to enter. 

Masks will no longer be required in indoor or outdoor venues, with some exceptions, Governor Pedro Pierluisi  announced Monday . Certain areas, such as health facilities, will still require face coverings.  

Officials recommend that people continue to wear masks indoors when the vaccination status of others is unknown. Travelers will also still need to wear a mask on the plane ride to Puerto Rico because the U.S. federal mask mandate is in effect until at least March 18. 

MASK MANDATE ON PLANES: Yes, masks are still required on planes and at airports despite new CDC mask guidelines

Learn more: Best travel insurance

Puerto Rico is also lifting all capacity restrictions. Currently, certain indoor venues like restaurants, bars, theaters and stadiums must cap capacity at 75%.   The Health Department will continue to issue special protocols for events with more than 1,000 attendees.  

Additionally, businesses like restaurants and bars will no longer need to screen customers for proof of vaccination or a negative coronavirus test before allowing entry.

"Individual establishments reserve the right to implement their own requirements surrounding masks and COVID-19 protocols, and visitors are encouraged to contact businesses directly," reads a statement from the destination marketing organization Discover Puerto Rico. 

Travelers will no longer need to fill out a travel declaration form – which included information on their vaccination status or coronavirus test results – before exiting the airport in Puerto Rico.   Airports will continue to offer centers for voluntary coronavirus testing.

Most travelers entering from outside the U.S. will still need to show proof of vaccination to enter the U.S. territory. 

Reported COVID-19 cases in Puerto Rico have been declining since early January, and the island is now reporting a seven-day average of fewer than 250 cases a day – a fraction of the 10,000-plus reported at the beginning of the year, according to data from Johns Hopkins University . 

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz . 

Puerto Rico Travel Restrictions: What Travelers Need To Know

travel puerto rico requirements

Puerto Rico has used a multi-pronged approach to the pandemic by using tactics from masks to curfews. While most of the rules have been lifted, Puerto Ricans still take the virus seriously; more than 95% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. 

This guide lets travelers know what to expect when traveling to Puerto Rico, and what it’s like on the island once you arrive. It’s still possible to have an absolutely incredible adventure on the Island of Enchantment — you just need to prepare a little bit differently than you would have pre-pandemic.

And as for Hurricane Fiona, the island has largely recovered. The airport is open as normal and only a handful of outdoor destinations are still closed. 

For the best up-to-date info about Puerto Rico COVID travel restrictions, post-hurricane travel, and the island itself, talk to a local . Our locals in Puerto Rico can offer one-on-one advice about traveling to the island. Learn more .

Table of Contents

Is it safe to travel to puerto rico right now, puerto rico travel restrictions to know before your arrival, what to expect on a trip to puerto rico, why travel to puerto rico right now.

  • Work With A Local To Plan Your Trip To Puerto Rico  

As COVID travel restrictions go, Puerto Rico is fairly easy to visit. But is Puerto Rico safe ? 

Like any destination at the moment, travel to Puerto Rico comes with elevated risks — especially if you’re unvaccinated. But the island has had an aggressive response to the pandemic. 

One of the first jurisdictions to issue a mask mandate, Puerto Rico has also used curfews, closures, and capacity rules to keep cases at bay. Like most other places, it has had waves of the virus which have peaked at different points. 

So what does it take to travel to Puerto Rico right now ? What sort of COVID travel policies does the island have in place? What should travelers expect once they arrive on the island? Keep reading to find out.

Puerto Rico does not have a vaccine mandate for domestic arrivals or require Americans to present a negative COVID test. 

Travelers from abroad must present proof of COVID vaccination to visit Puerto Rico for tourism.

While Puerto Rico previously required weekly testing, proof of vaccination to visit restaurants, and had curfews for non-essential businesses, travel is now close to pre-pandemic normal. If you’ve heard about these requirements, they were likely true in 2021, but now you can travel much more freely. 

However, you’ll still want to pack your mask and vaccination card because individual businesses are allowed to implement their own mask, vaccine, and testing rules. 

The bottom line: expect to have fun but respect local rules and procedures, which may be more strict than what’s listed here. A local in Puerto Rico can help you find out if the places you’re going to in Puerto Rico have stricter rules than the island as a whole. 

As pandemic destinations go, Puerto Rico is hard to beat. Packed with hidden gems , gorgeous beaches , and fantastic hikes , travelers will find plenty of activities away from big crowds. Most activities are in the open air, and people in Puerto Rico also take the pandemic very seriously. 

Traveling to Puerto Rico is also an excellent way to help locals recover from the pandemic and Hurricane Fiona. Much of the island’s economy relies on tourism; the more you put your travel dollars in local hands, the more it helps. 

As for where to go on the island, San Juan is fantastic — Puerto Rico’s capital city offers plenty to do, including easy access to the island’s most fascinating landmarks . If you’re looking for nightlife, great restaurants, and a town that tingles with history, this is the place to go. 

But there are also tons of places in Puerto Rico to visit off the beaten path. Take the town of Ponce . Puerto Rico’s second-largest town, Ponce is less crowded than San Juan but offers a similar collection of history, great restaurants, and access to nature. 

Island locals tell us that one of the best things to do in Ponce is to hop on a ferry and visit one of the uninhabited islands nearby. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, there’s nothing better than somewhere like Caja de Muertos, an island with no people but plenty of birds and turtles just off the coast of Ponce. 

And that’s just one of the wonderful outdoor activities on the island . Locals say you can also go surfing along the coast of Rincon (where you might catch a glimpse of a humpback whale) or hike up to the breathtaking Rio Camuy Cave Park in Quebrada. 

Work With A Local To Plan Your Trip To Puerto Rico 

At the end of the day, no one knows a place like the people who live there. Local knowledge can always enrich a trip, but it’s especially crucial now that we are living with COVID . A local can give you the most recent updates and their honest views on island life today. 

Plus, they can recommend things to do to fit your travel style , whether that’s drinking rum in Ponce, hiking in the rainforest, or seeking out the best Puerto Rican food on the island. 

Ready to have a local plan your trip to Puerto Rico? Connect with a local today to learn more. 

Curious about other destinations? Check out our articles COVID-19 travel restrictions in Italy , Portugal , Spain , Costa Rica , France , and Cuba . Or better yet,   talk to a local   in the destination you want to visit. 

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COVID-19: travel health notice for all travellers

Puerto Rico travel advice

Latest updates: Editorial change

Last updated: January 29, 2024 10:31 ET

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Safety and security, entry and exit requirements, laws and culture, natural disasters and climate, puerto rico - take normal security precautions.

Take normal security precautions in Puerto Rico

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Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, are prevalent. Violent crime also occurs.

Ensure that your belongings, including your passports and other travel documents, are secure at all times.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur from time to time. Even peaceful demonstrations can turn violent at any time. They can also lead to disruptions to traffic and public transportation.

  • Avoid areas where demonstrations and large gatherings are taking place
  • Follow the instructions of local authorities
  • Monitor local media for information on ongoing demonstrations

Mass gatherings (large-scale events)

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to some forms of harassment and verbal abuse.

Advice for women travellers

Power and telecommunications outages

Puerto Rico experiences frequent disruptions to power and telecommunications services after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the power grid in 2017.

Water activities

Coastal waters can be dangerous. Riptides are common.

  • Consult residents and tour operators for information on possible hazards and safe swimming areas
  • Follow the instructions and warnings of local authorities

If you participate in water sports, such as diving:

  • choose a well-established and reputable company that has insurance
  • ensure that your travel insurance covers the recreational activities you choose

If in doubt concerning the safety of the facilities or equipment, don’t use them.

Water safety abroad

Adventure tourism

If you engage in adventure tourism:

  • never do so alone
  • always hire an experienced guide from a reputable company
  • buy travel insurance that includes helicopter rescue and medical evacuation
  • ensure that your physical condition is good enough to meet the challenges of your activity
  • ensure that you’re properly equipped
  • ensure that you’re well informed about weather and other conditions that may pose a hazard
  • inform a family member or friend of your itinerary obtain detailed information on each activity before setting out

Road safety

Road conditions and road safety vary greatly throughout the island.

Drivers may be aggressive, and few use their signals. There is heavy traffic in larger centres, particularly San Juan.

Roads in mountain areas can be narrow, winding, and poorly paved.

Public transportation

Bus and light rail services.

Bus and light rail (Tren Urbano) services are available in the metropolitan San Juan area.

Ferries travel to and from the islands of Culebra and Vieques, as well as the Dominican Republic.

Taxis are widely available. Fares are metered, except for major tourist destinations in San Juan, where they are fixed. Tourist taxis are white and have a “Taxi Turístico” label on the door.

We do not make assessments on the compliance of foreign domestic airlines with international safety standards.

Information about foreign domestic airlines

Every country or territory decides who can enter or exit through its borders. The Government of Canada can’t intervene on your behalf if you don’t meet your destination’s entry or exit requirements.

Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States. We have obtained the information on this page from the American authorities. It can, however, change at any time.

Confirm entry, exit and visa requirements prior to travelling:

  • Entry and exit requirements for the United States
  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
  • U.S. Embassy and Consulates

Entry requirements vary depending on the type of passport you use for travel.

Before you travel, check with your transportation company about passport requirements. Its rules on passport validity may be more stringent than the country’s entry rules.

Regular Canadian passport

Your passport must be valid for the duration of your stay.

Passport for official travel

Different entry rules may apply.

Official travel

Passport with “X” gender identifier

While the Government of Canada issues passports with an “X” gender identifier, it cannot guarantee your entry or transit through other countries. You might face entry restrictions in countries that do not recognize the “X” gender identifier. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Other travel documents

Different entry rules may apply when travelling with a temporary passport or an emergency travel document. Before you leave, check with the closest foreign representative for your destination.

Useful links

  • Foreign Representatives in Canada
  • Canadian passports

Other entry requirements

Customs officials may ask you to show them a return or onward ticket and proof of sufficient funds to cover the cost of your stay.

Children and travel

Learn more about travelling with children .

Yellow fever

Learn about potential entry requirements related to yellow fever (vaccines section).

Relevant Travel Health Notices

  • Global Measles Notice - 31 August, 2023
  • Zika virus: Advice for travellers - 31 August, 2023
  • COVID-19 and International Travel - 31 August, 2023

This section contains information on possible health risks and restrictions regularly found or ongoing in the destination. Follow this advice to lower your risk of becoming ill while travelling. Not all risks are listed below.

Consult a health care professional or visit a travel health clinic preferably 6 weeks before you travel to get personalized health advice and recommendations.

Routine vaccines

Be sure that your  routine vaccinations , as per your province or territory , are up-to-date before travelling, regardless of your destination.

Some of these vaccinations include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, varicella (chickenpox), influenza and others.

Pre-travel vaccines and medications

You may be at risk for preventable diseases while travelling in this destination. Talk to a travel health professional about which medications or vaccines may be right for you, based on your destination and itinerary. 

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a flavivirus from the bite of an infected mosquito.

Travellers get vaccinated either because it is required to enter a country or because it is recommended for their protection.

  • There is no risk of yellow fever in this country.

Country Entry Requirement*

  • Proof of vaccination is not required to enter this country.

Recommendation

  • Vaccination is not recommended.

* It is important to note that country entry requirements may not reflect your risk of yellow fever at your destination. It is recommended that you contact the nearest diplomatic or consular office of the destination(s) you will be visiting to verify any additional entry requirements.

About Yellow Fever

Yellow Fever Vaccination Centres in Canada

There is a risk of hepatitis A in this destination. It is a disease of the liver. People can get hepatitis A if they ingest contaminated food or water, eat foods prepared by an infectious person, or if they have close physical contact (such as oral-anal sex) with an infectious person, although casual contact among people does not spread the virus.

Practise  safe food and water precautions and wash your hands often. Vaccination is recommended for all travellers to areas where hepatitis A is present.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease. It can spread quickly from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of being infected with it when travelling internationally.

Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are fully protected against measles.

  Hepatitis B is a risk in every destination. It is a viral liver disease that is easily transmitted from one person to another through exposure to blood and body fluids containing the hepatitis B virus.  Travellers who may be exposed to blood or other bodily fluids (e.g., through sexual contact, medical treatment, sharing needles, tattooing, acupuncture or occupational exposure) are at higher risk of getting hepatitis B.

Hepatitis B vaccination is recommended for all travellers. Prevent hepatitis B infection by practicing safe sex, only using new and sterile drug equipment, and only getting tattoos and piercings in settings that follow public health regulations and standards.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious viral disease. It can spread from person to person by direct contact and through droplets in the air.

It is recommended that all eligible travellers complete a COVID-19 vaccine series along with any additional recommended doses in Canada before travelling. Evidence shows that vaccines are very effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization and death from COVID-19. While vaccination provides better protection against serious illness, you may still be at risk of infection from the virus that causes COVID-19. Anyone who has not completed a vaccine series is at increased risk of being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 and is at greater risk for severe disease when travelling internationally.

Before travelling, verify your destination’s COVID-19 vaccination entry/exit requirements. Regardless of where you are going, talk to a health care professional before travelling to make sure you are adequately protected against COVID-19.

 The best way to protect yourself from seasonal influenza (flu) is to get vaccinated every year. Get the flu shot at least 2 weeks before travelling.  

 The flu occurs worldwide. 

  •  In the Northern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs from November to   April.
  •  In the Southern Hemisphere, the flu season usually runs between April and   October.
  •  In the tropics, there is flu activity year round. 

The flu vaccine available in one hemisphere may only offer partial protection against the flu in the other hemisphere.

The flu virus spreads from person to person when they cough or sneeze or by touching objects and surfaces that have been contaminated with the virus. Clean your hands often and wear a mask if you have a fever or respiratory symptoms.

In this destination, rabies  may be present in some wildlife species, including bats. Rabies is a deadly disease that spreads to humans primarily through bites or scratches from an infected animal. 

If you are bitten or scratched by an animal while travelling, immediately wash the wound with soap and clean water and see a health care professional. 

Before travel, discuss rabies vaccination with a health care professional. It may be recommended for travellers who will be working directly with wildlife. 

Safe food and water precautions

Many illnesses can be caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated by bacteria, parasites, toxins, or viruses, or by swimming or bathing in contaminated water.

  • Learn more about food and water precautions to take to avoid getting sick by visiting our eat and drink safely abroad page. Remember: Boil it, cook it, peel it, or leave it!
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes, mouth or nose when swimming or participating in activities in freshwater (streams, canals, lakes), particularly after flooding or heavy rain. Water may look clean but could still be polluted or contaminated.
  • Avoid inhaling or swallowing water while bathing, showering, or swimming in pools or hot tubs. 

Typhoid   is a bacterial infection spread by contaminated food or water. Risk is higher among children, travellers going to rural areas, travellers visiting friends and relatives or those travelling for a long period of time.

Travellers visiting regions with a risk of typhoid, especially those exposed to places with poor sanitation, should speak to a health care professional about vaccination.  

Insect bite prevention

Many diseases are spread by the bites of infected insects such as mosquitoes, ticks, fleas or flies. When travelling to areas where infected insects may be present:

  • Use insect repellent (bug spray) on exposed skin
  • Cover up with light-coloured, loose clothes made of tightly woven materials such as nylon or polyester
  • Minimize exposure to insects
  • Use mosquito netting when sleeping outdoors or in buildings that are not fully enclosed

To learn more about how you can reduce your risk of infection and disease caused by bites, both at home and abroad, visit our insect bite prevention page.

Find out what types of insects are present where you’re travelling, when they’re most active, and the symptoms of the diseases they spread.

There is a risk of chikungunya in this country.  The risk may vary between regions of a country.  Chikungunya is a virus spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. Chikungunya can cause a viral disease that typically causes fever and pain in the joints. In some cases, the joint pain can be severe and last for months or years.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites at all times. There is no vaccine available for chikungunya.

  • In this country,   dengue  is a risk to travellers. It is a viral disease spread to humans by mosquito bites.
  • Dengue can cause flu-like symptoms. In some cases, it can lead to severe dengue, which can be fatal.
  • The level of risk of dengue changes seasonally, and varies from year to year. The level of risk also varies between regions in a country and can depend on the elevation in the region.
  • Mosquitoes carrying dengue typically bite during the daytime, particularly around sunrise and sunset.
  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites . There is no vaccine or medication that protects against dengue.

Zika virus is a risk in this country. 

Zika virus is primarily spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. It can also be sexually transmitted. Zika virus can cause serious birth defects.

During your trip:

  • Prevent mosquito bites at all times.
  • Use condoms correctly or avoid sexual contact, particularly if you are pregnant.

If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, you should discuss the potential risks of travelling to this destination with your health care provider. You may choose to avoid or postpone travel. 

For more information, see Zika virus: Pregnant or planning a pregnancy.

Animal precautions

Some infections, such as rabies and influenza, can be shared between humans and animals. Certain types of activities may increase your chance of contact with animals, such as travelling in rural or forested areas, camping, hiking, and visiting wet markets (places where live animals are slaughtered and sold) or caves.

Travellers are cautioned to avoid contact with animals, including dogs, livestock (pigs, cows), monkeys, snakes, rodents, birds, and bats, and to avoid eating undercooked wild game.

Closely supervise children, as they are more likely to come in contact with animals.

Person-to-person infections

Stay home if you’re sick and practise proper cough and sneeze etiquette , which includes coughing or sneezing into a tissue or the bend of your arm, not your hand. Reduce your risk of colds, the flu and other illnesses by:

  •   washing your hands often
  • avoiding or limiting the amount of time spent in closed spaces, crowded places, or at large-scale events (concerts, sporting events, rallies)
  • avoiding close physical contact with people who may be showing symptoms of illness 

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) , HIV , and mpox are spread through blood and bodily fluids; use condoms, practise safe sex, and limit your number of sexual partners. Check with your local public health authority pre-travel to determine your eligibility for mpox vaccine.  

Medical services and facilities

Good health care is available but conditions may vary throughout the island.

Ensure you have sufficient medication for your stay and extra in case of emergency. It can be difficult to get prescriptions refilled.

Medical evacuation can be very expensive and you may need it in case of serious illness or injury.

Make sure you get travel insurance that includes coverage for medical evacuation and hospital stays.

Travel health and safety

Keep in Mind...

The decision to travel is the sole responsibility of the traveller. The traveller is also responsible for his or her own personal safety.

Be prepared. Do not expect medical services to be the same as in Canada. Pack a   travel health kit , especially if you will be travelling away from major city centres.

You must abide by local laws.

Learn about what you should do and how we can help if you are arrested or detained abroad .

Penalties for possession, use or trafficking of illegal drugs are severe. Convicted offenders can expect jail sentences and heavy fines.

Drugs, alcohol and travel

Dual citizenship

Dual citizenship is legally recognized in the United States.

If you are a Canadian citizen, but also a citizen of the United States, our ability to offer you consular services may be limited while you're there. You may also be subject to different  entry/exit requirements .

  • General information for travellers with dual citizenship
  • Dual Nationality  - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs

International Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction is an international treaty. It can help parents with the return of children who have been removed to or retained in certain countries in violation of custody rights. The convention applies between Canada and the United States.

If your child was wrongfully taken to, or is being held in Puerto Rico, and if the applicable conditions are met, you may apply for the return of your child to the Puerto Rican court.

If you are in this situation:

  • act as quickly as you can
  • contact the Central Authority for your province or territory of residence for information on starting an application under The Hague Convention
  • consult a lawyer in Canada and in Puerto Rico to explore all the legal options for the return of your child
  • report the situation to the nearest Canadian government office abroad or to the Vulnerable Children’s Consular Unit at Global Affairs Canada by calling the Emergency Watch and Response Centre

If your child was removed from a country other than Canada, consult a lawyer to determine if The Hague Convention applies.

Be aware that Canadian consular officials cannot interfere in private legal matters or in another country’s judicial affairs.

  • List of Canadian Central Authorities for the Hague Convention
  • International Child Abduction: A Guidebook for Left-Behind Parents
  • Travelling with children
  • The Hague Convention - Hague Conference on Private International Law
  • Canadian embassies and consulates by destination
  • Emergency Watch and Response Centre

You can drive in Puerto Rico with a valid Canadian driver’s licence for up to 90 days. If you plan to stay longer, you must obtain a Puerto Rican licence.

The currency of Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar (USD). Credit cards are widely accepted.

Hurricane season

Hurricanes usually occur from mid-May to the end of November. During this period, even small tropical storms can quickly develop into major hurricanes.

These severe storms can put you at risk and hamper the provision of essential services.

If you decide to travel to a coastal area during the hurricane season:

  • know that you expose yourself to serious safety risks
  • be prepared to change your travel plans on short notice, including cutting short or cancelling your trip
  • stay informed of the latest regional weather forecasts
  • carry emergency contact information for your airline or tour operator
  • follow the advice and instructions of local authorities
  • Tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, typhoons and monsoons
  • Large-scale emergencies abroad
  • Active storm tracking and hurricane watches and warnings  - United States’ National Hurricane Center

Puerto Rico Emergency Management Bureau  - United States Homeland Security

Local services

Dial 911 for emergency assistance.

Consular assistance

Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands

For emergency consular assistance, call the Consulate General of Canada to the United States, in Miami, and follow the instructions. At any time, you may also contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa.

The decision to travel is your choice and you are responsible for your personal safety abroad. We take the safety and security of Canadians abroad very seriously and provide credible and timely information in our Travel Advice to enable you to make well-informed decisions regarding your travel abroad.

The content on this page is provided for information only. While we make every effort to give you correct information, it is provided on an "as is" basis without warranty of any kind, expressed or implied. The Government of Canada does not assume responsibility and will not be liable for any damages in connection to the information provided.

If you need consular assistance while abroad, we will make every effort to help you. However, there may be constraints that will limit the ability of the Government of Canada to provide services.

Learn more about consular services .

Risk Levels

  take normal security precautions.

Take similar precautions to those you would take in Canada.

  Exercise a high degree of caution

There are certain safety and security concerns or the situation could change quickly. Be very cautious at all times, monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities.

IMPORTANT: The two levels below are official Government of Canada Travel Advisories and are issued when the safety and security of Canadians travelling or living in the country or region may be at risk.

  Avoid non-essential travel

Your safety and security could be at risk. You should think about your need to travel to this country, territory or region based on family or business requirements, knowledge of or familiarity with the region, and other factors. If you are already there, think about whether you really need to be there. If you do not need to be there, you should think about leaving.

  Avoid all travel

You should not travel to this country, territory or region. Your personal safety and security are at great risk. If you are already there, you should think about leaving if it is safe to do so.

Do I need a visa for Puerto Rico?

Vanessa Ramos

Dec 17, 2023 • 4 min read

A woman walks on a beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico on a bright sunny day.

Don't let a visa mix-up end your Puerto Rico vacation before it begins © Maremagnum / Getty Images

With world-renowned beaches, mesmerizing bioluminescent bays and tropical rainforests, it’s no wonder Puerto Rico is growing in popularity among travelers.

It's also a low-maintenance choice for many regarding travel admin – Puerto Rico is a visa-free destination for over 40 countries and territories. Here’s everything you need to know about whether you need a visa and how to get one before visiting  Puerto Rico .

Who can travel to Puerto Rico without a visa?

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, meaning you must follow the same visa requirements  as the US before visiting.

The good news is US citizens, including those living in other US territories , can travel visa-free to Puerto Rico. Since it’s considered a domestic destination, US mainland travelers don’t need a passport either. An official state-issued ID such as a driver's license is still a requisite, however.

Citizens from an additional 41 countries can visit Puerto Rico without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) for up to 90 days. The list of visa-exempt countries includes most European nations as well as countries in Latin America, East Asia and Oceania.

Although they are visa-exempt, VWP travelers must have an approved  Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) and a valid e-passport for up to six months after the trip.  Canadians and Bermudians can travel visa-free to Puerto Rico, but they must have a passport or valid ID.

How do I get an ESTA?

The ESTA is a digital system accessed through the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) website that determines if VWP applicants are eligible to travel visa-free to the United States.

You'll need to provide your home and email addresses, phone numbers and emergency contact information. The application costs US$21 and must be paid online. Once approved, the ESTA stays valid for two years.

People walking along a street in San Juan, Puerto Rico

How do I get a tourist visa?

Citizens from over 140 countries located between Africa , Asia , Oceania and the majority of Latin America need a non-immigrant visa to visit Puerto Rico, whether it will be for business (B-1) or tourism (B-2) purposes.

Applying for a Puerto Rico tourism visa has essentially two steps: submitting a DS-160 form application and doing an interview at your local US embassy or consulate.

You need a passport, a digital passport-style photo , plus your travel itinerary and travel history to complete your DS-160 form. You might need additional supporting documents about your visit’s purpose, profession and salary.

Once you've finished the application, print out your confirmation page – you'll need it to make a payment and for your interview. Each official US embassy webpage details the protocol for paying your application and making an appointment.

While some embassies require bank transfers or in-person payments, most will redirect you to third-party websites like Official US Visa Information and Appointment Services or UsTravelDocs to pay the non-refundable US$185 fee for non-immigrant visas. Both websites allow you to schedule appointments at a US embassy, the second step in your visa application process.

For the in-person interview, you must submit the following:

  • A printout of the DS-160’s confirmation page with ID number
  • Printed recent passport-style photo
  • Receipt or evidence of visa fee payment
  • Copy of appointment letter
  • Intended travel itinerary
  • Supporting documentation (assets and employment proof, bank statements, etc)

Your visa application process isn’t finished until you complete both steps. An additional reciprocity fee applies in some cases on the interview day. Once approved, your visa will be delivered to you via courier.

Can I extend my stay in Puerto Rico?

You can extend your stay in Puerto Rico by applying to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services before the period established in your I-94 form expires.

The CBP stamp on your travel document and the I-94 website also displays your authorized period of stay. A tourist visa duration could differ from your visa expiration date , which goes from 6 months to 10 years.

Keep in mind you need a valid reason for your extension, and you have to prove you intend to leave the country to get approved.

A young girl petting horses on the beach in Puerto Rico

How do I get a holiday working visa for Puerto Rico?

The J-1 visa allows university students and professors to study and work for up to four months in Puerto Rico. Applying for a J-1 and a B-2 tourist visa is a similar process, except you need to find a sponsor company and be accepted on the Exchange Visitor Program first.

You also have to register at the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) and pay a US$220 fee, before proceeding with the J-1 visa application. Find out more about J-1 requirements for Puerto Rico at the local Department of State website .

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Puerto Rico (U.S.) Healthy Travel Packing List

Pack items for your health and safety.

  • You may not be able to purchase and pack all of these items, and some may not be relevant to you and your travel plans. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.
  • This list is general and may not include all the items you need. Check our Traveler Information Center for more information if you are a traveler with specific health needs, such as travelers who are pregnant, immune compromised, or traveling for a specific purpose like humanitarian aid work.
  • Remember to pack extras of important health supplies in case of travel delays.

Prescription medicines

  • Your prescriptions
  • Travelers' diarrhea antibiotic
  • Suture/syringe kit Kit is for use by local health care provider & requires a letter from your doctor on letterhead stationery
  • Altitude sickness medicine

Medical supplies

  • Glasses Consider packing spare glasses in case yours are damaged
  • Contact lenses Consider packing spare contacts in case yours are damaged
  • Needles or syringes (for diabetes, for example) Requires a letter from your doctor on letterhead stationery
  • Suture kit Kit is for use by local health care provider & requires a letter from your doctor on letterhead stationery
  • Diabetes testing supplies
  • Epinephrine auto-injectors (EpiPens)
  • Medical alert bracelet or necklace

Over-the-counter medicines

  • Antihistamine
  • Motion sickness medicine
  • Cough drops
  • Cough suppression/expectorant
  • Decongestant
  • Medicine for pain and fever Examples: acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen
  • Mild laxative
  • Mild sedative or other sleep aid
  • Saline nose spray

Supplies to prevent illness or injury

  • Hand sanitizer or wipes Alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol or antibacterial hand wipes
  • Water purification tablets See CDC recommendations: Water Disinfection .
  • Insect repellent Select an insect repellent based on CDC recommendations: Avoid Bug Bites
  • Permethrin Permethrin is insect repellent for clothing. It may be needed if you spend a lot of time outdoors. Clothing can also be treated at home in advance.
  • Sunscreen (SPF 15 or greater) with UVA and UVB protection. See Sun Exposure .
  • Sunglasses and hat Wear for additional sun protection. A wide brim hat is preferred.
  • Personal safety equipment Examples: child safety seats, bicycle helmets
  • Latex condoms

First-aid kit

  • 1% hydrocortisone cream
  • Antifungal ointments
  • Antibacterial ointments
  • Antiseptic wound cleanser
  • Aloe gel For sunburns
  • Insect bite treatment Anti-itch gel or cream
  • Bandages Multiple sizes, gauze, and adhesive tape
  • Moleskin or molefoam for blisters
  • Elastic/compression bandage wrap For sprains and strains
  • Disposable gloves
  • Digital thermometer
  • Scissors and safety pins
  • Cotton swabs (Q-Tips)
  • Oral rehydration salts
  • Health insurance documents Health insurance card (your regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms
  • Copies of all prescriptions Make sure prescriptions include generic names. Bring prescriptions for medicines, eye glasses/contacts, and other medical supplies.
  • Family member or close contact remaining in the United States
  • Health care provider(s) at home
  • Lodging at your destination
  • Hospitals or clinics (including emergency services) in your destination
  • US embassy or consulate in the destination country or countries

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Moving to Puerto Rico comes with lifestyle perks and tax breaks. Trade-offs include healthcare, schools, and furniture.

  • Americans are moving to Puerto Rico for the climate, adventure, and tax breaks.
  • People must also consider other aspects, such as schools, which are struggling to meet demand.
  • Even things like finding new furniture can be challenging on the small island.

Insider Today

Puerto Rico is becoming an increasingly popular destination for Americans looking to relocate for tax purposes .

While the island boasts promises of adventure and financial incentives designed to attract investors and entrepreneurs, the move comes with challenges. Newcomers to Puerto Rico told Business Insider they'd had difficulty navigating the complexities of healthcare, education, and even buying goods such as furniture.

"I don't sugarcoat it; it's not for everyone," said Ricky Santana, the founder and managing partner of Colectivo Group, a real-estate firm in Puerto Rico that helps Americans move to the island. "You need to realize you're moving to a small island in the Caribbean where it's still great but there's going to be some trade-offs."

From 2021 through 2022, about 27,000 people moved to Puerto Rico from the US states, according to data collected by the US Census Bureau . The territory's tax incentive, Act 60 , is a big draw for many.

Any mainlander can move to Puerto Rico. But if they get residency, they can apply for a 15-year decree under Act 60. If approved, the person or business has to pay only a 4% fixed rate on income and can receive a 75% reduction in property taxes.

In addition, people do not have to pay any taxes on capital gains accrued after becoming residents, and businesses benefit from a 50% reduction in municipal license taxes.

These benefits do have opponents and can be a political hot-button topic locally. According to Santana, politicians must find ways to appease native Puerto Ricans who are upset because they do not get the same tax breaks, while acknowledging quietly that the incentives are working to boost the island's economy.

The economic impact is real, but come prepared

One big consideration before relocating to Puerto Rico is ensuring the entire family is on board and will have what they need, Santana said.

"If your family, if your spouse, they can't adapt to Puerto Rico, it doesn't matter how much taxes you're saving, it is not going to work," Santana said.

One of the biggest challenges for families with young children is finding the right school, Santana said. He added there were several well-rated bilingual schools on the island but that they're struggling to handle the growing population, especially in the areas deemed most desirable for the mainlanders moving to the island.

One of those areas is Dorado, a city about 20 miles west of San Juan on the island's north side, where many of the more expensive homes are being built. While a family may find the home and community they desire in that area, if there is no availability in the local school, the children may be forced to commute 35 to 40 minutes each way to a school in San Juan.

Other challenges include healthcare and services

Another big issue that people need to consider before moving to Puerto Rico is the state of the healthcare system.

Sarah Lindsey and Sean Flynn, a semiretired couple who moved to Humacao from Austin in 2021, previously told BI that healthcare insurance was cheap but that "you're kind of getting what you paid for."

Healthcare can be especially problematic, Santana said, if you need a specialist on the island. If you can find one, there might be a long wait, and other times, you might need to fly to Miami or New York for the necessary care.

Puerto Rico was already in a " healthcare crisis " in 2015, and the situation worsened over the next three years. In the year following Hurricane Maria in 2017, about 15% of Puerto Rico's healthcare professionals left the island, Vox reported, citing data from Puerto Rico's College of Physicians and Surgeons .

Lindsey said that if somebody expressed interest in moving to Puerto Rico, she would first ask them about their health.

"Maybe you want to go down there, but if you have some health problems, maybe you don't," Lindsey said. "It is really better for people who are younger and healthier."

Local and federal governments are working to improve healthcare , and Lindsey and Flynn said there's a specific effort being made to add clinics that might cater better to older people.

Santana also tells clients about the need for patience on the island, especially with services.

"You must understand that in Puerto Rico, it's going to be a little laid back," he said.

The lure of tax breaks has real-estate prices rising

As Puerto Rico is a US territory, American mainlanders can buy real estate on the island without any restrictions. The influx of American mainlanders has affected the island's high-end real-estate market.

Five years ago, developers were focused on building houses that ranged between $2 million and $4 million, Santana said. Now developers are creating homes that cost between $20 million and $40 million, he added.

"It's so mind-boggling that the kind of individuals moving to the island, we didn't necessarily have that particular inventory available," he said. "So developers have changed to adapt to the new demands."

Prices are more reasonable in some areas, such as Flynn and Lindsey's new home of Humacao, which is about 90 minutes from San Juan on the island's southeast coast.

Regardless of where transplants settle, they may encounter difficulties in finding necessities such as chairs, beds, and couches.

The sale of furnished houses for people coming to the island without their own furniture has increased in popularity, Santana said. Otherwise, buying furniture typically means having it shipped from the US, increasing the cost and the wait.

Lindsey and Flynn said it was often the same for smaller items, as Amazon deliveries could take a month to arrive.

Santana suggests that anyone on the fence about a move spend longer than a typical vacation there before making a final decision.

"Maybe stay during the summer, stay for a month," Santana said. "Make sure that it is the right fit."

If you moved to Puerto Rico for tax incentives and want to share your experiences, contact this reporter at [email protected] .

travel puerto rico requirements

Watch: Puerto Rico was named the No. 1 place to travel this year. Here are 9 of the best ways to see the island

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USA TODAY

Where can I travel without a passport? Try these 6 destinations.

Securing a passport can be a hassle. 

New applicants can expect to spend $130 for a passport book, plus a $35 acceptance fee. Routine wait times are 10 to 13 weeks , and that doesn’t include mailing times, according to the State Department. Paying a $60 fee can expedite the process, but travelers will still need to wait seven to nine weeks for processing.

That means spur-of-the-moment international trips without a passport can be impossible to pull off. 

Start the day smarter. Get all the news you need in your inbox each morning.

Luckily, not all destinations require U.S. tourists to carry the document. Here are some popular destinations you can visit without a passport. 

Waited too long to get a passport?  Here's what to do

How long is a US passport good for?  Here's what to know — and how to renew it

Story continues below.

Puerto Rico passport requirements

Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory and popular Caribbean destination , is about as easy to fly to as any state if you have a state-issued ID. 

The island does not require a passport among U.S. citizens.

A local's beach guide to Puerto Rico: Which beaches to visit, what to know in San Juan, Culebra and more

US Virgin Islands passport requirements

The U.S. Virgin Islands, another Caribbean destination, allows domestic travelers to enter without a passport. 

"If you are a U.S. citizen a passport is not required, but it still serves as the best identification when traveling," the U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism's website says. "Otherwise, you must be prepared to show evidence of citizenship when departing the islands, such as a raised-seal birth certificate and government-issued photo ID."

Small island, big opportunities: This idyllic Caribbean hideaway isn't just for the rich and famous

Northern Mariana Islands passport requirements

Passports are not required to visit the Northern Mariana Islands, a  U.S. commonwealth  made up of 14 islands, including Saipan, Tinian and Rota.

Guam passport requirements

The Guam Visitors Bureau says U.S. citizens are required to show a U.S. passport, but photo ID and proof of citizenship may be accepted "on a case-by-case basis."  

Canada passport requirements

Citizens who are members of the NEXUS program , which expedites entry for pre-screened travelers, can present their membership as proof of identification when traveling, according to the Canadian government's website .

Travelers who do not have a passport can apply for a NEXUS card but will be able to use it at land or marine crossings only, not airports .

A NEXUS application processing fee costs $50 for a five-year membership, and children under 18 can apply with no fee. Application processing takes 12 to 14 months, according to the Department of Homeland Security .  

Additionally,  the State Department  says travelers under 16 do not need a passport to enter Canada; they need only proof of U.S. citizenship.

This is the most popular summer travel destination: According to Google Flights

Unlimited cruises:  Margaritaville at Sea launches Ultimate Paradise Pass

Closed-loop cruise passport requirements

Travelers on closed-loop cruises – sailings that depart and end at the same U.S. port and travel within the Western Hemisphere – do not need a passport, according to Customs and Border Protection.

U.S. citizens can enter the country with a birth certificate and government-issued photo ID. If under 16, a U.S. citizen can present their birth certificate , certificate of naturalization or consular birth report abroad.

Customs and Border Protection says U.S. citizens on closed-loop cruises can enter or depart a country on the cruise with proof of citizenship, but some destination countries "may require" a passport.

"In those instances, the cruise lines would require passengers to have a valid passport to board even if it is not a U.S. requirement," the agency's website reads. "You should check with your cruise ship, travel agent, and destination country to confirm the requirements to enter the foreign countries you will visit."

Contributing: Nathan Diller, USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Bailey Schulz on Twitter: @bailey_schulz . 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Where can I travel without a passport? Try these 6 destinations.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

COMMENTS

  1. Puerto Rico Travel Requirements: What Travelers Need to Know

    "However, they must always travel with a valid ID, such as a driver's license or a state ID card." International travelers such as residents of Canada or Mexico will still require a valid passport to visit. Additionally, visitors to the island no longer require proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative test result to enter.

  2. Travel Guidelines

    Travelers entering the Island are required to fill out a Travel Declaration Form through the Puerto Rico Health Department's online portal, get a molecular COVID-19 test (nasal or throat swab) no more than 72 hours prior to visiting the Island, and show proof of a negative result or they must quarantine.

  3. Entry Requirements and Customs in Puerto Rico

    Passports U.S. citizens coming from mainland destinations do not need passports to enter Puerto Rico. However, it is necessary to produce a government-issued photo ID to board a plane. Visitors from other countries, including Canada, need a valid passport to land in Puerto Rico.

  4. Can I travel to Puerto Rico? Travel Restrictions & Entry Requirements

    Entry Open for vaccinated visitors COVID-19 testing Not required Quarantine Not required for vaccinated visitors Restaurants Open Bars Masks Recommended in public spaces, enclosed environments and public transportation. COVID-19 testing Quarantine Ready to travel? Find flights to Puerto Rico Find stays in Puerto Rico

  5. Puerto Rico Lifts All COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Travelers

    News Puerto Rico Lifts All COVID-19 Travel Restrictions for Travelers — What to Know Starting March 10, travelers heading to Puerto Rico on a domestic flight won't be required to show...

  6. Puerto Rico Travel Guide

    Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory, American citizens and permanent residents can travel to the Island passport free. All you need to bring is a valid ID, such as a driver's license or state ID card.

  7. Puerto Rico Ends COVID Travel Restrictions for U.S. Citizens

    Travelers arriving on international flights must follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's requirement to show proof of vaccination (one or two doses, finished at least 14 days prior, booster not required) and present a negative COVID-19 test taken within one day of departure.

  8. Puerto Rico travel restrictions: New entry requirements begin Feb. 2

    Bailey Schulz USA TODAY 0:00 0:55 Domestic travel to Puerto Rico is about to get easier, so long as you're fully vaccinated. New entry requirements are set to take effect Wednesday and will...

  9. PDF GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO

    GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO PUERTO RICO TOURISM COMPANY La Princesa, San Juan, PR 00902 | PO Box 9023960, San Juan, PR 00902-3960 In summary: The completion of the Travel Declaration Form continues to be mandatory for all arriving passengers. The following are the entry requirements for the following three scenarios:

  10. PDF NOTICE Puerto Rico New Travel Requirements

    Puerto Rico New Travel Requirements To further combat the spread of COVID-19, the Governor of Puerto Rico, Wanda Vázquez Garced, has issued an executive order directing all individuals, arriving to Puerto Rico to have completed a molecular test for COVID-19, within the 72- hour period prior to their arrival.

  11. Frequently Asked Questions

    United States citizens and permanent residents don't need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands. However, the Real ID Act will be in effect as of May 2025, so verify if your state is compliant with these laws because otherwise, you may need a passport to travel.

  12. Discover Puerto Rico

    Discover Puerto Rico

  13. Puerto Rico (U.S.)

    Stay Healthy and Safe Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Puerto Rico, so your behaviors are important. Eat and drink safely Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination.

  14. A beginners guide to visiting Puerto Rico

    The trip between Bayamon and San Juan is just 30 minutes, and the one-line train system has 16 stops; it passes through the University of Puerto Rico as well as the Santa Rosa shopping mall. It's very affordable, too: A regular fare is just $1.50 and if you're between the ages of 60 and 74, just 75 cents.

  15. Puerto Rico relaxes Covid-19 travel restrictions

    For ships to be granted entry to Puerto Rico, all guests 12 or older must be fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the US Food and Drug Administration or the World Health Organization....

  16. Puerto Rico entry requirements: Essential travel guide

    Passport Is Puerto Rico part of the US? Puerto Rico is an unincorporated U.S. territory, and therefore, just like you would if you were entering the United States, you need to have a valid passport to enter Puerto Rico.

  17. Travel to Puerto Rico: Island to lift many COVID-19 requirements

    0:00. 1:03. Puerto Rico this week is dropping nearly all travel-related COVID-19 restrictions for domestic travelers from the U.S. as case counts on the island continue to fall. Starting Thursday ...

  18. Puerto Rico Travel Restrictions: What Travelers Need To Know

    While Puerto Rico previously required weekly testing, proof of vaccination to visit restaurants, and had curfews for non-essential businesses, travel is now close to pre-pandemic normal. If you've heard about these requirements, they were likely true in 2021, but now you can travel much more freely. However, you'll still want to pack your ...

  19. Travel advice and advisories for Puerto Rico

    Entry and exit requirements Health Laws and culture Natural disasters and climate Risk level Puerto Rico - Take normal security precautions Take normal security precautions in Puerto Rico Back to top Safety and security Crime Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and purse snatching, are prevalent. Violent crime also occurs.

  20. Puerto Rico: COVID-19 Entry Requirements All ...

    All travelers from approved countries must present proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test no older than 72 hours (From when test was performed until arriving in Puerto Rico). Failure to present proof of a negative test will result in a mandatory 14 day self quarantine. Morro Castle, is a 16th-century citadel located in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

  21. Visa requirements for Puerto Rico

    Applying for a Puerto Rico tourism visa has essentially two steps: submitting a DS-160 form application and doing an interview at your local US embassy or consulate. You need a passport, a digital passport-style photo, plus your travel itinerary and travel history to complete your DS-160 form. You might need additional supporting documents ...

  22. Puerto Rico (U.S.) Healthy Travel Packing List

    Health insurance documents. Health insurance card (your regular plan and/or supplemental travel health insurance plan) and copies of claim forms. Copies of all prescriptions. Make sure prescriptions include generic names. Bring prescriptions for medicines, eye glasses/contacts, and other medical supplies. Contact card.

  23. Puerto Rico To Change Entry Requirements February 2

    Starting February 2, Puerto Rico will enact a few changes to its entry requirements, allowing vaccinated travelers into the country without having to present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry due to dropping cases on the island. Travelers who are unvaccinated will also be able to skip the mandatory seven-day quarantine period provided they've ...

  24. Puerto Rico Real Estate, Tax Breaks, Pros and Cons

    From 2021 through 2022, about 27,000 people moved to Puerto Rico from the US states, according to data collected by the US Census Bureau. The territory's tax incentive, Act 60 , is a big draw for ...

  25. Where can I travel without a passport? Try these 6 destinations.

    Puerto Rico passport requirements. Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory and popular Caribbean destination, ... This is the most popular summer travel destination: According to Google Flights.

  26. PDF Table of Contents

    US territories (US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands). While OCONUS per diem rates are set by the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO), the Contractor shall negotiate discounts on per diem rates for industry standard