Life and times of the Caribbean/West Indies. Shake your sarong, drink some coconut juice and figure out the best way to hop from one isle to the next.

4 Days in Puerto Rico-can i get around?

Vicki Brown

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  • Added on: April 23rd, 2009
I am looking for some tips on my very short trip to Puerto Rico. My husband and I are going because we found an amazing deal where the hotel was practically free on priceline, so we obviously don't have a ton of money to spend while we're there. We are staying in the new San Juan area but would like to be able to go to some good spots from there without having to rent a car.

Most importantly, I'm looking for advice on the best beach near that area that we can hang out at for a couple days. We would also like to go to el Yunque and Fajardo, would it be possible to get to these places without a car? I would imagine that there are companies that offer trips to these places, is this the case? If so, is it the only way to get to them if you don't have a car?

Any other imput would be great. We plan to explore old San Juan a bit, spend some time on a great beach or two and would like to explore a couple cool other places. This trip is for our 1 yr wedding anniversary, so that's why it's getting squeezed in. I'm normally a long trip, backpacker type.



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  • Added on: July 19th, 2009
It is possible to get around Puerto Rico cheaply without a car, but it's VERY time consuming and can be tricky sometimes if you don't speak spanish. If you're only going to have four days there it'd probably be worth it to splurge on a car. I don't know about El Yunque, but I've made it too Farjardo from San Jaun and back twice without a car, but it's a little tricky. From "the strip" in New San Juan you have to take two or three busses and a publico, which is basically a mini-van that picks people up and drops them off along it's route. Doing it this way costs about $15 per person whereas a private taxi will cost you anywhere from $80 to $100, so it's a lot cheaper, but it takes almost three hours to travel a total of about 40 miles. Fine if you've got plenty of time, but in your case, just rent a car. You'll be happier.

As far as beaches go, I was not terribly impressed with the beach in San Juan. It's crowded, dirty in some places and has gigantic resorts all but humping the shoreline all the way along. If you want GREAT beaches and are going to be in Fajardo anyways, hop on the ferry over to Vieques and spend a night there. Check out Sun Bay and Playa Media Luna. Two of the best beaches I've ever been too. I've heard the beaches on Culebra are world class as well.

Old San Juan is deffinately worth a day or two visit. Also check to lunar calendar for when you are going and if there's going to be no moon, or just a sliver of one, it would be almost criminal to not go see the Bio-Bay on Vieques or there's one near El Yunque.

Hope this helps, and happy travels
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  • Added on: September 28th, 2009
Four days is ample time to do your sight seeing and shopping. Shopping in San Juan is expensive. Hope on the bus and go to Rio Piedras and now you are talking about shopping. Very low prices. The bus is about $2 and when I was there last the train system I think was up.

If you are talking malls you may wanna look at Plaza Carolina as opposed to Plaza Las Americas. You go to the latter you better be able to spend. Leave early in the morning around 9 ish. Time goes by pretty fast down there.

Speaking Spanish shouldn't be a problem. When I frequented Puerto Rico just about every 2 out of 5 people spoke perfect English. You should be able to find your way around. The people are friendly and always willing to help.
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  • Added on: October 21st, 2009
There is a cheap bus that will take you to old San Juan, and that whole area is great to explore on foot.

I've never tried to get anywhere in PR outside of San Juan without a car of my own, but sometimes has very good deals on car rentals. Renting a car will be well worth it, not only will you not spend huge amounts of time getting back and forth, but there is so much more to explore.

If you take the old mountain roads between San Juan and Ponce, there are really neat towns and such to see, and countless lechonerías (basically pork bbq restaurants) that have amazing food and real cheap.


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  • Added on: March 23rd, 2010
I agree that for a 4 day trip if you want to "get around" then splurge on the car. what you'll loose in money, you'll save in "time" on the beach or doing whatever you like to do.

Go to Cafe Puerto Rico in old San Juan, sure touristy area, yada yada, but their yellow rice dishes and pina coladas are heaven!
How does one become a butterfly? she asked pensively. You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.
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  • Added on: June 12th, 2010
Definitely rent a car, outside of San Juan's outskirts there really is no public transportation. I would recommend spending a day in San Juan, then renting a car and taking the main highway west to Rincon. It's about a two hour drive, but you'll see some nice country side and if you get a map you could go even more scenic by taking some secondary routes. Rincon is a beautiful, hilly surf town. It's a very Americanized and English speaking town. Definitely pre-plan with the lodging - we got to Rincon at close to midnight and the only place still open to get a room was pretty pricey (though the room was awesome).

Have a great trip.
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  • Added on: September 14th, 2010
Agree with the others.

If you plan on heading outside of San Juan (and for beaches you should) then get a car for at least part of the time.

You can easily spend a day wandering around Old San Juan: 2 forts, cathedral, churches, plazas, restaurants, food stalls etc..

Outside of San Juan must sees for first timers include:

El Yunque (about 45 - 60mins east) - several trails some with waterfalls where you can cool off.
Luquillo beach is nice and you have the food kiosks close by - well worth checking out
Bio Bays (if moon phase is good) 2 choices - the one in Fajardo or take an evening cruise to Vieques for the Bio Bay there (bonus for Vieques is you can swim in that one)

other ideas

Guavate if you like roast pork (Lechon) google Guavate for more info

Ponce on the south coast

Day trip to Culebra for Flamenco beach - ferry is VERY cheap (but you need to check the ferry status as they are currently having issues with the ferries)

Hope that helps

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