Known as Isla del Encanto and located in the heart of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico is a small piece of land that can be crossed from north to south in just one and a half hours. But the size is not deceptive: at 9100 km2 it’s a hidden treasure of nature and history that surpasses the dream beach that we can imagine. However, precisely because it is usually associated with all-in hotels and with package deals, Puerto Rico is often left outside the schedule of many travelers. While it is true that reaching the island has requirements and that prices are not friendly, these factors (common in many countries) should not be a barrier. Traveling to Puerto Rico without spending a lot of money is possible if you have the determination, time and desire to search a little beyond what is clear. You also need to know the most important things to do in Puerto Rico.
For those who want to make a unique trip or seek information to travel to Puerto Rico, here I share my guide to travel to Puerto Rico.
First things first: The political status of Puerto Rico
What a colony! The current situation in this country is so complex that it is confusing in several aspects, and not only in the paper. From Calle 13 protest songs, through random with which Puerto Rican goes from English to Spanish to colonial architecture mixed with malls and fast food chains. All of them gave the impression that political status influenced even Puerto Rico’s identity, with most people struggling to restore their Latin American ties, and also defend and enjoy the American dream. The truth is that Puerto Rico became a free state and free territory from the United States after the Spanish-American War, in 1898. As a free, related country, Puerto Rico does not pay federal taxes or can vote, and travelers must comply with rules that same as entering the United States. So this is the first point to consider: if you travel to the United States you need a visa, to enter Puerto Rico too. The good news: the same, the same procedure, the same paper. If you already have it, you don’t need to add anything.
How to get to Puerto Rico
Traveling from Latin America, you can make connections with various cities in the United States. From Europe, Iberia and Air Europa have direct flights from Madrid.
What is the best time to travel to Puerto Rico
The best season to travel to Puerto Rico is from mid-December to the end of April, when the weather is more pleasant, the sun is not so strong and the risk of storms is not on schedule. The disadvantage, of course, is that prices rise exponentially at that time and taking a low-budget trip can be more than a challenge. The most recommended, however, is to travel near the beginning / end of the high season, to take advantage of the benefits of good weather.
The hurricane season in the Caribbean runs from June to November, although the most vulnerable months are September and October. However, planning trips is still at risk.
Cost of living
Even though it depends on each traveler and the type of trip you want to do, here I copy some indexes that can be used to get ideas. This is a backpacking blog and I always travel on a low budget, so my recommendation is directed at that. If the idea is to make a more comfortable trip, think that there are always more expensive options, or that you can travel to Puerto Rico with a complete package and let them treat you like a king.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this guide, to travel cheaply you must put your attitude and dedication. As a main rule, don’t be frustrated at first impressions. Puerto Rico points to elite tourism, but that does not mean that you cannot travel cheaply.