Getting around Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Transportation Information:

If you want to visit places like the Arecibo Observatory or Caumy caves, then you are going to need to use some form of transport

Ground transportation in Puerto Rico can mean a taxi, a tour bus, a rental car, a ferry, a small plane, a charter boat, a Metrobus, or a público. In the near future, you will also be able to get around part of greater San Juan in a shiny new Urban Train.

Most of the major car rental companies have offices at the airport, in San Juan and in the larger cities and towns. Roads are clearly marked and maps are available. Note that speed limits are indicated in miles per hour, but distances are shown in kilometers.


Taxis are available at the airport, hotels and major tourist points. In the tourism zones, rates are fixed and posted. Outside the zones, taxis are metered and can be hired by the hour.

Fixed rates – Tourist zones:

Airport / Isla Verde – $10.00

Airport / Condado / Miramar – $14.00

Airport / Pier Area in Old San Juan – $19.00

Piers / Old San Juan – $7.00

Piers / Condado / Miramar – $12.00

Piers / Isla Verde – $19.00

Piers / Plaza Las Américas Shopping Mall – $14.00

Piers / Plaza Carolina Shopping Mall – $24.00

Piers 1, 4, 6 & Navy Frontier / El Morro – $6.00

Panamerican Piers / El Morro – $10.00

Note: $0.50 per each piece of luggage, excluding hand pieces, and an additional charge of $1.00 per piece, after three pieces.

For any claim or help, please contact: –

Taxi Metered Rates apply outside of Tourism Transportation Zones of San Juan – Isla Verde Area
Charges & Rates:

• Initial Charge – $1.75
• Charge for fraction of mile – $ 0.10 – 1/19 mile
• Waiting Time – Every 25 seconds – $ 0.10
• Charge for the first 3 pieces of luggage – $ 0.50 each
• Charge for the fourth piece of luggage and thereafter – $ 1.00 each
• Call charge – $1.00
• Hourly Rent Charge – $36.00
• Night Rate (10:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) – $1.00
• Minimum Charge per trip – $3.00

• A surcharge fee applies to the sixth and seventh passenger in vehicle – $2.00

Other ways of getting around Puerto Rico. Public transportation in the metropolitan San Juan area is convenient and practical, with regular bus service on established routes or if you wish you can use the train (Tren Urbano).

You can fly to many of the cities and towns within Puerto Rico, including Vieques and Culebra, by chartering a small plane or taking one of the regularly scheduled commuter-type flights from the Ribas Dominicci Airport in Isla Grande, San Juan, or other local airports. If you are staying in the west of the island, look into direct flights to and from the Aguadilla airport.

Ferry service to Culebra and Vieques is available at the small port of Fajardo on the east end of the island or from Old San Juan. Private boats can also be chartered at many of the marinas on the east coast.


Among the most interesting—and adventurous—ways of traveling in Puerto Rico is by público. Públicos are independently owned and operated vans that service hard to reach urban areas. They also travel between island towns; if you have the time and inclination, they can be an inexpensive and fascinating way to learn about the island. You may find yourself riding with a family on its way to see a grandmother on the other side of the island, or a half dozen ballplayers on their way to a game. All in all, públicos offer visitors a terrific opportunity to meet Puerto Rico, its people and safely experience the nightlife.

Getting Around Puerto Rico - Publico

Unless you are staying in one of the hotels in San Juan, or you have friends or family to provide transportation, you will need to rent a car. Make sure to get one with air conditioning. Don’t give in to the temptation to rent a large vehicle like a Chrysler 300- small towns have narrow roads, and people tend to park in creative ways.

If you leave San Juan, you will park on the shoulder, and you will need to pull onto the shoulder to get around people, and you will hit some enormous potholes that you just didn’t see in time. Check the car for scratches and dents when you rent it .

Some rental companies offer Jeep Wranglers or larger SUVs, but the best car for rural areas (and surf trips) is probably the Honda Element. Most rental companies stock Neons and Echos, and there are a lot of PT cruisers — these cars are all useless for transporting surfboards on the inside. The Element is nice because you can actually remove some of the rear seats so that even 9-foot long surfboards can go inside the car. Road signs are Spanish language versions of their U.S. counterparts, so you shouldn’t have trouble figuring them out.

Be advised that many traffic laws and customs considered standard on U.S. may appear to a U.S. driver to be a bit more “optional” in Puerto Rico.


Some cars will continue to pass through a intersection once a light has turned red (average is 2). Vehicles sometimes stop near the middle of the intersection during red lights, and people tend to make their own lanes wherever possible including on the shoulder or even in oncoming traffic lanes if they have a chance, although this will reduce since there is a new law penalizing with $250 any person who uses the shoulder as a normal lane .

People change lanes quickly. If they have a fraction of an inch to get in front of you and change lanes they will. Just let them, it is the norm here. No use in getting upset by it. Be aware that if you use lane change signals on your car it will ensure the gap you had intended to move into will instead be quickly closed up.

Forget about using your signals, change lanes quickly if you have the chance. After dark many people will only pause momentarily at a red light and then proceed through the intersection (due to it is permitted to pass the red light from 12 am to 6 am if there is no other cars crossing). Be aware and pay attention at all times since there are some danger of been carjacked as in other parts of the world.

You’ll notice many beat-up cars, some flashy cars, and many loud, flashy among the car population in Puerto Rico. Police cars and SUVs are noticeable as well, as by local regulation, they must keep their blue light bar continuously illuminated any time they are in motion. Avoid getting a speeding ticket: fines start at $50 + $5 for each mile above the speed limit.

There are three toll roads on Puerto Rico. They are part of the Tourists Roads system, labeled by small brown signs.
Tolls for a 2-axle car range between $0.35 and $1.25. The lanes on the left are reserved for people with RFID toll passes, which you probably won’t have on your rental car. If you need change, head for the lanes marked with a “C”, usually the furthest to the right.