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helpful travel tips no one tells you

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Ohio, Illinois
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helpful travel tips no one tells you

1. Puerto rico is most definitely on island time. If you're hungry, don't expect to eat right away....anywhere. It can take 20 minutes just to get drinks to your table so go before you're famished and start getting irritated and crabby.

2. Driving in Puerto Rico is pretty crazy. People do not use turning signals, stop signs, lights. So be prepared. The cab drivers are obviously used to this so expect some gasping, holding on tight, and prayers if you will be doing much traveling around.

3. Despite the wild roads, if you plan on taking many day trips: rent a car! They may only be $30/day so if you're planning to go to El Yunque, bioluminescent bay, Culebra, Vieques, etc. you will save a good deal of money. Travel from Isla Verde to the ferry in Fajardo is $80-90 one way for a 45 minute trip which leads to the next topic.

4. Flamenco beach on the island of Culebra is incredibly beautiful. The locals seem to think there's never an issue with catching the ferry from Fajardo to Culebra. So if you're told you wont have an issue or have plenty of time: DO NOT BELIEVE THEM. The tickets for the ferry are available one hour before the ferry departs. So even if you give yourself hours before hand to get in line, it's still very likely you may not get a ticket. You can order them online beforehand allegedly so plan ahead and make sure to do this. The ferry only holds so many people so you may got on one to go over but the same story goes for the other side ao you may not be able to get back. It is a very nerve wracking experience so PRE-ORDER or you may find yourself stuck with no where to go. This can be especially terrifying if you wait until your last day to make this trip and have a flight out the next morning.

5. It is possible to fly to these small islands for about $50 per person. While the flight is a little scary given the size of the plane, the views are incredible and totally worth it. Plus, it is only a 15 minute flight where the ferry can be an hour or two if you manage to get on it.

6. Plaza las americas is incredible. If you enjoy shopping in the slightest bit you dont want to miss this.

7. Things are not cheap in San Juan so dont expect it to be a bargain trip. Cocktails will likely cost you $8-$15 each for mojitos, pina coladas, margaritas, etc. If you want a treat during your day on the beach, grab a coco loco from The Third Base bar and grill. You wont Be ddisappointed. Plus, we were only charged $10 for very delicious, booze-filled coconut. Also, beach chair and umbrella rental seems to be very reasonable down the beach so if you plannef on packing or buying these items for your trip you can probably avoid that expense.

usa
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1. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

sunnycat33, thanks for sharing your experience, but items 1 through 6 above have all been discussed at length on this forum.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 13:59
Ann Arbor, Mich.
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2. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

The driving habits aren't that terrible, in my opinion. Use common sense and be aware of what is around you. I did not witness rampant running of lights and stop signs. I do agree that blinker use does seem to be entirely optional, though. Overall, I've seen worse behavior this week in Detroit than I did in Puerto Rico.

San Antonio, Texas
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3. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

PR is a bargain compared to most other Caribbean locations, but our goal has been to shop carefully and plan everything to minimize disappointment.

You may be paying a total of $20 an hour pp for transport, housing, food and entertainment like we did for one week and 2 people. There is a difference between a pleasant escape with unavoidable "veg" waiting downtime and waiting in misery. Waiting for the ferry, being caught in rush hour and being stranded especially during the hot, crowded, and rainy season is the worst for us. We travel there with flexibility and joyful attitude to conform to what PR is, and relish, but do not expect special accommodations.

Hope this helps.

OE

Puerto Rico
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for San Juan
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4. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

I don't know who you ask for Ferry info, but it is common knowledge that there are problems with getting Tickets and there is no online ticket booking.

Cleveland, Ohio
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for Puerto Rico, Carolina
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5. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

I remember going to a Taco Bell in Aruba 20 years ago. $80 for dinner and beer. I can still get a bucket from KFC and a 12 pack of Medalla for less than half. Love your report though. Thank You for taking the time and posting it.

Edited: 12 March 2014, 20:35
Boston...
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6. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

lol, your post made me smile. You must not get out for cocktails much though. Or they're cheap where you're from. If you go out in Boston, you pay the same for drinks.

Rincon,PR
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7. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

Nice post, good information, however outside the San Juan-Metro area you will experance the "real" Puerto Rico. San Juan is a metropolitan city with city/tourist prices. Once you are out of the city, prices, people, towns are so differant. Explore Puerto Rico for All we have, not just the city/tourist areas. Hope you return and visit the island, and see Puerto Rico.

Bedford, Ohio
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8. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

As I have said many times, PR is for some people and not for others.

usa
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9. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

One thing I will say about drinks in PR, they do not skimp on any of the ingredients, as those all-inclusives do.

Scottsdale, Arizona
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10. Re: helpful travel tips no one tells you

I have been going to Puerto Rico my whole life and it is definitely my happy place. With that being said I appreciate what you wrote and took the time to do so. Some things to note, the driving is just like any big city, people are trying to get some place and everyone needs to move. Coming from NY and moving to Arizona where I live now you can see the differences of those who come from smaller cities and larger cities. Also, drinks are high everywhere and honestly $8-$10 is not too bad. We just came back from Honolulu and the drinks were $12-$15 and definitely not as good as those in PR. IMO the Puerto Rican people are wonderful and the service we usually receive is excellent. No, not everything is perfect, but what place is? In the end I guess everyone's experience is different but just wanted to state things from a long time traveler of this beautiful island.