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Rent a car, yes or no?

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Houston, Texas
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Rent a car, yes or no?

I am going to San Juan with my wife at the end of June for 9 days and we are staying at the Marriott on Condado Beach. We are expecting to spend a lot of time at the resort relaxing, but we will want to go out to eat daily and explore the island a few times during our stay. I'm trying to determine what would be the most cost effective and convenient method of transportation.

We can rent a car, but with rental cost, gas, parking fees at the resort, and what I've heard about parking in San Juan, I'm not sure it's the most affordable and convenient option. Can we get by easily enough by just taking cabs and transportation provided by tour companies?

Also, please share any recommendations of things to do, money saving tips, and anything else about the area.

San Juan, Puerto...
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1. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

It depends on what you want to see. PR is bigger than you think and we have a lot of traffic. So you cannot simply say ypu are going around the island. Make a plan of what you want to see (rainforest, biobay, caves, Ponce historical center, Guavate pork highway, etc) and then just rent a car for those days. You do not need a car while in SJ and can move around by taxi. You can arrange for tours for some of these areas but will end up much more expensive than renting a car.

usa
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2. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

San Juan alone is huge with the Metro area containing over 1.4 million people. Logistically it takes a lot of time to get around in PR, as it is not a tiny island. It is one of the greater antilles, being about 100 miles long with a very mountainous interior. Traffic in Metro San Juan can be overwhelming as congestion and traffic jams are common. I suggest doing research as to what you want to see and do outside of San Juan before committing yourself to renting a vehicle.

Oregon
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3. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

If I rent a car with the goal of going to Guavate, is there anyting else nearby? How long from Condado to Guavate? Thank you!!

King of Prussia...
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for San Juan, Ponce
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4. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

From Condado to Guavate it's about a 30 to 40 minutes drive, depending on the traffic out of San Juan. Considerably longer if you go up the hill in Guavate to the lechoneras, on Sundays. Defineitely worth a visit if you want to try our food.

Edited: 15 May 2014, 13:13
Oregon
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5. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

The info on Guavate has me very interested---the pictures make my hungry. Any advice on where to pull off, park and eat?

San Antonio, Texas
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6. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

"I'm trying to determine what would be the most cost effective and convenient method of transportation."

Walking is the most convenient and effective if everything you want to do is close by, and if location is serviced by tours and taxis for a couple of excursions. Rent a car if you want many excursions or are far from dining you want to experience, like Guavate.

Hope this helps.

OE

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7. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

I remember from living there years ago that they had these 12 passenger vans that took you to different cities for a flat rate. Are those still available?

Fond du Lac...
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8. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

We just got back yesterday from visiting Puerto Rico. We stayed at embassy suites in isle Verde let me be the first to tell you they drive very aggressive here. They speed cut you off and have no Patience. We got lost so many times plus there are strips in the middle of the city so you slow down. But we did not know and slammed over. We got extra insurance on our rental car though Alamo that was excellent. We went to piñones and ate at the kiosks on the way down. Looks are very deceiving. Very dirty; polluted but so is the whole island which we drove around. Lot of stray starving dogs I would throw food at. Please try shrimp! Beef empandaullas very yummy. There is a free board walk through piñones. The roads get very narrow and curvy through the mountains the further south you go. We ate in island Verde on the ocean at LA playita right on the ocean look this place up on trip advisor worth the drive to find it. We got the famous coco loco

The further away from San Juan the less English was spoken so it is a good idea to know basic. Put plenty of sun block on and make sure you visit elmorro and old San Juan we parked at a San Luis park east of San Juan and walked over it is a hike but you get excellent pictures. Well worth the walk.

Caguas, Puerto Rico
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9. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

Hi Iris, are you talking about the vans well known as "la línea", the line literally :) these are mostly used by college students, on weekends, to go from their home back to college. They are available,with well ahead reservation and a 1.5 hr drive can take 3 hrs with all the many stops. These are not tours, just an A to B one way type transportation.

Kris, rent a car for a few days for longer trips. If you have driven in Chicago, LA or NYC should be fine in PR. Although in Houston while driving you also have to pay special attention to your exit, on the "overhead" highways/express lanes :) so you should be fine driving here.

Bloomfield CT. USA
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10. Re: Rent a car, yes or no?

Up the mountain road to the center of Guavate. You'll know when you get there. Many booths and restaurants on both sides of the road. If you get there early you'll have no problem with parking. We try to get there by 10-10:30 when vendors and lechoneras are setting up. Things get rolling around 11. Enjoy !!