The capital of Puerto Rico, the storied city of San Juan and the other cosmopolitan cities of Ponce, Mayaguez, Fajardo and Rincon have, through the years been able to retain much of the fascinating aura of their Hispanic past. The Puerto Ricans as a people are some of the friendliest, with a ready smile for any tourist who comes to visit. Most of them are bilingual, speaking both English and native Spanish. The Puerto Ricans as a people are some of the friendliest who’d almost always have a ready smile for any tourist who comes to visit. Most of them are bilingual, speaking both English and native Spanish.
In the midst of the enthralling, gorgeous sights within and outside its thrilling cities, it makes practical sense to be familiar with the best way of getting around San Juan or getting around Rincon or any of the interesting places, especially when you’re without a car.
On arrival, you’ll find it somewhat of a challenge to get around Puerto Rico without a car. Walking can be difficult due to sidewalks in disrepair (or lack of them entirely), dangerous drivers and relentless sun. Your best bet is to rent a car or experiencing some fun in the island’s public transport.
Getting Around Puerto Rico without a Car
By Air – you can reach any of the Puerto Rican holiday destinations via several local airlines whose offices are in Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport in San Juan. American Eagle has 4 daily flights between San Juan and Ponce. Flamenco Airways runs the Culebra-St. Thomas-Fajardo- San Juan route. Then there are some inter-island flights that soar out of Isla Grande Airport.
By Land – there’s the Metro Bus managed by the Metropolitan Bus Authority. It services 8 cities: San Juan, Trujillo Alto, Carolina, Toa Baja, Guaynabo, Castaño, Bayamon and Loiza. Interestingly, there are also what are locally known as “Guaguas” or “Carros Publicos”. These are privately-run/owned buses and minivans that cut across towns and municipalities between the big cities.
Then, of course there’s the taxis known in Puerto Rico as “Lineas”. These are shared though with 3 or 4 other passengers who are dropped off at their doorsteps. Now, doesn’t that make it easier to make new friends? Makes for fast immersion too into the Puerto Rican culture!
Regular taxis are somewhat reliable and can be found throughout San Juan or will arrive by phone in other areas.
Living Tip: You can tip your taxi driver if you wish, but locals generally don’t tip taxi drivers. In fact, they will often bargain the price down before getting in the cab.
By Rail – you can take the “Tren Urbano” (urban train). It’s a 16-station fast metro transit system that links the central business district and residential areas of San Juan, Bayamon and Guaynabo. It runs daily from 5:30 am till 11:30pm.
By Sea – no passenger service is operating regularly that lands in Puerto Rico. There are, however, a million passengers who tour the island every year brought in by cruise ships.
Domestically and specifically from San Juan, Fajardo and Ponce, there are generally ferries that take passengers to other places outside of the key urban areas every day. These would have schedules usually running from 6 am till 9 pm.
By and large fares involved in using any of these transport conveyances are quite reasonable making getting around Puerto Rico not only a lot of fun but affordable too!