How to Get Around Puerto Rico: A Comprehensive Guide [2024]

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Discover the best transportation options to get around Puerto Rico. Learn how to get around Puerto Rico, get around the island exploring its beauty.

In the heart of the Caribbean, Puerto Rico owns a rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cities. Whether you’re a sun-seeking beach bum, an adventurous explorer, or a history buff, Puerto Rico offers various attractions to captivate your senses and fuel your wanderlust. There are plenty of unique things to do in Puerto Rico, which is Bad Bunny’s hometown.

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From the bustling streets of San Juan to the tranquil shores of Vieques, every corner of this enchanting island holds a unique charm and allure. Immerse yourself in the rhythm of salsa music, savor mouthwatering local cuisine, and soak up the warmth of the tropical sun as you discover Puerto Rico’s landscapes and vibrant communities. There are plenty of affordable hotels in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and lovely places to stay around the island.

In this comprehensive transportation guide, we’ll explore the various options on how to get around Puerto Rico, from rental cars to taxis to public transportation. Whether planning a solo escapade and asking yourself, “is Puerto Rico safe for female travelers?” or looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, we’ll help you navigate the roads, rails, and waterways of Puerto Rico with ease and confidence. So pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime as we uncover the wonders of Puerto Rico together!

Transportation Options in Puerto Rico

Airport PickUps in Puerto Rico

Women waiting for her airport pickup

Arriving at the airport in Puerto Rico can be exciting and overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time visiting the island. Here’s what you need to know about airport pickups to kickstart your adventure and start getting the buzz on how to get around Puerto rico:

Shuttle Services

Many hotels and resorts in Puerto Rico offer shuttle services to and from the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU). These shuttle services provide a convenient and hassle-free way to reach your accommodation upon arrival. Be sure to inquire about shuttle availability and associated costs when booking your accommodation.

Private Transportation

Private transport pickup in a hotel

For those seeking a more personalized transportation experience while discovering how to get around Puerto Rico, private airport pickup services are readily available . Companies like Island Breeze Taxi, Welcome Pickups, and offer a range of options, from luxury sedans to spacious vans, to accommodate individuals, families, and larger groups. Booking private transportation in advance ensures a smooth and seamless transition from the airport to your destination.

Ride-Sharing Apps

While ride-sharing apps like Uber are available in Puerto Rico, their availability may be limited, especially outside the San Juan metro area. If you prefer the convenience of ride-sharing, it’s advisable to check the app upon arrival to see if any drivers are available to pick you up from the airport. If you keep wondering about other ways how to get around Puerto Rico, you can arrange a private car service in advance to avoid any potential wait times.

Airport Taxis

Traditional taxi services are also available at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, providing a convenient option for travelers looking to reach their destination quickly. Airport taxis typically operate at a fixed rate, with fares based on your final destination. While convenient, confirming the fare with your driver before setting off is essential to avoid surprises upon arrival.

Whether you opt for a shuttle service, private transportation, ride-sharing app, or airport taxi, arranging for an airport pickup in advance ensures a stress-free start to your Puerto Rican adventure. Be sure to consider cost, convenience, and personal preference when choosing the best option for your travel needs.

Car Rentals in Puerto Rico

Cars parked in a colorful street of San Juan, Puerto Rico

Renting a car might be the way to go if you are up for freedom and flexibility while discovering how to get around Puerto Rico, allowing you to explore the island at your own pace and schedule. Also, considering how Puerto Rico works, you will see that most other options tend to be much more limiting. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons of opting for a rental car during your Puerto Rican adventure:


  • Freedom to Explore: With a rental car, you can choose your course and discover hidden gems off the beaten path. From secluded beaches to charming mountain villages, the possibilities are endless.
  • Flexibility: Say goodbye to rigid itineraries and crowded tour buses. With a rental car, you can change your plans on a whim, lingering longer at places that capture your heart and skipping over those that don’t.
  • Access to Remote Locations: Some of Puerto Rico’s most breathtaking sights are tucked away in remote corners of the island, inaccessible by public transportation. You can venture off-road and uncover these hidden treasures with a rental car.


  • Cost: Rental cars offer convenience but can also dent your travel budget, especially during peak seasons. Consider rental fees, insurance, and fuel expenses when budgeting for your trip.
  • Parking Challenges: Finding parking in urban areas like San Juan and Ponce can be a headache, particularly during peak hours. Be prepared to circle the block a few times or shell out for pricey parking garages.
  • Unfamiliar Driving Rules: Navigating Puerto Rico’s roads can be a bit daunting for first-time visitors, especially if you’re not accustomed to driving on the right side of the road or encountering unexpected hazards like potholes and wandering livestock.

While renting a car offers freedom and flexibility, carefully weighing the pros and cons before deciding is essential. For some travelers, the convenience of having their wheels far outweighs any potential drawbacks, while others may prefer to get around in Puerto Rico’s charms using alternative modes of transportation. Ultimately, the choice is yours!

Taxis in Puerto Rico

grayscale photography of taxi on road
Photo by Shanto Mazumder on

Taxis in Puerto Rico provide a convenient and reliable mode of transportation, especially in urban areas like San Juan and Ponce. Here’s what you need to know about utilizing taxis during your visit:

Availability and Ease of Use:

Taxis are readily available at popular tourist spots, transportation hubs, and major hotels in Puerto Rico. You can easily hail a taxi from the street or find them waiting at designated taxi stands. Additionally, many hotels and resorts offer concierge services to assist guests in arranging taxi transportation.

Typical Fares:

Taxi fares in Puerto Rico are usually determined by a combination of distance traveled and waiting time. While rates may vary slightly between cities and regions, there are standard fare structures enforced by local authorities. Confirming the fare with your driver before starting your journey is advisable to avoid misunderstandings.

Payment Options:

Most taxi drivers in Puerto Rico accept cash payments in the local currency (US dollars) and major credit cards. However, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash with you, especially for shorter rides or in case of any issues with card payments. Be sure to inquire about payment options before boarding the taxi.

Cost Considerations:

While taxis offer convenience, it’s essential to consider the cost, especially for longer journeys or frequent travel. Taxi fares can add up quickly, particularly if you explore multiple destinations throughout the day. Budget-conscious travelers may want to compare taxi fares with alternative transportation options to ensure they get the best value.

Availability in Certain Areas:

While taxis are abundant in major cities like San Juan and Ponce, they may be less prevalent in smaller towns or rural areas. If you’re planning to venture off the beaten path, it’s advisable to arrange transportation in advance or consider alternative modes of travel, such as rental cars or guided tours.

Language Barrier:

While many taxi drivers in Puerto Rico speak English, there may be instances where communication barriers arise, especially in more remote areas or with drivers who are less fluent in English. Having your destination address written down or available on your phone is helpful to ensure clear communication with your driver.

By understanding the availability, fares, payment options, and potential challenges associated with taxi transportation in Puerto Rico, you can make informed decisions to enhance your travel experience. Whether exploring the vibrant streets of San Juan or venturing into the scenic countryside, taxis offer a convenient and efficient way to navigate the island’s diverse landscapes.

Public Transportation in Puerto Rico

Exploring Puerto Rico via public transportation offers a cost-effective and immersive way to experience the island’s rich culture and diverse landscapes. However, there is little information on it, and locals are not necessarily informed about it. If you are looking for how to get around Puerto Rico using public transportation, here’s an in-depth look at the various public transportation options available:

Options Available:

Public transportation in Puerto Rico has some options to suit different travel needs. The bus network connects major cities and towns in the metropolitan area of San Juan, providing an affordable means of traversing the island’s varied terrain. Additionally, the Tren Urbano, or light rail system, offers a convenient mode of transport for commuters and tourists alike, particularly in the bustling San Juan metropolitan area. For shorter journeys and off-the-beaten-path adventures, públicos or public vans provide flexible and accessible transportation options.

Affordability and Coverage Areas:

One of the primary advantages of public transportation is its affordability. Bus fares are typically based on distance traveled, making them a budget-friendly choice for exploring Puerto Rico’s attractions. The Tren Urbano offers flat-rate fares for journeys within its network, providing an economical way to navigate the urban landscape. Públicos, although less predictable in terms of scheduling, offer affordable transportation between smaller towns and rural areas, making them a popular choice for some locals and adventurous travelers.

Frequency and Schedules:

While public transportation services strive to maintain regular schedules, travelers should be aware of potential variations in frequency and operating hours. Buses and Tren Urbano trains typically run on fixed schedules during peak hours, with reduced services during off-peak times and weekends. Públicos may operate more formally, with varying departure times and routes depending on passenger demand and local events. It’s advisable to check timetables and plan your journey to avoid inconvenience.

Limitations and Challenges:

Despite its affordability and accessibility, public transportation in Puerto Rico may have certain limitations. Travelers venturing into remote areas or off-the-beaten-path destinations may find limited public transportation options. Additionally, longer travel times and infrequent schedules may pose challenges for those with tight itineraries or specific time constraints. However, for travelers seeking an authentic and immersive experience, public transportation offers a unique opportunity to interact with locals and discover hidden gems beyond the tourist hotspots.

By considering the affordability, coverage areas, and potential limitations of public transportation, travelers can make informed decisions that align with their budget, itinerary, and travel preferences. Whether you’re exploring historic landmarks in Old San Juan or embarking on a scenic journey through the lush countryside, public transportation provides a convenient and sustainable way to explore the wonders of Puerto Rico.

Buses in Puerto Rico

Guagua AMA -

Public buses in Puerto Rico serve as a vital lifeline, connecting bustling urban centers with tranquil coastal towns and everything in between. I frequently use the system, so everything I will say here comes from first-hand experience. Here’s a closer look at the bus system and what you need to know before hopping aboard and spending a day in Puerto Rico to explore around using the buses:

Types of Bus Services:

Puerto Rico’s bus network operates mainly in San Juan. The Metropolitan Bus Authority (Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses, or AMA) operates urban bus routes within the San Juan metropolitan area, providing efficient transportation for commuters and tourists alike. Intercity buses connect major cities and towns across the island, offering a convenient way to explore Puerto Rico’s diverse landscapes.

Affordability and Ticketing:

One of the key advantages of bus travel in Puerto Rico is its affordability. AMA buses cost .75 cents and can be paid using quarters or by recharging your transport card at train stations. Additionally, discounted fare options may be available for students, seniors, and frequent travelers, offering further savings for budget-conscious passengers.

NOTE: Starting March 1st, 2024, buses and train are free in Puerto Rico while the ticketing system is being restructured.

Coverage and Accessibility:

Puerto Rico’s bus network is limited and works only in the San Juan Metropolitan Area. Publicos are available, but, as we mentioned, they are limited and unreliable.

Frequency and Schedule:

While bus services strive to maintain regular schedules, travelers should be mindful of potential variations in frequency and operating hours. Urban routes typically operate more frequently during peak hours, with reduced services during evenings, Saturdays, and holidays. Planning your journey ahead of time can help ensure a smooth and hassle-free travel experience.

Comfort and Amenities:

Modern buses in Puerto Rico have amenities designed to enhance passenger comfort and convenience. Air-conditioned coaches relieve the tropical heat, while comfortable seating and spacious interiors ensure a pleasant ride for travelers of all ages.

By opting for bus travel in Puerto Rico, travelers can enjoy an affordable, reliable, and environmentally friendly way to explore the island’s breathtaking scenery and vibrant culture. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure or planning a family getaway, hopping aboard a bus offers a convenient and memorable way to experience all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

Move Around Santurce Front Cover

Move Around Santurce

This guide, published by my publishing house, Eventurera Ediciones, focuses on the best things to do around Santurce using public transport. The best tool to plan your trip and move around the area most effectively.

Metro in San Juan Puerto Rico

Tren Urbano is a metro in San Juan Puerto Rico

The Tren Urbano is Puerto Rico’s modern urban rail system. I frequently use this system as well, so I have some insights on it and how to get around Puerto Rico using it. Here’s what you need to know about this efficient mode of transportation:

Introduction to Tren Urbano:

The Tren Urbano, or Urban Train, is a rapid transit system serving the San Juan metropolitan area. Launched in 2004, this state-of-the-art rail network provides a fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly way to travel between key destinations within the capital region. Comprising 16 stations across a 17.2-kilometer route, the Tren Urbano seamlessly connects urban centers, residential neighborhoods, and popular tourist attractions.

Convenience and Accessibility:

Travelers will appreciate the Tren Urbano’s accessibility and user-friendly features. Stations are located near major landmarks, government offices, shopping districts, and entertainment venues, offering convenient access to key destinations throughout San Juan. Whether commuting to work, exploring the city’s cultural attractions, or embarking on a shopping spree, the Tren Urbano provides a hassle-free transportation option for residents and visitors alike.

Efficiency and Reliability:

With its dedicated tracks and modern rolling stock, the Tren Urbano offers commuters a swift and efficient journey through the heart of San Juan. Trains operate regularly throughout the day, ensuring minimal waiting times for passengers. Whether traveling during peak hours or off-peak periods, you can count on the Tren Urbano to deliver prompt and reliable service, helping you reach your destination on time, every time.

Comfort and Safety:

Step aboard the Tren Urbano and experience a comfortable and secure ride across the city. Modern train cars feature spacious interiors, ergonomic seating, and air conditioning, providing passengers with a pleasant travel experience. The Tren Urbano also prioritizes passenger safety, with onboard surveillance cameras, emergency intercoms, and trained personnel ensuring a secure environment for all travelers.

Ticketing and Fare Options:

Thanks to the system’s convenient fare collection methods, purchasing tickets for the Tren Urbano is a breeze. Passengers can buy single-journey tickets or rechargeable fare cards from automated vending machines located at each station. Additionally, discounted fare options may be available for seniors, students, and persons with disabilities, making the Tren Urbano an affordable choice for budget-conscious travelers.

NOTE: Starting March 1st, 2024, buses and train are free in Puerto Rico while the ticketing system is being restructured.

Integration with Other Modes of Transportation:

The Tren Urbano seamlessly integrates with other modes of transportation, allowing passengers to complete their journey easily. Many Tren Urbano stations feature convenient connections to bus routes, providing travelers with flexible options for reaching their final destination. Whether commuting within San Juan or exploring beyond the city limits, the Tren Urbano offers a seamless and interconnected transit experience.

Environmental Benefits

As a sustainable and eco-friendly mode of transportation, the Tren Urbano plays a crucial role in reducing traffic congestion and air pollution in San Juan. By encouraging commuters to choose public transit over private vehicles, the Tren Urbano helps mitigate urban travel’s environmental impact, contributing to a cleaner, greener, and more sustainable future for Puerto Rico.

Experience the convenience, efficiency, and comfort of the Tren Urbano and discover a new way to explore the vibrant city of San Juan. Whether commuting to work, running errands, or sightseeing, the Tren Urbano offers a stress-free and environmentally friendly transportation option for all travelers.

Alternative Transportation Options in Puerto Rico

SITRAC trolley from Carolina, Puerto Rico

In addition to rental cars, taxis, and public transportation, there are several other ways how to get around Puerto Rico to suit various travel preferences and needs:


Ferries provide a scenic and convenient way to explore Puerto Rico’s coastal areas and neighboring islands. Travelers can hop aboard a ferry from the Ceiba terminal on the island’s eastern side to visit popular destinations like Culebra and Vieques. While ferry services may not always be as frequent or reliable as other modes of transportation, they offer a unique opportunity to experience Puerto Rico’s stunning maritime landscapes and island hopping adventures.

A ferry also connects San Juan with Cataño for .50 cents, connecting you with the Bacardi Rum Factory and other attractions on the other side of San Juan Bay.

Inter-Island Air Transport

Inter-island air transport is an excellent option for travelers looking to explore Puerto Rico’s diverse regions and neighboring islands with speed and convenience. Airlines like Cape Air, Vieques Air Link, and Air Flamenco offer flights to destinations such as Culebra, Vieques, Ponce, Aguadilla, and Mayaguez, allowing passengers to quickly reach their desired destination without the hassle of long-distance travel.


Trolleys in Puerto Rico offer a charming and convenient way to explore certain areas, particularly in cities like Carolina and Guaynabo. These trolleys, often brightly colored and adorned with local artwork, add a nostalgic flair to your transportation experience while providing an efficient means of getting around. They are normally free, and trolleys like the Carolina SITRAC offer reliable transportation around the city. You can follow the system map, but watch out; information is available in Spanish.

Choosing the Right Option to Get Around Puerto Rico

cars in the colorful street of San Juan, Puerto Rico

When it comes to choosing the right transportation option for your Puerto Rico adventure, several factors should be considered to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey:

  • Budget: Assessing your budget is essential when selecting transportation options in Puerto Rico. Rental cars offer flexibility but can be costly when factoring in rental fees, gas, and parking expenses. Taxis provide convenience but may incur higher fares, especially for longer distances. On the other hand, public transportation tends to be more budget-friendly, with affordable fares for buses and trains. Consider your overall travel budget and allocate funds accordingly to transportation expenses.
  • Itinerary: Your travel itinerary plays a significant role in determining the most suitable transportation option. If you plan to explore off-the-beaten-path locations or visit multiple attractions daily, a rental car allows you to travel at your own pace and access remote areas. Alternatively, if your itinerary primarily consists of urban exploration within major cities like San Juan, public transportation or taxis may suffice for getting around efficiently. Evaluate your planned destinations and activities to determine which mode of transportation aligns best with your itinerary.
  • Travel Style: Consider your preferred travel style when choosing transportation options in Puerto Rico. Independent travelers who enjoy exploring at their leisure may prefer the freedom rental cars offer, allowing them to create their itinerary and schedule. For group travelers or families with children, convenience and comfort may take precedence, making taxis or private transportation services a more suitable choice. Adventure seekers may opt for public transportation to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience authentic travel experiences.
  • Number of Travelers: The number of travelers in your group can influence your transportation decisions. Larger groups may find it more economical to rent a spacious vehicle that accommodates everyone comfortably, whereas solo travelers or couples may prefer the affordability and convenience of public transportation or ride-sharing services. Consider the size of your travel party and select transportation options that accommodate everyone comfortably without compromising safety or convenience.

By carefully evaluating these factors – budget, itinerary, travel style, and group size – you can choose the right transportation option that meets your needs and enhances your Puerto Rico travel experience. Whether you opt for the freedom of a rental car, the convenience of taxis, or the affordability of public transportation, selecting the right mode of transportation ensures a seamless and enjoyable journey throughout the island.

Specific Recommendations on Ways to Get Around Puerto Rico

For budget travelers, consider utilizing public transportation and taxis for cost-effective travel. Families may benefit from the convenience of renting a car for added flexibility and comfort during sightseeing adventures. Adventurous travelers seeking island-hopping experiences should explore ferry options for exciting day trips to nearby islands like Culebra and Vieques.

Additional Resources

For more detailed information on transportation options in Puerto Rico, check out the following resources:

  • Public Transportation Authority: Puerto Rico’s Department of Transportation and Public Works official website offers bus routes, schedules, and fare information.
  • Tu Tren: Tu Tren is a valuable resource for travelers interested in exploring Puerto Rico via its train system. This comprehensive website provides schedules, route maps, fare information, and updates on train services. Whether planning a scenic ride through the countryside or commuting within urban areas, Tu Tren offers essential information to make your train travel experience smooth and enjoyable.
  • Tren Urbano App: The Tren Urbano App is an essential tool for anyone using the Tren Urbano (light rail) system in San Juan. This user-friendly app provides real-time train schedules, station locations, fare details, and service alerts. With the Tren Urbano App, you can plan your journey, track train arrivals, and stay informed about any disruptions or changes to the train service. Whether you’re a local commuter or a visitor exploring the city, this app is indispensable for navigating San Juan’s public transportation system efficiently.

FAQ on How to Get Around Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico offers various transportation options for travelers who prefer not to rent a car. I suggest that they are better if you are staying in San Juan. You can utilize public transportation such as buses and the Tren Urbano (light rail) for affordable travel between cities and within urban areas. Additionally, ride-sharing services like Uber operate in select areas, providing another alternative for getting around without a car.

The best way to travel through Puerto Rico depends on your preferences and itinerary. Rental cars offer flexibility and freedom to explore remote areas and off-the-beaten-path attractions at your own pace. However, if you prefer not to drive, public transportation like buses and trains can efficiently transport you around Sn Juan and popular tourist destinations. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also convenient options for getting around, especially in urban areas.

Yes, Puerto Rico does have Uber services available in select areas, primarily in major cities like San Juan and Ponce. However, Uber availability may be limited compared to other locations, so checking the app for service availability in your area is advisable.

The cost of getting around in Puerto Rico can vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose and your travel preferences. Rental cars offer flexibility but can be expensive, especially during peak travel seasons. Taxis and ride-sharing services may incur higher fares for longer distances or peak hours. Public transportation options like buses and trains are generally more affordable but may have limited coverage or longer travel times. Budgeting for transportation expenses is essential based on your travel plans and preferences.

Final Thoughts on How to Get Around Puerto Rico

In conclusion, navigating Puerto Rico’s transportation options can greatly enhance your travel experience and allow you to explore the island’s diverse landscapes and attractions easily. Whether you’re seeking the freedom and flexibility of a rental car, the convenience of taxis, or the affordability of public transportation, there are options to suit every traveler’s needs and preferences.

You can choose the transportation option that best aligns with your plans and priorities by considering your budget, itinerary, travel style, and the number of travelers in your group. Whether you’re embarking on a solo adventure, traveling with family or friends, or seeking thrilling adventures off the beaten path, Puerto Rico offers transportation solutions to accommodate your needs.

Remember, choosing the transportation option that aligns with your preferences and enhances your overall travel experience is key to a successful trip. By planning and utilizing the resources available, you can navigate Puerto Rico’s transportation system confidently and make the most of your time on the island.

So, whether you’re cruising along coastal highways, exploring historic cities, or venturing into lush rainforests, let Puerto Rico’s transportation options be your ticket to unforgettable adventures and memorable experiences. Have a safe trip, and may your journey through paradise be filled with discovery, excitement, and moments to treasure for a lifetime.

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Brenda: + 34 years old + Puerto Rican + Viajera Boricua + Master in Cultural Tourism + Foreign Language Major + Hispanic Studies Minor + Portuguese + Italian + Russian + Literature Freak + ♥’s Indie Music + Volleyball Enthusiast + Tricolor do Morumbi(SPFC) + San Antonio Spurs +

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