Colonized after the arrival of Columbus in 1493, Puerto Rico is controlled by the US. Almost 3 million tourists flock each year to this amalgamation of European cultures and splendid beaches. But, is this place safe for tourists? Let's find out!
The overall crime rate is lower than California, New York and Texas, according to the FBI. However, drug trafficking and gang violence is prevalent but restricted to a few areas.
Pickpocketing and snatching is the most common issue in crowded public spaces. So, keep your valuables safe or better to keep them in your hotel rooms.
Be careful while traveling alone at night. You could be mugged as such cases have been reported in the urban areas.
Carjacking and car theft are also common problems.
While roaming around in taxis make sure that the drivers don’t overcharge you or else you can simply take an Uber.
Women tourists must abstain from traveling at night into isolated locations as there have been cases of sexual assault.
Safe Vs Unsafe areas
Old San Juan, Santurce, Parque de las Palomas, and Condado are safe areas while you could avoid Piñones, La Perla, Caserios, and Puerta de Tierra .
The Zika virus is still present in the country so pregnant women and those who want to conceive must consult a doctor before traveling here.
Make sure you have had a Typhoid and Hepatitis A vaccine before visiting.
With the weather being warm, it's advisable to apply sunscreen and drink lots of water.
The water quality has decreased significantly since the Hurricane Maria in 2017, hence, it's wise if you drink bottled water.
It's highly recommended that you don’t schedule your visit between June and November as it is considered as the Hurricane season. Check the local media for flooding and landslides report.
So, is Puerto Rico safe for travelers? Definitely! Just that the tourists need to be a bit vigilant and cautious. Learn a little Spanish before visiting and in case of any emergencies 911 is always available.