VITAL INFO ON CAR RENTALS & GETTING AROUND PUERTO RICO
Once you arrive in SJU in Puerto Rico you will have plenty of options for transportation. We strongly recommend renting a car while in Puerto Rico, but if for some reason you can’t then you still have other options. When you walk outside the airport you will have the following options for transportation:
(See towards the bottom of the page after car rental section for information on Taxis, Buses in Puerto Rico, the ferry to Vieques and Culebra, as well as the Urban Train system).
By Car + Car Rental Companies
Do I Need A Rental Car?
The answer is yes. Unless you specifically only plan to stay in the Old San Juan and Isla Verde/Condado area, then you can get away with using the public transportation buses and the occasional walking here and there. The fact of the matter is that in order to explore and see the best of what Puerto Rico the country has to offer you have to just get a car and go and see it for yourself. If you come to Puerto Rico and only stayed in the Metro Area then really, you haven’t traveled and seen the best of the country and the mountains and other secret gems described in our Travel Book. The driving on the roads is really easy and not too long (especially if you come from the United States.) See our Driving in Puerto Rico section below for more information.
Car Rental in Puerto Rico: The Basics
Puerto Rico has many national car rental chains here as well as some other smaller and more local ones. The majority of car rental agencies are located in the Isla Verde section which is the region next to the airport and some of the companies can provide a shuttle to pick you up. Others are located in some of the better hotels in and around Isla Verde and Condado and Old San Juan. Most of these companies provide the shuttle service to and from the airport for pickup but would have to be arranged before hand.
If you happen to be coming to Puerto Rico as a cruise ship passenger and want to rent a car for the day we suggest you get very detailed as to when you are arriving and at which port (typically Old San Juan) and the operating hours of the car rental agency so you can plan your details and logistics without flaw. There are a few car rental locations in the Old San Juan area near the ports and we will list those below. Your best bet in this scenario since it is within walking distance of the port is at Hertz Car Rental located inside the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel. See the list below for more information.
On another note, do you research and call ahead for the best rates. Typically, the car rental companies in the airport and hotels are more expensive than the ones you’ll find on the roads – especially the local ones. Call a few places and get quotes and ask for airport shuttle services. Also, don’t make the mistake of getting here without making reservations. Many times we’ve heard that travelers and tourists are completely shut out as all car rental companies on the island are “sold out.” This does happen, especially during high peak tourism season of November-April. It’s simple. Call ahead and make arrangements before you get to Puerto Rico!
You cannot take your rental car on a ferry if you’re wanting to go to Culebra or Vieques (offshore islands). You would need to make your own arrangements for transportation on those islands if you go.
The Top 3 Car Rental Companies in Puerto Rico
Without a doubt, we’ve been monitoring the reviews and experiences of travelers using various Car Rental companies on the island and there is definitely a top 3 to go with even though we’re going to list most if not all of the companies below. We’ve used the #1 company we recommend personally, and their cars are usually very reliable and the prices are good too.
You have to be on the lookout when renting a car that you experience great customer service and don’t spend hours waiting at the counter for your car, or that you get poor cars that break down, or worse where you will have a surprise on your bill for excessive charges on tolls, returns, damages, etc that will cost you more in the long run. We’ve narrowed the best car rentals to 3. They are:Charlie Car Rental Inc. 6050 Isla Verde Ave Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 728-2418 Toll Free: (800) 289-1227 Fax: (787) 727-2320 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service Avis Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 253-5926 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service Enterprise Car Rental Puerto Rico 6063 Ave Isla Verde @ El San Juan Hotel Carolina, PR, United States (787) 253-3723 Business Hours: 8AM-5PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service
Car Rental Companies on Airport Ground
The car rental companies in the airport of San Juan do not have counters inside the airport terminals. You will need to take a shuttle (you’ll see them downstairs) to their offices that are nearby.Alamo Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 791-1805 Fax: (787) 791-5524 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service Avis Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 253-5926 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service Budget Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 791-0600 Fax: (787) 791-5524 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 5:00 AM to 12:00 AM Services: Airport Shuttle Service Hertz Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 791-0840 Fax: (787) 253-0524 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service National Car Rental Puerto Rico Luis Munoz Marin Intl Airport San Juan, PR 00983 Tel: (787) 791-1805 Fax: (787) 791-5524 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service
Car Rental Locations Near The Airport (Carolina, Isla Verde)
The following locations are within a 3 minute drive from the airport and may as well be considered “on airport grounds.” Most if not all of these companies offer shuttle service. The city of Carolina is also known as Isla Verde.Cabrera Car Rental A-15 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 791-4444 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 10:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service + Hotels Dollar Rent A Car in Puerto Rico 10030 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 791-5500 & (787) 791-5600 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service Enterprise Car Rental Puerto Rico Km 13.5 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-3722 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 6:00 AM to 11:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service Leaseway of PR Inc. Km 10.3 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 791-5900 Toll Free: (888) 399-3888 & (800) 468-2647 Fax: (787) 791-2309 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service with pre phone call Payless Car Rental 100 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 625-8880 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 2:00 AM to 8:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service Thrifty Car Rental in Puerto Rico 10030 Marginal Los Angeles Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-2525 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 6:00 AM to 10:30 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service Allied Car & Truck Rental Puerto Rico 5910 Isla Verde Ave Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 726-7350 & (787) 726-7355 Fax: (787) 727-2438 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 6:00 AM to 10:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service with arranged phone call Charlie Car Rental Inc. 6050 Isla Verde Ave Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 728-2418 Toll Free: (800) 289-1227 Fax: (787) 727-2320 Business Hours: 24 Hours Services: Airport Shuttle Service U-Save Car & Truck Rental Puerto Rico Los Gobernadores Ave (at Isla Verde Mall) Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-4008 Toll Free: (888) 409-RENT (7368) Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service (with arranged phone call) Target Car Rental 204 Pomarrosa St San Juan, PR 00911 Tel: (787) 728-1447 & (787) 728-7184 Fax: (787) 982-5513 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Services: Free transportation to and from airport, hotels, piers with phone call) Bella International Car Rental Kennedy Ave (corner of Segarra St. & Bechara St.) Bechara Industrial Park San Juan, PR 00920 Tel: (787) 620-7484 Fax: (787) 620-7032 Business Hours: Mon – Fri 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM & Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Services: Airport Shuttle Service (with arranged phone call) Sixt Car Rental in Puerto Rico 154 Benitez Castano San Juan, PR 00911 Tel: (787) 791-3800 Fax: (787) 727-4312 Business Hours: Mon – Fri 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM & Sat – Sun 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Services: Fee of $30 for transportation to and from airports. Call to negotiate.
Car Rental Companies on Hotel Grounds
You can save some of the hassle of getting to your hotel by just booking your hotel at one of these establishments knowing that there is a car rental office on premise. They typically offer free shuttle service from and to the airports, but you would have to ensure that is the case before you book. Don’t forget to see the Trip Advisor links and reviews of the hotels so you can have a better idea about the hotels.Avis Car Rental Puerto Rico at Hotel Intercontinental 5961 Isla Verde Ave Carolina, 00979 PR Tel: (787) 982-4331 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Dollar Rent A Car in Puerto Rico at Verdanza Hotel Tartak Street (Isla Verde) Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-7074 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Enterprise Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Ritz Carlton Hotel 6961 Los Gobernadores Ave (Isla Verde) Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-6767 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Enterprise Car Rental Puerto Rico at the San Juan Hotel & Casino 6063 Isla Verde Ave Carolina, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 253-3723 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Enterprise Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Condado Plaza Hilton Hotel 999 Ashford Ave San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 722-5172 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Services: Cruise Ship Shuttle Service Hertz Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Marriot Hotel & Casino Condado 1309 Ashford Avenue San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 722-7000 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Hertz Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Caribe Hilton Hotel Rosales St (San Geronimo Grounds) Puerta de Tierra San Juan, PR 00901 Tel: (787) 721-0303 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Allied Car & Truck Rental Puerto Rico across from the Caribe Hilton Hotel 51 Muñoz Rivera Ave (Across from the Caribe Hilton Hotel) Puerta de Tierra San Juan, PR 00901 Tel: (787) 725-5350 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM Avis Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Sheraton Convention Center Hotel 200 Convention Center Blvd (Miramar Neighborhood) San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 993-3633 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM Remarks: Near the Pan American Cruise Pier Hertz Car Rental Puerto Rico at the Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel 100 Brumbaugh Street Old San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 721-5127 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 12:00 PM & 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM Remarks: Walking distance from port in Old San Juan
Car Rental Companies Near Condado
Condado is another popular Metro Area sight, and you will see many travelers and locals alike walking along Ashford Avenue. You can see many car rental companies on this street if you’re staying or visiting this area of San Juan that also features many bars and restaurants.Avis Car Rental Puerto Rico 1052 Ashford Ave San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 721-4499 Business Hours: Mon – Sat 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM & Sun 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM Charlie Car Rental Inc. Ashford Ave (In Front of the Marriott Hotel) Tel: (787) 722-5972 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Charlie Car Rental Inc. 890 Ashford Ave San Juan, PR 00979 Tel: (787) 721-6525 Toll Free: (800) 268-1227 Fax: (787) 727-2320 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Services: Cruise Ship Shuttle Service until 4:00 PM Hertz Car Rental Puerto Rico 1365 Ashford Ave San Juan, PR 00907 Tel: (787) 725-2027 Business Hours: Sun – Sat 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM
Public Transportation in Puerto Rico
Riding around in public transportation while traveling in Puerto Rico is mostly a “hit or miss” affair and you have to bring with you loads of patience. It is definitely a more economical way of getting around, however you do pay for that in lost time waiting and being in between places. Most of the public transportation can only be done in the Metro Area of San Juan, Condado, and Isla Verde and takes some pre-planning to know your day’s logistics and where you want to go. It’s not bad per say, but you definitely won’t be able to use public transportation to get around the rest of the island. If you only plan on staying in the Metro Area, then you’ll be okay. We’d recommend taking taxis in the Metro Area before buses, and the urban train last (as it mostly goes into non touristy areas). If you’re outside of the metro area, just be warned that public transportation is pretty much non-existent.
The public transportation system in Puerto Rico is run by Departamento de Transportación y Obras Públicas (DTOP) and is divided by it’s bus and urban train system.
Bus System of Puerto Rico
The bus system of Puerto Rico is called the Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses (AMA). The AMA runs various routes around the Metro Area and the bus stops are called “Paradas” which translates to “Stops” in english. On each of these paradas they have information of the numbered buses that go by there as well as the supposed time schedule. I say supposed because they are hardly on schedule and time takes on a different form here as what is known kindly as “Puerto Rico time.” To their credit though, there is sometimes much traffic in the Metro Area especially during rush/peak hours that the buses get there as fast as they can.
The buses don’t always stop at each “parada” unless they see somebody waving at them to stop. Make sure if you’re using the bus system and are waiting that when you see the bus that you make sure they see YOU! Ensure by asking them before you step on that it’s the right bus for the destination you intend to go.
The bus fare is $0.75 for all routes which includes a transfer to the Urban Train as long as you use it within a 2 hour window. You cannot bring your luggage into the buses (aside from a small carry on) so going to and from the airport on a bus is pretty much impossible to do. There is a route that goes to the airport, but you’d have to only have a backpack or something smaller to pull this off. The hours of operation are typically from 6:00AM till 9PM at night so you would have to plan accordingly.
Bus Routes in the Metro Area of Puerto Rico
The actual website of the DTOP and AMA does not properly display their interactive maps of the routes and schedule times and we hope they fix this soon for travelers coming to the island of Puerto Rico. However, we’ll list as best we can the most updated information once you get here in order to at least get a head start. We recommend that if you are going to use the buses to ask the locals if anything has changed as the information seems to do so frequently.
When you’re using the buses, it’s best if you just go by the “route number” instead of the route number and letter. For example, C45 and T45 are the same because of the number – and just make sure it matches to the bus you see. You may see instances where the letters are different but the numbers are the same. For some reason they haven’t updated the new letters. Just go by the numbers and you won’t get confused!
Here are your best Best Bus Routes to begin depending on which Metro Area you are staying at: Your best bets and main “arteries” are the 5, the 21, and the M1. The following are some basic routes (subject to change). Just make sure before you hop on ask the driver if you’re headed the right way!
If you’re coming from Old San Juan: To Go To: Condado use 21 to 53. To Isla Verde use 5. To Airport use 5 to 40. To Convention Center: 53. La Placita: Use 21. Plaza Las Americas Mall: Use 21. To Piñones: Use 53 then 45.
If you’re coming from Condado: To Go To: Old San Juan use 21 on Ashford Avenue or 53 on Calle Loiza. To Isla Verde: Use 53. To Plaza Las Americas Mall: Use 21 to Sagrado Corazon Station then transfer to 22. To La Placita: Use 21. To Puerto Rico Convention Center: Use 21. To Airport: 53 East, transfer to 40 or 50. To Piñones: 53, transfer 45.
If you’re coming from Isla Verde: To Go To: Old San Juan use 5. To Condado: Use 5, transfer to 21. To Piñones: 5east, transfer 45. To Plaza Las Americas Mall: 5 to Ponce De Leon, 21 to Sagrado Corazon, transfer 22. To La Placita: 5. To Convention Center: 53. To Airport: 5east, transfer 40.
For more information visit the DTOP Website (best bet is to call though for questions since website is in spanish and is missing information on bus routes). Their phone numbers are:787-294-0500 x 524 or x 514, or 1-800-981-3021.
Urban Train System in Puerto Rico (Tren Urbano)
The light-rail train system of Puerto Rico is called the Tren Urbano. This commuter rail system has 16 stations connecting the towns of Bayamon with the eastern portion of the Metro Area in Santurce near Sagrado Corazon University (a major hub for bus transfers as well). It also passes through the Centro Medico area (the island’s main medical center), the University of Puerto Rico in Rio Piedras, and the financial district of Hato Rey. There have been plans to extend the rail system into the tourist areas of Old San Juan and surrounding Metro Area, but as of yet nothing definitive has happened.
The fare is $1.50 per ride in these air-conditioned trains which include bus connections as well. For the traveler coming to Puerto Rico, it’s pretty rare you would need to use the train system as it mostly feeds the universities and medical facilities for students and employees of hospitals outside of the tourist areas in the Metro Area. For more information call 1-866-900-1284 or visit the DTOP Website.
Information on Using Taxis in Puerto Rico
One of your best bets for public transportation in the Metro Area of Puerto Rico is using taxis. It really doesn’t make sense if you’re using taxis to go further out into the country as it is way more expensive than just renting a car, but you do have that option. It’s a faster bet than using the public buses if you’re traveling between the airport, Isla Verde, Condado, Ocean Park, and Old San Juan. For information and logistics purposes the Metro Area is divided into “5 Zones” and there are fixed rates to other parts of the island.
Even though some of these prices listed are indeed “fixed”, you can also just tell the taxi driver before you step in where you are heading and he/she will tell you how much it will cost. Get this price beforehand so you don’t get surprises!
Zone 1: Airport
Zone 2: Isla Verde hotels
Zone 3: Condado/Miramar hotels
Zone 4: Old San Juan, Piers, hotels
Zone 5: Convention Center
There is a $2.00 “fuel charge” added to all fares whether or not they are metered or fixed. $1.00 for each piece of luggague. If you have more than 5 passengers they will pay up to $2 per person (passengers 6 & 7 up to 7 only). From 10:00PM till 6:00AM there will be an additional $1.00 charge per trip. Tolls are not included. 10-15% tip is customary.
Figure roughly a trip from any metro area to another if you have gear is on average around $30. Kinda expensive if you ask us, but it does have the convienience that you’re not driving. The rates are as follows:
From SJU Airport (Zone 1):To Zone 2: $10.00 To Zone 3: $15.00 To Zone 4: $19.00 To Zone 5: $15.00 To Plaza las Americas Mall: $18.00 To Plaza Carolina: $14.00 To Outlet Mall in Canovanas: $46.00 To Prime Outlet Mall in Barceloneta: $80.00
From Old San Juan (Zone 4):To Zone 1: $19.00 To Zone 2: $19.00 To Zone 3: $12.00 To Zone 4: $10.00 To Zone 5: $9.00 To Plaza Las Americas Mall: $14.00 To Plaza Carolina Mall: $24.00
From Convention Center (Zone 5):To Zone 1: $15.00 To Zone 2: $15.00 To Zone 3: $9.00 To Zone 4: $10.00 To Plaza Las Americas: $12.00 To Plaza Carolina Mall: $22.00
Taxi Fixed Rates Traveling Outside The Metro Area
Traveling outside the Metro Area is a bit more expensive but possible. There is a $1.75 initial charge. 10 cents charge for fraction of a mile (1/19 mile). 10 cents waiting time which is every 25 seconds. $1.00 charge for each piece of luggage in trunk (not carry ons). $1.00 call charge. $36.00 Hourly rent charge. $1.00 night rae (10PM-6AM). $3.00 Minimum charge per trip. $2.00 extra for passengers 6 and 7.
North Shore Dorado $60.00 Barcenoleta $80.00 Toa Alta/Baja $50.00 East Shore Fajardo $80.00 Humacao $77.00 Luquillo $72.00 Cordillera Central Mountain Range Aibonito $88.00 Adjuntas $147.00 Maricao $160.00 South Shore Ponce $125.00 Guanica $155.00 Maunabo $100.00 West Shore Rincon $155.00 Cabo Rojo $175.00 Mayaguez $160.00
It’s your best bet to call the taxi companies beforehand and they will meet you at a designated stop. It’s pretty hard to just be walking the streets in the Metro Area and just “hail a cab” as you can easily in cities such as New York and Boston. You definitely have to call ahead and set it up. Their phone number is: 1-800-866-7827 or Puerto Rico Tourist Taxi Website.
Ferry Service to Offshore Islands of Culebra & Vieques
If you’re planning on coming to Puerto Rico to visit two of the most beautiful offshore islands you can ever imagine in Culebra and Vieques then you have a couple of options that get there and both are vastly different. The first is to fly from San Juan/Isla Verde or the Fajardo region on a tiny plane, and the other is to drive to the Fajardo marina and buy your $3.00 ticket for the hour ferry ride to the other island. We have a detailed section on this as it is not as easy as it sounds to get to Culebra and Vieques, and there are great tips and tricks in which to make your life easier getting there. Email me at: email@example.com or wait for the final version of the travel guide book for these tips.
Can I Walk?
Walking distances in San Juan can be deceptive. If you’re walking from Isla Verde to Ocean Park or Condado that can easily take you a few hours in the hot scorching heat. From Condado To Old San Juan that’s also easily an hour or more and you’re going uphill! Then you gotta think of your walk back! The other aspect is you can easily get caught in an afternoon thunderstorm. We recommend do do your walking only in Old San Juan, as it’s the best way to experience the city. So can you walk? Yes, but it’s not going to be easy. If you’re going to walk alot, we definitely recommend the many hiking options we describe in our book Puerto Rico Adventures Revealed.
Driving + Rules of the Road of Puerto Rico
Driving in Puerto Rico is actually pretty good and the road systems and highways easily link you to any destination you want to get to on the island. Don’t feel afraid to rent a car and go exploring. With the GPS and Google Maps technology it’s as simple as a pin drop and following your route on your smartphone. However, we do want to say some things about driving in Puerto Rico as well as some of the rules of the road that may look a little different than from where you’re from.
Driving is on the right hand side of the road. Speed limits are listed in miles per hour, yet the distances are in kilometers. Speed limits are typically 65mph on expressways, but mostly 55mph in the Metro/Urban area.
The coastal routes and highways are easy to get to and flow very well. However, the smaller roads along the coastlines are slow going but very scenic.
One of the flaws is that some of the roads are not in perfect shape as they get beat down from the scorching sun day in and day out as well as the rain and as a result of this there are potholes everywhere! Some are as big as craters! You just have to keep an eye on the road and look out for them. It’s part of the fun of driving in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico drivers however, are another thing entirely. You gotta be defensive when driving here as you’ll easily see cars jump in front of you without any turn signals or warning whatsoever. Everyone seems to be in a hurry to “get there first” – whatever that means. People miss exits and you’ll see them backing up in the middle of the expressway to get on their exit! They don’t really know what turn signals are which can get a bit frustrating sometimes. At night, some of the lights aren’t as bright and you may have some dark parts or the road here and there. You are allowed to come to a red light past midnight, and use it as a stop sign and keep going. We recommend to be a defensive driver and just have paitence on the roads. It’s really pretty good when all is said and done. One other note however, is driving in the Cordillera Central Mountain range has many small and narrow twisty roads that are very slow going and can actually get you dizzy. Just take your time getting to your destinations and you’ll be okay. It’s all part of the traveling adventure anyways to hit unfamiliar roads with great destinations to explore!
Gas in Puerto Rico
A note about gas in Puerto Rico is that it is sold/priced/measured in liters. Good rule of thumb is to multiply the price you see by 4 to get an estimated price per gallon. So when you see the signs that say: 0.98 don’t get too happy! That translates to 0.98 X 4 = $3.92 price per gallon. Keep this rule of thumb in mind to get an idea of your gas costs and where to put gas.
There are many gas stations throughout the island so you really shouldn’t have any worries in running out of gas or not finding a station when you need one. The gas stations typically have a convinience store where you can load up on ice, drinks, snacks for the road trip. Debit cards are typically not taken so make sure to have cash, although most gas stations do have a local ATM machine where you can take out cash.
Auto Expresso Express Highway Lanes
AutoExpresso To make your drives a much smoother and faster ride, make sure to activate your Auto Expreso tag from your car rental agency. The tag allows you to go through the toll lanes without having to stop. More importantly, most major highways in Puerto Rico have “changeless” tolls – meaning you have to have the Auto Expreso sticker.
Even if you opt out of Auto Expreso when you rent the car, if it has a sticker and you pass through a “cash” lane you will be charged. You could be charged with extra fees from rental agency for no reason. Just save yourself the hassle and make sure to get Auto Expreso for the trip.
Distance Around The Island
Estimated travel times by car around the island from SJU Airport:Metro Area To Isla Verde: 5 minutes To Ocean Park: 7 minutes To Condado: 10 minutes To Old San Juan: 15 minutes To Santurce: 10 minutes To Miramar: 12 minutes North Shore To Dorado: 40 minutes To Barcenoleta: 1 hour 15 minutes To Toa Alta/Toa Baja 45 minutes East Shore To Fajardo 1 hour To Humacao 1 hour 20 minutes To Luquillo 50 minutes Cordillera Central Mountain Range To Aibonito 1 hour 10 minutes To Adjuntas 1 hour 40 minutes To Maricao 2 hours 20 minutes South Shore To Ponce 1 hour 30 minutes To Guanica 2 hours To Maunabo 1 hour 20 minues West Shore To Rincon 2 hours 40 minutes To Cabo Rojo 2 hours 40 minutes To Mayaguez 2 hours 30 minutes
Google Maps App
This book will give you directions and exact “pin point” links through the Google Maps App hyperlinks which can be accessed by pretty much any smart phone. We provide the links to many secret spots in long form so you can easily copy and paste them to send to other friends/family that may be with you in your group in other cars. It’s super user friendly and Google Maps works the best on the island pretty much 99.9% of the time. Please see our travel guide book for more details.
Parking in Puerto Rico
Parking in the Metro Area of Puerto Rico can be a bit of a hassle if you don’t really know where you’re specifically going. On the rare occasion that you can park along the street, you’ll be greeted by a parking meter that only takes quarters and dimes. The police of Puerto Rico are pretty notorious for giving parking tickets so you better make sure you put enough change to last you for your day. I don’t know about you, but I have the worse luck and have gotten so many parking tickets it’s not even funny. So if you don’t have change, just look for the numerous signs of private parking companies and garages. You can expect to pay somewhere between $5-10 to park in the Metro Area, but at least you don’t have to worry about the meter expiring and getting a $75 parking ticket.
You can also park in the garages of most hotels, but be warned it is super expensive – as much as 40% higher than parking in a garage. It’s rare that cars are towed, but still use common sense if you’re going to park where you don’t feel comfortable (in the sense that it may or may not be a legit parking spot).
As you explore the island outside the Metro Area, it’s way more easier to park and not as many metered parking slots. As long as you’re not blocking any other cars it’s pretty much park wherever you can and go from there. Please see our travel guide for more specific parking information in each area you can travel to.
“Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me Other times I can barely see Lately it occurs to me, What a long strange trip it’s been” Grateful Dead – Truckin’