Is Puerto Rico Safe? A Guide to Safety in Puerto Rico
It is always important to know whether a country is a safe place to visit before planning for a trip there. Keeping that in mind, in this article we are going to talk about safety in Puerto Rico and the concerns to be addressed while planning a visit there. Since Puerto Rico is a part of the USA, all the laws of the country apply here as well.
Here Are the Top Things to Keep in Mind with Safety in Puerto Rico:
1. Is Puerto Rico Safe to Travel To?
Safety in Puerto Rico for tourists is definitely something to be concerned about, but no more than in any other holiday destination. Just like any other US city, there are gun crimes, drug trafficking crimes happening every day but this island’s crimes are much lesser than mainland cities. Since almost half the population there is living below the poverty line, pickpocketing and robbing is a real deal issue. So travellers should exercise vigilance and caution while going anywhere. Make sure that your phones, passports and ID cards are stored safely.
Puerto Rico has been on news for the last few years for earthquakes and hurricanes that disrupted the island. Electricity will go off on the island if the Richter scale touches 6.0 for safety measures. Puerto Rico is prone to earthquakes, so that is something you should keep in mind. Apart from that, the weather in Puerto Rico remains warm most of the year and there will be tourists round the year. The best time to visit would be from March to June right before the winter starts there. You can also plan a trip during the winter and rainy season if you like the same.
3. Things to Know about Certain Neighborhoods
There are neighbourhoods on the island to avoid, especially at night where drug trafficking and gang fights may break out. Avoid going to public housing areas known as caserios to ensure your safety in Puerto Rico. It is advised to avoid La Perla, certain parts of Puerta de Tierra, Pinones, Parque de la Palomas and Santruce among others. Also, avoid dark alleys and isolated places. Make sure you stick to places where there are crowds and police patrol.
4. Hate crimes in Puerto Rico
All tourists in Puerto Rico are protected by the USA federal hate crime laws. Any crimes based on gender, ethnicity and religion should be reported to the local authorities. Though Puerto Rico is an LGBTQIA+ friendly island, there are still hate crimes happening regarding the same.
5. Is Puerto Rico Safe for Solo Travellers?
It is safe for women to travel alone here, keeping in mind the general safety precautions. It is generally safe for women travellers as well. Women are advised not to wear expensive jewellery and it is best to stick to crowded areas. Catcalling and verbal harassment are not uncommon here and it is best to ignore them. The locals are generally friendly and one can always use their help if needed. It is best to carry minimal things when going out so as to not attract attention and keep track of all your belongings to ensure your safety in Puerto Rico.
Things to Keep in Mind Regarding Safety in Puerto Rico
Learn basic Spanish, since not everyone knows English there
Try to blend in with the native crowd and don’t come across as tourists since it might attract pickpockets and thefts.
In case of any emergency, call 911 immediately.
Avoid carrying expensive jewellery, gadgets, etc.
Try carrying a little cash and use cards more on the island.
Don’t leave the valuables in rented cars.
Consider the weather forecasts if you are going or trekking or hiking
Steer clear of drugs, including marijuana (except for medicinal purposes); one will face charges if caught.
The legal drinking age is 18 and a valid ID is required to buy alcohol from stores and bars.
Register your drone in case you are going to use one with the FAA and always get consent if you are going to click pictures of someone
Have we missed out on anything regarding safety in Puerto Rico? Let us know in the comments below!