Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is an island located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. The population is about 4 million people.

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States. The government is a commonwealth with the President of the United States as chief of state and a governor as head of government.

Christopher Columbus claimed Puerto Rico for Spain in 1493, and San Juan became an important Spanish outpost. After the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico was ceded to the United States, and Puerto Ricans gained US citizenship in 1917.

Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destination and port of call for cruise liners. Tourism is important to the economy, and there are about 2 million visitors each year. Visitors can find beaches, caves, and coral reefs. This cosmopolitan island has Spanish forts dating to the 15th century, museums, colonial buildings, casinos and shopping.

Currency USD: US dollar
Language Spanish and English
Capital San Juan
Recent Alerts 1
Latest Alert March 21, 2017 - Zika virus in the Caribbean - update

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Puerto Rico. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Puerto Rico through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Puerto Rico.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Puerto Rico, especially when visiting smaller cities, villages, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks have occurred in Puerto Rico, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Ciguatera Fish Poisoning

This kind of marine seafood toxin poisoning occurs sporadically in Puerto Rico.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in this country. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Zika Fever

There is transmission of the Zika virus in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Puerto Rico.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country, therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended; especially when visiting smaller cities or rural areas, where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Puerto Rico.

None required.

Safety and Security in Puerto Rico

Emergency Numbers

911
787-741-2020
787-741-1616
787-741-2111

Personal Safety

Travellers rarely experience safety and security problems in Puerto Rico, however, travellers should be alert and aware of their personal safety and surroundings. Violent crime can occur. Petty crime, such as theft and pickpocketing, is common in Puerto Rico. Travellers should ensure their personal belongings, valuables, and travel documents are kept safe at all times.

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