Travelling to Puerto Rico? Need Vaccinations?
Isla de Encanta, the Isle of Enchantment, as Puerto Rico is affectionately dubbed by its residents, oozes history, buzzes with excitement, and jumps to pounding salsa music. The sea port of San Juan, which takes 2nd place only to New York harbour as the busiest in U.S. territory, is the gateway to the wealth of history and charm that is Old San Juan. From the harbour, walk up along Calle Fortaleza, with its array of shops, cafés, and bars, and historic buildings to the top of the hill, to Plaza de San José, or visit the old Fortaleza, home to the city’s governors for over 300 years.
Leave lots of time for a tour of 16th Century El Morro Fortress, which stands guard over San Juan harbour. Swim and sun on the glorious beach, at Isla Verde, then lunch at the El San Juan hotel, and later, dance the night away in one of Condado’s salsa clubs. Take the ferry to the beaches of Vieques or go surfing in Rincón, and try not to miss the incredible beauty of El Yunque rainforest. Little-known historical fact- Puerto Rico was once called San Juan and San Juan city was once Puerto Rico. Even before you think of what to pack for your trip to Puerto Rico, take time to visit our Travel Health Clinic, four to eight weeks before departure, so that you will be completely safe and up-to-date with the Vaccinations you need for Puerto Rico.
What Vaccinations do I need for Travel to Puerto Rico?
Travellers to Puerto Rico are generally advised the following vaccinations:
In addition, depending upon your itinerary, where you are travelling, length of travel and your occupational and lifestyle risks, you may also require vaccinations for the following:
Have a look at our pricing table for information about the cost of the travel vaccinations required for Puerto Rico. If you are travelling further in the region, you may also wish to check what vaccinations you require for neighbouring countries in the Caribbean.
Further Travel Health Advice for Puerto Rico
Heat and Humidity
Puerto Rico is tropical, with dry heat, except during the rainy season from June to November. Expect high temperatures on either coast,and intense humidity in the rainforest. At the beach or when sailing or indulging in water sports, use a good sun block lotion with SPF 20 or higher. Apply liberally and often. When on tour, remember to wear light clothing and bring lots of water with you.
The tap water in Puerto Rico is officially safe to drink, however, bottled waters of all kinds are widely available. Remember to drink fluids often and whether it be water or fruit juices, replenish fluids throughout the day.
Food and Drink
The streets of San Juan are lined with one restaurant or café after another, whether along the Condado strip or in the old city. Puerto Rican food is Spanish, Cuban and Mexican, with a touch of African and Caribbean cuisine thrown in, and the result is wonderful. Grilled meats, such as roast suckling pig, or fresh fish, usually fried, are served with fried mashed plantains, and flavourful sauces like adobo, made with olive oil, garlic, crushed peppers, oregano and lime juice season many of these dishes. Favoured appetizers are codfish fritters, or empandadillas, which are scrumptious fish or meat turnovers. Ice cold cerveza, beer, is often served with meals, but the top drink remains Puerto Rican rum, white or amber. This is the birthplace of the Mojito rum cocktail with soda, lime and mint, and Piña Coladas, rum with coconut milk and pineapple.
Seeking Treatment Abroad
Should you require health care in Puerto Rico, there are any number of very good hospitals in San Juan, and across the island. There are also private clinics, and the standard of care is excellent. Remember that it is important that you arrange in advance to have enough money with you to pay for any health care you might need.
Travel and Health Insurance
Protect yourself, and your family, with comprehensive travel health insurance which will cover your intended itinerary and any potentially risky activities, such as surfing.
Do take the normal precautions, such as protecting your valuables, and not walking alone at night, however, in tourist areas, visitors are generally safe. Remember to avoid wearing flashy jewellery, and to watch for pickpockets, even if you are with a group.