When it comes to helping your group experience the warmth and beauty of Puerto Rico, ground transportation is an essential part of planning logistics.
The island is small, 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, so getting around is fairly simple in most instances. It takes about hours hours to drive from end to end and around eight hours to drive around the island — unless you hit rush hour in the San Juan metro area, that is!
If your group is staying in San Juan, options for getting around include taxi, Uber, buses, and Tren Urbano (light rail). There are also a variety of private shuttle rentals and local tour company options for groups who require customized travel arrangements. If your group is leaving the metro area, choosing to rent a car, van, or bus (depending on group size) will greatly simplify your travel.
Solutions can vary based on group size and itinerary, so if you need help from local experts, contact the Group Sales Team at Discover Puerto Rico to get tips, recommendations, and other local insights.
Most major car rental companies have a presence in Puerto Rico. Hertz, Avis/Budget, Enterprise, Alamo, Thrifty, National, and others are conveniently located at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan.
A plethora of other companies located nearby — Sixt, Allied, U-Save, E-Z, Popular, Charlie Car Rental, and others — will provide shuttle service connecting the airport and the car rental office.
Rental cars are already equipped with AutoExpreso stickers, which is a prepaid service for paying tolls that is more convenient than stopping to pay each toll with cash. The car rental company will add a surcharge to the renter for tolls after the car is returned.
Bus or Shuttle Rentals
Bus rentals are a great way to transport a larger group around the island. There are several companies that offer rentals of buses and vans, including VIP Limo, Gray Line Puerto Rico, and GO Puerto Rico Shuttle.
At the Airport
Upon exiting the airport terminals, travelers will see an organized line of taxicabs waiting to serve. Airport staff will assist in figuring out the pre-fixed fare — depending on the destination — and provide that information before travelers enter the cab. Note that luggage, number of passengers, and tolls may increase fares in some cases. Taxis are cash-only. Rideshare apps like Uber are unable to pick up passengers from the airport (but they can drop passengers off there).
Around the Island
As with any destination, the frequency of taxis is much higher in larger cities than in rural areas. Taxicabs may be hailed anywhere, but there are areas where it’s better to call the cab company to arrange a ride rather than waiting for one to pass by.
With more than 4,000 drivers on the island, wait times in areas that offer service are generally shorter than 10 minutes. However, travelers will find more consistent service in the San Juan metro area and in the southern city of Ponce than in many other areas. Don’t expect to find much available outside of larger cities.
Bus and Light Rail
Public transportation is available throughout the San Juan metro area. The Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP) has designed a network of 30 bus routes throughout the whole metro area, including Toa Baja, Cataño, Bayamón, Guaynabo, San Juan, and Carolina. A light rail line (Tren Urbano) connects three municipalities (San Juan, Guaynabo, and Bayamón).
Bus fare is 75¢, while one Tren Urbano trip costs $1.50. In order to use either buses or the train, passengers need to purchase a transit pass at any Tren Urbano station. Exact fare, day-, weekly-, and monthly-unlimited passes are available. Transfers from train to bus and vice versa within two hours are free.
Regular buses operate from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays, and from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays. Metrobus buses (routes I and II, and Express) operate daily from 4:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.