Hiker admiring the view of Puerto Rico's mountains.

Sunset views of Puerto Rico's mountains. 

Facts about Puerto Rico

Get to know some basic facts about Puerto Rico:

Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, locals are American citizens and American travelers can enter the island without having to carry a passport. Nor do U.S. travelers require international calling plans for their phones. The currency used in Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar. 

Languages

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States where the official languages are Spanish and English. You may come across people who speak a mixture of both, or “Spanglish,” given the influence of the U.S. on the island.

Location

Puerto Rico is the smallest island of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean, located east of the Dominican Republic.

Currency

The currency used in Puerto Rico is the U.S. dollar.

No passport needed for U.S. travelers

Since Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States, American citizens do not require a passport to enter the island, although it is necessary that they always travel with valid ID.

Transportation

You can get to Puerto Rico by air or by sea. Airlines such as Delta, American Airlines, United, Southwest, Jet Blue, and Spirit Airlines have direct flights to the island. To give you an idea, the island receives over 1,300 weekly non-stop flights and almost 1,000 direct flights. Most of these flights come from cities like New York, Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Hartford, Dallas, Houston, Baltimore, Washington, and Chicago.

Weather

The climate in Puerto Rico is warm and tropical (i.e. expect an afternoon shower during the summer months). The temperature varies between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year. In the central mountainous area, it can go down to about 60 degrees during the months of December and January.

Phone plans

American travelers do not need to opt for international plans to make calls since their phones will work perfectly on the island. In Puerto Rico there is 4GLTE network. In remote areas of the island, cellular service and data coverage can be spotty, so always plan ahead if you're going into the mountains, for example. 

Population

There are around 3.6 million people in Puerto Rico, and close to 5 million Puerto Ricans living in the U.S.

Other facts

  • The legal age to consume alcoholic beverages in Puerto Rico is 18 years.
  • The island has almost 300 miles of coastline and almost the same number of beaches.
  • Puerto Rico has the largest shopping center in the Caribbean, Plaza Las Américas, and the largest rum factory in the world, Casa Bacardí.
  • El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S. Forest Service and is in Puerto Rico. The forest receives over 120 inches of rain every year.
  • Although Puerto Rico is an American territory, it competes as an individual country in the contests of Miss Universe and in the Olympics.
  • The largest radio telescope in the world is located in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and it is used to monitor asteroids in space and determine if any come too close to the Earth.
  • Flamenco Beach, in Culebra, has been recognized as one of the Top 10 Beaches in the world on multiple occasions.
  • The piña colada was invented in Puerto Rico