Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ” ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
πŸ›’ The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
β›΅ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
πŸ‘ͺ The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚒 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
πŸ“„ ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

Spend Some Time Bird Watching in Puerto Rico

San Pedrito (Puerto Rican Tody)

If you are a birdwatcher, then Puerto Rico needs to be added to your must-visit bucket list. Puerto Rico has so many different geographical regions, all within a small 35×100 mile area — rain forests, dry forests, and forests in-between, seaside, mangroves and mountains. Due to this fact (and our wonderful winter weather), you can see many different types of birds during a short visit to the island, especially if you know where to look. You have a pretty good chance of seeing at least a few of the 17 endemic birds and many of the 300 different types of bird species that call Puerto Rico home at some time throughout the year.

Right Here on Our Property

Here, in the El Yunque rain forest area where we live and have our vacation rental, we have spotted a number of endemic and migratory birds. My favorite ones are the PR Tody, PR Oriole, PR Woodpecker, PR Emerald Hummingbird, the orange-fronted parakeet and the male pin-tail Whydah (during mating season). But there are many others that we see on a daily basis, such as the bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), red tail hawks and the PR Lizard Cuckoo.

Wild Parakeets

One bird you should not expect to see is the endangered Puerto Rican parrot. With only a few dozen left in the wild, it would be an extremely lucky sighting!

I am not a true birdwatcher, but even I am always amazed at the amount of birds that call this area home. There is always something flitting about! Especially early in the morning.

I am sure someone with some birdwatching experience, binoculars, a book of local birds and some patience can really add a few birds to their life list. And even when you can’t see them, you can hear them, both day and night. There are a number of nocturnal birds, too!

Though you need to go up to higher elevations of El Yunque forest to see a few specific species, most of the bird species that call this area home can be observed at the lower elevations where the vegetation is less dense.

Out on the Island

If you are really into birdwatching, you will want to make some road trips around the island to see a more diverse variety of species. One area that is great for observing shore and water birds is the Humacao Nature Reserve. It is nice to walk around and look for birds, but it is best to go on a weekend when you can rent a kayak and go into the mangroves and the lagoon. They even have signs around the lagoon to help with bird identification.

Other places further away that are also excellent for birdwatching are the out-islands of Vieques and Culebra, which have wildlife refuges. In the south-west of Puerto Rico, you’ll find the Cabo Rojo wetlands and saltflats, the freshwater Cartagena Lagoon, and the dry forest in Guanica. The Maricao Forest and Boquerón Forest are also home to a number of different variety of birds that you can’t see in the El Yunque forests.

Only in Puerto Rico

Endemic birds, which mean that they are native to the island and live only in Puerto Rico, include

  • Yellow-shouldered Blackbird (Agelaius xanthomus)
  • Puerto Rican Parrot (Amazona vittata)
  • Green Mango (Anthracothorax viridis)
  • Puerto Rican Nightjar (Caprimulgus noctitherus)
  • Puerto Rican Emerald (Chlorostilbon maugeaus)
  • Puerto Rican Lizard Cuckoo (Coccyzus vieilloti)
  • Puerto Rican Pewee (Contopus portoricenis)
  • Adelaide’s Warbler (Dendroica adelaidae)
  • Elfin-woods Warbler (Dendroica angelae)
  • Puerto Rican Bullfinch (Loxigilla portoricensis)
  • Puerto Rican Screech Owl (Megascops nudipes)
  • Puerto Rican Woodpecker (Melanerpes portoricensis)
  • Puerto Rican Flycatcher (Myiarchus antillarum)
  • Puerto Rican Tanager (Nesospingus speculiferus)
  • Puerto Rican Spindalis (Spindalis portoricensis)
  • Puerto Rican Tody or San Pedrito (Todus mexicanus)
  • Puerto Rican Vireo (Vireo latimeri)
    source Wikipedia

Guides, Guide Books & Tours

If you’re looking for some field guides to local birds, we have some recommendations for you. We have the first two on this list as part of the library our guests can access.

  • A Guide to the Birds of Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands by Herbert A. Raffaele, Cindy J. House, John Wiessinger.
  • Puerto Rico’s Birds In Photographs by Mark W. Oberle. This one has a CD with the birds’ songs.
  • Aves de Puerto Rico by Virgilio Biaggi (this heavy book is in Spanish, but great illustrations)

Of course you can go bird watching on your own, but if you want to go on a guided tour, there are a few companies/groups that offer them.

  • Caribbean Birding Trail recommends local bird watchers to go with on birdwatching outings all around Puerto Rico. Check their website for guides and other bird watching information.
  • SOPI recommends local bird watchers to go with on birdwatching outings all around Puerto Rico. Check their website for bird watching information.
  • The Puerto Rico Conservation Trust runs birdwatching outings all around Puerto Rico. These are basic birdwatching trips. Check their website to see what trips are being offered, dates/times and to reserve your tour in English. You can call 787-722-5882 for more information.
  • The Puerto Rico Ornithological Society also does guided bird watching outings. Check their website for more information. These trips are most likely in Spanish, but I am sure many in the group will be bilingual. Their website is a great source of information on Puerto Rican birds (they even have recordings of the bird calls along with pictures).
  • Adventours is a tour company that offers birdwatching trips and multi-day tours. You can check their website for more information.

So bring your binoculars, a good bird book, lots of patience and go birdwatching during your visit to Puerto Rico!

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

Coqui's Hideaway Rainforest Villa in Rio Grande Located in the Foothills of El Yunque