Hurricane Sam (updated 24 Sep 2021 @ 8am)
📍 Hurricane Sam is expected to strengthen to a "major" hurricane (Category 3) on Friday night or Saturday. The current forecast projection has the storm passing to the northeast of Puerto Rico. We will be keeping an eye on this system over coming days to monitor its development.
🌊 Expect storm surge from the hurricane to affect our beaches, especially on the north and east sides of the island, during the first half of the coming week.
🌦️ Keep an eye on our weather page for updates from the National Hurricane Center
Temporary Mandates from 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 (updated 20 Sep 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and in outdoor spaces where 50 or more people are gathered.
🛒 Restaurants, bars, and stores must remain closed from 12 midnight to 5am. This limitation does not apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, food take out and delivery, or healthcare.
🍺 Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere, nor consumed in public, from 12 midnight to 5am.
🚩 Effective 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 per executive order EO-2021-065. Note that this executive order was extended until 14 Oct on 20 Sep.
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 30 Aug 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show 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. 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. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show 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. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show 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. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

Enjoy Yourself Without Breaking the Bank

Puerto Rico Budget Vacation

Puerto Rico has many great "selling points" to attractive visitors to our shores — beaches, forests, adventure, history, food, music and friendly locals. Being an inexpensive vacation destination is not one of the island’s strong points.

However, don’t be discouraged. With some careful planning, you can have a fun-filled vacation and still remain within your budget.


After airfare, lodging is usually the largest chunk of your vacation budget. When it comes to finding a place to stay, you do have some options. Most people immediately look for a hotel room. In Puerto Rico, the large "brand-name" hotels and resorts (Marriott, Hilton, Ritz, Wyndham, etc.) are expensive — sometimes over $250 per night!

There are some smaller hotels that are less expensive, but they are usually much more basic. Most hotel rooms have a 4 person maximum. At hotels, you are paying a lot for one room. You are also paying a higher hotel room tax and sometimes resort fees. On top of that, you’ll probably have a parking fee, and then you have to go out for every meal. These things can add up quickly!

To save money, look for package deals or specials on-line, smaller places that offer breakfast, or at least a refrigerator in your room.

For the real budget minded, there is camping, but you need to supply everything as finding rentals of camping supplies is difficult. One nice step up – There are now more hostels opening up (mainly in San Juan, and the east coast).

Vacation Rentals – A Good Lodging Option

A better option for budget-minded families may be a vacation rental. Vacation rentals are usually a house, apartment, or condo, typically privately owned and (oftentimes) privately managed. They can range in size, but they are usually more than one room — and if you have kids, the extra space is a blessing on vacation! They may be located in a tourist area, inside a larger resort, in a residential neighborhood, or out in the Puerto Rican countryside. You can find them in the city, on the beach or up in the mountains in the rain forest.

You can usually find vacation rentals that cost less than, or on par with, hotel rooms. You end up with more bang for your buck and, since they usually have a kitchen, you can prepare meals and drinks "at home". That alone is a huge cost savings! And there is usually free parking. They are available all over the island, including Vieques and Culebra.

Each vacation rental is individually owned and decorated. They may be maintained by the owner, a grounds-keeper or a management company. Finding the right one for you requires you to compare the amenities offered by each property.

Coqui's Hideaway Living Room

For example, our vacation rental, Coqui’s Hideaway, is located in Río Grande in the foothills of El Yunque. We offer it as either 2 bedrooms / 2 bathrooms (for up to 4 people) or 3 bedrooms / 3 bathrooms (for up to 6 people).

It has a full kitchen (and all the cooking implements needed), a living room, with a HDTV & lots of movies on DVD, indoor & outdoor dining areas, porches, and a private pool area with BBQ & mini-kitchen.

All this is on 9 lush acres where you can spread out, wander around the property, and enjoy the tropical fruit & flowers. We also have free parking. And we are right there on the property to make sure everything is OK, properly-maintained, and to help you with any plans or questions.

When deciding where to stay, I recommend that you first decide on an area of the island you want to stay, based on the activities you want to do while on vacation. After you’ve picked a part of the island, look at what lodging options are available in that area. For vacation rentals, look a sites like the vacation rental section of or places like And you don’t have to give up on the resort fun- their beaches, casinos, restaurants, bars, spas and shops are open to the public.


Puerto Rico Car Rentals

Unless you are staying in San Juan or Old San Juan, the easiest and most cost-effective way to get around will be in your own rental car. Within the metro area, you will be able to take a public bus or taxi. But if you want to leave that area, you need other transportation method. So you will be best off renting a car.

For car rentals, you need to do your homework — get web site quotes from all the large named companies. Look for car rental coupons. Also, look into the smaller, local companies when comparing prices. We did some of the initial legwork and gathered it together into this article about car rentals in the San Juan area.


Puerto Rico has many world class chefs and great restaurants. But I find the prices to be pretty high, especially if you have to "go out" every night. Drink prices are really expensive. Before ordering, check the menu and prices to make sure you are OK with it.

Kiosk Food

You will be able to find some less expensive meals, if you know where to look. The local kiosks at beaches (like Piñones and Luquillo), panaderias (bakeries), road-side "local" food, and even Guavate. The key to finding the best local food that is not too expensive is to look for the one that is most crowded with locals, or ask some locals where they eat. Even many of the supermarkets make good hot "local" dishes for lunch and dinner for a great price. Most "authentic" local places won’t have much in the way of ambiance or location, but they will serve filling meals for about $7-$10/plate.

Of course, Puerto Rico has lots of the fast food chains you are used to — McDonald’s, Burger King, Dominos, Panda Express, etc. There are also some mid-priced places, like Chili’s, Pizzeria Uno, Ponderosa and others.

Things to do in Puerto Rico

Prices for activities in Puerto Rico range from free to expensive. And with a family, it adds up quickly. We try to help out our guests at Coqui’s Hideaway by offering discounts on many of the more popular activities, including ziplines, the biobay, rappeling, ATVs, kayaking, Segway tours, and hang gliding, just to name a few. But for people not staying with us, Even if you are trying to save some money, there are still loads of things you can do for free or "on the cheap". Some of my favorites include


Don’t Forget to Look for Coupons

Another way to save money on meals, car rental and maybe lodging is check out the “coupon” web pages- Puerto Rico Coupon pages.There are about 8 different sites and they all offer food, lodging and activities for half price or more! But read the small print carefully! .

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ... 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 →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 2 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

People wants to budget their money in vacation. So, this blog you posted is so helpful to us. Thanks for sharing this.

Comment by Jude dylan on 01 Mar 2015

I believe that the tip and advise regarding renting a home for your stay in Puerto Rico is spot on. That's what I'm planning for my next trip. I will be staying in the western side of Puerto Rico for 1 week, followed by a week on the eastern side of the island. When it comes to bang for the buck, I feel that it can't be beat. My only regret is that I didn't think about it earlier. I've done timeshare exchanges, pardors (B&Bs), family and hotels, and I'm really liking the idea of renting a vacation rental for a week. The selection is pretty substantial. You've already got Coqui's Hideaway to check out and consider, and if you Google "vacation rentals Puerto Rico," you'll be pleasantly surprised at how many options you will find.

Comment by Josh on 20 Apr 2011

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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

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