Executive Order EO-2021-075 (updated 15 Nov 2021)
📄 EO-2021-075 was issued on 15 Nov 2021, and is effective immediately
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and outdoor spaces where there are 50 or more people.
🆔 The requirement to show proof of vaccination, or negative test results for lodging, restaurants, etc (as detailed below) will apply to kids aged 5 to 11 years beginning 15 January 2022.
🏟️ All attendees at large events must show proof of vaccination. If the event venue chooses to admit people who are not fully vaccinated (but show a negative test result instead), then the capacity of the venue will be limited to 50%. Kids aged 5 to 11 must provide negative test results (until 01 Feb 2022, at which point they will need to be vaccinated).
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 15 Nov 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and outdoor spaces where there are 50 or more people.
🏨 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 documentation 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) Vacu-ID issued by the Government of Puerto Rico in the CESCO app on your mobile device, (c) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (d) 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

Renting a Car & Getting Around in the San Juan, Fajardo & Ceiba Areas

San Juan Car Rentals

Car rentals are limited due to reduced tourism/COVID times. Hopefully as things improve, more cars will become available. So book early!

To really see Puerto Rico, I think you need to get out and explore. Whether you are in port for the day with a cruise ship or you’ve flown in for a couple weeks, renting a car is a great way to get around.

Renting a car gives you flexibility to go where you want on your own schedule (as opposed to taking a tour). Renting a car is also a more economical way to get around. There are loads of agencies that have all types of cars and vans, so even with a large family, you’re sure to find something that suits your needs. One note- if your car insurance covers you for rental cars, bring a copy of the declarations page of your policy. That way, you don’t have to buy their insurance.

Many Rental Companies to Choose From

All of the major national car rental companies are represented here in Puerto Rico. These companies have the advantage of being ones whose names you recognize. They all have web sites that you can use to book your rental. Additionally, there are a number of local car rental companies. You may not recognize the names of these companies, but you can often times save some money by renting from them. Some rental agencies get better reviews than others. Read the contract well, have your insurance information available. And know about the toll pass- AutoExpreso and other driving info: Driving in Puerto Rico

San Juan Car Rentals

Some of the better known car rental companies have counters in the first floor of the parking deck, right across the road as you exit the baggage claim area. However, with some of them you need to take a shuttle to the company office and car lot. The shuttles all make the rounds every so often to the baggage claim areas. Some smaller companies you may need to call them for a pickup. Read you reservation for directions. There are a few companies that are located right in the airport complex (on-site), and some are outside the airport (off-site). The companies inside the airport complex are usually priced a little higher due to convenience and an additional tax. Many of these ones are open 24 hours.

There are also a number of companies that are located in the San Juan area, but in the hotel district instead of near the airport. These may offer lower prices than places at the airport, and the smaller local places may offer a shuttle from/to the airport. These are also really convenient for people staying in the San Juan / Isla Verde / Condado area who want to rent a car for just a day or two during the middle of their vacation.

Car Rentals at the Luis Muñoz Marin Airport (SJU)

On-site at the SJU airport walk to lot in the adjacent parking deck. Rental desks are on the ground floor, cars are on the second floor

Off-site, but still within minutes of the SJU airport


Car Rentals in Isla Verde

  • Allied/AAA — 787-726-7350 — located near the Howard Johnson Hotel and ESJ Towers
  • Avis — 787-982-4331 — located in the Intercontinental Hotel
  • Enterprise — 787-253-3724 — located in the El San Juan Hotel


Car Rentals in Condado

  • Avis — 787-721-4499 — located near La Concha
  • Charlie Car Rental — 787-721-6525 — located near the Condado Plaza Hotel
  • Enterprise — 787-722-5172 — located near the Condado Plaza Hotel
  • Hertz — 787-722-7000 — located near the old Radisson Ambassador Plaza Hotel


Car Rentals for Cruise Ship Passengers in Port in San Juan

For people who want to rent at the airport and then drop-off close to the cruise ships, there are a few places that offer shuttles to the cruise piers.

  • Avis — 787-253-5926 — located at the SJU airport
  • Charlie Car Rental — 787-728-2418 — located on Ave. Isla Verde near Walgreens
  • Enterprise — 787- 253-3722 — located on Ave. Los Angeles
  • Hertz — 787-791-0840 — located at the SJU airport

For cruise ship passengers in port for the day who want to rent a car close to the piers, there are a few companies that offer shuttles between the cruise piers and their rental office. But be aware that most car rental company shuttles only operate between 8am and 4pm (or so). There’s the chance that you may have to take a taxi back to your pier if you do a late drop-off.

Pan American Pier

Pier 4 in Old San Juan


Car Rentals Farther East — Fajardo & Ceiba

People taking the ferry or flying to/from Vieques or Culebra have other issues they need to consider — they usually need one-way rentals between the SJU Airport and the ferry terminal in Ceiba or the Ceiba Airport (RVR). There are a few companies that offer this, but it usually incurs an additional fee. Because of that fee, this options typically makes economical sense only if you want to use the car for at least a day or two before dropping it off. Some companies offer shuttles between their office and the ferry or RVR Airport, so you don’t have to worry about getting a taxi.

Note you really shouldn’t plan to take your rental car from the main island over to Culebra or Vieques with you. I don’t know if it violates the rental contract, but it does add a problematic aspect- if you have car trouble on the small islands, I am not sure the rental company will be able to help.

Here is the list of car rental companies in the Fajardo/Ceiba area that might offer one-way rentals. Note that these are small offices and most are only open normal business hours, typically Monday to Saturday from 9am to 5pm. Some are open on Sundays.

  • Enterprise — 787-860-6868
  • AVIS —787-605-0166 or 787-885-0505 outside the airport. They will pick you up at the ferry dock.
  • Thrifty — 787-860-2030 at the Fajardo Inn
  • Allied Car rental — 787-455-7350 in Puerto Del Rey marina.
  • CARLOS JEEP RENTAL EN ferry TERMINAL CEIBA, phone: 787-365-2636


Hiring a Driver Instead of Renting

If you only need a ride between the SJU Airport and the Fajardo/Ceiba areas, it would be cheaper and easier to just hire a driver and not bother with getting a rental car. You can contact these people to make an appointment for a pick-up. Ask them about making a mini-tour for you if you have a few hours to kill before your scheduled departure.

What’s the Best/Worst Company to Rent From?

We hear about car rental experiences weekly, and we have heard good things and bad things about just about every company on the list. We have used Charlie Car Rental without any issue. You just have to realize that all of these places happen on island time. Very few things will happen quickly!

For the best rates, try using a local company and call a number of places to get rate quotes. Many places do have web pages that you can use to make reservation on-line if you prefer. Also, look for coupons for the major companies in the Entertainment Book or similar type coupon sites.

TIP – Get a good driving map. The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) will send you one for free (if you contact them with enough notice) or get one in person at a PRTC office (there is one right outside the SJU Airport baggage claim area) or in Old San Juan. Or you can buy one at a gas station for a couple bucks.

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 ...

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 →

Comments & Discussion

There are 11 comments on this article.

Do not rent from Allied. They will steal from you. Yes I am speaking from a horrible experience so I am warning fair and decent people like me. Please search their reviews elsewhere before you even consider them. Or save your time and just take my word for it.

Comment by Santo on 21 Dec 2015

Yes, the car rentals will be open. Unless you are using some little one off airport... Best to call and confirm just to make sure.

Comment by Gwenn on 24 Nov 2015

Are the rental car places open 24 hours a day? My flight arrives at 1:30AM.

Comment by Kelly on 23 Nov 2015

There is parking right at the airport. I think it is like $8 a night (so not too expensive). I think the convenience of having the car right there when you get back is worth it, as opposed to having to re-rent (there are not many rental places in the area). We like having a car on Culebra, as the beaches are a bit spread out. You can't walk from one to another and taxis don't always go where you want or on your schedule. You can get a jeep or even just a golf cart.

Comment by Gwenn on 05 Sep 2015

I'm taking a car out of SJU and heading to El Yunque for 2 nights, then to Culabra, flying from Ceiba. I have a good rate from Dollar (although concerned about the comment above) I'm wondering if I should instead rent one way to Ceiba and then pick up another car to go back. Or do you suppose I could park the rental free-to-cheap at Ceiba? Thanks for your help. Also, do I need a car on Culebra? It's a little hard to figure out where things are. We're there primarily to snorkel and don't have lodging yet. Thanks for your help.

Comment by Miriam Feder on 05 Sep 2015

You are correct. You won't be able to take your rental car on the ferry to the other islands. What you describe is one option if you plan to spend a few days on Vieques/Culebra. Other options- Just fly from San Juan and avoid car rental on "mainland" of PR. Or take a taxi/or hire driver from SJ to Fajardo (don't rent car). Or if you are only spending a day or 2 on the out islands, keep the car rental parked at the ferry. While on Cuelbra/Vieques you can either rent a car or use the taxis.

Comment by Gwenn on 26 Jun 2015

Pardon, this may seem like a silly question but I am having trouble understanding exactly what I would need to do. I will be flying in to San Juan and debarking for a cruise that day, when I return to the "mainland?" I want to explore the mainland and the outlying islands, Vieques et Culebra. As I understand I would need to rent a car for the mainland, pay one-way fees to drop the car at the ferry. Then decide what transportation would be best while I'm outside the mainland. Any suggestions/advice would be appreciated. Zach

Comment by Zach on 25 Jun 2015

You really need a car for the Rio Grande portion. It will save money and time and offers you so much flexibility. You would have to do the math if it makes sense for the SJ part (since you would have to pay for parking at hotel). But taxis are not that cheap. Personally, I probably would do the 7 night rental at he airport and just enjoy the freedom the car gives. There is parking in OSJ on parking decks and lots. It is not expensive (about $1.25/hr).

Comment by Gwenn on 19 Mar 2015

We are staying in Rio Grande for 5 nights at the beginning of our stay and the last 2 nights in San Juan at the Sheraton convention center. We are pricing car rental from the airport vs. private transfer and renting once we get to the resort. Do you recommend any other private services? Also is a car really necessary once we are in San Juan? What is parking like in Old San Juan, do you have to pay? We will be doing most of our excursions on the east side of the island our first 5 days. While in San Juan we want to hit Old San Juan and the local restaurants, shops and nightlife.

Comment by April on 17 Mar 2015

Do NOT use Dollar. They outright lie and scam for far more money than you reserved the car for. The clerk told me to initial to WAIVE the insurance and the form actually says it is being accepted. They are lying piles of crap, avoid them like the plague.

Comment by liz on 17 Feb 2015

We used Charlie Car Rental when we were in Puerto Rico for 2 weeks last spring. Very satisfied with service and prices were reasonable. The shuttle picked us up from the airport & returned us there when we were departing.

Comment by Jeri Waltrip on 24 May 2012

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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

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