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)
🛒 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)
🍔 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.
👪 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)
🛒 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)
⛵ 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
👪 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.
📄 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.

Enjoy Lechon & Local Music in Guavate

Most of the lechoneras are open and serving up delicious food and have COVID rules/regulations in place for safety.

Lechon in GuavateWeekends in Puerto Rico are a family affair, especially Sundays. Locals love to get together for meals and family activities. Places that offer cooler temperatures, great food and live music are always popular with locals looking for some fun. If you, as a tourist, want to experience some of that fun and flavor, you can join them and head to the famous lechoneras in Guavate. Lechoneras are outdoor restaurants that specialize in seasoned whole-pig, slow roasted over an open fire. This makes the pork flavorful and delicious. Even Anthony Bourdain, of No Reservations and Andrew Zimmern from Bizzare Foods on the TravelChannel, came to Guavate on their trips here to taste this specialty.

Families make the trip in droves, not just for the lechon, but also for the various side dishes like rice and pigeon peas, cassava, breadfruit, sweet potato, blood sausage, and yellow or green plantains. Of course, besides the delicious pork, there are turkeys and chickens cooked and seasoned in a similar way. Those are really good, too! And not only is the food a draw, but also the live music and the cool mountain air. It is a daytime activity – most people leave before sundown.

We have been to Guavate a few times. It is a tasty and interesting place. The live music gets people dancing and singing, and everyone is eating and drinking. The area is really like a multi-mile long block party. Children play in the streams and forests behind the restaurants. Older people hang out and talk, eat and dance. Young adults just drive up and down this congested area, just scoping out, looking for people they know. It’s a place to be seen.

Lechon in GuavateThe road up is just lined with lechoneras. Everyone you ask will have their favorite place. Some people like the first ones you come to on the road – easy in / easy out, and delicious! But you can keep going up and up. The road eventually tees at Road 763. Turn right and then you will start getting into the serious lechoneras. Here is where the street party is – tons of people, bands and food! My way of finding the best place is to look for the crowded ones – then you know you have found the best!

Once you find a crowded one and find some parking (most likely along the side of the road or in one of the pay lots near the lechoneras), walk up and get in line. These are "cafeteria style" places. The food is already prepared in warming trays behind glass. You will need to decide what you want to eat, and then point. When we were "newbies" we would just ask if anyone in line knew English, then ask for explanations and recommendations. People are always willing to help initiate a tourist into the flavors of the island. Or for the more daring, you could always just point to what looks good to you!

I always enjoy just watching as they hack up the pork with a machete. The cutting boards are all concave from years of hacking. It is quite the spectacle! And very reasonably priced. You will have a plateful for about $10-12.

The road up is winding and crowded. The road ends at the Carite Forest Reserve. There are vendors along the roadside selling all sorts of things like plants, honey, seasonings and Puerto Rican souvenirs.

You need to go on a Saturday or Sunday to get the most if this event. Get there early – arrive before noon. After that the road up and down becomes bumper to bumper. Of course, that is part of the experience! So many people enjoying life. So come and enjoy and leave your diets, and timetable, at home!

If you absolutely can’t make it on a weekend, some of the lechoneras are open during the week. There just isn’t the party atmosphere or the live music. But the food is still delicious! Friday has more places open than other weekdays. We usually go to El Rancho Original since we like the tables by the stream. It is open M-F 9am-4:30pm, Sat and Sunday 9am-6pm. Others like El Mojitos and El Nuevo Rancho are also open 7 days/week usually from around 9am until about 7:00pm. Los Pinos is also very good and is open daily 7a-7pm.

A number of places are open on holidays also, many with extended hours during Christmas season.

It also is generally available all around the island from Friday through Sunday. Just drive down the non-highway roads and look for the pig on a spit, then pull in and enjoy. It is usually sold by the pound. Check out RT 175 in Trujillo Alto.

The best time to go to Guavate is from about noon until early evening on Saturdays and Sundays. To avoid the crowds- get in before 11am.

Driving directions from San Juan to Guavate: Hop on the Luis A. Ferre Expressway (PR-52) southbound for about 30 minutes. When you get near Cayey, take exit #32, which says Guavate, turn left and head up the mountain on PR-184. At km 27 or so, you will see places. If you keep going up, turn right when you get to the tee. Go as far up as you want and choose your lechonera!

Click on a placename 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 →

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