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.

Explore or Relax on Beautiful Isla Caja de Muertos

1/22 According to their web page, this tour is not currently running.

Also, the Ponce Waterfront area was damaged by the earthquakes, so the boat now leaves from the marina in Salinas.

Caja de Muertos

I had heard that Isla Caja de Muertos (or Coffin Island) was lovely, but I think it has been kept a secret just how fantastic it is! Visiting the island has been on my "to do" list for 6 years, but we never really made the effort to go.

We finally made it out there, and I can kick myself for waiting so long. It is a beautiful island and it is too nice to be missed, especially since it is an easy day trip.

The Island

Isla Caja de Muertos is an island located 8 miles off the coast, south of Ponce (which in turn is located on the south coast of Puerto Rico). It is a small island, just about 1½ miles long and about ½ mile wide at its widest point.

Caja de Muertos

It is a nature reserve, with beautiful beaches, hiking trails, a light house and a cave.

In fact, one of the beaches on the island, Pelican Beach, sometimes has been designated as a Blue Flag Beach, which means that the ocean water quality is monitored, there are facilities (composting toilets) and paramedics/guards watching the beach.

The island also boasts hiking trails that lead to an old lighthouse, a cave, and a longer trail that goes to the other end of the island. There are some reefs off the north-eastern side of the island, but you need a boat to get to them. There are other beaches on the east side of the island, but they are roped off during turtle-nesting season. Besides, it looks like it may be too rough to swim on the east side due to sea conditions.

Getting There by Boat

Being an island, the only way to get there is via boat. The company that used to own and run the old ferry boat was call Island Ventures, now East Island has taken over, has a new, fast boat but has kept the name. Island Ventures has a boat that runs between Salinas and the island. They usually only make 1 trip per day — departing from Salinas Marina at 9:30am sharp and departing from the island at 3:30pm. The boat trip takes about 40 minutes.

Caja de Muertos

New-info: 1/16/18– East Island Excursions now runs the tours. They no longer allow you to bring beach chairs, umbrellas or coolers on the boat, but they have chairs, umbrellas, kayaks and SUP’s for rent now also. And food/drinks are included in the trip.

Our Trip

We took the Island Ventures ferry on a windy Sunday in February and, though the seas were pretty high, the ride over was relatively smooth. Once we got close enough to see the color of the water, we knew that it would be a great day.

There were only about 40 people on the island that day, so there was plenty of room everywhere. We claimed a covered picnic pavilion (there are about 12 of them) and then went exploring.

Caja de Muertos

There is a great map of the island, and some informational signs placed throughout the park explaining the island, its history, and some of the flora that you will see.

We checked out Pelican Beach and then went for a walk on the trails. It is a dry island, so it has some trees, bushes, and lots of cactus. If you head out for a walk, bring at least a bottle of water per person — it is a hot walk.

The trail from the picnic pavilions to the lighthouse is just less than 1 mile, with an uphill hike to the lighthouse. The trails are packed dirt with limestone rocks sticking up everywhere, so make sure you wear sturdy, closed toe shoes.

Caja de Muertos

On the trail up to the lighthouse, you pass a small path, off to the left, that leads to a platform at the top of Almeida Cave. Legend has it the pirate Almeida hid his treasure in this cave. I didn’t see any treasure. ☹

The lighthouse, built in 1887, is still in use today. You can’t go inside the lighthouse, but there is a observation platform on the south side of the lighthouse that has fantastic views toward Pelican Beach.

After the lighthouse, we decided to continue on the trail to the north end of the island. That part of the trail was, also, just less than 1 mile. The trail just kinda ends — there’s no pay off or no big thing to see. But you do pass Carrucho Point, which is a grave yard for conch shells.

Caja de Muertos

Once we got back to Pelican Beach, we ate our lunch at a picnic table and spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. The water was calm and cool. Ray took about 200 pictures throughout the day — it was so beautiful.

We went in February, and it was not crowded. I am sure that it is a different story in the summertime — like in July, when I would expect crowds. This island is very popular with locals and the boating crowd.

Some Tips

There is no fresh water available on the island. That means no showers, no sinks to wash your hands, and no potable drinking water. That will be on the boat. You MUST bring EVERYTHING you need for the day — towels, shoes, hat, sunscreen etc.

If you plan to hike, wear shoes with sturdy soles to avoid the thorns and rocks. Water shoes may be helpful at the beach because there is a row of rocks at the shore that you have to walk on to enter the water.

Transportation Options

Caja de Muertos

Island Ventures Info

The cost of the trip is $79 plus tax and $3 DRNA fee per round trip per adult, kids at $59. Minimum age is 4 years old. Price includes boat transportation and cold cut lunch/salads/fruits and soft drinks/beer/water. No coolers allowed. Also, no beach chairs or umbrellas on board… they are available for rent on the island.

The boat runs on variable days- check their calendar for specific dates. Always on weekends (Fri/Sat/Sun) and holidays/holiday weeks during year. They may offer trips during the week. It departs from the Salinas Marina at 9:30 am and departs from Isla Caja de Muertos at 3:30pm, but you need to be on-board earlier. Reservations are required. You can do that online on their website . There may be the occasional trip at a later time.

Call 787-842-8546 (office) for more information (they take calls Monday to Saturday 9am-6pm) or to make a reservation. Or use their website for info and a calendar to see what dates are available and to make reservations .

Trips to Isla Caja de Muertos depart from Salinas waterfront park/marina. This area has bars and restaurants, and is popular year-round on the weekends.

Driving directions from the San Juan area: Take Route 52 south to exit onto RT 1 . Turn left onto PR-1 S, then take a left onto Ave Pedro Albizu Campos/PR-180, in about 1 mile, turn left onto Cll Colirubia, Continue onto Calle E, Turn left onto Cam De Playa/PR-701, Cam De Playa/PR-701 turns left and becomes Cll Chapin, Destination will be on the right. (check google maps for directions)

The drive from the San Juan area takes about 1 hour.

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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