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.

Search Out Historical “Graffiti” at the Forts in Old San Juan

To me, finding petroglyphs and any old “markings” is a way of having the past speak to us today. I have always been interested in the historical drawings and markings (graffiti) found at El Morro Fort and Fort San Cristobal in Old San Juan. These markings were made by bored soldiers who once lived and worked inside those walls. But sadly, with time, weather, and the changes that have occurred at the forts over the years, many of these historical images are disappearing. I suggest that you embark on a “treasure hunt” to look around and find as many of these as you can!

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

El Morro Fort, or officially Castillo de San Felipe del Morro, started as a tiny fort in 1535. Over the years, it was enlarged through the addition of new structures and walls, until it became the impressive fort that it is today. It was mostly complete as we see it today by the mid-late 1700s. Construction on Fort San Cristobal began in 1634, and became a marvel of defense for land and sea also by the mid-late 1700s. So for hundreds of years, these forts housed many soldiers who were stationed there.

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

Those soldiers spent many idle hours of standing around looking at these walls and the sea — and many of them left their mark on the forts. Before 1898, the Spanish soldiers drew mostly ships. In later years, the American soldiers typically left their names and dates.

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

In 2006, Isabel C. Rivera-Collazo did a study of the markings, and she found over 400 of them! Most of them are sailing ships (typical from 1600s- to the 1800s), but they have documented drawings of soldiers/people, animals (horses, fish, birds), religious features, and sometimes just the signatures of the “artist” soldiers, some with dates. Of course, the most well known are the ships drawn on the wall of the dungeon at Fort San Crisotbal.

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

But if you search, you can find loads of these markings. My favorites are the ships and dates (1775-1780) carved into the window shutters upstairs in the barracks at San Cristobal. The El Abanico (the outworks at San Cristobal) has so many names and dates, I could spend hours checking them out!

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

To find them, think about where the soldiers spent a lot of time, just standing around, being on “look out”. Places such as the walls on the different fort levels, the garitas or walls going to the garitas ,and the original “Old Tower” in EL Morro. Then look for the original (beige/cream) plaster. Then look for the red markings … you will soon see parts of sails of ships. Not sure why they are red, not sure what they used, pieces of bricks maybe, but looks like a waxy pencil to me.

Graffiti in Old San Juan forts

They sometimes used black (charcoal maybe?), but red is the most prominent and easy to see. These are drawn on the plaster. Also look for some etched dates and names. I have found mostly sailing ships, some names (like Nicolas, who had beautiful handwriting!), and I did find one bird! Hint – El Morro has LOADS of these red ships!

Once you start finding them, you will be amazed at how many there are! I find it fascinating. I imagine at one time in early 1800s, the walls of EL Morro must have been covered with these graffiti drawings!

For more detailed information, you can read the research paper Historical Ship Graffiti on the Walls of San Juan’s Spanish Defence System: an Interim Report by Isabel C. Rivera-Collazo.

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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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