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

Stop in Palmer Before or After Visiting El Yunque

El Yunque National Forest is the most visited attraction in Puerto Rico, by locals and tourists alike. But there is another little gem that most people buzz right past on their way to the rain forest … the sector of Río Grande known as Palmer. If you’ve ever driven up Road 191 into El Yunque, you’ve driven through Palmer, and you probably didn’t even notice. More local businesses are opening up in the area, catering to day-trippers into El Yunque, making Palmer a great place to stop for souvenirs, a bite to eat, or information on the forest.

Palmer, Río Grande

Palmer: Portal del Yunque

The sector of Palmer is bounded by Route 3 (on the north side) and Road 955 (on the south side) in the town of Río Grande. It’s a small, local area with some restaurants, souvenir shops, a US post office, a church, and ice cream shop. There is a little bit of on-street parking, and a couple gravel parking lots. But nothing is more than about a 10-minute walk from wherever you might park, so park where you can.

Food, Drinks, Snacks

Hiking in the forest and exploring the area is sure to make you hungry and thirsty. Stop in for sandwiches to go, sit down for a burger, or grab a smoothie or other drink. The Puertorrican Bakery has breakfast, sandwiches, and other goodies. Mi Vida Café has burgers, sandwiches, drinks, and coffee. Piña Loka is a food truck that has piña coladas, açai bowls, smoothies, and frappés. Lluvia Deli Bar has breakfast and lunch menus, plus pizza, smoothies, and coffee. Degree 18 Juice Bar has a vegan menu with sandwiches, smoothies, açai and fruit bowls, juices, and a craft beer selection. La Caña has limbers and ice cream.

Palmer, Río Grande

Shopping

If you want to do a little souvenir shopping, pay a visit to Artisan Forest for tax-free artisan works, Caribbean Trading Company . You’ll be able to find T-shirts, hot sauces, local art and crafts, select local rums, jewelry, books, and lots of other beautiful and interesting items.

Palmer, Río Grande

Diversions

If you’re looking for some other things to do besides hiking in El Yunque National Forest, there are some other nearby options. Though not in the sector of Palmer itself, just a short drive up Road 191 you’ll find two zipline companies (Rainforest Zipline Park and Junglequí Zipline Park), and access to the Mameyes River which is a very popular spot for swimming and BBQ for “the locals”.

Details

To get to Palmer from the San Juan area, take Route 66 east until it ends on Route 3 in Río Grande. Continue east on Route 3, and follow signs for El Yunque National Forest and Road 191.

It takes about 45-60 minutes to drive to Palmer from the San Juan area.

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 →

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Thank you for this initiative to introduce tourists to the real Puerto Rico. Río Grande has many things to enjoy and Palmer is the best area to do it. We lunch at Puertorrican Bakery and tasted the rich flavors of the local cuisine. It was delightful.

Comment by Cesar Mendez on 09 Oct 2018

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