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.

Route 66 Extension to Río Grande

Traveling from the San Juan area to Rio Grande, Luquillo, and Fajardo just got a whole lot easier and faster! The second phase of Route 66 opened to traffic on 01 October 2012, and it extends Route 66 from Canovanas to Rio Grande.

While the expressway itself is not much of a day trip, it will sure reduce the driving time for trips to El Yunque National Forest, beaches in Luquillo, the biobay in Fajardo, snorkel trips in Fajardo, and other eastern points on the island.

Route 66 Phase 2 Extension

Phases of Construction

Route 66 (officially known as the Roberto Sánchez Vilella Expressway) is being constructed in three phases. Phase 1, opened in April 2006, is 9 miles long. It runs between Carolina (at the intersection of Route 3 and Route 26, near the Plaza Carolina Shopping Center) and Canovanas (near the Route 66 Outlet Mall).

Route 66 Phase 2 Extension

Phase 2, opened in October 2012, is 3.8 miles long. It runs between Canovanas (near the Route 66 Outlet Mall) and Rio Grande (near the Ralph’s Supermarket).

Construction of the third phase, between Rio Grande and Fajardo, started in 2013 and took about 2 years to complete. This third phase is not highway, but along the existing Route 3, where they took out intersections/lights.

How Much is your time worth?

The whole purpose of Route 66 is to avoid the traffic lights (and congestion) along the business-oriented Route 3. Living in Rio Grande, we use Route 66 a couple times per week whenever we need to travel into the San Juan area.

In the past, it has taken anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes just to drive from the end of Road 186 to the entrance to Route 66 due to traffic on Route 3 (depending on day of week, time and traffic). Today, we drove the same distance in just over 4 minutes! It’s totally worth the extra cost to us!

When we have to go into the San Juan area now, we figure we will be saving up to 45 minutes round trip on average. That’s going to add up over time!

The first phase, from Carolina to Canovanas, costs $1.50 each way. The second phase, from Canovanas to Rio Grande, costs $1.00 each way. It’s important to note that the toll on the second phase of Route 66 is Auto Expreso tag only.

How to Pay the Tolls

Route 66 Phase 2 Extension

Paying the tolls can be confusing. The primary options are AutoExpreso, MovilCash, or good-old cash.

AutoExpreso is the only payment option for the new stretch of Route 66 between Canovanas and Rio Grande! There is no way to pay with cash.

AutoExpreso is our electronic toll tag. It is a transponder, similar to EZ-Pass that they have in the eastern part of the US. The AutoExpreso tag can be used in any toll lane marked with a small lowercase "e" or a huge uppercase "T"( they are always on the left side of the toll plaza). The way this works is you just drive through the lane and the toll is charged to your account.

Many of the tolls around the island are being converted to be cashless. That’s where MovilCash comes in.

MovilCash is a plastic "toll card" that can only be used in toll lanes marked with a huge uppercase "R". This is the option you have to use if you do not have the AutoExpreso tag on your vehicle. You basically wait in line to pay with your MovilCash card, to recharge your card, or to buy a card. If you only have cash, you’ll have to get into the MovilCash lane, marked with an R or R+ (which is on the right side of the toll plaza). If you don’t have exact change, your "change" will be put onto a MovilCash card that you can use the next time you need to pay a toll. The toll collectors in these lanes will not give change in cash. Think of it as a gift card from Puerto Rico.

There are a few remaining tolls in PR that can be paid with actual cash, but their life expectancy will be short.

I have a rental car. How do I pay the tolls?

Most car rental companies here have installed AutoExpreso tags in their rental cars. They usually charge you a fee of a couple dollars per day to use the tag, in addition to the actual tolls.

Route 66 Phase 2 Extension

Some have a 1-time charge. Some make you "activate" the tag when you pick up your car. Some charge an additional fee if you failed to activate the tag but went ahead and used it anyway. Note- if the car has an AutoExpreso tag and you use the toll roads,the toll is be charged automatically to the tag….even if you are in the Movilcash lane and pay cash.

Each of the rental companies have different policies and fees. Ask about it when you pick up your car.

Our suggestion … pay the extra couple dollars for the convenience and time-savings. It’s your vacation. Would you rather spend your time sitting on the beach or sitting in line waiting to pay a toll?

Did We Mention the View?

The new stretch of Route 66 affords some great, unobstructed views of the mountain range in El Yunque National Forest, including the peaks of El Yunque and El Toro.

Route 66 Phase 2 Extension

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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Other Puerto Rico Resources …

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