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.

Go West to Watch for Whales

Whale Watching in Puerto Rico

The oceans and seas around Puerto Rico are full of amazing creatures, even whales. And every winter, humpback whales join us for a 2-3 month period to rest, mate, and care for their young before heading back up north.

You will have the best chance of spotting humpback whales from mid-January though mid-March in the west coast regions (Porta del Sol) and northwest coastline, though whales have been seen all around the island, on occasion, all year round.. You might even get lucky and catch a glimpse of sperm whales or orcas off the north coast or south coast from January through August, but since they usually prefer the deep waters far from shore, it is less likely.

Humpback Whales or Megaptera novaeangliae

Humpback whales (ballenas corcovadas in Spanish) are magnificent creatures and, unfortunately, are on the endangeed species list. They can grow to a length of 50 feet and weigh up to 50 tons.

From December to the middle of April, many north Atlantic humpback whales migrate to the warm waters around the north of the Dominican Republic. During their migration, they sometimes stray into the Mona Passage, either as a side-trip on their journey, or to stay for a while. They mate and calve in our tropical waters during the winter, and then travel back up to the cold water of the north Atlantic to feed during the summer.

Luckily for us in Puerto Rico, the ones that enjoy the Mona Channel give us the opportunity view them. So anywhere from Cabo Rojo up to Aguadilla (or even as far east as Arecibo) are prime locations to try and spot some whale action.

Our Whale Watching Expeditions

As SCUBA divers, we really enjoy seeing all ocean creatures, big and small. We have traveled to Hawaii specifically for whale watching a number of times. It was amazing. There were so many whales, that you couldn’t NOT see them. But that’s not how it is here in Puerto Rico.

Whale Watching in Puerto Rico

If you plan on doing some whale watching in Puerto Rico, we’re here to help set your expectations correctly. There are whales, but not many. You will most likely NOT see them.

We have been in Rincon and the southwest and northwest areas a number of times during the February/March time frame and have never seen any whales.(Update- 4/16- we finally saw a pod of the coast of Arecibo, which having lunch at a waterfront restaurant. Very exciting!). I guess "elusive" is a good word for these sea creatures. To be sure, there are sightings, just not every day.

They say that the best times to spot them are early morning or just before sunset, though they are around 24 hours/day. You may be able to see them from the beach, but to really get an idea of how amazing and large they are, I really recommend a boat trip.

During the season (mid-January to mid-March) a few companies with boats will have sunset cruises during which they also look for whales.

Whale Watching in Puerto Rico

To spot them, look for a spray of water straight up into the air (when the whales rise to the surface to breathe). They come up for air every 15-20 minutes (usually more often with the babies).

Sometimes they do all sorts of fun things while on the surface like tail slaps, breaching up out of the water and spyhopping. If you are close enough (or have binoculars), when they dive back down after breathing, you can get one last look at their tail. It is an amazing sight!

a bad day of whale watching is better than a good day at work!

Sitting on a beach and looking at the ocean with a drink in your hand is a wonderfully relaxing way to spend your time, whether you see whales or not. We recently spent a number of hours in Rincon doing just that, and we got some great sunset pictures.

Whale Watching in Puerto Rico

We also spent a few hours up at the Rincon Lighthouse one morning. The waves were high, so we did more surfer watching than whale watching. It still wasn’t a bad way to spend a weekday morning!

So set your whale sighting expectations low, and be overjoyed if you get lucky enough to see one. And then just relax, watch the water, and enjoy the beauty of it all.

Companies Offering Whale Watching Tours

Taino Divers in Rincon offers a 2-hour sunset cruise. Requires a 6-person minimum. Reservations are required.

Katarina Sail Charters in Rincon offers a 2-hour sunset cruise, where you might see whales in whale watching in-season.

Adventures Tourmarine at Joyuda Beach in Cabo Rojo offers whale watching tours in-season. Contact them for availability and rates.

You can also ask local fishing captains, dive companies, or local boat captains if they can arrange whale watching trips.

The whale photos in this article are by mikebaird, NOAA National Ocean Service, and NOAA National Ocean Service and are used under a Creative Commons license.

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 →

Ads & Sponsors

Other Puerto Rico Resources …

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