Mask Requirement (updated 18 Apr 2022)
😷 Masks are not required, neither indoors (with some execptions) nor outdoors. Masks are recommended in indoor situations where you cannot be certain of the vaccination status of other people
😷 Masks are required inside airports, per Federal/CDC mandates
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
😷 Masks are required indoors in places like hospitals, emergency rooms, nursing homes, medical offices, health centers, clinics, labs, pharmacies, and on public transportation (including taxis and buses). The Department of Health may make masks mandetory in other situations where their use is deemed necessary.
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks.
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 08 Mar 2022)
👪 The requirment to check for vaccination card or negative test result has been eliminated
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Tours & Excursions (updated 08 Mar 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 18 Apr 2022)
👪 The capacity limit has been removed, as has the requirement to wear a mask (if less than 1000 people are gathered)
😷 Masks are required at events/activities where 1000 or more people are gathered, effective 18 Apr 2022
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of 1000 or more people at facilities that encourage crowding — indoor or outdoor — must show proof of vaccination with booster (if eligible), OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 72 hours prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. Effective 10 Mar 2022, per executive order EO-2022-019 and administrative order OA-2022-533
😷 Owners and operators of public and private establishments may, at their discretion, implement health measures that they deem necessary - including requiring the use of masks, and screening for vaccination status or negative test results
📄 These changes go into effect 10 Mar 2022, per Executive Order EO-2022-019
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 08 Mar 2022)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, OR 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 08 Mar 2022)
📄 The requirement to complete the travel declaration has been eliminated for ALL travelers arriving in Puerto Rico
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 10 Mar 2022, per EO-2022-019)
• The requirement to present a vaccination card or negative test results has been eliminated for DOMESTIC travelers
✈️ 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.

Discover the Wild Side of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Coqui

Puerto Rico has lots of wonderful things to do, see, eat and listen to. One thing it is lacking is any form of "exciting" wildlife. I know that when you hear El Yunque rain forest you think of all sorts of colorful and exotic animals — like monkeys, jaguars, and macaws. But you are not going to see those here. This is because Puerto Rico was formed from an underground volcano — the island rose up from the ocean floor. So, while we do have some nice reefs and varied aquatic wildlife (including mammals, such as whales and manatees), we have a short list of land-based animals.

Puerto Rico has a very varied geography — dry forest, rain forests, mountains and flood plains. So you will find different sorts of animals in different areas. Generally, you will different types of birds, insects, reptiles, amphibians and mammals. The average person visiting will see/experience a few of the more typical animals, but most people will not see most of the animals that call Puerto Rico home. You will need to really look to see them!

There are not a huge number of endemic species (native to Puerto Rico) left on the island due to the human population growth and development of land. Many of the native species are on the endangered species list. Due to the island’s volcano birth, I find it interesting how the origins of all the species in Puerto Rico is still questionable — how did they get here? Of course, most of the birds and insects arrived by flying, or on the wind. The reptiles and amphibians arrived as eggs or by accident. All the mammals were brought either on purpose, or by accident, by humans.

Here is some very basic information I find interesting on each of these land animal groups.

Amphibians

Puerto Rico Baby Coqui on Fingertip

There are a few different amphibians in Puerto Rico, but one is most beloved by island residents. You can’t come to Puerto Rico and not see/hear at least a few members of this class. Of course, I am talking about the Coqui frog.

There are actually a number of different species of frog (and they look and sound different!), but to most people, any little frog is the Coqui. They like the moist plants, so they are abundant in the rainforest, but you can hear them anywhere there is some fresh water moisture and dark hiding spots.

Birds

Puerto Rican Parrot

There are a number of endemic birds, and loads of migratory birds. Bird watching in Puerto Rico is very easy. The most "famous" bird in Puerto Rico is the Puerto Rican parrot. It is a medium-sized green parrot, and it is severely endangered, so you will probably not see it. We do have many Quarker parrots around, so many people confuse the two. Hummingbirds also are plentiful on the island, so just keep an eye on the brightly-colored flowers and you will see them.

Insects

Puerto Rico Tarantula

Of course, Puerto Rico has the usual insects like mosquitoes, spiders and roaches. But, besides those, there are a few more "exotic" ones. One thing I find interesting to note is the size of some of the bugs — they can get pretty large here. You will notice the large snails, beetles and walking-sticks in the rain forest.

Naturally, what would a tropical island be without some frightening bugs, like tarantulas, scorpions and the large centiped — we have them, too! But those are not so commonplace — unless you are really searching in the right locations, you will not see these guys.

Reptiles

Puerto Rico Anole

This class of animals seems to have the largest representation on the island. We see them everyday. Mostly the little lizards (actually called anoles) — they are everywhere!

There are a number of different varieties, with all sorts of markings and behaviors (it is interesting to watch/see them). My favorites are the Emerald anoles, just because they are so pretty when they are green, and they can change colors!

 

Puerto Rico Iguana

You may see larger lizards and even iguanas. The iguanas were assumed to have been someone’s "pet" that was "set free" (or escaped). Adult iguanas have no predators here in Puerto Rico (cars don’t count!), so their numbers have grown so much that they are actually a nuisance! There is also a small crocodile, called a caimen, that can be found in low-lying, wet areas.

I admit that I am not a big snake lover, but I do admire their beauty. For the average person, seeing a snake in Puerto Rico is a rare event. You have to be in the right area, and know where to look, in order to have a good chance of seeing one.

Puerto Rico Boa Constrictor

Recently at our house, we have been able to watch a pair of Puerto Rican boa constrictors. They enjoy sunning themselves on our mulch pile. These are large, graceful snakes, and unfortunately they are on the endangered species list.

Puerto Rican racers (another type of snake) can sometimes be seen, though not often. These are mildly venomous, slightly aggressive and can be recognized by their little cobra-like "hood" that they spread when they get annoyed. It is not my favorite snake!

 

Puerto Rico Sea Turtle

And of course we have simple garden snakes around and I have even seen an occasional "blindsnake", that lives underground (I occasionally see them in the soil of my potted plants). We have seen all four of these types of snakes on our property in Río Grande, though it is not an every day occurrence thank goodness!

One of my favorite reptiles is the sea turtle, who come onto land to lay their eggs. I am still hoping to see a hatching one night!

 

Mammals

All land mammals that are here came with the humans (except bats that flew here). Mongoose were brought to control the snakes, mice & rats came on the sailing ships. Then, all the domesticated animals like horses, cows, dogs, cats were brought over time. There are some research monkeys have escaped from a lab in the south-west that are destroying food crops. PR does have in the waters surrounding it a variety of sea mammals, like dolphins, manati and whales.

For More Info

The Federal Forest Service webpage for El Yunque has a nice series of pages on wildlife you might see in the rain forest.

Now that you know what to look for, come to Puerto Rico and keep your eyes open for some of our wildlife!

Be careful around wild critters on the island. Don’t harass or torment them. Don’t try to handle them. Some are poisonous, some have rabies … and some just bite or sting. In any case, none of those encounters are likely to add any enjoyment to your vacation.

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