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By No owner — last modified Jun 22, 2015 07:59 PM

 Puerto Rico - Profile

Facts

  • Northernmost, within the eastern Caribbean, and several times larger than its southerly island neighbours, Puerto Rico’s sophistication as a US Commonwealth makes it stand out in terms of value.
  • Puerto Rico is a natural stepping off point to/from North America and Europe, thus known as the Passage Islands.
  • The ports of San Juan, Ponce, Humacao and Fajardo offer full service marinas and haul outs, diesel repair, boatswains, sail makers, and other services. Puerto Real in Cabo Rojo, Boquerón, Salinas, La Parguera, and Bahia de Jobos offer marinas and inland adventure.
  • The Spanish Virgin Islands (which are part of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico), include the islands of Vieques and Culebra, which are less than 15 nautical miles from the USVI. Other beautiful uninhabited islands dot Puerto Rico’s west, south and east coasts.
  • Avoid eating any fish caught off Vieques as local opinion is that most fish have Ciguatera.
  • Mona Island off the West coast of Puerto Rico (the "Galapagos of the Caribbean), whilst a fascinating place to visit, has no safe anchorages and yachts require a permit.
  • The currency is the US dollar. Credit cards are accepted virtually everywhere. Puerto Rico is bi-lingual in Spanish and English.

Security

Puerto Rico has few reported incidents and the overall safety of the area is high in comparison to many other Caribbean destinations.

That said, (based on reports to Noonsite from cruisers), petty theft from yachts is on the rise in the Caribbean in general. Cruisers reported in 2015 on various cruiser facebook groups, being boarded and robbed in Vieques, and a report was made to the CSSN in June 2016 of a locked yacht being burgled (see report adjacent).

"Lock it or lose it" is a prudent motto. Cruisers should take basic safety precautions and use common sense when leaving the boat or going ashore at night. Dinghy and outboard thieves operate throughout the Caribbean and best advice is to place your valuable items on deck and chain them overnight.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) provides information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Should you have suffered a boarding, robbery or attack on your yacht or have information about a yachting-related security incident, go to the CSSN homepage and click on the "Report an Incident" icon. The associated form is quick and simple to complete and ensures that all the necessary details are reported. The CSSN is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors. Remember, it is every cruiser's responsibility to ensure that incidents are reported. Also cruisers can subscribe to e-mail alerts, follow on facebook and twitter and listen to the SSB Voice Service.

The Caribbean Security Index (CSI) is a a tool to assist cruisers in assessing the probability of crime at ports and anchorages throughout the Caribbean. The CSI provides a means of assessing risk in a given area.
http://freecruisingguides.com/caribbean-security-index/

Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages

Last updated June 2016.

Weather

Puerto Rico has a pleasant year round climate. Rain is heavier on the northern mainland coastal plain. To the south, the climate is more arid. The hurricane season is June to November.

US Coast Guard offers weather reports and forecasting on VHF WX Channels 5 or 6.

National Weather Service
NOAA agency that covers weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for the USA, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

For links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Isla de Mona: Isla de Mona

Main Island: Boqueron , Fajardo * , Guanica , Mayaguez * , Palmas del Mar , Ponce * , Puerto Real , Salinas , San Juan *

Spanish Virgin Islands: Culebra * , Vieques *

* indicates port of entry

Share |
fred_rousseaux
fred_rousseaux says:
Jun 20, 2015 03:05 AM

General information about Mona Island as of June 1st 2015.
- 5 Free NOAA Buoys available inside the lagoon
- Entrance (narrow, 6 feet deep) to the lagoon marked by 2 aligned orange / brown signs on shore
- National park guard and rangers are very nice and have lots of stories to tell about the island.
- Excellent snorkeling on both sides of the reef
- To walk the trails on the island you need a permit you can get in Puerto Rico (main island)
- You might get water (bring your jerry cans) from the rangers if needed
-
It's definitly a great stop to rest during your crossing between Rep Dominicana and Puerto Rico. Cliffs and bird watching are amazing.

fred_rousseaux
fred_rousseaux says:
Jun 20, 2015 02:52 AM

Same thing. We entered from the USVI to Culebra Island (East of Puerto Rico), got our cruzing permit for 37 U$S and ready to sail the US territories for 1 year.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Dec 17, 2014 01:45 PM

Posted on behalf of Scott Fratcher:
Air Conditioning/Refrigeration
We tried a couple different guys, and settled on May Day Marine 787-637-0756. They came when they said they would, found the leak, cleaned up after themselves, and did a really good job on the soldering. We would use them again.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
May 14, 2014 10:47 PM

Posted on behalf of Ann Lange
This is for Canadian cruisers wanting to enter the U.S. from the Caribbean. We sailed up from Brazil - Trinidad - north through the Caribbean to BVI's. We had no problems what so ever getting into the USVI's, just the normal paper work. We asked if we could purchase a U.S. cruising permit in the USVI's, the answer was no but we could obtain it in Puerto Rico. We sailed into San Juan without phoning or anything and once we found the Customs and Border Protection office on the south side of the main harbour they issued us a one year cruising permit. It cost us $37.00 USD in April of 2014, this allows us to cruise anywhere in the U.S. including any protectorates. We found this process very simple and easy compared with all the rumours we had heard.

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