Puerto Rico - Profile
- 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.
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 here (see report adjacent). Outboard thieves are active in Vieques as well.
"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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.
Also be sure to check the Noonsite Piracy & Safety Pages
Last updated March 2017.
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.