The Dark Side of Puerto Rico: Are Tourists Safe?

There are many beautiful and safe destinations within Puerto Rico - the capital, San Juan, and some of the other big cities are not among them. We'll name names if you read on.

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Puerto Rico

Locals will tell you the island is split into a violent and often dangerous east and a laid-back and welcoming west.

The major cities - where almost all the crime takes place - have a large police presence. Sadly this is because they are needed to fight crime related to the drug trade. Soldiers and police patrol particularly dangerous areas in San Juan, Ponce, Bayamon and Carolina.

Are Tourists Safe in Puerto Rico?

While most of the violence is likely to befall locals involved in the island's heavy drug trade or gang activity, tourists are sometimes unfortunate bystanders or targets of serious crimes.

One particularly heinous incident involving a tourist occurred in 2009. An American woman visiting from the state of Georgia was abducted while jogging in the marina area of Fajardo. She was stuffed into the trunk of the perpetrator's car and later found dead with her throat slit. She was five months pregnant.

Places to Avoid in Puerto Rico

Don't be caught out at the wrong place and the wrong time. While incidents like these and other violent crimes are rare, there are some areas in which to be particularly cautious and others to just stay out of all together. Criminals in these areas may walk the streets looking to mug people, and drug activity is common at night.

Many travelers say to avoid La Perla in Old San Juan, next to El Morro, which has a high rate of drug trafficking. Another travel writer said Santurce in the same city can be dangerous.

The areas of Puerta de Tierra outside the hotel hub should also be avoided due to large amounts of drug activity and other criminal behavior. Stay out of Parque de las Palomas, a park area in San Juan, after dark.

Ponce, in the south part of Puerto Rico, is another location in which to be vigilant. And at night, beach areas may attract those with sinister intentions like robbery or rape.

Travelers say to avoid public housing areas, known in Puerto Rico as "caserios", identifiable by their cement facades and apartment-like balconies. Gangs are a problem in these projects, and activities linked to the drug trade take place often.

One of the worst caserios in San Juan is Louis Lloren Torres. This is where a lot of the city's crime takes place. It's off the tourist track, so travelers may have a death wish if they end up there.

Weapons to Watch Out For in Puerto Rico

While any crimes involving weapons are most likely to occur between local criminals and people in the drug trade, visitors should be aware of Puerto Rico's high rate of gun deaths per capita. Accidental shootings also occur, sometimes due to the Puerto Rican custom of firing guns to ring in the New Year.

Shootings and knifings have also occurred on buses operating late at night outside San Juan.

Safer Places to Travel to in Puerto Rico

Some travelers suggest getting in and out of the major cities as quickly as possible and spending more time exploring smaller towns on the island with lower or relatively nonexistent crime rates. Guayama is one recommended locale.

Nomads who've commented below have other suggestions for safe and beautiful destinations within the country. Get out there and enjoy.

157 Comments

  • wilma velazquez said

    IF YOU COME TO PUERTO RICO COME TO THE SOUTH WEST HERE IS VERY QUIET, GOT SMALL CITIES, THE BEST BEACHES, FOOD AND PEOPLE, MAYAGUEZ, CABO ROJO, LAJAS, AGUADILLA, RINCON, AGUADA ANASCO, GUANICA, SABANA GRANDE, SAN GERMAN IS LIKE SMALL OLD SAN JUAN WITHOUT THE CRIME, WE GOT BIG HOTELS, SMALL HOTELS, YOU ARE GOING TO LOVE IT HERE, AND AIRPORT TOO. FORGET ABOUT THE BIG CITIES COME TO OUR PART OF THE ISLAND.<br>

  • Boricua 100% said

    Todo Lo que se dice Aqui Es Real,pero Todo Lo Ilicito que llega a P.R. es Financiado por Un Poder Mayor Osea Una Superpotencia No por Ciudadanos De Una Pequeña Isla llamada Puerto Rico,Medita,Piensa y No trates de Desprestigiar Lo que no Puedes Superar.Puerto Rico Lo Hace Mejor!!!

  • west side said

    The island maybe well divided in half. Eastern side, is known for its high crime and theaf but western side is know fo hospitality and warm people. Even people who come from the east to visit us like how laid back and welcoming we are. We have gorgeous beaches and monuments as well as safe places to visit during the night. Aguadilla has an airport and there are many hotes in the area.

  • Xavi said

    We dont have shootouts in movie theaters or schools, or bombs exploding on federal buildings or airplanes hitting them, dont worry you are more safe in PR than in any city of the US!

  • val rosario said

    While we may not have shoot outs in public buildings we have them on the highway from car to car at noon!! We don't have people putting bombs on buildings but there's people that wake up one day and say "oh today feels like a good day to do a car jacking I don't car if we have to kill someone"

  • Ana said

    We also don't have children snatchers or psycos in shooting spree. You do have to be on the look out not to transit in after hours. Any beach is good in Puerto Rico in the sunny hours (daylight) Don't be afraid in San Juan. Those statistics are in the wrong side if the city which anyone should avoid.

  • Sofia said

    In these article are many things that are true, but is more the good people. Never in your life you will find people so generous, simple and beautiful like here. Always we want to make our tourists like their home. I'm from the west side and 10 years ago i'm living in San Juan area. Of course it's different, because San Juan is the capital and is more people, employment, tourist and crime. But not all the Island is like that, you have to visit some places here and you will have your conclusion. Puerto Rico it's a wonderful place for any romantic or familiar vacations. Come visit our island we have the most beautiful beaches, rivers, mountains and people in the world! We hope to see you soon!!!

  • Sandra Rivera said

    There is some incorrect data in the article. The US never deployed 1,000 national guard members to Puerto Rico, it was the Puerto Rican national guard which was deployed islandwide, and it is not the first time it happens, it has been deployed many times, read Puerto Rico's history.

  • Brandy Perez said

    I am Puerto Rican, born and raised there. Just came from visiting. <br>In the last 6 months, 2 Americans were raped, 1 Honduran was hit by a bullet and 1 European was killed in a carjacking attempt. My advice, don't waste your money in Puerto Rico. I was disappointed to see how much the island changed in 4 years (that I been living in the US). It looks dirty, and abandoned. It�s a small island with a �Projects feel�.<br>

  • Tito Melendez said

    Concerned about crime? I see no one complaining about Bermuda, did they not killed an American tourist that made the world headline news for over two years? Same goes for Cancun, Jamaica, Florida, and all major tourism spots. Fact is there is crime being committed right now at your own neighborhood! To say don't visit Puerto Rico because of these same things is ignorant! PR is not all about San Juan where these crimes are mainly committed. Fact is I would not recommend San Juan to any tourist since it does not have anything to offer other than the Bacardi Plant and el Morro. We have tons of better places to go that will make San Juan look like a joke. Go to Culebra which has one of the top 50 beaches in the world, zero crime there too to boot, Arecibo, Guanica, Mayaguez, Lajas, Dorado, to name a few spots. VISIT PR the shining star of the world!

  • José D. Quiles said

    Puerto Rico is a small Island, therefore when a crime is committed the entire island Is going to notice. Also, the media love to add color to these events. I assure you the crime in Puerto Rico is not different from any other country. Puerto Rico is a great place to visit.

  • JBM said

    I'm boricua and yes we have a negative side like every other country. But I never going to said don't waste money in here because I should said the same thing from another country. We have a beautiful island and we have a lots of things here. We have a lots of little towns with rich history. The people needs to know where to stay and don't thing about the negative things.

  • JOSE PEDRAZA said

    I LOVE PR.I LIVE IN THE SOUTH SIDE OF PR .NICE BEACHES

  • Dary said

    Ana, no children snatchers? Im sorry to inform you that a friend of mine just put in jail a man who tried to kidnap her girl in a store in Guayama. Also, do you remember the psycho shooter from Caguas who killed one person in the freeway? Or the non-psycho shooters as a fact? No, is not paradise. Maybe is not tjhe worst, but it is surely not the best either.

  • Lourdes said

    Crime is worldwide,Of course in Puerto Rico you hear about mostly all the crimes happening because were a small island. But for someone to say not to visit it's outrages. If that's the case then we should'nt go on vacation at all or outside for that matter. Crime is happening everywhere not just in Puerto Rico. What he really should have written is DON'T GO ON VACATION TO ANY THE STATES IN THE US,THEIR DANGEROUS, If we all write about other countries or states or islands we'll see that this problem is worldwide.

  • David said

    I have lived in Puerto Rico for various periods of my life and I have to say the past four years have been wild. We went from having the lowest robbery rate in 40 years during the 2005-2008 period and a stable murder rate of circa 780 (2000-2007) to a marked increase in both, robbery and murders. The murder rate alone presented a 50% increase last year, totaling over 1,130 deaths. Carjackings this year are also 5 times as common as all 50 states combined. Worse of all, killings are happening in broad daylight, at shopping centers and in the middle of the expressway. At this point, México's per capita murder rate in half that of Puerto Rico. I'm not even telling my friends to come visit and feel highly insecure. If things don't change within the next year, I'm joining the exodus of 100,000 Puerto Ricans who have already left the Island.

  • safetyhub said

    Thank you all for your comments. Just to be clear, this article DOES NOT recommend that people stay away from PR. We DO say that if you choose to go you should be extremely wary in certain places at certain times. We attempt to give the traveller the information they need to stay safe while visiting PR. We also acknowledge that the vast majority of locals are warm and friendly. The drug trade is a scourge on many countries and communities and is regrettable. We don't offer a comparison of the situation in PR with any other nation, just try to paint a picture of the reality.<br>As many of you have mentioned, there are many, many safe and beautiful places in PR where tourists are welcome and they will benefit from the experience. Good luck to you all, and thanks again.<br>Phil from the safety hub.

  • safetyhub said

    P.S. - have re-edited the article to reflect some of your comments. Thanks again. Phil

  • Jessica said

    I'm attending a wedding in late October and staying at La Concha Ren. in San Juan. What is your thought of this hotel and the area it's located in. How is the beach in this area.

  • Orlando said

    Hi, Jessica:

    La Concha is a nice hotel, right in the heart of the Condado area. The area is patrolled day and night, but even then, there have been a few incidents involving both locals and tourists. For the most part, Condado is safe, but just as everywhere else, be careful. If possible, walk around in groups and don't be out on the streets alone until too late. It is a fun place, so let your hair down and enjoy!!!

  • Jose Velez said

    I was born and educated in San Juan, a place I last visited 4 years ago. PR is small Island with a population density that would present a major challenge to any government entity. I have seen the deterioration brought by the economic constrains, increased illegal immigration from nearby Island nations and drug activity. It was hard to be at peace and enjoy my stay anywhere near the metro area, the traffic, chaos, heat!<br> Now that my parents have passed away I see no reason to visit the main Island. I do however plan on returning to SJ and hop on another small plane off to my youth retreat offshore East of Fajardo. <br> Traveling on your own, if an outsider, is risky, therefore research and stay in well recommended localities, refrain from being caught driving at night or in desolated places, or you will become an easy target. Kept all valuables at your Hotel safe. Dress like the locals while at the beach, don't travel wearing fancy jewelry or flashy stuff. Night activities are risky business, unless at your hotel, requiring no walking on streets. Refrain from drinking too much or sunbathing nude in public, both are risky and the last one not legal. People are generally friendly and will help you if you need so, just be polite and understand it is like a foreign nation, respect their idiosyncrasies.

  • arelis said

    True there's crime and shootings just like in the states mexico or central and south america. but say don'y visit the island cause it's so dangerous you'll get killed is somthing idiotic to say. Puertorico is a beautiful place. hey if you have that type of mentality dont leave your home. there have been many puertoricans killed on their vacations yeah while visiting venezuela columbia mexico the islands italy santo domingo so you see it happens all over the world. the only differnce that those countries try to keep on the down low trying not to keep tourist away. besides the only one talking bad and not wanting to come here cause there afraid are the puertoricans that are narrow minded. tourist keep coming and its bad that crime happens but it does'nt mean that if you come to pr you're gonna get killed or rob. and the kid that got killed in a carjacking was puertorican born here raised here and mother puertrican he had a father from holand. this island is a great place to visit. crime happens all the time everywhere and here we have a few puertorican who are so ignorant telling people not to visit. they make it seem that pr is the worst place on earth. yeeesh what a bunch of mensos. when ist your turn to leave this world it dont matter where you at . que mensos.<br><br>

  • Jack Beford said

    We just read CNN and ParadiseNO.com The horror -the stories, the rapes, the murders. Never again Puerto Rico anywhere! Especially the Vieques Island.

  • Joe said

    Thanks for comment, how is Guaynabo i think not far from San Juan.<br>Going there for couple of weeks.

  • George said

    There are "bad" places in Puerto Rico, just like anywhere else. Even though San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, it isn't the top spot for tourists anymore. If you want to have a nice vacation on the island, get tickets to the "Aereopuerto Internacional Rafael Hernandez" in Aguadilla. <br><br>Forget about San Juan, the west part of Puerto Rico is the real deal. People will threat you the way you deserve and will make you feel like great.

  • Boricua said

    My husband and I just returned from a 5 day stay visiting my family in Puerto Rico. It had been 3 years since our last visit. I must say that the deterioration of PR was shocking. We spent one day in Old San Juan and as we were driving there from the Fajardo area, we were shocked to see the deterioration of the buildings, hotels, streets. I couldn't believe it. Entering towards El Morro, I couldn't believe the Normandie hotel sat there abandoned, boarded up. I would hate being a tourist and encountering this as I arrived to this "island of enchantment". You would not catch me out and about after dark. We travel to Mexico often and I must say that we feel much safer there. Very sad, but I agree 100% with this article. Not sure when I'll visit my island again...

  • Daniel 100% said

    You act as if Puerto rico is a bad place maybe some areas are dangerous.... but still you only have the bad side go to the south side and youll think diffrent better yet go to Cayey ... I totally recommend Puerto Rico to anyone

  • PV said

    My husband and I go to PR every single year. We have a wonderful time and never worry. We do not go to the beach at night. We have been everywhere and avoid Santurce at night- just don't drive around at night not knowing where you are going- we always use the GPS. Concha is lovely and a wedding there will be awesome. We have never worried even walking in Old San Juan at night, just know where you are going! I have been all over the U.S. and many places in the world and this is by far the best destination. We use to go to Mexico but are now concerned for the crime as it has changed. Enjoy Puerto Rico-it is a paradise with the nicest people on earth. We can never get enough of it. <br>

  • Santini said

    Cayey? Send them to the Himalayas while you're at it. People might discourage tourism to ANY place because of stereotypes that one might keep in order to stay safe. Which is why this article has good intentions. The title can be a bit alarming but the fact that it mentions where to go, when to go, and how to go makes it a good balance between having fun and being safe. But it's more of a news article...not a booklet for tourism in Puerto Rico. The article is about crime rate in Puerto Rico with sincere warnings to NOT think that the palm trees and sunny beaches you see associated with the island as the bearers of your security.

  • Phil said

    Sounds like a lot of excuses for violent crime from the people that live there.

  • Diego said

    On July 27 somebody wriote: "We dont have shootouts in movie theaters or schools, or bombs exploding on federal buildings or airplanes hitting them, dont worry you are more safe in PR than in any city of the US". That is very stupid, due to the reality in the island. Each year there are more than 900 violent deaths in PR, more than 94% are related to crime... all that in just a little island of 100 x 35 miles. Puerto Rico is #2 in the world in crime related murders, only topped by Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

  • Grace said

    Now I am totally scared I was thinking of going to pr alone as a getaway but hearing all these. Comments being that I am a female and traveling alone help me please!!

  • Lamb said

    I travelled to Puerto Rico " alone" 3 times in 2010.. It is a beautiful lil island. Once to Aguadilla and twice to San Jose.. Not a problem . Of course I lived in NYC for 12 years so I was we'll aware of my surroundings and my behavior.. I didn't wander the streets alone at night, however I did in the day. Just be smart and enjoy! La concha Hotel is nice and every room has a balcony with a beach front view. Food was good in hotel as well.. Also near shopping and a ton of restaurants..I am a foodie so I traveled slightly east to an area they call the" sunset" for more authentic cuisine. Found a small bakery that had the owners mother- in law cooking daily specials! Delicious! To the locals..I am considering transferring jobs at a new Property in Dorado beach.. Any recommendations on how to find housing? Affordable living in this are or safest nearby are?

  • Cindy said

    I am about to book a vacation for March in Puerto Rico. I am nervous to bring my 19 month old there because of everything I keep hearing. Was going to stay at the Sheraton in San Juan please tell me if this is a good choice. What if you stay on the resort and don't come off?

  • Rick said

    My wife and I go to PR twice a year to her familys mountain home I see a lot of nagative talk about crime in Puerto Rico.That may be in some of the larger cities as it would be in any other country.Where there are more people you will have more crime.But the mountain areas its beutiful and peaceful people are frendly.If her family had a home in San Juan or one of the larger cities I would not even go there to much traffic and people.The problem is San Juan is what the tourist see although I would recomend Old San Juan alot of history.Don't spend your whole vacation in San Juan rent a car and venture out away from the city into the mountains.

  • Eric said

    Never again, My wife and I went to PR for are honeymoon. Are honeymoon was a disaster. There place was filled with nasty beaches and trash on the streets. All the reviews about being wonderful all I have to ask is WTF... We stayed at the gran melia golf resort ( do not stay there ) Then to Luquillo Beach for a walk on a dirty beach, Back to the car that just got broke into. Cops where rude.
    Next day to Old San Juan. Food and drinks :) I have been reading about this for sometime now.
    WELL puerto rican sangria Was just rum and fruit punch. I have puerto rican friends that make real puerto rican sangria, The place was just trying to rip me off. After that only to see dogs walking the street with homeless people everywhere. It was like a ghetto with a beach. There was just way to much to list. And I know people are going to say I am racist lol. My Wife is Puerto Rican, And was never in PR. So that would be why we wanted to go on are honeymoon. Never Again.

  • Dana said

    My husband is being pcs'ed to Ft. Buchanan in May, we wanted to live off post. What is a good neighborhood to live in, were looking for a gated community? I'm a little freaked out reading everything people are saying. Any info would be greatly appreciated:)

  • Jullian said

    Im planning on going on a personal vacation out of the U.S. sometime next year or 2, I have a friend whos family comes from puerto rico and he says its great there and his cousin who used to live there told me i could pass as a puerto rican for my looks, but I think the hype the crime is a bit overboard to say not to go every country has its good in bads, i figure go out during the daytime and stay in at night america isnt as great as what people try to say it is ive been through some of the craziest situations when i didnt even do anything wrong but its just life, people need to suck it up and if they want to go somewhere just be cautious and cover your bases and youll be fine

  • The Truth said

    http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2012/07/20/mexico-asur-wins-puerto-rico-airport-concessio
    If Puerto Rico is so bad , why areworldwide inestors bidding millions even billions of dollars into the island. I was there last week eating burrgers and fries at Buns in the heart of San Juan at 3:30 in the morning . The only peracting reckless was a white Americatourist that was drunk mqaking fun of the locals. On another occasion at a bar poolside their was another drunk also American making fun of the bartenders salary. Obviously crime is a major factor but how true are the statistics when they can be manipulated, keep in mind I was there nine days and not once did I here any sirens or of anyone violently getting hurt. I worked in Times Square in Nyc for a year and a half and seen things you cannot imagine, yet it wouldn't make the news because it would effect tourism. Worst weekend to visit nyc is Easter weekend , that . Do Sunday is ganga initiation and every gang you can think of is roaming the streetts. Do your own research and don't believe second-hand garbage people post. If you dont contribute in anyway you are not one to take away.

  • The Truth said

    Unfortunately this site does not work well with my phone, hence the typos and broken sentences.

  • Chris said

    West is good to go. Think positive. Puerto del sol ; )

  • Nini said

    Boricua- you stated Mexico is safer then Puerto Rico?right. I've been to Mexico Cancun and it's the worst place to go to!!! Especially when your staying at a high end hotel being woken up by someone trying to break in ur room!!!! Ill stick to my island there's places that need work but Mexico safer?! What a joke!! Viva pr there's violence everywhere!! I live in Schaumburg 1 hr from Chicago take about crime 500 un solve murders!! This yr 100 and it just started!

  • Bob said

    I used to want to go there. I spent 10 years in Mexico and concluded that I'd had enough of the "Latin" connection. Have you ever wondered why, as I have, most ALL LATIN SPEAKING COUNTRIES ARE SCREWED UP? Since I can't tell you why I can only suggest that you visit them in a state of serious awareness at all times. Latin countries seem to have less human compassion than others, except muzlim.

  • Half full said

    ((2012) San Juan is number 25 for most dangerous countries, but is safer than New Orleans and more dangerous than Detroit and Baltimore. Obviously Louisiana and Michigan have very safe cities as well, and I speculate that because of the size of Puerto Rico - it's easier to make generalizations.

  • rita torres said

    I been in PR for 7 months now and not once have felt scared. I visit the beaches, I visit parks and tourist areas, I go shopping to different malls, and never saw any crime or even a fight. Everyone is polite and helpful. Everyone says good morning and it's a tradition for people to say "enjoy" in spanish "buen provecho" wherever they see you eating, which I think is so nice. I have heard of the crime on the news, but it's always at night and it's always related to drugs, or domestic violence. The shootouts on the highways are always planned and targeted. It's very rare that innocent bystanders are shot. It's always a personal problem. Yes you can get robbed, but that's everywhere. Puerto Rico is fine, it's not worse than being in los angeles, mexico, DR, Jamaica, the bronx in NY, Brooklyn, or Washington Heights, Harlem or Long Island. Tourists are rarely victims. No one will bother you if you mind your business and use common sense. If you are scared to come to PR something is wrong with you. You will then have to lock yourself at home forever. My husband is from central america and now that is crime!!! Puerto Rico is one of the safest spanish countries. There is 911 here, and drivers are no worse than manhattan drivers....wake up and smell this tropical breeze...you'll be glad you did!!!!

  • fred maldos said

    PR has it's crime, but it is in the major cities and it's in the housing projects or certain back roads. It is not in the tourist areas, and families are never attacked. Shoot outs in public areas are rare, and kidnappings are extremely rare. Car theft is a problem if u leave belongings visible. or if you drive an expensive sports car. Use normal precautions like everywhere. Be careful after dark, lock your doors, use main roads instead of back roads and don't talk to strangers that look suspicious. Hello???? We live in a world of crime, it's not in just a few countries. You people are funny! There are many americans on the island, especially san juan, Guaynabo and dorado. San Juan has it's bad areas, but there are areas where there is no crime. There are expensive areas, and tourist areas are well guarded and cared for. I recommend staying in Dorado. That is where most americans stay, and to live there is very expensive. It's a no crime area, it has a lot of tourist sites, and is close to san juan without the noise and busy streets. It's paradise. Another beautiful place is Rincon. Arecibo's Light house is nice and great for kids. Arecibo's town square is abandoned, but the major roads are great and safe. There is a shopping mall that runs from Arecibo #2 into Hatillo #2 and it has walmart, sam's club, home depot, anna's linens (like a bed bath and beyond) it has a kmart, church chicken, burger king, pizza hut, taco bell, walgreens, toys r us, cvs, ladies of america gym and much more!!!! Be sure to visit barceloneta outlets with factory stores like disney store, nike, sketchers, guess, coach, old navy, gap, aeropostale, nautica, addidas, puma, game stop, a food court, a playground, juicy couture, the children's place, chili's restaurant, ihop restaurant, and much more!

  • Laura said

    I am very white, blue eyed, blond. I've been living in PR for 5 yrs. I feel comfortable in most areas of San Juan in the day, and just fine at night in entertainment areas like Condado or Old San Juan. To me it's no different than any other major urban area. Miami, New York, LA, Chicago. Same precautions. Same risk. Uh don't walk alone on dark streets. Uh don't hang out in the ghetto. Uh lock your doors. Uh don't wear things that scream idiot tourist.

  • Texcowboy said

    I'm from Texas and I've been to Puerto Rico many times. We love it!!! There's crime all over the world. I've been to mexico, that is one scary place. I've been to Peru, In Lima (the capital) they don't even let you get off the car. I've been to Paris, you sooo have to be careful at night. The mideast? We all know about the mideast. New York? I'd rather hangout with a mexican kidnapper in Cancun. I don't know what is the motive of the person who wrote this article, but he/she just don't like Puerto Ricans very much. We go to PR and we have a blast with the locals. They are very welcoming and fun. Old San Juan at night? If you don't go to Old San Juan at night you might as well stay home. IT'S A BLAST!!! People in PR live well, they are nothing like the ghetto New Yorkers. So, If I had to choose between PR, Mexico, SouthAmerica, NY, FL and Chicago? I'll choose PUERTO RICO.

  • VAdim said

    I am very confused! I've been to PR many ( I mean MANY!) times since 1997, and I never experienced a slight hint of danger. Fear was always coming from the news papers, rumors, etc. May be I was just lucky. I love PR so much that i would move to this island at first opportunity. In 1997 I stayed in Hilton Caribe, and we were told not to leave hotel after 7PM. Then we moved to Palmas del Mar and this was like entering a paradise. Palmas del Mar is a gated community South East of PR, approximately 1 Hr from San Juan. For everybody who wants to visit PR - go to Palmas del Mar, stay in the hotel, walk along the ocean, play golf and you will have a very safe vacation. Actually - it is not expensive to stay there. Now I am confused, because published information portrays PR as extremely dangerous place! I believe, that this is true. There is a joke: somebody said that there is Lie, Big Lie, Horribly huge Lie and....statistics. I hope that truth about PR is much better than presented statistics.

  • who said

    Its amazing what I have read in these commends. I love my island and I know there are many poor people there and they deserve to be treated with respect. I plan to retied and buy property their, thereby you are speaking about me? what?, were you guys born idiots or you became idiots when you moved to the main land? I have lived in York CITY ,PUERTO RICO, TEXAS, and studied in Mexico, Texas,and in New York. Guess what? I'am 70 and the only problems I've had was racism in Texas and New York. Well anyway if you don't like the island or us Puerto Ricans, just don't go to island and if you are Puerto rican and don't like identifing yourself as such, fined a way to change your nationality. simple, you know who you have to blame for your nationality.

  • el borincano said

    I lived on the island for 15 years. It is true there are many incidents tat take place as many of these persons have described. Personally, I assisted in studying at one of the Universities and in that period of time my vehicle was stolen. Right from almost in front of the institution in Bayamon. I have been away from the island for the past 21 years and I believe it has been one of the best things I have done for the well-being of my family and I. It is not to say that the events that have been described will not happen in the US; but it is certainly true to say that the possibilities are very much diminished. Drugs are the primary problem and most likely will always be the demise of the island. It is such a nice place and such a pity that it has to be the way it is. You can think of it somehow as the Wild West all over again, but in a tropical sense. People need to find their roots once again and obey the laws of GOD if it is to return to be the respected spot it once was. May GOD bless Puerto Rico.

  • Proud Puertorrican said

    El borincano, please change your name if you feel that way. Glad you came here to study in UPR Bayamon and make your education here. The less you can make is keep quiet and thank Puerto Rico for your education in a good rated university with less expenses. That goes to Boricua... stay were you are. Its a shame when SOME called Puerto Ricans feel better to critized Puerto Rico when they live outside the Island. Please if you don't live here, don't think that were you live is betterd. You are not welcome here and we don't want your "stereotype" opinions.

    Puerto Rico is a blessed island. We are an island with beautiful people inside out. Our greens are like nowhere and our beaches superb. I been robed in Costa Rica, harrased & followed in New York, Texas and Los Angeles. I don't feel unsafe here. Puerto Rico has 4,000,000 habitants in a territory of 35 x 100 miles. If you feel you don't want to come to Puerto Rico, don't come, you are not needed. If you feel the desire to come, come, you will be more than welcome and I assure that it will be a very nice stay and vacation. Never let anyone to experience for yourself. Experience and know it first hand, here in Puerto Rico or anywhere else. Always taking the precautions printed at the hotel doors explained to you everywhere else. Have fun knowing and experience Puerto Rico and any other country. I love Puerto Rico and my people. You always have to take the best of everything to make you happy.

  • Avelino said

    Got to this article because i was wondering how the housing projects (casellieros) were abandoned in old san juan. Have to say that what I've read here is a bunch of malarkey! Author please refrain from writing any articles regarding travel so as not to confuse your potential audience. Here's some background on me. I'm in my late 30s, a male, puerorican ( born in ny) , live in brooklyn, am a professional and graduated from an elite university in the US. I take offense to this poorly researched article with misleading statistics. As many have said crime happens everywhere. PR is not the most violent country in the western hemisphere. Mexico and some other south and central american countries take the cake there. You ever go to juarez mexico where drug cartels hang people by the highways? When I went to Mexico they handed me a map that had a red circle on it and they said if i ventured out of there it was no mans land. Theres no such thing like that in PR. Also other islands in the caribbean mainly DR and Haiti are way worse. Try going outside of the resort areas in Jamaica or DR and you're asking for problems especially if you don't know anyone there. As for the US chicago and camden NJ are some of the roughest areas around. Not to mention Baltimore's crime rate that spawned 2 hbo series (the corner and the wire). As for drugs...there are drug addicts in every country and the demand for drugs is not going to disappear until theyre legalized and the illicit trafficking comes to a halt. How would drug dealers make money if the government is selling the same product for cheaper and reinvesting profits in education(hopefully lol). With that said Ill provide readers with a brief synopsis on PR sites and how to stay safe.
    1) old san juan is a place to have fun with a vibrant nightlife and is heavily patrolled. No need to feel scared here. Just as Mexico does not let crime affect their bread and butter of tourism the same goes here. Crime in San juan happens mostly in the poverty stricken areas lile the projects. If you're visiting and want to see the sites why the hell would you go there? Thats like saying i want to see what Mogadishu has to offer.
    2) previous readers are right. There is much more to the island than just san juan. But unlike most other places that routinely encourage you to stay in resorts you can actually travel around and feel safe. I recommend gps so you dont get lost and end up in a crappy neighborhood.
    3) people here most likely have less than you do. So do not wear jewelery or garments that display your lofty financial standing . Dress down and try to fit in. If youre a white guy wearing a rolex in front of people that are trying to figire out how to keep the lights on in their house you just may become a victim. On the other hand if you're a PR and you think youre gonna sport gold chains and go to nightclubs and think that your shit doesnt stink you are gonna have problems. Hell, even rappers have been robbed in the US for their bling.
    4) as for driving. Don't leave anything visible in the car that is valuable. I live in Brooklyn so im used to this rule. Also dont stop to help anyone. Its a ploy to rob you in some cases. The next one i love the most. After 10 pm run red lights. Yes, feed that inner longing to run red lights like police officers just not when a cop is next to you or on a highway.
    5) If i have to tell you this you may mot have much common sense but here it goes"Dont act stupid , excessively macho or be ome overly inebriated. This will make you a victim in virtually every country.
    6) Ricans are a jealous bunch so males take heed to the following. Look to see if a woman has an engagement ring or wedding band before approaching her, and if you do approach the next sentence out your mouth that does not include introducing youself should be "do you have a boyfriend"? If so keep it moving.
    7) If you're not from a city environment you may not have much street skills. Book smarts are great but will only get you so far. Street skills need to be learned and are hard to teach. They involve a blend of common sense and good decision making skills. If you lack this then maybe you are doomed for the resort life anywhere you choose to go and you'll be a gold member of club med or sandals. If you want to walk off the beaten path you can in PR you just have to be aware of your surroundings. This will not only help you in PR but any other place you're visiting
    Living in the US you have to deal with mass shootings, terrorism and a bevy of other problems. By the way there are no serial killers besides the legend of dono bicicleta. Serial killers are middle aged white males (over 90% of the time) , so maybe, just maybe, puerto ricans should be worried about who's visiting. Lol.
    As for the author of this article please refrain from writing anymore travel recommendations as they are riddled with inaccurate information and misleading. By the way im writing from fajardo pr right now while on my fathers porch. My kids are sleeping in the bedroom and we all feel safe. Sir, i believe your brand of safety will prevent anyone from traveling at all. Its a wonder you even made it out here.

  • Jasmine said

    Im reading a lot about PR being super dangerous. well my people are from jamaica (taino/arawak indians) though I havent been there yet I want to go so badly. my grandma(whos from highgate,jamaica) and mother talk about it being dangerous to walk alone at night , ect BUT it still being a wonderful place..I said all that to say that every place in the world has its dangerous parts. especialy the united states and EVEN THE SUBURBS AND "NICER AREAS" have some of the craziest lunitics especially in the united states.

    Im planning a vacation to PR in summer of 2014 with my husband and our 2 toddlers. My first choice was isle verde,carolina, PR i thought it was beautiful but after reading this I was sort of shaken being that ill have small children with me. im the type of person that wants to be around locals and experience it from a authentic standpoint, while being safe and able to walk the streets with my kids. are there any suggestions on some places to be and good AUTHENTIC PR places to eat, and nice places to shop??

  • Curaçao said

    I have just spent the past one hour reading every single comment. I was hoping I would get a good representation of the pros and cons of the island. The real tragedy I found lies in the horrible and practically unreadable grammar and spelling in these comments. I am officially dumber. Think about it, "Avelino" claims to have graduated from an elite university in the US yet posts a comment that reads as if he were in the 3rd grade. Avelino, what's the name of your elite university? I have a feeling it will include the name MORON.

    Although I have lived in Puerto Rico it has been many years since I've been back, so I can't comment on the current pros and cons. However, having done quite a bit of traveling in the Caribbean recently, I can say be careful. The Great Recession has only made life worse for many people whose lives were already awful. My simple advice would be to live your life. Use common sense. And do your best to blend in.

  • Anon said

    I live here in the metro area and I cant wait the get the hell out of here, this people commenting on this post live in Lala Land and some post are borderline moronic. I live in constant fear (have been mugged 2 times one of them in front of my house and my business was robed 3 times), and I don't even hang out that much. Government services sucks ass, there are more drug spots than schools, police suck. If I wanted to get a tropical Caribbean vacation I would prefer going to RD (a lot more cheaper and friendlier), Vieques at the moment is crazy with the crime and murder rate, and that is sad. I have being planing to visit the island (Vieques) with my car and is more difficult to book a trip to Vieques ferry than booking a ferry to RD with your vehicle. Just ask your self, why is people leaving PR and what kind of people are they, and you will understand.

  • Ava Encarnacion said

    I was raised in the USA, I just moved to Puerto Rico one month ago. I visited here a least 8 times since 2000, and love this Island. Crime is everywhere in the world. I was raised in the south, and Puerto Rico has made me feel right at home. i don't speak the language that well, but trying to learn. So many locals here has went above and beyond for me. All I can say, is thank you so much Puerto Rico for your warm welcomes!!! I am inviting friends to visit this Island next year, and I will keep inviting people to bring tourism revenue here.

  • DevilWalksAmongUs said

    I've been living in Puerto Rico (in the metropolitan area) for the past five years.

    To the tourists, this may seem like yet another beach and vacation spot. No big deal.
    To the locals (some of them, at least), it may be hard imagining Hell being any worse.

    Crime is not an issue exclusive to us. The same kind of crime you find here you find anywhere else. Drugs, gangs, shootings, police corruption, theft, rape...all unnecesary evils you find anywhere in the world, in first and third world countries. You really want to know what sets us apart? Its the sleazy, stupid, and cocky way people have about them; the kind of corruption that seeps in deep when people start to understand that they can get away with anything. I've seen how brutal and gruesome murders have been wrought against an innocent child and innocent women, and their perpetrators walk free today for the basic disgusting fact that they have thousands of dollars and have friends in high places. This is no secret. People are receiving the example and the message that money can keep you out of prison. Funny, considering NO ONE should ever be above the law.
    Only recently we had a guy hit by a car while riding around on his exercise bike (hit & run) and burnt or scratched parts of that car have been turning up all over the PR mountain area. This is the reality of the puertorrican: to royally fuck up, but not pay the consequences.

    And the domestic violence issue. If you, reader, reside in the U.S. pick up a local newspaper or follow the news and see how many cases you find of men beating their wives or domestic partners to a bloody pulp. See how many cases you find of parents murdering their children, in no quick or painless way, often just to wound or boast superiority to the child's mother. Men killing their spouses because they found love with someone else. Men butchering or firing on their kids because mommy wants a divorce/another man. Obsessions gone out of control and men killing and chopping up the objects of their affection and keeping their parts... Shall I go on? I'm not making this up. This is what happens here, and what people are either too stupid or too cowardly to fight against.

    I work in health insurance, and I could be here all week telling you about the thousands of elderly and disabled people literally left to their own luck to die in their houses or to go crazy within four walls because there isn't any money to give them proper and humane treatment. There isnt any interest on behalf of the healthcare providers, either. As long as they collect their fat checks, the rest of us can rot.

    Shall I educate you on the puertorrican's work ethic? Let's just say agriculture has quite a few jobs that need doing, but your average puertorrican can't seem to see him/herself working anything that isn't in comfy air-conditioning, dressed in top brand clothes, in a managerial position right at the entry level. Hell breaks loose in every company that failed to hand out Christmas bonuses (where I work was no exception). Had I known that we puertorricans were so damned entitled to the best of everything without ever having earned it, I probably would've fired my boss and taken her job on my first day. Then again, I had a different upbringing.

    Vacation all you want here, eat, drink, and be merry until the stars fall out of the sky. But don't kid yourself: the worst thing about any disfunctional society, besides the denial of said disfunction, is to be disfunctional in a place with no room to breathe. Our social disfunctions are fed by our lack of justice and made bigger by our collective indifference. Everyone KNOWS there's something wrong here, but no one will lift a finger to fix it. Not the politicians, not the wealthy, not the middle-class, and especially not the poor and needy, who have tons of federal aides they'd lose if they ever bothered to sober up and work for a solution. Or work at all.
    In conclusion, as I've been saying now for several years, "Puerto Rico is not a fully functioning society. It is an island where the savages and the monkeys dress up like human beings and all the while barely hold up their illusion of society, as they only pretend at being civilized."

    The truth is a bitter fruit. It is also the most nourishing.
    The Devil Walks Among Us.

  • Luis said

    Puerto Rico is beautiful however where there is money there is cover up. I worked at Palmas Del Mar resort and there was a rape and murder and 2 people were murdered in 1988-89 but it never made the news and you can't find it anywhere online. Although crime is little it still happens. Don't let your guard down.

  • Dena said

    Our family have been going to PR for over 10 years. I married my 3rd husband just last year in Rio Grande, Coco Beach. I truly love what Puerto Rico has to offer. When we go, we never sit still or stay at the resort. We take off, to whatever destination we choose. There has not been a place or town that has intiminated us enough to say, lets never go there again. Everywhere we go it has been an amazing experience for us. We plan on moving to Arecibo in about 8 years, where my husbands family reside. We are going to give it a few years just to see what its like to be a local. I agree to everyone's blog that the island holds some of the most warm and generous people I've ever experienced. I know there is crime, like everywhere, but, knock on wood, I've never witnessed it nor been a victim. My children and I went by ourselves a few years ago, took public transportation, walked some streets that we were warned of and was never bothered. I have red hair and blue eyes, so, no I do not look like a local and I do stand out. I was always treated with respect and courtasy. Yes there is ignorance everywhere and I can get that at home, but, I don't pay attention to that. I believe you get out of what you put into it. I give respect and I get respect. Thank you.

  • Buck said

    I am born/raised in the US, now retired white guy, interested in PR due to tax incentives recently enacted to draw capital to the island. I read these comments and feel most are in good faith though some prejudiced. I came to PR 30 years ago and saw little but burglar bars. Since raised in Chicago living in Dallas [both with bad reps for violence] and traveling throughout US, Mexico, Carribean, and Europe, I am thinking PR is declining for a number of reasons. Much tied to the humidity and corporate bosses who ship jobs to China. The ruse of war on drugs, like Prohibition, only makes money for big crooks, cops and corporate jailers. I can tell you that America has rampant corruption and 911 was an inside job. Unseen unless you go to civil courts and actually open your eyes to 911 for Truth. We have violence here without remedy too and dirty cities for lots of reasons. I think it is wise to be prepared and maybe find a place in the mountains where it is cooler and more peaceful. I will leave the crowded cities to those who need the action and spend the hotter months in Canada or Sweden where the weather, economy and culture makes people kinder and less nasty.

  • LaRhonda said

    Articles like this really disgust me. Fearmongering is never the way to go. I am from Washington, DC and before I moved here, spent the past 15 years living in Philadelphia. Both of these cities have had high rates of crime and violence (with innocent children being accidentally shot on MANY occasions in Philadelphia). I have gone to Santurce at night with my 6 year old and had a great time. I have spent time in Old San Juan at restaurants and shops after dark as well. San Juan/Puerto Rico in general should be taken with the same amount of caution that you would would use when you go to any other major US city. Yes crimes happen to people (they also happy in your comfortable and "safe" US citites), but when you use the same common sense that you would use when you go anywhere else in the world, you should mostly be ok. I live in Vega Alta, work in San Juan, son goes to school in Bayamon and I have never been the victim of a crime.

  • Nathan said

    Even though PR looks like a piece of apple pie , cut into it an you will find it is rotten ! You will get robbed at the drop of a hat or , the sight of your camera ! Wherever you go , WATCH YOUR ASS !!! Especially at night. I know. I lived there five years and got robbed 4 times !

  • AAH said

    I was uncomfortable with my visit next to San Juan especially my plans to see Fajardo

    I wanted to thank Avelino for his honest writing. Avelino please contact me at b777@mail.com i would like to personally thank you for this write-up and may be talk to you offline.

    Adam from Chicago

    Between
    Avelino said on Sep 3 2013 at 4:54 PM
    Proud Puertorrican said on Aug 25 2013 at 4:43 AM
    And
    DevilWalksAmongUs said on Dec 6 2013 at 12:03 PM

    First time in PR.... I am determined to enjoy my time with my wife in PR.

    I don't care where you go... it a combination of self awareness and respecting the visiting location.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/24/world/europe/24oslo.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    OSLO — The Norwegian man charged Saturday with a pair of attacks in Oslo that killed at least 92 people left behind a detailed manifesto outlining his preparations and calling for a Christian war to defend Europe against the threat of Muslim domination, according to Norwegian and American officials familiar with the investigation.

    so there you go.


  • Pepe Sanchez said

    There is a double standard when compering US crime to PR crime.... no matter how many children gt massacred in US schools the perception is that the US is safer.. although I never heard of 1 child getting killed in a PR school it it ever happens
    (God forbid) thousands will leave the island because our schools are not safe. People leave PR for Florida "for safety" but haven't done their research on this state, every year INNOCENT tourists get killed in Jan. 2p2014 Canadian is stabbed to death in Hollyood Florid. in 2013 2 Canadian senior citizens get killed in their vacation home. 2012 two British tourist get lost in Sarasota and get shot to death. Boca Raton mall has had multiple carjacking murders including a mother and 7 year old daughter and a 40 year old woman Man gets killed in movie theater for texting on phone, 428 cops have been killed in the line of. Duty in Florida, and I can write a book on henious crimes in Florida, but noooooooo its PR that gets the bad rputation. You ignorant Ricans need to wake up and stop believing the hype.. We have a high murder rate but it continues to be bad guys killing bad guys. Don't get me wrong all types of crime happen here but PR has one of the lowest rape rates in the world, lowest physiical aggration rates in the US, no steet gangs and your more likely to have a physical altercation in any US city than San Juan also someone commnted on carjackings PR with a population of 3.8 millon has aprox. 300 carjackings a yeaar and Newark NJ with just over 200,000 population had 420 carjackings in 2013

  • vonnie said

    I've just come back from Puerto Rico less than 48hrs ago. I was a single woman, traveling alone, and I had an absolutely wonderful experience. I stayed at a hostel in Fajardo, just a block away from the ferry dock. It doesn't get any less plush than that. There are no fancy security measures to protect you, just gated entryways, and your good old common sense. I could tell that this wasn't the richest area of the island, so I planned accordingly. I did hang out on the waterfront with my date, one night, until like 3am. He is also from the States, but has lived in Isla Verde for 2 years. We felt completely safe. I had lunch, on the waterfront, alone the next day, and I was threatened or kidnapped. I am a woman who can handle myself, so I probably don't look like a "mark," but I knew not to go running around, by myself, at night, and I remained situationally aware at all times. Use good common sense, and go on and enjoy Puerto Rico. It's awesome!!!

  • vonnie said

    ...meant to say "I wasn't threatened or kidnapped."

  • victor Dias said

    shame on the governor of Puerto Rico, shame on the mayor of san juan, shame onUS president clinton who ended the tax benefits during which era, employment was up, the economy was up, and pharmaceutical companies flocked to the island. This has all been a setup to move Puerto Rico towards statehood. Shame on the politicians for using the PR people as pawns in their political manueverings for statehood.

  • Chris said

    Puerto Ricans get way too butthurt about Puerto Rico. Lived there for 8 years and It is shitty. The island is beautiful but everything else sucks, to include to economy, government services, customer service and even their national guard units suck. Puerto Rico is not flourishing or upcoming. Its dying a really slow death. Crime there is worst ive ever seen and ive lived in la, nyc and miami. The Puerto Rican culture is way too ignorant to be fixed...Mind you that im half puertorican and i consider myself a gringo because i dislike puerto rico that much.

  • Michelle said

    I lived in PR for 12 years before moving to Maryland…I saw it deteriorate before my eyes…I was never afraid of the crime…it all depends where you go and when. There is a certain uniqueness to this island; especially Rincon (surf city). It has beautiful beaches, wonderful restaurants and hotel. I will be visiting in June. I miss the smell of the ocean, the sand…the sun…everything else doesn't matter once you are there.

  • L. T said

    Felt safer staying in San Juan than Chicago, where we live. Will definitely come back.

  • Mark said

    I was born in Aguadilla at Ramey AFB in 1972 and have never been back. My wife and I arrive on a cruise for a 12 hour stop in Feb and I want to rent a car from the cruise port to drive to Aguadilla check out my old house and the hospital I was born in. The hospital is now the Courtyard by Marriott and the maternity ward where I was born is now their casino. Is it a safe drive from the cruise port to Aguadilla? Anything on the way I should avoid? It will just be my wife and I. We plan on leaving the port at 8AM and returning before dark. Thoughts?

  • Kevin said

    I'm sitting in Puerto Rico (Guayanilla) as I type this. Have lived here off and on for close too 20 years. I am a Gringo, and love it here. Yes like all places there are some problems here. But what place doesn't have problems. The island is beautiful, the people warm and friendly. I, as other poster's have said, think the south west part of the island is the nicest area. I would strongly recommend Playa Santa Beach, Combate and Rincon. The interstate system is good. This area is very safe. And from the south side on certain nights you can see the southern cross over the caribbean. If you were to retire here and you are a veteran there are VA's in Ponce, Mayaquez, and San Juan. probably more that I am unaware of. Plenty of shopping and good modern malls but also a lot of the traditional family stores and shops. panaderias that's sell fresh baked loaves of bread every morning to go with some of the best coffee in the world. Alta Grande. My favorite is Youcona, in the black and yellow bag.inexpensive but very good. In the evening a glass of good Puerto Rican rum, Don Q. Don't get much better then that!

  • Felicia said

    Anyone afraid or re-considering going to San Juan, Puerto Rico...YOU MUST READ THIS. I just returned from there and I went ALONE! My cousin is a flight attendant and gave me great tips. So I used his tips and discovered some on my own. I stayed right next to the Verdanza Hotel in Isla Verde, which was only 2 miles from the Airport....$15 TOTAL taxi fare ONE WAY. When you walk outside Luis Munoz Airport there is a taxi stand there. You walk up to them and they tell u how much it is for your Taxi Touristo so you cant be overcharged. They have a paper written out with your total and give that paper to you. My hotel was about a 5 min walk to the beach. Pueblo Supermarket was only a 3 min walk from from my hotel. At Pueblo's you can not only buy groceries if you want, but liquor is also sold in grocery stores in Puerto Rico. He first told me not to let any hotel talk me into taking a $70 for a tour of Barcardi Factory NOR other historic sites, because I could go myself on city bus bus for .75 cents. He also said not to buy any bottles of liquor from Bacardi factory as I could save $ buy my Bacardi at Pueblo Supermarket. And that's exactly what I did. I got on City bus directly ACROSS street from Wendy's, which was only 3 min walk from my hotel. As previously stated it was only .75 cents one way. It took me from Isla Verde to Old San Juan main bus terminal. It is the VERY last stop. To go to Bacardi Factory U walk around the corner and opposite side of street from Senor Frogs is the Ferry that takes u to Cantano, Puerto Rico. Entrance to ferry terminal says Aqua Express?or Acqua something. Inside u buy a $1.00 ROUND TRIP ticket and go where the sign says "SALA CATANO." It is only a 10 min ferry ride that takes you from one side of island (Old San Juan) to other side of island ( Catano, P.R.). which is where Bacardi Factory is. Once u get off ferry in Catano and exit, walk to the RIGHT. U'll only walk a couple mins to where the shuttle vans are. As ur walking to the right heading towards the shuttles u might see a Jamaican gut sitting there selling sodas and gum, etc. He was VERY nice. The shuttles are right next 2 him. If you dont see the shuttles, ask him. It is $3.00 per person and takes u DIRECTLY to Bacardi factory. Its like a 10? min drive only. At Bacardi Factory u will get 2 FREE mixed drinks oer person. Kids they will also get 2 tix each for a soda or something. The tour guide will instruct u when itz time to go in the museum b/c they do groups of Spanish tours AND English. When u get done, there is a gift shop and a snack bar also. If u want visit the snack and gift shop ahead ALSO if u choose. When tour is over, just ask the tour guide where the shelter is to get that shuttle back to ferry. Remember its $3 pp going back 2 ferry also. After ur 10 min ride back to Old San Juan, u walk back over by Main bus terminal and DIRECTLY in front of Punta? something u can get on one of OR just ride around in all 3 trolleys FREE! If you go on PuertoRicoDayTrips.com u can see a listing of all the stops at each historic site and decide which one u want 2 get on or off at. I went to Ft. SSan Cristobal. To get in this Fort it is $5 pp and that pass is good for a week FOR ONLY $5! I was even brave enough 2 walk down street on CALLE NORZAGARY. That is where the La Perla hood is! Actually while ur visiting Ft. San Cristobal ask one of the ppl our tour guides exactly where to look 2 see La Perla. U will b safe cause ur just overlooking it. U wont believe ppl REALLY live there. I read about it prior to going, and just wanted 2 see it. As I was sayig how I was brave enough to walk past on same side of street I had the NERVE to take pics too. There were other tourists walking also. Even one of the other trolleys rides past and picks u up if your at the trolley stop. Some other girls were taking pics of each other and I said "well I see u guys r brave like me." They wanted 2 know y? I said "u r in front of the MOST FAMOUSLY DANGEROUS neighborhoods in the WORLD. We started talking and they offered 2 take pics of me w/ my camera. There was a lady sittin outside at a table and she lived in La Perla and she's fr NY like me. She could tell I was a tourist (probably by my sundress and floppy hat lol) and saw me takin pics directly at the houses there. She told me the history. I saw someone else give her a dollar so i gave her one too. Only cause I had VERY EASY access 2 it. I didnt pull out any wallet or nothing. I only saw one guy walk up the hill near us. I could tell he lived in there. He was looking serious, but I smiled at him and said hi. He spoke back, u could tell he was o.k. knowing i wasnt the police or anything. Im fr the hood in NY and one thing bout the hood is that they are ONLY lookout guys protecting their territory. They are only trying to make money. They know itz a tourist area and also trying see if u wanna buy some pot or something. The main rule is u dont come there causin no problems w/ their $, they wonbother u. U just dont flash jewelry or $ thatz all. Cameras r not exactly welcome but online ppl have said about La Perla that they WILL SIMPLY SAY "pls no pics." All u say is "my bad, ididnt know Im a tourist, no problem." And itz all good. They just feel like they're under surveillance all time thatz all. For u basketball fans u will see the basketball court right there in La Perla. Carmelo Anthony sponsors it. And itz written in graffitti "Carmelo Anthony Court." So when u get back on one of trolleys u will eventually see the souvenir shops, etc. I think trolley stops running like 7pm? But I ate at Cafe Puerto Rico! It was the BOMB! Locals who were selling handmade jewelry told me it was better and cheaper than Raices (who competes with Cafe Puerto Rico :) I got the yellow rice w pork sausage and had 2 pina coladas. I bought an awesome handbag made from Coconuts from Haitian Art Gallery! Main bus terminal is couple min walk from Cafe Puerto Rico. When u head back 2 bus to go back to your hotel FROM main bus terminal u can take the T5 back OR T53 Bus. They do speak GOOD English too, just ask one of workers at the terminal which bus goes to Isla Verde. Tell them u wanna get off at Tartak St/Isla Verde Avenue. That will put u back in front of the Wendys where u got on it near your hotel in Isla Verde. I met some ladies at my hotel too. We made drinks at the hotel and chilled on the beach til after 3am with some local and everything. We even went to the bars on the beach where they served drinks inside the real coconut! I ate at La Playita restaurant (on the beach) Make sure u try the Churrasco Mofongo, Arroz Provencale and Crabcalaitos and get a Coco Loco! La Playita is an oceanside restaurant on the beach. U can rinse sand off ur feet too in front of the Water Beach Hotel too. And go to their rooftop lounge callex Mist. It is BEAUTIFUL in there. Didnt stay there cause I HAD to have a smoking room. But...enjoy Puerto Rico! I am only 4'9 was dressed pretty and I even got back at night once. There's alot of other tourists walking around so I was almost always behind or in front of other tourists. I even walked thru the well light walkway at the Water Beach Hotel alone one night. Just be aware of your surroundings. Hopefully u'll get server Orvin? at La Playita. My hotel got me to take a $12 taxi to go to Playita since it was like 8pm for safety, but the owners of Playita showed me how to walk along the beach 2 get back by well lit Beach bars and Water Beach Hotel and it was like 10 pm. He said u dont HAVE 2 take taxi, He said look "see all those ppl sittin in that lit area on the beach eating n drinking ...walk right there, u'll be there in 4 mins! And i did! I used my own judgement. Kept lookin around me. I was fine. It was even ppl running on the beach too. I wouldnt have done it if i felt nervous. And I live in North Carolina rightnow...so I was far from home. Im feliciasharonn@gmail.com if u need further guidance :)

  • Taina said

    "Avelino, the best part of this whole article." Just returned from a weeks vacation and I gave my Arabic husband the tour of most of the island. From Mayaguez to Fajardo. Made as many stops as we could and ate in the smallest of places. We just blended in with All locals they treated us the best, received the best of respect from all with the small exception of the crabby man at wally world in my town. My husband can’t wait to go back. They should have placed your comments at the beginning.

  • john said

    would like to know how safe 3 brothers beach ,anasco , la playa would be .

  • Kris said

    Culebra does have crime, of course. Robbery and theft are the main crimes. The naughty locals prey on other locals and tourists alike. Very simple solution: Lock up your stuff! Laptops, cell phones, wallets, cameras are favorites but if they are out of sight and locked up, the little punks will move on to the next sucker.

  • elpolicia said

    puerto rico is a crime dump, no matter who tries to color it beautiful in here it is still a dump. Puerto ricans are still a menace to society here in the u.s .

  • Chris said

    This is enough, I grew tired of all this hater comments, I have live all my life here in Puerto Rico, ofcourse there is crime, but dont act like there isnt where you live. Puerto Rico is a small, gentle island with much to see, if you like it good, if you dont its good too. I agree with somethings in this article, yes Puerto Rico has crime, yes it is falling appart (at some places), and its not the safest place in the world, but it has much tomoffer. I am a 17 year old boy, and mark my words, once I am 30 I will become the governor of this island, I will save the little honor, and respect people have for this island and I will make it better, so in 2028, when you hear the a candidate " De Jesús ", I will count on your vote, and I will make Puerto Rico a better place.

  • Bonita isla said

    I was raised in New York then New Jersey left the beautiful island when I was three years old.
    After 55 years I'm back in Puerto Rico enjoying the island. Its been two years living in Puerto Rico and always travel along, have not yet seen such crimes, I thank God for that. When I first came to Puerto Rico everyone use to tell me not to go out along because it was not safe to travel along. I didn't know the island that well so I didn't go anywhere for the first three day, only to the front porch checking out the neighborhood getting the feel of it. I felted safe and decided to walk the neighborhood. Every morning I go jogging on the beach, go to work, church, movies and concerts, yet I haven't yet seen anyone get hurt.

    If I would have listen to everyone and not my instant I would have not been here enjoying the island or
    would have been scared to come out to the streets and would have probably gotton ill thinking that the moment I hit the street something negative would happen to me.

    I am not saying that there is no crime in Puerto Rico, what I'm saying is that we must not allow these
    negetive news run our life, we only have one life to live, just make the best of it. Stay away from people and places that are negative. If you like to go out drinking, do it with a group of people not along.

    I love Puerto Rico and I'm here to stay. The island is beautiful come and enjoy, just mind your business and you will be fine. Remember don't believe everything you hear just follow your instant, its the GOD within you. What's meant to be will happen anywhere not just in Puerto Rico. Your luck is not the same as the others. Our mind is very powerful, what ever you put in you create.
    We must focus, be alert and careful but NEVER LIVE IN FEAR.

    May GOD bless you all.









  • Truth said

    You will have to excuse the spelling/grammatical mistakes on here, as English is likely a second language to most. Puerto Rico does have beautiful areas and the majority of the people are warm and welcoming. I would recommend visiting and judging for yourself, just be vigilant as you would be in any place foreign to you. If you want to relocate to work/live in PR, do it if you can!

    I would not recommend retiring in PR however, due to the high cost of living (utilities are very high) and the economic instability that could decimate someone on a fixed income. Puerto Rico is NOT a country; it is a commonwealth of the United States. Those born on the island are born U.S. citizens.

  • anna from ny said

    Puertoricans and nonpuericans should make PR a better place to live, and not make it bad because it is a sad thing to hear all those words that are painful for someone who venerates the island so much. I don't look at it that way, I travel and make sure to have a good time and leave.

  • jose perez said

    Puerto Ricans are a nation and a people with a culture, with a history, and with traditions that stem from the bloods of the Taino, the Yoruba, and the European. We are standing on the shoulders of our grandmothers and grandfathers. They fought for self-determination against the tyranny of the Spanish occupation and the present American imperialism and economic exploitation that still plagues our island today. The question of being safe for a tourist or for a visitor is a legitimate one. We as Puerto Ricans must be gracious and extend our friendship to those that come here. I hope that we can better understand that, and by the same token that those who visit here can learn to love this place we call “Nuestra Isla Del Encanto”, Borinquen.

  • Joe said

    The purpose of these comments do specify the potential issues tourist may encounter. However, just like any other City in the US be mindful,crime is there. Be aware of sorroundings & time you are wondering around. If you act respectful, people will appreciate you more, enjoy the beautifil Island.

  • Felicia said

    Flight is booked! Im going back Sept. 6th!!!....again, ALONE. I met a buddy and his 4 yr old on the Beach. U could tell he was a good father to his lil son. He never even tried to ask what hotel I was staying at or anything. They live in Caguas? I speak GOOD spanish, but his Uncle who was also there didnt speak any English. My buddy I met translated, it was soo cool. They had a cooler and etc. but I was well supplied with my bottle of Malibu Coconut Rum and Pineapple juice, cups, cigs, and straws in my beach bag. I didnt feel unsafe AT ALL. They never made me feel uncomfortable not even for a minute. There was NONE of the "what hotel u staying at? NOR "can we go to ur room? NONE of that! My buddy was more concerned with keeping an eye on his son :) It even got dark while we were at the beach. So when they left I did too. I was soo happy that I could relax on the beach at nite while still being safe. When they said they were leaving OF COURSE I did too....IMMEDIATELY. Although there were other tourists walking, I took a straight walk quickly to my hotel which was very close by. So we have kept in touch via text and they know I'll be visiting again very soon. I MIGHT wanna British Virgin Islands just to see it since I have a passport now. Dont know what I wanna do this time.... Cant wait!!!

  • PR Please said

    I heard its very ghetto in PR, but I would still visit

  • ranger rod said

    i will be moving to pr in the very near future with my two small children wife dog. I am a veteran been around the world and back. but let me touch on something that many don't realize. you are looking at a country and culture and judging that place by your view of what you think it should be. one person said that all latin speaking country's are messed up,simply not true.less compassion? really now? in a new york street they will watch you bleed to death on a sidewalk and no one do crap to help. i have been in many latin countrys and have found some of the nicest most loving and compassionate people in the world they offer you something to eat and you are forced to sit at their table.here's something else i noticed.ever stay in a motel in the states? of course you have, what do you see at motels? other Americans not folks from england,italy,greece etc yeah they are smarter than that.know where Europeans go to vacation? outside their own country. know where Americans go? disneyland, a lake, casino's in vegas,tahoe,aspen. point? Americans for the most part,not all, but most have a very closed view of the world then when they finally do leave they are taken outside their comfort zone,a mind numbing experience.the rules are very simple treat others with the respect you would expect to be treated with, don't be stupid you do stupid things don't cry when it comes back and bites you,open your mind and don't look at ones country or culture as one looking from the outside in, but rather expierience it as they do..or as the old saying goes "when in rome do as the romans"...except balut in the phillipines, naw skip that lesson :)

  • Crespo said

    Yo soy puertorriqueño nacido y criado. Da lastima decirlo pero Puerto Rico es el basurero del las Antillas Mayores y el culo de las Antillas Menores. Después se dan el guille de decir que Puerto Rico es la isla del encanto mejor dicho del desencantó, de los asesinatos y mas desencantos. Pero que es de esperarse de una isla que la gente no le gusta trabajar. Solamente coger cupones y meterse drogas hasta por el jollete. Puerto Rico el hazme reír del mundo entero.

  • Nilda said

    Wow, I can't believe how some of my own people talk down on Puerto Rico like it it was the worse place in the world. Someone even said Mexico was better. From what I have seen and understand, Puerto Rico is not worse than the mainland, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, Mid-east and on and on. Everywhere you go there will be crime. In Puerto Rico there are a lot of crimes but are either drug related or domestic violence - is the mainland any better? Child abuse - don't we have any in the mainland? Come on people, if you mind your business, stay out of drug dealing and treat your family with respect, you should be fine. I do not live in PR, but I am a proud Puerto Rican and visited in July 2014 and will visit again this July 2015. BTW, to the person who said Mexico was better, I like to ask you how many people a day to they kidnap in Puerto Rico just because??? Crime is everywhere and we just need to be aware. Thank you.

  • Scott said

    We've been to Puerto Rico three times since 2010, and have always had a wonderful time. We're Anglo but speak pretty good spanish, and have only stayed on night in San Juan when we had an early flight out the next morning. We arrive, rent a car, and head west or south as quickly as we can. The scenery is beautiful, the people are friendly and helpful, and there's plenty to do and see. We've been to the February coffee festival in Maricao twice, this year stayed in a small cabin on the side of a mountain built by a couple from Wisconsin - fantastic. San Juan and Ponce undoubtedly have dangerous neighborhoods, just as there are in any big city - just use common sense and stay away from them. We used to travel in Mexico (we live in Texas) but no longer feel safe on the highways anywhere there - Puerto Rico is NOT like that. Learn something about the culture and country before you go, stay away from dangerous places, and you'll have a wonderful time.

  • Tommyllew said

    Planning to go with my family and thinking of staying in Rincon area in July. Any issues? We're pretty adventurous travelers and have done some third-world areas. We like beaches and exploring different cultures. PR has been on our list for a while. Should we still be excited?

  • rafael & dawn toledo said

    West coast is what we love and in 18 months we will be opening our property management co. Its a safe area

  • Elisa said

    In reading some comments I see some points of view: those from who lived here, left and now for some reason seem to hate PR; those who have only visited the island and have maybe a good or bad impression; those who plan to come to the island and are curious about where there are going; and those who once lived or live here and are proud of it.
    I am in the last group. I have lived here my entire life for 54 years, and have never been near or have seen a violent crime or shootout. I also have traveled and compared PR with other countries. Believe me, you will be safe in this Island. Yes, crime rate is high, but its most related to drug smuggling and domestic violence. Only a few tourist have been involved in crimes in the past year, happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Come on folks! its just common sense. Whenever you travel in another country, ask where you are going, don't walk alone late in the streets and avoid places that don't look good, etc.
    Now some facts: In 2014 and 2015 crime rates have gone down, and those who are getting killed in the streets are mostly young males between 20 and 30 years old because of drug-related deaths. See it by yourself at: http://especiales.primerahora.com/mapaasesinatos/

    Puerto Rico is NOT listed in the top 50 cities with the higher murder rates, however, five US cities are listed: Baltimore, New Orleans, Detroit and St Louis.
    So come and enjoy! There are so many places to see and have fun, beaches, mountains, and the best: the hospitality of the people of the Island of Puerto Rico.

  • virginia said

    their is crimes every were i go to Puerto rico 2 times a year and it is fine
    puerto rico compare to other island is one of the safest island.

  • Mayra said

    About this One particularly heinous incident involving a tourist occurred in 2009. An American woman visiting from the state of Georgia was abducted while jogging in the marina area of Fajardo. She was stuffed into the trunk of the perpetrator's car and later found dead with her throat slit. She was five months pregnant.

    The tourist (woman and husband)was staying in their yacht - She woke up early to jog at 5:00am. She called her husband from the trunk using her cellphone and she describe the car. But the news at that time didn't say that she was raped and killed by a REPUBLIC DOMINCAN MAN. The news didn't say that. I know because my brothers are policemen and they told me about this case.

    Years before this crime 2 REPUBLIC DOMICAN MEN kidnapped a woman (Puerto Rican) with her baby inside her car and they drove her to ATM in different towns got her money. The police was after them because they had picture from the ATM's cameras. Days later, the woman and the baby were found death in garbage dump. The police force caught
    them days later.

  • Mayra said


    In crime rates Puerto Rico compares VERY favorably to most US Cities!!

    Puerto Rico Crime rates (2008)
    Crime type Rate/1,000 people

    Homicide: .204 <--- 10th HIGHEST place
    Forcible rape: 0.024 <--- 17th LOWEST place
    Robbery: 1.383 <--- 10th LOWEST place
    Aggravated assault: 0.788 <--- 8th HIGHEST place
    TOTAL Violent crime: 2.399 <--- 5th LOWEST place

    Burglary: 4.84 <--- 9th LOWEST place
    Larceny-theft: 8.374 <--- 1st to 3rd LOWEST place**
    Motor vehicle theft: 1.771 <--- 6th LOWEST place

    TOTAL Property crime: 14.985 <--- 1st to 3rd LOWEST place**

    Read more: http://www.city-data.com/forum/u-s-territories/1125048-puerto-rico-crime-rate-not-all.html#ixzz3WMOnjtcn

    http://www.city-data.com/forum/u-s-territories/1125048-puerto-rico-crime-rate-not-all.html

    Links for the higher countries with sexual assault

    http://www.wonderslist.com/10-countries-highest-rape-crime/
    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/top-5-countries-highest-rates-rape-1434355

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  • Ivy Medina said

    @ Elisa, you say you have never seen or experienced any violent crimes where you live. I am curious , what part of Puerto Rico do you live in?? I am planning on moving there and I myself is looking for a safe place to live.

  • John said

    My wife and I just came back from a week in Puerto Rico. We loved our time there. We staying at a resort in a gated community in Plamas Del Mar, which is where both Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez have a house. I rented a car and drove around the north and east side of the island without any problems, excpet some of the roads were pretty small for a two way road. I have a friend that lives in Rio Grande. Between there, Liquillo, Fajardo, we seldome got back to the resort before 10PM. We never once felt worried or afraid. My wife is from Guadalajara Mexico. Her parents live in Zappapon on the NW side of the city and is considered the sager part of the city. I've been there at least 50 times in the last 12 years and I was always afraid at night, not matter where I was at. I rented a house about 3 blocks from her parents in 2003-2004. When we returned for Christmas in 2013, we walked around and saw yellow police tape in the grass in front of our old rental house. Come to find out, a lady's body was found there a few weeks earlier, all chopped up in pieces. The drug related crimes have gotten out of control there. So needless to say, out of my 50 trips, 5 of them have been in the last 9 years, leaving the majority during the first 3 years after meeting my wife. I saw many areas of PR that look run down like what I have seen in Mexico. But as far as safety, we felt much safer in PR. We are planning to return later this year for a 3-4 month stay during winter. I highly recommend going there. But as many have said, just be careful where you go. Find out what you can about new areas that you haven't previously visited. I've lived in much safer areas, very far off the beaten path, but also lived near cities that were very dangerous, like East St. Louis. Not a place for a white guy. Nothing racial intended, but I have been harrased many times just because I was white. We can't wait to go back to PR! Even considering making that our retirement home. They are supposed to have a very good VA hospital, Ft Buchannan for BX and Commissary access and many other stores, Walmart can be found all over, Home Depot, Costco, Sam's, Sears, Rooms To Go, Ikea....pretty much all the major chains you will find on the mainland.

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  • random local said

    wow...this topic has been crazy lol. for anyone coming to the island in 2015 just try to be wary of Bayamon & Carolina, that's where most of the violence spawns from due to local drug factions fighting for control of the trade, and guess where they all meet at night while partying, the town that's smack in the middle; San Juan.

    not saying don't go there, just use good judgement. i've lived on the island since i was 12, i'm 34 now and have never had any problems even though i hang out all over the island during the night, even been in the infamous "caserios" to buy weed, of course i was being escorted by one of the residents whom i had met at a club, even La Perla is overhyped these days, sure it was dangerous 20-30 years ago when even police wouldn't dare go inside, but it's nothing like what it used to be, obviously i don't recommend any tourists going in there, it's a very poor area & money there is made like in most poor areas, illegally.

    for people looking to meet a lot of foreigners go to Rincon, Mayaguez and other west side parts of the island, that's where most of them live, i guess for the beaches?? the whole damn island is a beach!! or maybe they think they'll be trapped here so they wanna live closer to Florida lol.

    this island is pretty damn safe, and like has been mentioned before you don't have all the crazy ass shit that's been going on in the US/South America happening here, all the serial killers, mass shootings, crazy cults, beheadings, bombings, riots & all that racist bullshit...i had been thinking of moving to the states for better employment opportunities (i have worked as a truck driver in the US before, the cold & all the crazy ppl i encountered scared me away) but every time i watch the news it just scares the shit out of me, far worse than 2 gangsters popping each other.

  • Pal said

    Hi all, All I want to say about this article and postings is I that I think this entire thread is great. I don't think I recall a recent article online as diversified as this thread. I am not taking sides, I lived in Rincon last summer for a month and Ricon was very nice, people nice, it was good. My only mistake was not doing my research and learning about traffic and transportation issues even in the SW.

    I live in Colombia now and I am about to leave considering landing in PR or DR. My preference is the DR but the residency issue comes up.

    I speak a little Spanish and I have been living with Latinos for the last 18 months or so. I would like to find a quiet town that has decent food/markets, ability to walk the streets during reasonalable hours, the electricity stays up and two things most of all....the Internet provider is good and the rent is cheap for a local house / apt.

    My only opinion is to make everyone aware that things are going to get a lot sketchier a lot faster this and next year. I am looking get friendly with my neighbors and ride out the storm that is going to take several years. I just don't want to live in the Golden Cage of the USA ever again and thus have become willing to take my chances with other tribes.

    Does anyone have any recommendations in PR besides Rincon BTW I don't like to drive?

    Thanks all.

  • 1 traveler said

    Been going to PR for the last 3 years with my family. We land in San Juan and drive down to Cabo Rojo. We have never experienced any issues. It's commom sense to always be vigilant in any place you visit. Don't put yourself in any situation that can bring danger to you and your family. I love PR and the beauty & food it offers. I'm froom Colombia and could easily telll you that I will never visit my country because of the crime. So go figure.... Use your judgement and respect others. Commmonsense people!!!

  • Alaska said

    Me,my wife,and 14 y.o. Daughter are coming to P.R. In October for a month and would like to do a loop around the island. Any recommendations of towns or areas to visit?avoid? We are staying in Vieques for ten days at end of trip. Thanks

  • Grieving mother said

    My son went to Rincon 1st trip on Feb 16, 2015 and died Feb 17th. The water appeared calm, so they got their boards and headed out. No WARNING sings posted about their horrific "rip currents". He was pulled out to sea but the coast guard was unable to save him. Thank God they were able to retrieve his body and flew him home to WA state. A month later another young man lost his life in the same area and through my research another in 2012. I know he is in Heaven with our Lord. BUT post some dam signs for tourist that visit. They have no problem taking our $$$ to visit, so use some on signs. I miss him and cry so hard, I stop breathing! I've been a Travel Agent for 34yrs and I will NEVER recommend PR to anyone. Before you blast me for that, he was my son and I know accidents happen all over the world. But for something that can be posted and by the grace of God save another life. Post it!!

  • Mike said

    Just spent a week in PR. It still bothers me when I think about all think about all the trash on the beaches............more than trash, filth.The locals have no respect for their island.

  • Major_Tom said

    I met someone from the island, he himself didn't want to go back as badly as the Chinese people who come here and don't want to go back to China. He says it pretty much sucks and has high crime so I'll take his word for it and just find somewhere else to go that doesn't suck as much.

  • Coolebra said

    Can't go wrong visiting Isabela on around the west coast to Cabo Rojo. Don't forget some great coffee in Maricao. Visit El Yunque, Ok'd San Juan, Culebra, and Vieques. If you're super-lucky, plan far ahead, and don't require creature comforts, or virtually any comforts at all, visit Mona.

    This thread overstates the level of risk on the island. Don't be the dumb tourist that could get into trouble visiting Disneyworld and you'll be fine virtually anywhere in the island.

    East coast beaches by Loiza are not the best place to be at night unless in a group. Tourists stick out in public housing projects too, duh.

  • Mariah said

    I just came back to the states after visiting pr for the second time. I think I left my heart there! Within the next year I would like to move there. Every place has crime. I felt safer in the streets of old San Juan and taking buses than I would in New York City. I'm young and would like not to hear from tourists bashing the crime rates in pr but from locals with good advice on what areas would beat suit a tourist looking to move there. The people are were amazing, I don't speak Spanish well and I'm Italian but I still felt right at home. Many homeless people approached me and instead of being scared of them, I spoke to them and non of them wante to harm me.. Any suggestions?

  • Manuel said

    This article is not a good example of a San Juan resident which is mostly what this article is all about. Yes there is crime and yes bad things does happen but as this article already mentions it's mostly a problem for locals. If you are a tourist and like the nightlife in San Juan be sure that your night could be one of the greatest but just don't be stupid.

    If you are anywhere but your home you should never get intoxicated or drugged, you should never be alone in an dark alley, you should never do things that you already know will get you in a bad situation like getting money out of a unlit atm machine, you just don't do that stuff.

    I live in SJ and visit Old SJ at night in bike with friends and have never experienced or heard something from someone also that anything serious ever happened to anyone or tourists.

    Like I said before it does happen but you can almost certainly avoid it.

    Enjoy the place where you vacation and where I call home. Cheers.

  • Louie said

    I think everyone is right. There is crime in the big cities every place you go to and there are nice places when you get away to smaller locations. I live west of Fort Worth Tx and there are places that are just as bad. The drug trade causes problems all over the world. I spend my winters in Rincon Puerto Rico and it is a great place. You have to be smart and don't leave valuables in your car with the doors unlocked. You can rent a vehicle in Puerto Rico and travel the island without problems. The large majority of Puerto Ricans are very friendly and welcoming people. San Juan is a very large city with very large problems. When you go to PR rent a vehicle and go visit the island. You wont regret it. Come to Rincon and visit the Villa cofresi bar or the Calypso bar. I will buy you a drink.

  • Aset Brathwaite said

    I lived in Puerto Rico 8 years of my life. Three years in the 90's and five years from 2008-2013. The island has definitely changed for sure. The crime was off the hook, however I was never robbed or hurt. And even though I lived in rough areas I never was afraid like I am living in the US with this police brutality. We knew the police and they were always friendly. The US is far more dangerous!!! I have to agree. The medical field is not like the US which can be good and then really BAD. Other than that, my suggestion is to visit the West side. After all, they say the West is the BEST!

  • Scott said

    My family (wife, myself, 16 yo, 8 yo) are in PR right now. It's great. We rented a house and are only around locals. Why would anyone want to come here and be around tourists is beyond me. We are near vega Bajha on the north coast. If you expect it to be America don't come, stay home where you belong. If you want to travel outside the US, grow some balls. Over the past week we have driven the whole island, today from the very north coast to the very south coast... No problems. Yes there is trash, it's a second world culture, what do you expect? Stay away from the cities, I do the same in the US. If you don't have any guts and are afraid of your own shadow then stay home. PR is not perfect but we are loving it. We speak no Spanish and are only around locals, no problem. 3 bed room 3 bath private pool in large back yard, pool table on the porch. 160$ a night, you can't beat it.

  • Jesus said

    hi, I'm Cuban from Miami was in PR this 2015 and fall in love with PR is like been in Cuba just a more developed Island with better cars, boricuas all always happy, friendly super great people.have many good friend there ... crime is everywhere .. just don't get into those places, want to see crime , come to the mayor US cities.. Afro-america neighborhoods, Florida city, NE of Miami during the nigh where you will fill scare.. just watch the South Florida local news and you will find shutting, drugs, kidnapping, carjackings , domestic violence and everything else every nigh , every day , every year .. if you want to know about crime you don't have to go to PR .. we have plenty in US... I'm sure there is more crime in Florida City than in the Old San Juan, we where in Condado , and it was perfect, whent out during the night , no very late,of course , don't be stupid specially if you don't know a place , we where in the Old San Juan during the day, beautiful place , I won't walk during the day by Florida City, trust me, of course stay away from La Perla ,they won't mess with the tourists , but just don't go into their place .. we rented a car , wish in PR are very inexpensive and drove to Fajardo where our Puerto Rican friend lives .. can't wait to come back .. love PR

  • edward jefferson said

    I didn't know there is such thing as this. Thanks for the information.

  • LB said

    I was robbed in the Condado part of San Juan tonight. The area is high end tourist. A safe feeling district, many tourist 5 star hotels, cartier stores. However after leaving a very expensive steakhouse a short 10 busy short blocks to our hotel, literally yards before entering the 5 star hotel property-Condado Vanderbilt, a moped speed on the sidewalk weaving between other tourist snatched my bag from my hands and speed off. Planned attacked they stalked us from the restuarant. The police were civil but basically unhelpful. Very upsetting.

  • M E Brooks said

    Puerto Rico has such rampant crime because only the criminal have guns due to Puerto Rico's strict "gun control" laws. I live in the South (USA). Every one carries a gun. We don't have the home invasions, kidnapping, or random shootings. People are polite because you assume they are armed. Murderers are not going to care about "gun control" laws when they decide to commit murder. Let go of socialism and embrace freedom.

  • Ninja Heartbeat said

    I've been in Puerto Rico, specifically around the San Juan areas for the past 5 days, and based on many of the comments posted above, I don't see what the panic is. I have rented a car and have gone out on my own to San Juan, Old San Juan, Manati, Dorado FOR lunch and dinners. I have gone cruising in the car just to check out the natural scenery. Everyone has been nothing but nice. In the shadier areas, there hasn't been any trouble whatsoever and I have gone there now twice after dark.

    You have to use common sense and a little street smarts. Don't do dumb things and dumb things won't happen to you. It's that simple. I suspect most of the people who are posting on this site are not from a big city. I'm from Chicago so San Juan and its surroundings is pretty tiny. That being said there is logic that needs to be applied when you think about safety in this place. Gangs, drug dealers. etc. are not going to mess with the tourists unless they're really really asking for it. That's because if you mess with the tourists the entire Puerto Rican police force not to mention Uncle Sam are going to take you out. For a criminal, that's just bad business. The bottom line is that this place is as safe as the next urban city or metropolis.

  • ARMY SNIPER said

    I see many people justifying crime in puerto rico , saying that its world wide .that there are more crimes in other places etc.....Puerto Rico is alarming not because its a small island and all that crap. Its evaluated by capita. 25 out of 100,000 residents get murdered compared to 2.3 in cuba 7.8 in the U.S and so forth. of course there are ok places to go to and it can be ok but the chances of meeting your fate are greater where crime is higher per capita. of course if you go into a ghetto in the u.s you will be at risk just as it will be if you wander into many of the public housing in puerto rico or other thug infested areas.Many saythat the crime is high in puerto rico because of the united states, thats bull, it puerto ricans killing puerto ricans.so wake up puerto rico and do something about it before someone else does.

  • Sam pepper said

    Stay indoors after 12:00 AM especially if off the tourist streets

    Don't be fooled. The crime rates just dont affect the locals. The unemployment rate is high, and some of these people don't give a crap about YOU OTHER than what they can take from you.

    Pretty parts of the island but stay the bleep off the streets after midnight...end of story.

    It's not a friendly place...in San Juan, any how.

  • Selina said

    i had not been on the island since i was 5 yrs old and last January decided to spend my 30th in Puerto Rico and i had the time of my life! Me and my husband drove around at night twice to local areas around carolina /san juan area for a late dinner and I never felt unsafe, We ate one night at la casita blanca it was literally a small home turned resteraunt, nothing fancy very traditional, the father and son were basically the cooks and daughter was the waiter, cool experience, yes I saw some low income areas and homeless people along the way asking for money etc but being from Philadelphia it didn't look any different from what i see even in our center city were a condo easily runs u a million bucks and as always my doors were locked and windows up lol. No matter where we visit we are always very cautious about our surroundings, We have been to Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and Mexico as well....I will say that i felt unsafe in Mexico and a little in Dominican Republic but not in PR, the people were friendly and being raised on my Abuelas delicious Puerto Rican food i expected it to be good but it was GREAT! if staying in San Juan I recommend eating at Angel Cafe and Raices in Old San Juan also check out the Cock fights in Carolina PR (Club Gallistico) great experience and u can walk right over to isla verde beach its no where near as beautiful as Flaminco, Culebra etc but its something to do and you'll have a nice time. We are taking our little ones this June and we cant wait! this time we are staying closer to the west side of the island to check out the exotic beaches and things we havn't had a chance to do. Don't let these negative comments scare you, use common sense as you would anywhere at night, dressing flashy with expensive jewelry etc is asking to get robbed anywhere in the US its no different in PR....infact I have been robbed in a "nice area' In philadelphia and my hime has been broken into several times, and we live in whats considered a better area here in Philly. Judge PR for yourself and just do research so you can get the most out of your time there. xoxox

  • Business man Florida said

    I travel to the island frequently. Just be vigilant
    Oh btw chupcabra is real. It hangs around Loisa and Diego street. He likes the leftovers from the supermarket that's there and enjoys the scene from the fancy gym.

  • CBell said

    Haha LOVE the comment above from Selina. You had me getting excited about this place and I thought what you said made sense as I am from a big city... However you lost me when you said "go check out the cock fights" I think we'll pass on the animal cruelty part and I'm unsure how to gage the rest of your comment now.

  • **** said

    Why isn't there an article about safety in other states? Why just Puerto Rico? Sure, we are not perfect, but that does not give you the right to write an article about how Puerto Rico is a dangerous place, when other states and/or countries are even worse. I would like to exhort the person that wrote this article to check their sources and visit Puerto Rico so you can agree or disagree with all of that "information". To conclude, I would like to say that I believe that it is unfair to create a stigma of people that live in public residencies, "La Perla", Ponce and others, because , yes, there is crime over there, but that does not mean that everyone there is bad. In fact, there are some amazing persons that care for their community and their families even more than for themselves.

  • Vv said

    I don't get it. Why does crime have to go from the US to Puerto Rico? I was born in Puerto Rico and raised there until I move to Florida when I was 2. None of this bull happened when I lived there. Why can't we ban those who cause crime and sentence them to death or life in prison because this isn't fair that Puerto Rico is becoming trash just because of a ****ty group of people. We want tourists to go there and see how wonderful it is but we can't if those who are retarded enough to shoot go there. We want good reports and we want tourists to share the amazing place. I swear if I was president I would go straight over there, ban those who cause disruption to peace or sentence the to life in prison or death. :(

  • Deborah Bratti said

    Oh give me a break! My husband and I have been going back and forth to PR since 2006 and we feel safer there than in our California neighborhood. We have a home in Arecibo and we have never encountered any of the crime or violence that we have been subjected to here. We are seven miles away from where the terrorists massacred those poor county employees, a nine and twelve year old were shot in cold blood right across from my place of employment, less than forty seconds away from my house a high speed chase ended up with two seedy individuals being shot to death by two other seedy individuals, just heard today that about three miles from my home a man attempted to snatch a womens child from the stroller it was sitting in. So please don't tell me about PR's crime when it's here in my own backyard! I'm sure the island has its share of crime but at least it has clean air to breathe unlike the stupid Inland Empire. I'm embarrassed to say I even live here. Puerto Rico count us in, we'll be there in 17 months.

  • CCC said

    What was commented on the article are things that, like many on this chat have said, happen everywhere. I think the title of the article already sends the wrong message. You are already creating a bias against Puerto Rico. These are things you should perhaps include in an informational article about the island, like its done in most travel guides, but not make it the center piece. I purchased your insurance for the first time last month to travel to India for three weeks. I was glad I heard about you through Goats on the Road but I have to say that, as a Puerto Rican and as a female solo world traveler (who should be concerned about 'safety' more than other travelers), I am disappointed I did. I was born and raised in Aguadilla, in the west side, the part you claim is safer, and I have to say that even there bad things happen because bad things happen everywhere. If you are in this business, you should know that using the term DARK SIDE in the article's title would clearly send a very negative message. Perhaps take some time to visit the island and decide if it was a fair judgement.

  • Sandra Veliz said

    I went to PR in 2015. I stood in condado and traveled from San Juan to condado basically on foot. I walked around at night by myself I drove around the caserios. I had an amazing time in PR. I love Puerto Rico and my husband is Puerto Rican so we're definitely traveling to PR every chance we get.

  • Piper said

    I may be taking a job in either San Juan Caguas, or Arecibo. I am nervous but excited for this opportunity. But which town is the safest for family's? My family and I will be moving from the valley in California.

  • Juan said

    You forgot to say that the government steals from the people and that they had stollen 73 billon dollars from the public arc's

  • Pedro said

    Lot's of great comments here. Must say that I can agree with many of you. I'm a frequent traveler and I love Puerto Rico. Born and raised in NY from Puerto Rican parents. Never have I or my family encountered violence on the island thank God, but have seen death on the street due to a carjacking gone wrong for the perpetrators. The police in the island do their jobs as well as allowed. The criminal in Puerto Rico like in many places follows no law. Yet the island does not allow citizens to protect themselves the way they should. Instead you're allowed to install iron all around your house. Death penalty? NO WAY! Please don't murder my child.... he's innocent! It's the drugs! We are poor! ect.... Listen up folks! Until you're on the receiving end of a violent crime, you will continue thinking there's nothing wrong. Tell the mom of the most recent attempted carjacking why her son is dead. He ran instead of surrendering his vehicle. He gave his life to these demons because he refused them their right to steal. But they stole anyway....no car, but we robbed his family. So say to yourself "It wasn't me". These perps will meet their end soon enough by the same hand they dealt this young man. The law needs to rewritten in many ways and don't say it doesn't work. There are many countries this doesn't happen the way it does in Puerto Rico. Many in Puerto Rican society think and say excuses all day long.... blaming the world for their bullshit. My dad many years back opened a trucking company and was for the working man. Many men got hurt for standing up and my dad was threatened many times and shot. He lived to face his attacker and nearly killed him, but instead chose to let him live because if his family. These bastards don't live by that creed, so why the rights? Hang them from a palm tree like they did to the pirate in the old days. My prayers to the many parents robbed every day from these criminals. Second amendment all the way for the honest and beautiful people of Puerto Rico.

  • Don said

    The writers is totally correct in describing the island and its people but I think he was being lenient. Crime is PR is totally rampant, the beaches and communities are filthy, the people are rude and prices are outrageous. I would recommend visiting two dozen other caribbean island before stepping foot in PR. I lived there for three years and I'm so glad to get out of that hell hole.
    It's like living in a third world country or worse. Look how their economy is falling apart and the government is deeply in debt. After not being able to own up to their financial responsibilities they come asking for help from the Federal Government with open hands. I believe the figure for the number of PR islanders on welfare is fifty percent. There is so much more that I can write here but I'm sure you get the picture. Just don't go there!

  • James said

    @Piper...if you have the choice between the three, Arecibo is the safest. All the comforts available in the other two cities but less congestion...less crowded...less crime.

  • CHARLES said

    MAY GOD HAVE MERCY FOR THE VICTIMIZED INNOCENT PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO.

  • Robert Cassara said

    Born in New York, not Puerto Rican, I live in Rincon, PR during the fall and winter. Never had a problem. No matter where you are you need to be vigilant and don't make stupid decisions and know how to act in different environments. Having a ball down there.

  • Chelsie said

    This article is great, very informative and provides good information to consider as a traveling tourist. I truly hope to visit one day and possibly buy a home for myself and family.

  • Ronnie Cervantez said

    Just recently returned from Puerto Rico in Mid-July, after spending 10 days there. Spent time in Old San Juan both day and night and Stayed in Manati, Bayomon, Condado, rented a car traveled to El Morro, La Perla, among other places, NOT once did I feel threatened nor were we approached by anyone! I did sense the strong culture in the people that I've felt no where else, the Puerto Rican people are very proud of their culture and have a lot of pride. The Beaches in Liquillo were very clean and beautifully lined with palm trees. Culebra Island was amazing. I do agree if you go looking for trouble (anywhere) you will find it, but that goes for any city in the USA, I will be returning to Puerto Rico but this time I'll be buying my second home there.

  • gadnynj said

    I spent seven weeks in Puerto Rico, from December 1st, 2015 to January 17, 2017; and although it is true that I am a American born Puerto Rican, with only on prior visit, for 10 days, over 20 years ago, and I walked up and down Old San Juan, Ponce, Hato Hey, Santurce, and Rio Piedras and Bayamon, never driving; walking I did not encounter no such violence. None the less, on wee morning, while in Hato Rey, from a distance I heard a barrage of bullets shots; turns out there was a highway shooting that took place (Freaky, right). But to encounter in the streets; no way. On vagabond did approach me one day, asking for change $$, as I walked a main drag in Santurce; and when I huffed; the guy actually apologized as he walked away.

    By the way, I heard that the county stopped funding the city of Santurce, because it had been taken over by a band of Dominicans; running the city to the ground, and that is the reason it is run down; the city waiting for a total run down of the city to take it over and rebuild it into the next Puerto Rico showcase. Not sure how true. About the Perla, its true that there is a drug issue and in the past crime against any stranger was the mode of welcoming; because, in that part of Puerto Rico the people are very protective of their turf and very suspicious of strangers. Here is the thing with La Perla; if you do not live there do not venture there. You must be accompanied by a resident or you will receive death stares; and you will be straight out "no picture"; meaning you better put your cell phones away. That is a very tough town not even U.S. National Guards venture in that city. If you enter; you enter at your own risk; and oh, by the way, you may just wash up at some far off beach, because La Perla is a city built between a fortified Old San Juan ancient Military Fortified partition and the sea; with one entrance through a cemetery; one entrance through a narrow under bridge; and one entrance in some far off corner requiring steep climbs (Look, just stay out of La Perla. I love La Perla; I love its People, and it local; a very beautiful place strictly for Puerto Ricans; all others best keep away; you are not welcome there; period.

    By the way many crimes against tourist are committed by illegals, such as Dominicans living illegally in the island; I am told. On the other hand Puerto Ricans take do not take shit, do not stand two-face backstabbers, and best you walk among Puerto Ricans as the locals of any partical part walk. For example in Old San Juan and Hato Rey; the corporate section of the Island people mostly dress as North Eastern professionals; crazy with the heat and all folks are wearing suits. In smaller towns and villages, best wear a tee shirt, shorts, and no visible jewelry or hand bag; and you will be fine; people will really not know if you are a foreigner, because many white Americans are residents in Puerto Rico; and the Puerto Rican culture has many blood hair blue eye people that are actually Puerto Ricans. By the way Puerto Rico has one of the best looking population; and don't be surprise at the height of some of these people. There are some very large Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico.

    The best time to be in Puerto Rico is during the Christmas and San Sassanian (end of Christmas Season) festival in Old San Juan; which ends at or around the middle of January. Old San Juan is one of the safest cities during this season; many police and well maintained. Never walk alone, do not get drunk and stagger in the street; you will be targeted and who knows if ever to be found; there are some really isolated; yet beautiful areas in Puerto Rico; and those foreign taxi drivers work together with street tugs; so be aware. I have been a Puerto Rican (born) living in the United States, by years end I will be an American living in Puerto Rico. That's right I am relocating to the land of my grand parents and grand parents; simply counting the day. Find me at gadnynj

  • gadnynj said

    Correction: I spend seven weeks in Puerto Rico, from December 1, 2015 to January 17, 2016 (not 2017) Though I will already relocated in Puerto Rico by 1/17/2016. :)

  • peter said

    New York raised, married to a Puerto Rican, we have a place in the north eastern part of the island. Anyone can find themselves in the wrong spot at the wrong time, but if you are respectful and go about you business in the proper fashion, you most likely will be fine. We venture into locations frequented by locals all the time and find them to be extremely warm, and generous souls. If you draw attention to yourself you will be hassled no matter where you are.

  • Enrique said

    Wow!!! What a lot of ignorance and stupidity. Puerto Rico is no different as any other place such as the US. Here we dont have public mass killings and terrorism acts as in the USA. North americans are one of the most violent people on earth and are a menace to anyone safety. Please, a country that glorifies arms, prejudism and more. Its incredible the ignorant comments I read in this blog.

  • Kiki said

    First of all:

    CRIME DOESN'T KNOW A ZIP CODE!

    While it is common sense ANYWHERE on this planet to stay out of certain areas, there is no saying that nothing ever happens in areas where there was never a crime comitted.

    I looked long and hard to figure out an area where I wanted to live with my two children, and found the west side of the island VERY calm and quiet and safe to raise a family at.
    Most certainly I would prefer to live here than anywhere on the mainland. An island is still easier to control on who is coming in here than any country that is bordered by others.
    After being in cities like San Juan, Caguas, Fajardo, etc. I have never had the feeling that I (as a single woman) should be afraid to go anywhere after sunset. But again - use common sense, and if an area 'feels funky' - STAY OUT OF IT!!! That's what we have been given a gutt feeling for.

    Puerto Rico is a wonderful place to be. Surround yourself with good people, and the rest will fall into place!

  • ed said

    Why is everybody leaving puerto rico doesnt make sense if its safer than us why are they leaving?and moving to us.i wanna go visit but I've been hearing alot of horror stories from my puerto rican friends even neighbors telling me they fled puerto rico cause its dangerous and government is corrupt. What's happening over there?

  • Brian said

    I have been to Puerto Rico 11 times in last four years, I love Puerto Rico, beautiful and friendly people, great local cuisine, certainly clean beaches and rain forests. It is very safe in Old San Juan and other tourist spots, I always love to walk in the alleys of Old San Juan and had a great experience! I will be going back there again next month.

  • Brian said

    In past few years, economy has been pretty bad in Puerto Rico, people were leaving for better opportunities in the US. However, more and more US residents are also coming to invest and work in Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico Act 20/22 are attracting US residents to move to Puerto Rico and to do business and invest in Puerto Rico. With Governor-elect Rossello coming in office in 2017, he will make Puerto Rico greater again!

  • Tom Norrell said

    We retired to Puerto Rico from a popular resort area on the mainland. I can tell you that crime on the mainland we came from was horrible as well as a ripe terror target . We researched all the Caribbean, South Pacific, and Central America. Puerto Rico had the most too offer in natural resources to enjoy, affordability, friendliness of the native people and peace in general. I would not live in The San Juan area, the West is best. I would recommend you go as West as possible to the Rincon area. There are a lot of expats and warm friendly native Puerto Ricans. It is a beautiful place in the sun to swim, dive, surf and explore. Most there speak English fluently. The restaurants are terrific and it is astonishing to see the pride they take in the food they prepare. There are vendors on the roadside selling all kinds of food items that are outstanding. The sagging economy of Puerto Rico is not reflected in the face of the people. So many are industrious individuals creating their own businesses on the roadside to make a living. Rincon has a wonderful Art Walk on Thursday evenings filled with locals presenting their own creations. Sunday is a Farmers Market that is terrific and a great place to taste local cuisine. The East Coast of the US can fly into Aguadilla instead of SanJuan and you are there. If you fly into San Juan get a connecting flight to Mayaguez on Cape Air (you will not regret the Cape Air flight over the beautiful scenery . Mayaguez Airport car rental closes at 5pm but you can take a taxi to your hotel or vacation rental. We feel blessed to be in Puerto Rico.

  • Arturo said

    DO listen to all the statistics they are accurate, women, men and children are dying every day due to gun violence. Even on my small town of Peñuelas people are getting killed. My mother retired to P.R and now only goes out during the day. she lives in a gated community and still has security cameras all around her house on top of a home security system. To me that is an indication on how people feel in P.R. NOT SAFE ANY WHERE!! NOT EVEN IN YOUR OWN HOME.
    Mi familia me dice cuando les digo que quiero ir para P.R, "Mira no te esatas perdiendo NA!!"
    Murders in P.R 12/20/2016 is "631" and counting. You decide where you want to go next.

  • Baba said

    PR is no different than the south Bronx.

  • Ivan said

    Dont waste your money in PR ....i lived in Illinois for a year and get back to PR...i regret that ..whant to go back .PR is a complete GARBAGE whith all the sense of the word garbage

  • Shaun Schipper said

    We just got back from Puerto Rico February 5, 2017 after spending 8 nights there. We had beautiful weather and traveled around most of the island renting 4 homes along the way. There were a lot of positive things but there are a lot of negatives. Abandoned buildings and homes all over the island. So many homes and businesses with bars over every window and doors which makes you think there must be lots of crime. I have been to a few different places in Mexico and on Indian reservations but I saw more garbage everywhere in Puerto Rico than I have ever seen in my life. Even around the beaches food kiosks and food vendors there is garbage all around? They seriously need public work projects to clean up the island. Also the economy must be really down as I we saw very little construction activity anywhere. The Puerto Rican landscape and beaches are beautiful but they have to do something about the filth and crime asap. This island is dependent upon tourism!

  • Maria Medina said

    Yes theres. Crime here like theres crime im.usa a white guy shoot up a school another white guy shoot up a cinema etc who should we worry more about? We dont want your pasty racist asses im our island we want independance we don't want no part with that racist country

  • ffjsb said

    I have been to PR many times, I have relatives there, and my daughter did a 3 month internship in Old San Juan.
    I have NO problems going anywhere in PR, any more than I have in any big city in the mainland, unless it's Chicago or Detroit. I wouldn't be caught dead in a city like those two, but I feel perfectly safe in PR.
    La Perla is only a couple of blocks long, with a few crappy bars and run down houses, so there's no real reason to stroll down there, but I wouldn't even worry about that in the daytime. I have walked every street in Old San Juan, and much of the city from Old San Juan to Condado, with zero problems. Been in Ponce, many small towns, and the rural areas with not a problem. There are a few sketchy homeless people and alcoholics like in any big city.
    Obviously there are places where you shouldn't be by yourself after dark. But I have been in many of the places frequented by locals and never even had a dirty look thrown my way. I'll be going back in July, and I anticipate another great time. The worst thing that's happened to me in PR is slow service in a restaurant and the traffic.
    Some of the dumb comments... Bars on the windows... Well, PR is warm, and many people leave their windows open for circulation. Duh...
    Why are a lot of people leaving?? Jobs. With the poor economy in PR, as US citizens, they can relocate to get a good job. Why do you think people left Detroit??
    Use common sense and you will absolutely love PR.

  • Nick said

    Seriously, I'm so glad I didn't read any of this nonsense before I moved here a few months ago. I moved to Ocean Park between San Juan and Condado. My wife read a lot of this junk and was worried sick. We have had absolutely no problems. I leave my Jeep in some pretty quiet places while I surf before dawn 4-5 days a week. In California my vehicle was broken into twice in a two week period and my house robbed. If you're coming here on vacation there is no reason to worry. Isla Verde, Condado, Old San Juan are all safe areas in my opinion. There really isn't a reason to be out in the inner city at night. Travel around during the day and see everything you want to see. If you're doing it right you'll be exhausted by dark and ready to head back to your hotel anyways and won't have to worry about the shit that goes on at night in the inner city.

  • CRNA said

    I have a family of 6 including my wife and I. I am interested in attending anesthesia school in aricibo and just want to know if it's safe in that general area. My wife is a teacher and my kids are young.. i know it's a great university but my concern is my family. Please help with any info. Most of the above talks about beaches and major cities of PR.. im just concerned with the area around the university of aricibo. thanx.

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