Safety Tips in San Juan

  • Cloudiness in Camera due to humidity, Puerto Ric0
    Cloudiness in Camera due to humidity,...
    by jumpingnorman
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by moiraistyx
  • Broken down car and school bus as we inch along
    Broken down car and school bus as we...
    by grandmaR

Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in San Juan

  • Gypsystravels's Profile Photo

    Eyes Wide Open

    by Gypsystravels Updated Jul 27, 2015

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    Caution is always the key. Like any city you many visit, you should use common sense and avoid any area which is dark, isolated or unfamiliar. Be aware of your sorroundings and always have your money in a safe place (money belt, bra?). What I usually do is know exactly where I am going and how I am getting there. Pickpocketers are found in every major city, so being alert is your best bet. Leave expensive jewelry at home and never carry more money then you need. Leave your passport and extra cash and travelers checks at the hotel safe. Make sure you have copies of your passport and numbers of travelers checks (if you carry these) in a seperate location in case they are lost or stolen. The number to the local authorities is always a good thing to have as well.

    If you plan to drive, please use extreme caution, the locals drive 'crazy'. They don't signal, drive extremely fast and cut you off. There was a time when there were way too many carjackings during the evenings, so make sure to close your doors once you are inside the car.

    Vigigante Masks
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    Unsafe At Any Speed in La Perla

    by starship Updated Dec 1, 2013

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    We didn't venture there, but at the time of our visit some comments surfaced on travel sites warning against venturing into the area known as "La Perla". One quote from a cab driver stated that he would never take a tourist there. Some have said it's the worst barrio in Puerto Rico, stay out of the projects and neighborhoods and STAY IN THE TOURIST AREAS.

    If you still feel compelled to visit La Perla, please do some online research before doing so.

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  • Amazed about how you of Puerto Rico!!!

    by Bale1298 Written Feb 16, 2012

    In all places there is crime, it is incredible how people talk about such a wonderful place instead of talking about their own. First of all it's the caribbean, hello that is why you come in first place to get a real tan instead of an orange one in a tanning bed bring sunblock if u are not use to. What about spiders and rats when every place in the world is full of them and much worst. Beggars are everywhere i wish they would work but it is not perfect world. Puerto Rico has five stars hotels and recognized chains as mariott, hilton, ritz and waldorf if you expect to pay cheap a motel is what you get so please go some where else, since Puerto Rico is beautiful but is not for everybody since it is not cheap!!! It is like a fine wine the best is the one that cost more. So please do not talk bad about the island if you are cheap and expect the best, cause is not fair...

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    2 night minimum for hotels

    by Dabs Written Jan 2, 2010

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    San Juan is the embarkation point for many Caribbean cruises, many people come in a day early or stay an extra day at the end. As I was checking for hotels, many of them said there was no availability for the night we needed but they did have availability if I was staying for 2 nights. For people who just need one night and aren't particular about which hotel they are getting, Hotwire and Priceline might be a solution to the problem. I found very little availability for the 1 night but I was able to get a room on Priceline for about 1/2 the cost of booking directly with the hotel.

    If you are thinking about Hotwire or Priceline, check Better Bidding or Bidding for Travel before bidding to learn how they work and find what price people are successfully bidding and what hotels they are getting.

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    Beware: Sand Bite bugs

    by jumpingnorman Updated Jun 16, 2009

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    In the Carribean, this is a nuisance - the Sand Bite bugs (Family Ceratopogonidae). You might see the effects even after several hours from when you were bitten (usually they bite during early mornings and evenings of mid to late summer).

    A small whitish or reddish welt the size of a freckle appears, and treatments have included topical Cortisone creams and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ASA or Ibuprofen (unless you're allergic to those mentioned of course).

    These bites have not been linked to harmful effects on human health - just major irritation.

    Prevention can also be those insect repellants used against mosquitoes.

    Other names for the sand bit bugs: no-see-ums, gnats, sand fleas, punkies, sandfly or biting midges.

    Twins on a big Puerto Rican Tree
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  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo

    Camera may cloud up with humidity- don't panic!

    by jumpingnorman Written Jun 15, 2009

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    We arrived in Puerto Rico and saw the nice hotel lobby and so I decided to take a was okay. Then the next one - just cloudiness!

    This has happened to me before whenever I go to humid countries...and I have found a solution for this. What I do is put the whole cameras in a ziploc when this happens, wait about 15 minutes and take the camera out again...and voila, it works. Humidity and cloudiness on the lens gone....

    So, don't panic when this happens to you..some people let it dry on the sun - don't do that. Extreme temp may damage the camera...

    Cloudiness in Camera due to humidity, Puerto Ric0

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    by grandmaR Written Apr 10, 2009

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    One of the problems about getting to El Yunque and back before Fort San Cristobal closed is TRAFFIC. Plus it was Sociable Friday so people left work early and that made a more extended rush hour.

    Of course it did not help that the streets were also clogged with construction. It may not be the same in 2009, but in 2005, there was a lot of construction going on (photo 3). And the streets in San Juan itself (photo 4) are narrow, with very little parking.

    This made it difficult to take pictures.

    Broken down car and school bus as we inch along Looking behind us in the mirror-man between cars Construction zone Narrow Streets
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    by moiraistyx Written Mar 10, 2009

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    One thing we learned while in Puerto Rico is that sunblock is a must. The rays are much stronger here than up in New York. I would suggest a minimum of an SPF 30. A great way to enjoy the beach without gooping up too much is to bring an umbrella. Just about everywhere I went I saw folks sitting under those big beach umbrellas.

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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  • La Perla, parking, and green lights...

    by tech4me Written Feb 26, 2008

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    Having just returned from a long weekend in San Juan (Feb. 17th, 2008), I would just like to give my take on what to look out for. First, La Perla... everything that everyone says is true (drugs, murders, children with guns, etc.)... believe the hype... don't try to be tough... do NOT go in there... ask the locals... they will tell you... it's dangerous. Second... I know this is common sense for most people, but don't leave anything visible in your car when you park... it will get broken in to. And last, the driving is comical in Puerto Rico... in a "this is fun trying not to die" kind of way. Take everything you've learned or experienced during your years of driving and throw it out the window. Painted white lines on the road mean nothing, no one checks blind spots, a green light does not mean that you have the right of way, and red lights/stop signs do not mean stop. All joking aside, do not assume ANYTHING about the other driver... do not assume they will stop because you have a green light... if you are driving late at night or early morning, do not just blow through green lights without slowing down and looking both ways... EVERYONE runs red lights. As a matter of fact, if you come to a red light in the early hours of the morning, and someone pulls up behind you, you will more than likely get beeped at for not running it yourself. Have fun, wear your seat belt, don't get robbed, go to El Yunque, and don't go to La Perla.

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  • el poso de jacinto-dangerous

    by eddieada Written Sep 3, 2007

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    For those tourists who venture to the northwestern part of puerto rico beware of El Poso de Jacinto, located at Jobos Beach in Isabela. This is a large opening on top of coastal ,razor sharp ,rocks.When you look down you will see the ocean furiuosly entering the hole. This area, surprisingly, is not fenced in. If you get to close to the edge and stare at the crushing waves you may get the sense of being hypnotized. One minor slip will take you over and you will plunge to your death. DO NOT take children near it !!!!!!!!!!!!

    Related to:
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    • Eco-Tourism
    • Family Travel

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  • ct-traveler's Profile Photo

    Gift shopping

    by ct-traveler Updated Jul 28, 2007

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    We all need to bring back a little something for ourselves and our friends/family. BE SELECTIVE. Leave the gift shopping til the end of your stay because most common gifts or trinkets can be found at every stop. Unless you find an unbeatable deal or a unique item, you should feel comfortable shopping around and certain you will find the same item elsewhere (and often for less $).

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  • ct-traveler's Profile Photo

    The less fortunate

    by ct-traveler Written Jul 28, 2007

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    Very sad to see so many pan-handlers and beggars. They deserve our sympathy and respect, but use common sense and take care yourself and your family first. Don't take out your wallet/purse if you do decide to make a donation! If you're walking alone, best to pass on by without a word.

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    by ct-traveler Updated Jul 28, 2007

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    Beware the rats after dark, they're everywhere. Walk in the street whenever safe/possible, especially on the alley-style or off-the-main streets.

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  • tomhoward's Profile Photo

    Rain in Spain falls mainly on San Juan

    by tomhoward Updated May 12, 2007

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    Weather is generally rubbish, so if you expect to be lying on the beach all day, every day forget it.

    Many thanks to the useless ****ers who forgot to mention this fact in the San Juan forum before I booked. Obviously we already knew Puerto Rico was a tropical island (its centre holds the only rainforest in American territory), but presumed (on VT mis-information) the heavy rainfall was limited inland. Many of the weather reports, both historical & predictive, indicted that the time of year we were going (early April) was one of the best for limited rainfall.

    In fact the only time we properly saw the sun was when we drove for nearly 3 hours to the south of the island (Caribbean side) and blagged our way into a brand new Hilton condo resort. The frustrating thing is, the cloud actually STARTED on the Caribbean coastline and continued unhindered like a moldy duvet right across Puerto Rico.

    The temperature means that people are happy to sit out on the beaches, but every couple of hours there would be a light shower that would empty the beach. After this has happened two or three times, you start to look for some other form of entertainment. The climate here is so aggressively changeable that it's impossible to predict even approximately what weather you will encounter in any given hour, let alone week.

    Since then I have seen numerous other clowns on VT advising that San Juan is "a great beach holiday", seemlingly oblivious to this "minor" drawback.

    The beaches and water in San Juan aren't that great anyway. When we arrived at our hotel at about 4am, even in the dark the litter and rubbish was clear to see on the sand. The makeshift oil-drum litter bins were stacked to overflowing. Strange thing was, by late morning when we woke up, the beach was PRISTINE, having been cleaned and raked its full length...

    This Hurricane Network is useful for upcoming weather systems in the Caribbean.

    Just another glorious week in San Juan
    Related to:
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    • Family Travel
    • Beaches

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  • TexasDave's Profile Photo

    La Perla

    by TexasDave Updated Apr 15, 2006

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    If you walk from El Morro fort along Norzagaray St headed towards San Cristobal Fort you will notice on your left, down the hill a hodge podge of houses and narrow streets. This barrio is known as La Perla. Although it may look somewhat picturesque, DO NOT GO THERE wondering around and exploring. It is a high crime area and is best admired 'from afar'.

    La Perla w/ San Cristobal in Background

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San Juan Warnings and Dangers

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