Boating to an island in the middle of the Caribbean, with a large coastline and welcoming atmosphere, sounds like an adventure and a half. But is it possible?
Puerto Rico is a popular tourist destinantion. But, it's not as easy to travel to Puerto Rico by sea as you may think. Some states like Florida seem to lack facilities for traveling by sea to this archipelago. In such a case, it's a good idea to travel here using your own boat.
You can take your own boat to Puerto Rico from any state of the US. All you need to do is plan your trip, take your essentials, and set out on your journey to reach one of the ports around the island. And in no time, you’ll find yourself at San Juan, Puerto Rico’s largest port.
You can't find any river routes in Puerto Rico, which is why you can't travel within the country without taking a sea route. Therefore, your private boat may also help you to explore the islands with ease. Although traveling by boat may cost you a bit more than traveling by air, you'll be able to experience every chunk of the sea and the islands using your boat.
In order to help you with your journey, we've collected all the information regarding the protocols you need to follow while traveling to Puerto Rico by your own boat. Here is the complete guide to your boat trip. Let's begin.
Puerto Rico: An Overview
Puerto Rico is in the west of the British Virgin Islands and east of the Dominican Republic. The total area of the islands is 3,459 square miles. The capital city is San Juan which is the most developed area on the whole island.
Puerto Rico is a geographically diverse territory of the United States with lush green rain forests on one extreme and a desert on the other extreme. Apart from the desert and the forests, there are a number of other awe-inspiring landscapes such as mountains, waterfalls, coral reefs, etc.
Best time to visit Puerto Rico
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is in February. This is when most of the states are struck by freezing winds of winters. People come here in this season to enjoy sunbathing in the warm dunes of its beaches.
Apart from February, you can visit Puerto Rico any time of the year. Unlike other islands of the Caribbean, the islands of Puerto Rico have a tropical climate. If you want to enjoy the rain, you better visit this archipelago from the months of April to November. The areas which are high above the sea level experience intense winds and a much lower temperature.
When to not visit
We'll recommend you not to visit Puerto Rico from 1 June to 30 November. This is the time when a hurricane can hit the Caribbean sea. You are absolutely good to go if you are traveling by air. But you must never take your boat to these islands from June to November unless you want to face a hurricane on your way to Puerto Rico. Although hurricanes are rare in this area, it is best and safe to be careful while traveling by boat.
Can you take a boat to Puerto Rico?
You can take a boat to Puerto Rico from the US mainland. In fact, traveling by boat will give you some advantages like:
- Unlike traveling by plane, you'll be able to experience the fresh breeze of the sea.
- It will allow you to explore the islands in the way you want.
- You will be saved from the hassle of finding a ferry or a cruise ship to travel within the island.
You must also consider disadvantages like:
- The high cost of traveling by boat.
- Dangerous during the season of hurricanes.
- Difficult to maintain the whole travel on your own.
How long does it take to ride to Puerto Rico by boat?
Since the length of time, it takes a boat to sail from the US mainland to Puerto Rico may vary depending upon different factors such as weather, it's difficult to predict the exact number of hours to ride a boat here. In general, if we suppose the weather to be normal and travel-friendly, it will take around 15-16 hours for a boat to reach Puerto Rico from Florida. Distance from other states may differ a bit. Similarly, the direction of the wind may increase or decrease the speed of the boat, consequently decreasing or increasing the duration of travel respectively.
How long does it take to explore Puerto Rico?
It takes you around 4 to 5 hours to explore the entire island if you stay on the highway and travel through the main routes only. But the duration will certainly vary if you stop to take some breaks in between your trip. On the other hand, it takes you about 6 to 7 hours if you use the back routes to explore the entire island.
This time is estimated for driving through Puerto Rico in a car or a bus. In order to travel through the island by boat, the time will obviously be more than this.
Documents you'll need
Puerto Rico is a commonwealth of the United States. Both the Americans and the Canadians can travel to and from the islands of Puerto Rico without a passport or visa. It is similar to traveling somewhere within the United States. But the US Department of the Interior recommends bringing your passport along with you in case you may need it there.
All the documentation you need to carry with you is your identification. It can be a photo ID issued by the government, your citizenship card, or a boating license or registration number to prove that you are the owner of the boat.
Clothes you'll need
Since the majority of the year in Puerto Rico is warm and sunny, lightweight tropical clothes can be worn all year. If you visit here any time between April to November, you may need some light rainwear. If you have your whole squad with you, you will need some dresses as well. You'll certainly want to visit clubs, dine and have a party with your friends at night.
No trip to the sea is complete without swimming. Therefore you'll need some swimming suits too. A hat and sunglasses are also needed to prevent sunburns on the beach.
About THE AUTHOR
I have a deep love of houseboating and the life-changing experiences houseboating has brought into my life. I’ve been going to Lake Powell on our family’s houseboat for over 30 years and have made many great memories, first as a child and now as a parent. My family has a passion for helping others have similar fun, safe experiences on their houseboat.Read More About Brian Samson