Patillas Transportation

Take steps to get to Patilla before tourism explodes

Copyright: Tamara Calcaño

One of the more mountainous regions of Puerto Rico, Patillas, is a town on the south coast of Puerto Rico that is not known as a popular tourist destination – yet. There are plans in the work to make tourism a priority, shining a spotlight on the beaches, rivers and forest land. You can beat the crowds by making plans to visit Patillas now. Your first step in making plans should be to review your transportation options.

Getting There

As you read on, you'll see that transportation options within Patillas are limited at this time, so planning how you'll get to this often rugged destination will take up most of your time. The majority of tourists will fly to Patillas; however sailing and cruising are options to be considered as well.

Air Travel

A flight to Puerto Rico is not hard to come by. The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport near San Juan is a regional hub, and flights from around the world make the trip here on a regular basis – including numerous daily flights from several major cities in the United States. Once you arrive at this modern facility, there are several options that will take you to Patillas, but the fastest will by the fly to the Patillas Airport. Flights are available just a few times a day from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Patillas Airport aboard a domestic airline, and the cost is usually under $100(USD) per person. Learn all about the process of flying to Patillas by clicking here.


Patillas is not one of the islands most popular sailing destinations at this time, and in fact, there are no marinas in town. Those who choose to sail or hire a crew and chartered yacht to sail them to their Patillas getaway will typically anchor to the east of Patillas at Playa Salinas. Before this can happen, gaining clearance is necessary. To do this, you'll have to stop at an official port of entry and meet with a customs official who will review your ship's stores, your immigration paperwork, and the ship's official documentation. Additionally, you'll need to pay between $25 and $37(USD) depending upon your country of origin for a 12 month cruising permit. Puerto Rico's official ports of entry are located in San Juan, Ponce, Mayagüez, and Fajardo. Patillas is east of Ponce and west of Fajardo, so the direction you are traveling will dictate which stop is best for you.


If a day-long eco-adventure is what you're after when your cruise ship stops in Puerto Rico, you could consider heading to Patillas for a hike through the forest or a horseback ride on the beach. Patillas is about an hour and 20 minutes away from San Juan (where the island's only cruise terminal is located - the San Juan Cruise Port) by car, but as you read above, you can also book a quick flight to the local airport. If this sounds like the way you'd like to spend your shore time, you should have no trouble making it happen. Puerto Rico is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean, and most major cruise lines stop here several times a week during the height of cruise season.

Getting Around

Patillas is quite a distance away from the majority of Puerto Rico's most visited tourist destinations, which means renting a car will be optimal for visitors who have plans for seeing the sites. In order to rent on the island, you'll need to be over the age of 21, have a valid driver's license, and the appropriate form of payment. For more rental agencies this will be a credit card, but some locally owned establishments accept cash only. To find out which form of payment you need to have on hand, you'll need to call ahead. You'll find local listings by reading our guide to Patillas Rental Cars.

Taxis, publicos, and buses are rarely available in Patillas. You can take a taxi from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Isla Verde for $95(USD) for up to five passengers, and this is the only dependable public transportation in this area thanks to its out-of-the-way nature.

Having learned about all of the options with regards to getting to and around Patillas, you are now prepared to begin planning your vacation to this little known, but soon-to-be-busy destination in Puerto Rico. Choose wisely based upon your own personal preferences, your budgetary constraints, and your needs, and your time spent will be that much easier and more enjoyable.


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