Crime in the San Juan metropolitan area is comparable to any large city in the United States. A visitor should feel as safe in San Juan as in New York City, Chicago, or Miami.
Visitors who keep to the main tourist areas of Puerto Rico enjoy the benefits of additional police protection, generally by English-speaking policemen specially trained to handle tourists and their needs.
In Puerto Rico auto theft, muggings, and drug trafficking are the most commonly reported forms of crime, so stay alert, lock your car, and use any security features available in both your vehicle and your hotel. Muggings are commonly reported on the Condado and Isla Verde beaches in San Juan, so it might be wise to confine your moonlit walks on the beach to the fenced-in and guarded areas around some of the major hotels.
The countryside is safer than San Juan, but caution is still the rule for avoiding crime. Beware of narrow country roads and isolated beaches day or night. Stay away from dark, isolated areas. Do not carry a large number of parcels, and do not wear expensive jewelry as you stroll through the streets. Use the same common sense and precautions that you would anywhere else, and you will find Puerto Rico a very safe place.
United States citizens can refer to the Department of State's pamphlet "A Safe Trip Abroad" for ways to ensure a safe journey. This publication and others, such as "Tips for Travelers to the Caribbean," are available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents at the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 20402 or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs at www.travel.state.gov.
Arriving in Puerto Rico aware of the typical types of crime committed against tourists, and how to protect yourself from these instances is key to not attracting any unwanted attention to yourself. Follow these tips, and you will doing all that you can do protect yourself and your possessions.
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