The second oldest city in Puerto Rico, and home to one of the oldest churches in the Western hemisphere, San German is typically visited by tourists interested in the rich colonial-creole architecture, local heritage, and quiet environment. Though it is not an especially popular tourist destination, the transportation options that are available are similar to many other spots in Puerto Rico.
Because it is not a coastal town, most tourists will typically fly as close as they can get to San German then drive the rest of the way. Sailing and cruising are also options, but similarly they will require a bit of a car ride in the end.
Most people who visit San German end up renting a car because it takes a bit of driving to get here no matter which mode of transportation you use to travel to Puerto Rico. This isn't a requirement, though. Taxis are available in town, and there even some publicos available between San German and several other towns as well as on local streets.
There are few steps to take when you plan to fly to San German. Although there is no airport directly in this town you can get close enough to easily drive. The first step is to fly into the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, which is the hub of all international air travel in Puerto Rico. The airport is located near San Juan in Carolina, which will take two to three hours for tourists who want to drive from this airport. You also have the option of flying domestically to the Eugenio Maria De Hostos Airport, which is about 30 minutes away from San German in Mayaguez. Find out more about this process by reading out guide to San German Air Travel.
Located about 10 miles inland, it is impossible to sail directly to San German, but intrepid travelers with the itch to sail to their Puerto Rico getaway can still make plans to do so. Your first stop will likely be in Mayaguez, which is home to the nearest port of entry. There, you'll meet with customs officials who will determine if you're eligible for clearance. This will involve them going over the boat's documentation as well as reviewing your immigration paperwork and possibly looking through the ship's stores. Once that has been handled, you can purchase a 12 month cruising permit for $25(USD) if you are a United States citizen or $37(USD) if you are from anywhere else. From there, you can sail to a marina of your choice along the west coast and drive or hire someone to take you to San German.
Puerto Rico's one and only cruise terminal is located in San Juan, a drive that takes about two hours to make in regular traffic. This means four hours travel time for a day ashore, which is not ideal when you have a limited amount of time to spend exploring. Still, tourists who are determined will find a way, such as flying domestically. Because San Juan is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean, booking a cruise to this island is never difficult to do.
If you decide to rent a car for your stay in San German, your first job will be to decide which agency you'll rent with. There are several local and international operations in town, both of which have their own benefits. Local companies tend to offer more personalized service and better deals, while international chains have more experience, and a name that offers security. If you'd like to find out more about different companies, you can call around. Click here for a complete listing of rental agencies in San German, as well as information on renting and driving in town.
The cost of a taxi is a little more expensive than most other places in Puerto Rico. You'll pay a small fee of $1 just to ride in the cab, but from that point on you'll pay $2.50(USD) for each two-third mile traveled. This can add up quickly, a fact that has most previous visitors recommending that tourists rent a car. Taxis here are white and have the words “Taxi Turistico” painted on them, making them easy to spot, but they aren't always out driving around. If you need a cab, your best best will be to call and arrange for pick up.
San German is home to a form of transportation called publicos. These are minibuses or large vans that pick up passengers around town. The publicos travel on a specific route which has been laid out in advance, but pick up passengers on the street whenever they are flagged down like a taxi. The difference is that the vehicles are not private and drivers will continue to pick up passengers until each seat is full. The cost of a publico around town is about $1.50(USD) per person. Although publicos do not regularly travel between towns, there is one that travels from Ponce for $6(USD) per person, and another from Mayaguez for $4(USD).
When you visit a town like San German, planning your transportation in advance is important. Take the time to review all of your options and determine which is best for you based on your budget, personal preferences, and convenience. From there you'll be closer to finalizing your plans.
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