San Juan Transportation Options

Nearly every type of transportation is available in San Juan

Photo credit: © Talavan

San Juan is the capital city of Puerto Rico, as well as the most populous in Puerto Rico. Perhaps because of this it serves as the hub of transportation for the island. This means tourists have a lot of options laid out before them as they begin making plans, and a quick review of each choice will come in handy.

Getting There

Whether flying, sailing, or cruising to Puerto Rico, chances are you'll have to stop in San Juan before moving on to your final destination – but with so many sites to see and activities to keep them busy, tourists generally choose to stick to the capital city.

Getting Around

Offering one of the most comprehensive system of public transportation in the Caribbean, taxis, buses, publicos, and a train are all available in San Juan. Tourists who feel more comfortable getting behind the wheel also have the option of renting a car.

Air Travel

San Juan is the hub of air travel in Puerto Rico. The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) serves as a major connecting point bringing Puerto Rico and the rest of the world together. Additionally, this is a hub for air travel in the Caribbean, and many flights will land here before sending travelers off to some of the smaller islands in the region. This airport moves more than eight million passengers each year, and because of its high volume of flights welcomed each day, finding a flight to this airport is hardly ever difficult – and many times you can find inexpensive flights to boot. Learn more about this important location by clicking here.


Despite being a commonwealth of the United States, sailors from the U.S. will still have to meet with customs and officially gain clearance. Luckily, San Juan is an official port of entry, so yachters can sail directly to town and take care of all official business. To learn more about sailing to San Juan, click here.


...walk to many of the area attractions...


San Juan is one of the busiest cruise ports in the Caribbean, serving sometimes up to six liners a day at the height of cruise season. The San Juan Cruise Port is a starting point for many cruise liners; it is common for tourists to fly to Puerto Rico and embark from there. The cruise ships dock along the San Antonio Canal, which is closest to shore allowing tourists to get off the ship and walk to many of the area attractions. You'll typically find cruise lines like Carnival, Celebrity, Cunard, Disney, Holland America, Princess, and Royal Caribbean docked here.

Rental Cars

Puerto Rico is known for having the best infrastructure in the Caribbean, which makes deciding whether or not to rent a car for your stay in San Juan a lot easier. On top of that, rentals start as low as $40(USD) a day, so it is affordable to boot. There are a few complaints that tourists usually return home with; however, such as the roads are too congested in the city, and the layout of the streets can be confusing. Otherwise, the laws are similar to those in the United States and the overall driving experience is comparable to one in a city in the United States. Learn more about renting a car and driving in San Juan by clicking here.


In San Juan, taxi fares are set in advance by the government based on a system in which the town has been divided up into five different zones and there is a specific price to travel from one zone to the next. Outside of San Juan, many taxis are metered, but drivers still prefer to settle on a fare rather then switch the meter on. Set rates are popular because it makes it easier for tourists to plan their budget even easier, and they know exactly how much they'll pay before they even arrive at their destination. This is especially important in San Juan where traffic can be slow moving, and you don't end up paying extra for sitting in a gridlock during rush hour. You can view specific rates and find out even more about taxis in the busy city here.


As a whole, Puerto Rico doesn't have much of a public transportation system; however, San Juan is the exception. The Metropolitan Bus Authority operates buses throughout the greater San Juan Area, originating from the main bus terminal near the dock next to the Treasury Building. There are three main routes costing just $0.75(UDS) that tourists will want to be aware of as they expore the city. These three routes are all centered around the San Juan, Santurce, and Isla Verde area.

There is also a private MetroBus that costs only $0.50(USD) and runs from Old San Juan to Rio Piedras. Both services run from 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily.


Along with buses, there is also another transportation option in San Juan called the publico. Publicos are large cars or vans that are shared by random groups of passengers, a hybrid of a taxi and buses. Publicos operate on a set route like a bus, but can be flagged down like a taxi. Departure and arrival points include the airport, near Plaza Colón, and by the Rio Piedras Public Marketplace. Publicos can easily blend in with other vehicles on the road, but you can tell them apart by a yellow license plate with the letters "P" or "PD" before the letters. Publico prices are not standard, but you can expect to spend somewhere around $1.50(USD).


There is a commuter train that operates in San Juan, mainly as a source of transportation for local business class; however, tourists can use it as well. The train is called the Tren Urbano which means "Urban Train," and operates daily from 5:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. for just $0.75(USD) each way. There are stops throughout the metro area.

With so many transportation options available, there should be no concern about how you'll get to San Juan, and especially not how you'll get around. A trip to this city will allow you to keep a smaller transportation budget than most other locations in the Caribbean, and that is nothing to balk at.


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