๐Ÿ’ฐ Trip to Puerto Rico Cost: 2024 Budget Breakdown

A big grass area with an old castle in the distance.

Home to the only tropical rainforest in the United States and some of the few bioluminescent bays in the world, Puerto Rico is a semi-expensive island that can be visited with a budget of $80 to $200 a day.

My four-day trip to Puerto Rico cost a total of $1,077. In this post, I share:

  • ๐Ÿ’ฐ Expected travel costs
  • ๐Ÿ’ก Budgeting tips
  • ๐Ÿ’ต How much cash to bring
  • โœˆ๏ธ My trip’s costs by category
  • ๐Ÿ“ My trip’s costs by destination

Planning a trip? Here’s what to know about Puerto Rico.

Disclosure: Lists By Lukiih is readers-supported. If you buy through an affiliate link on this post, I may earn a small commission. Thanks!

Is Puerto Rico Expensive to Travel To?

Puerto Rico is a semi-expensive Caribbean island to visit compared to the United States and nearby islands. It’s more affordable than the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas but more expensive, on average, than the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Jamaica.

๐Ÿ๏ธ Is Puerto Rico Cheaper Than Hawaii for Vacation?

United States visitors looking for an island escape within the US territory often wonder if Puerto Rico or Hawaii is cheaper. Puerto Rico is much cheaper than Hawaii for a vacation. It isn’t easy to visit Hawaii for less than $200 per day, but that’s very doable in Puerto Rico.

Hawaii ranks as one of the most expensive states to visit and has one of the highest costs of living. On average, Puerto Rico is about $50 per day cheaper than even O’ahu, Hawaii’s most budget-friendly island.

I took a trip to Puerto Rico and Hawaii within a few months of each other. I visited the former during its high season and the latter during its low season. Puerto Rico was still cheaper than Hawaii per day. Here’s how my daily budget compared between the two:

DestinationDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท Puerto Rico$182
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Hawaii$208
Hawaii vs. Puerto Rico Trip Daily Budget

Here’s how my Puerto Rico trip cost compares to the costs of other popular destinations I’ve visited:

DestinationDaily Budget
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ Iceland$306
๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท Costa Rica$233
๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ Hawaii$208
๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ Belize$207
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท Puerto Rico$182
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช Peru$156
๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ Spain$155
๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต Japan$145
๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น Italy$131
๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ Cambodia$123
๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ Singapore$122
๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น Portugal$116
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ Taiwan$102
๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ Vietnam$86
๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ Thailand$77
Daily Travel Budget for Popular Destinations

How Much Is a Trip to Puerto Rico?

Depending on your travel style, hereโ€™s how much you can expect to spend in Puerto Rico on a daily basis and during a one-week trip.

๐ŸŽ’ Puerto Rico Trip Cost for a Budget Traveler

Budget travelers can expect to spend approximately $80 per day or $560 for one week of travel in Puerto, excluding flights.

To travel on a budget in Puerto Rico, here are some things you can do:

  • Accommodation: Staying outside Puerto Rico’s capital city, San Juan, will get you the cheapest accommodation options. A dorm-style room is affordable in Puerto Rico if it’s less than $50 a night.
  • Transportation: Aside from the bus system in the San Juan metropolitan area, Puerto Rico doesn’t have public transportation. You will have to get around by tour vehicle, taxi, Uber, or rental car, with the latter being the cheapest option on average.
  • Food: Eat street food at local markets and food trucks, and buy fresh produce when you can, as that will be cheaper than eating out or even shopping at grocery stores. If you take a Puerto Rico road trip, you’ll pass by several fruit and juice stands.

Like other places in the United States, tap water is safe to drink in Puerto Rico, per the CDC, so bring a reusable water bottle to avoid paying for bottled water.

A woman holding two coconuts with straws sticking out.
Coconut juice stand at the side of the road.
  • Attractions: Many of Puerto Rico’s tourist attractions will require a tour or entrance fee, so instead, take advantage of the beautiful beaches or go to one of the smaller islands like Vieques, which is generally more affordable.

All beaches in Puerto Rico are open to the public, so they don’t have an entrance fee. You won’t be able to use any hotel equipment for free, so bring your own towel, snorkeling gear, etc.

A crescent-shaped white sand beach.
Playa Caracas in Puerto Rico.
  • Travel Season: The best time to travel to Puerto Rico for the best deals on accommodations is during the low season, which runs from April to December. Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, and average temperatures rarely drop below 60 ยฐF, so you can enjoy the sunny weather almost year-round.

Hurricane season is from June to November in Puerto Rico, so those are the only months during the rainy season that you may want to avoid due to potential risks.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Puerto Rico Trip Cost for a Mid-Range Budget Traveler

A mid-range budget traveler, such as myself, can expect to spend approximately $200 per day or $1,400 for one week of travel in Puerto Rico, excluding flights.

I break down my Puerto Rico travel expenses by category below.

About My Puerto Rico Trip

To give context to the expenses below, hereโ€™s what you need to know about my trip to Puerto Rico:

๐Ÿ—“๏ธ 4 days. I spent four days in Puerto Rico, visiting three popular areas: San Juan, El Yunque, and Vieques.

โ˜€๏ธ High season. I visited Puerto Rico in February, which is considered part of the high season.

Puerto Rico’s peak season is from December to April and July to August.

๐Ÿ‘ญ Group travel. I traveled with three other people, so I was able to split accommodation, food, and transportation costs.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Mid-range budget. I donโ€™t aim to travel on a budget, but Iโ€™m thoughtful about how and where I spend. I consider myself a mid-range budget traveler, and these expenses reflect that.

๐Ÿ’ต US dollars. All costs listed in this post are per person and in US dollars.

Since Puerto Rico is part of the United States, the island’s local currency is the USD.

A woman sitting and looking out at the ocean.
Enjoying the ocean in Old San Juan in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Trip’s Total Cost: $1,077

My four-day trip to Puerto Rico cost a total of $1,077, including flights.

My trip’s highlights are featured in this Puerto Rico itinerary.

๐Ÿ’ฐ Cost Breakdown for Puerto Rico

Here’s a quick overview of my Puerto Rico travel expenses by category:

CategoryCost% of Total CostCost per Day
โœˆ๏ธ Flights$35032%
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$31830%$80
๐Ÿฅ˜ Food$23922%$60
๐Ÿš™ Transportation$969%$24
โญ Entertainment$747%$19
Total$1,077100%$182
Puerto Rico Trip’s Cost Breakdown

๐Ÿ’ต Daily Budget in Puerto Rico: $182

My Puerto Rico trip cost $182 per day, excluding flights.

Daily Budget
Excluding flights$182
Including flights$269
Puerto Rico Trip’s Cost Per Day

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $200 per day in Puerto Rico. This generally means staying at accommodations that cost less than $100 per person per night, eating a mix of street and restaurant food, and renting a standard car.

A crescent-shaped beach at night with lit-up buildings in the background.
Beach at night in San Juan. (Photo by my friend, Christina Chang.)

โœˆ๏ธ Flight Cost to Puerto Rico: $350

My round-trip flight from the United States East Coast to Puerto Rico’s San Juan International Airport cost $350.

The cheapest time to fly to Puerto Rico from the United States is during the low season and around hurricane season (April to May and September to October). A direct, round-trip flight that is below $150 is considered inexpensive.

๐Ÿ  Accommodation Cost in Puerto Rico: $318

My average accommodation cost in Puerto Rico was $80 per day. I stayed at three Airbnbs in San Juan and Vieques and shared the costs with three other travelers.

Below are all the accommodations I stayed at in Puerto Rico and how much I paid for each. My Vieques Airbnb was an entire house with a private backyard, which was more expensive than average.

AccommodationTotal CostCost Per Night
Airbnb in Condoda, San Juan$63$63
Airbnb in Miramar, San Juan$67$67
Airbnb in Vieques$188$94
Puerto Rico Trip’s Accommodation Costs

Accommodation costs in Puerto Rico will likely be your most significant expenses. Private rooms at a mid-range Puerto Rico hotel will average about $90 to $150 per night, depending on the season. A luxury resort will go for about $1,000 per night.

A small but clean and modern living room.
A small Airbnb in San Juan.

๐Ÿ› Food Cost in Puerto Rico: $239

My average cost of food in Puerto Rico was $60 per day. Like United States food prices, meals in Puerto Rico are not cheap when dining at a typical restaurant.

A mid-range budget traveler can expect to spend $40 per day on food in Puerto Rico.

Cheapest Meals in Puerto Rico

Here are the cheapest meals I had in Puerto Rico:

MealLocationCost
Mofongo (traditional dish) & appetizersLa Parilla (Luquillo)$17
Chimichurri skirt steak Deaverdura (San Juan)$22
Arroz con gandules (traditional dish)Casa Nativo (Vieques)$24
Cheapest Meals in Puerto Rico

Traditional Puerto Rican dishes are available at mid-range restaurants, but they can also be bought cheaper at outdoor markets and less well-known areas for about $12 per meal.

Four plates of food with steakes, rice and plaintains.
Chimichurri skirt steak at Deaverdura in Old San Juan.

Most Expensive Meals in Puerto Rico

Here are the most expensive meals I had in Puerto Rico:

MealLocationCost
Seafood main dish & appetizersJose Enrique Restaurant (San Juan)$63
Lobster lunchBili (Vieques)$43
Multi-course tofu setEl Axolote (San Juan)$25
Most Expensive Meals in Puerto Rico

Your most expensive meals in Puerto Rico can be as high as $200 per person for fine dining. If you have $100 or more to spend on a meal, a great way to enjoy the local cuisine is by going on a highly-rated food tour that samples a wide variety of food and drinks.

Four people having a seafood dinner at a restaurant.
Dinner at Jose Enrique restaurant in San Juan.

๐Ÿš™ Transportation Cost in Puerto Rico: $96

My average cost of transportation in Puerto Rico was $24 per day.

I rented a car while traveling on the mainland and split the rental, gas, and parking costs with three other travelers. We also took a ferry from the mainland to Vieques and walked and took a taxi while on the island.

Here are all the transportation methods I took in Puerto Rico and how much I paid for each:

TransportationTotal CostPer Person
Car Rental$215$54
Gas$16$4
Tolls$16$4
Parking$30$7
Ferry$16$4
Taxi$92$23
Puerto Rico Trip’s Transportation Costs

Like much of the United States, Puerto Rico requires a vehicle for transportation. Car rentals are the most affordable option, as taxis and tour vehicles are more expensive. Expect to pay about $45 per day for a small rental car.

A sunset hovering above the ocean.
Sunset at the ferry terminal in Vieques.

โœจ Entertainment Costs in Puerto Rico: $74

My average cost for attractions and activities in Puerto Rico was $19 per day.

My entertainment expenses include a 10% to 15% tip, as is expected in Puerto Rico.

I paid for two of the best things to do in Puerto Rico:

  • I hiked around at El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest in the United States. You need to reserve tickets in advance at the official website and pay a small permit fee.
Two women standing at the top of a lush green moutain.
Hiking up El Yunque National Forest.
  • Puerto Rico is known to have one of the world’s few bioluminescent bays. Kayaking over glowing water at night was a magical, unbelievable experience. I did an amazing tour from Vieques to Mosquito Bay, the best bioluminescent bay. You can also book transportation and a tour from San Juan if you’re not visiting the island.

Here are all the activities I paid for in Puerto Rico and how much each cost:

ActivityTotal CostPer Person
Bioluminescent Bay kayaking tour$296$74
El Yunque National Forest fee$2$0.50
Puerto Rico’s Entertainment Costs

Free Things To Do in Puerto Rico

While you can pay a lot for guided tours in Puerto Rico, you can also enjoy many of the island’s free attractions and activities. This includes:

  • Walking around the streets of Old San Juan
  • Seeing San Juan’s historic sites from the outside and not going inside (e.g., Castillo San Felipe del Morro)
  • Enjoying the sunset views from Paseo de la Princesa
A cobblestone street surrounded by colorful buildings and trees.
Street in Old San Juan. (Photo by my friend, Aida Luu.)

Another way to save on activities in Puerto Rico is to visit its many sandy beaches, which are all open to the public for free, even if there’s a hotel or resort next to it. You’ll need to pay for parking and beach equipment if you don’t bring your own gear. The west coast of Puerto Rico is particularly known for stunning beaches and excellent surfing waves.

A palm tree in a sandy beach next to a blue, calm ocean.
Vieques beach. (Photo by my friend, Aida Luu.)

Cost Breakdown by Destination in Puerto Rico

Below are my trip expense breakdowns for two areas I visited in Puerto Rico: San Juan and Vieques.

โœจ San Juan Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $269 for two days in San Juan, so my average cost was $135 per day.

Old San Juan, the vibrant and historic area of San Juan, is Puerto Rico’s most popular tourist destination, so you can expect the average prices for accommodation and food to be higher and the lines to be longer.

Here’s what you need to know about my San Juan trip to understand my expenses:

  • The total cost does not include car rental since I mostly rented one to drive to El Yunque and the Vieques ferry terminal.
  • I was able to split the accommodation cost with three others.
  • I visited the San Juan National Historic Site, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro. The former doesn’t have an entrance fee, and I didn’t go inside El Morro fort, so both activities were free.
CategoryTotal CostCost Per Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$130$65
๐Ÿ› Food$135$69
๐Ÿš™ Parking$4$2
San Juan Trip’s Costs by Category
A big grass area with an old castle in the distance.
San Juan National Historic Site.

๐Ÿ›ถ Vieques Cost Breakdown

I spent a total of $369 for two days in Vieques, so my average cost was $184 per day.

Vieques, along with the nearby Culebra Island, is one of the more affordable places to visit in Puerto Rico regarding food and accommodation. My costs are higher on this island than in Old San Juan because of the type of activities and accommodations I booked.

Here’s what you need to know about my Vieques trip to understand my expenses:

  • I did an excellent tour of the best bioluminescent bay, which was the highlight of my trip.
  • To get to the island, I had to pay for a ferry and parking to leave the rental car on the mainland.
  • I visited several Vieques beaches, including Playa Negra and Playa Caracas, for free (all beaches are open to the public).
CategoryPer PersonPer Day
๐Ÿ  Accommodation$188$94
๐ŸŒ™ Attractions$74$37
๐Ÿ› Food$76$38
๐Ÿ›ฅ๏ธ Ferry, Parking & Taxi$31$15
Vieques Trip’s Costs by Category
A woman standing in the ocean while looking out some cliffs.
Playa Negra in Puerto Rico.

Do You Need Cash in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has a good credit card infrastructure, so you’ll primarily be using your credit card. You’ll rarely need cash, but bringing some is a good idea.

Below are some tips on bringing and using cash in Puerto Rico.

๐Ÿ’ต 1. Carry about $30 worth of cash in Puerto Rico.

You’ll need approximately $30 worth of cash per day in Puerto Rico. A typical way to spend your cash in a day can look like this:

  • $10 for street food and juice stands
  • $10 to tip tour guides
  • $5 for street parking and beach bathrooms
  • $5 for miscellaneous things

I kept my cash in my crossbody pouch, but if you want extra protection against pickpocketing, carry a hidden money belt instead.

๐Ÿ’ณ 2. Very few places in Puerto Rico are cash-only.

During my Puerto Rico trip, I only needed cash to tip tour guides or buy fruit, juice, or snacks from roadside vendors.

Other places where you might need cash in Puerto Rico include:

  • Small, local restaurants
  • Roadside fruit or juice stalls
  • Beach parking
  • Beach bathrooms

๐Ÿ’ฐ 3. Tipping is customary in Puerto Rico.

Like the rest of the United States, a 10% to 20% tip is customary and expected in Puerto Rico.

  • Tour guides will gladly accept 10% to 20% tips.
  • Expect to leave a typical 18% to 20% tip at restaurants.

See other essential Puerto Rico travel tips before visiting.

If you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave a comment below.

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