No passport required!
Puerto Rico is not only a tropical island in the Caribbean, but also a U.S. Commonwealth. That means U.S. citizens can travel overseas and not have to carry a passport. It also means your flight is considered domestic. Foreign nationals should have valid passports and visas as required.
The average year-round temperature is a balmy 82º F (28º C), with mild easterly trade winds. Most days are sunny and stunning, although there tends to be a bit more rain between August and October.
In Puerto Rico you will find just about every type of ethnic cuisine to satisfy every palate, including the local “cocina criolla" which you must try as soon as you arrive. There are also plenty of major American fast-food and casual dining chains island-wide, as well.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth so the U.S. dollar it is. No need to exchange currency. ATMs are generally easy to find. Most businesses accept major credit cards, as well as traveler’s checks.
If you do need to drive anywhere just keep in mind that gas is sold by the liter and distance is measured in kilometers. Speed, however, is measured in miles per hour. Many national and local car rental companies operate at the airport and at key locations in the tourist districts. (Note, there is an AVIS location onsite at the Gran Melia Resort.)
Puerto Rico has two official languages: Spanish and English.
The phone system is the same as in the U.S. and some major U.S. wireless carriers have good service here. Verizon and U.S. Cellular have very limited coverage in Puerto Rico. Please check with your service provider for coverage information or possible roaming charges. You may also want to plan for alternative communication such as skype, voxer, etc.
The Island‘s area codes are 787 and 939. You need to dial the area code before placing a call anywhere within Puerto Rico and the U.S. For international calls, international codes apply. Calling cards used in the U.S. can be used in Puerto Rico as well.
Puerto Rico is on Atlantic Standard Time (AST), which is one hour later than U.S. Eastern Standard Time (EST) from October through March and the same as Eastern Daylight Saving Time from April through October.
As in the U.S. mainland, a 15% to 20% tip is customary. Some hotels and restaurants add a 10% to 17% service charge to the total bill.
Note: If you are staying at the Gran Melia resort, these automatic services charges will be added to your hotel bill: 1) A one-time portage fee of $7.49 US (including 7% service tax) will apply per person; 2) A daily maid charge per room per night of $3.21 USD (including 7% service tax).
Planning your trip to Puerto Rico and concerned about the Zika virus? Get the facts.
The Gran Melia Golf Resort in Puerto Rico is taking several steps to keep their guests safe and raise awareness about prevention. Among them are:
• Training of staff to be aware of prevention mechanisms and guidelines
• Use of mosquito repellent recommended by local health authorities, both for personnel and for customers
• Spraying of facilities according to WHO recommendations
• Monitoring, cleaning and drying of areas which contain stagnant water, as outlined in WHO recommendations
The Gran Melia Golf Resort encourages guests to visit the World Health Organization’s website on the Zika Virus for the latest information, as well as treatment and prevention guidelines.