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A Guide to Budget Travel to Puerto Rico

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A Guide to Budget Travel to Puerto Rico

Le Lo Lai is a chance to check out Puerto Rican music, dance and folklore.

Photo © Puerto Rico Tourism Company
For a tropical Caribbean island with world-class beaches and amenities, Puerto Rico might not seem like the ideal destination for budget travelers looking for an exotic getaway. But this island can be surprisingly affordable for the savvy tourist. There are great bargains to be found, as well as numerous incentives and deals designed to help you save money.

In this guide to budget travel, you'll find tips on when to go, where to stay and eat, and what to do while you're in Puerto Rico. Add it all up, and you'll be surprised at how far you can stretch your dollar when you visit la isla del encanto.

When to Go
Financially speaking, the best time to visit Puerto Rico is during the long off-season, which runs from May to November. While the summer is peak travel time for many destinations around the world, in the Caribbean it's hurricane season. With the arrival of the storm season comes a drastic drop in prices in hotels and airfare, as the tourist industry seeks to lure visitors. In Puerto Rico, they have good reason to do so: there are ample reasons to make a trip during these months, and at the top of the list is the great values you'll find on lodging. I've found four-star hotels at two-star prices during the off-season. Even so, it's always a good idea to check the local weather forecast before you travel.

Where to Stay
The nice thing about Puerto Rico is that you can find a beachfront luxury resort located less than a minute away from a budget inn. Both provide virtually the same access to the beach and the surrounding area, but only one can offer a room for less than $100. With that in mind, here are a few resources to get you into a place that is comfortable for you and your wallet:

Where to Eat
Dining in Puerto Rico can be hazardous to your health, because there is no shortage of rib-sticking, gut-busting criollo specialties to challenge your appetite. Fortunately, it doesn't cost much to stuff yourself silly on excellent local food. Here are just a few recommendations:

What to See and Do
You'll be happy to know there are plenty of freebies for tourists in Puerto Rico. Some restaurants will be happy to offer a free sample of their house drink; many events in and around San Juan are free of charge; and there are enough festivals around the island to keep you entertained all year long.

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