1. When in Doubt, Take a CabTaxis might be expensive in Puerto Rico, but they are safe and available. At night, it's definitely the best way to get around. Look for the white taxis with the distinctive garita, or sentry box, icon painted on them. They are usually found at designated taxi stands. Also, if you're at a club or restaurant late into the night, get the manager to call you a taxi.
The caveat to this rule is Old San Juan. Because this is such a populated hotspot at night, if you're staying in the old city and you've walked down (or up) to Fortaleza Street to check out the nightlife scene, it should be pretty safe to return to your hotel on foot. Crowds are always your friend.
2. Avoid Bad NeighborhoodsAs in any destination, there are bound to be a few corners to avoid. Puerto Rico is no different. Parts of Old San Juan should be skirted, the most notorious being the La Perla neighborhood in Old San Juan, which hugs the coast below Norzagaray Street on the way to El Morro. Also, parts of Puerta de Tierra aren't recommended at night.
Wherever you are on the island, I wouldn't recommend heading to the beach (unless you're going to visit a biobay). This is especially true of isolated beaches away from the cities and towns; Puerto Rico has plenty of these, and you might be tempted to enjoy a romantic interlude at one. Better to stay away. If you must take a moonlight dip, stick to the populated, hotel-heavy strip around Condado and Isla Verde.
3. Know Your Emergency ContactsGood news: 911 works in Puerto Rico just like is does in the U.S. San Juan has a tourist police as well as the local police, and in the old city they're especially visible (another reason why walking around here is relatively safe). Don't hesitate to flag one down if needed, even if you find their English a bit weak. Here are some other useful numbers:
- Department of Health: 787-766-1616
- Medical emergencies: 787-754-2550
- Dental emergencies: 787-795-0320
- Fire department: 787-725-3444
- Police: 787-343-2020
- Tourist Zone Police in Conado: 787-726-7020
- Tourist Zone Police in Isla Verde: 787-728-4770
- Weather: 787-253-4586