Electrical current is 120 volts, 60Hz. Two-pin flat
attachment plugs are in use.
Spanish and English are the official languages of Puerto
Some restaurants and hotels automatically add a 10 to 17%
service charge to the bill, if not a 15% tip is expected. Taxi
drivers and bar staff also expect tips.
Visits to Puerto Rico are usually trouble-free but travellers
should take sensible precautions to avoid petty theft.
Social etiquette in Puerto Rico is typically Latin American,
with some North American influences (such as a stronger sense of
female independence, and a toning-down of the ideal of
). Western visitors to the country should feel
comfortable, and 'at home', in most social situations. Hygiene,
cleanliness and personal appearance are viewed as matters of
self-respect, so travellers who've been 'on the road' for a little
while might consider neatening up their beards or trimming their
hair, especially if they want to make a good first impression. A
final, important aspect of Puerto Rican social life, is the concept
. Generally shy of direct confrontation and open
refers to the gentle, joking manner in which Puerto
Ricans will bring up uncomfortable issues around each another.
Visitors should be aware of this technique, as they may, on
occasion, be required to 'read between the lines' to discover what
trying to express.
Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory although the resemblance is
closer to Latin America. English is understood by many on the
island, but Spanish may also be the language in which business is
conducted. Dress codes will vary according to different sectors,
but suits are favoured on very formal occasions. Shaking hands is
common for both men and women. Business hours are generally 9am to
5pm Monday to Friday with an hour taken at lunch.
The international access code for Puerto Rico is +1 787 and +1
939. The outgoing code is 011 followed by the relevant country code
(e.g. 01144 for the United Kingdom). The outgoing code is not
needed for calling the US, Canada and most of the Caribbean. Mobile
phones work throughout the island and local operators use CDMA
networks that are not compatible with GSM phones, as used outside
North America. Internet cafes are available in most towns and
Puerto Rico's customs regulations are the same as those for the
United States. Visitors over 21 may bring in the following items
without paying duty: 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 2kg of tobacco;
1 litre of alcohol; and gifts valued up to US$100. There is a long
list of restricted and prohibited items which may not be imported
or imported only under license, ranging from fireworks and matches
to pre-Columbian sculpture and Cuban cigars. If in doubt consult
your nearest US Embassy for advice. Any merchandise from embargoed
countries (Afghanistan, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Serbia and
Montenegro and the Sudan) may not be brought onto US soil.