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San Juan

Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Safety-wise, San Juan is comparable to any other big city in the mainland US. Though you’ll hear stories of robberies, drugs and carjackings, the worst most visitors will face is tripping up over an uneven paving stone on the way back from the local bar. Take all the usual precautions and you’ll minimize any risk of trouble.

Don’t leave your belongings unguarded on the beach, don’t leave your car unlocked and don’t wander around after dark in deserted inner-city areas or on unpoliced beaches. Areas to avoid at night include La Perla, Puerta de Tierra, parts of Santurce (especially around Calle Loíza) and the Plaza del Mercado in Río Piedras.

Old San Juan is relatively safe and well policed. However, visitors are not encouraged to enter the picturesque yet poverty-stricken enclave of La Perla just outside the north wall at any time of day or night without a local escort.

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While you're there

Medical services

Ashford Memorial Community Hospital (787-721-2160; 1451 Av Ashford) This is probably the best-equipped and most convenient hospital for travelers to visit.

Walgreens Old San Juan (787-722-6690; cnr Cruz & San Francisco); Condado (787-725-1510; 1130 Av Ashford; 24hr) US drugstore chains including Walgreens are all over the city.

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