How Safe Is San Juan for Travel?

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Safety Index:

San Juan is the capital of and largest city in Puerto Rico.

The city itself is a messy mixture of everything you want – and don’t want – to encounter in a large city: you will drive along pothole-ridden roads and bask among touristic places, a charming set of old-world new-world buildings made by the public sector and other historic places.

People in their majority are warm and welcoming always eager to smile even if they don’t know you.

Puerto Ricans are party animals and almost everywhere you go, you will find some sort of town festival or party.

Many say that the city is a mix of Europe, New York City, and Latin America.

Warnings & Dangers in San Juan

Overall Risk


San Juan is somewhat safe but you should take precaution on the streets since it's the capital and as such, much more dangerous than the surrounding cities. Especially do so after dark.

Transport & Taxis Risk


Streets are always busy in San Juan and traffic jams are unpredictable. Be careful when riding a bicycle around the city because the roads are often crowded and unpaved. Pedestrians should also be careful in Old San Juan: the streets there are narrow, as well as sidewalks, sometimes crowded, with occasional trip hazards.

Pickpockets Risk


Be wary of pickpockets and bag snatching and keep your valuables safe by your side - San Juan isn't safe when it comes to petty theft. Never carry all your money in one place or leave your valuables in plain sight in a car or at a beach when swimming.

Natural Disasters Risk


Although the island has survived a major hurricane problem, San Juan's biggest problems are constant heavy rainings and floods.

Mugging Risk


Mugging is not altogether uncommon on the streets of San Juan. In such a situation, hand over all your possessions immediately and do not resist. Avoid poorly lit and deserted areas.

Terrorism Risk


Terrorist attacks are likely to happen in San Juan because Puerto Rican terrorists have been active in the United States and Puerto Rico for more than two decades. Due to the island's political status, separatist violence will likely continue. Remain vigilant at all times.

Scams Risk


Scams are very common in San Juan, so double check your change, never pay anything upfront and negotiate everything in advance. Be very careful around ATMs and be wary of people trying to distract you. Also, be careful around children as they're probably trying to distract you too - they are skillful pickpockets.

Women Travelers Risk


Traveling to San Juan isn't too safe for solo women; bear in mind that you should always walk in the company, never alone. Stay away from poorly lit and deserted streets and areas and from people that are visibly intoxicated or under the influence.

So... How Safe Is San Juan Really?

Unfortunately, San Juan couldn’t be described as a particularly safe city to visit.

Many problems contribute to its general unsafety, like health issues (Zika outbreak), ever-increasing crime rates, as well as government debt difficulties.

Namely, like in the rest of Puerto Rico, there is the presence of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

While Zika causes very mild symptoms, if any, in most people who become infected, women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the immediate future are in danger.

Old San Juan is very safe and entertaining but it’s filled with tourists.

If you’re thinking of visiting San Juan, try to stay near the Condado area which is a very nice neighborhood.

There is a lot of police presence in San Juan that makes one feel comfortable.

Just avoid any areas that are not very well lit, have clusters of youth, seem decrepit and run down, or make you feel uncomfortable in any way.

All in all, the most important thing is that you try to keep yourself home at night rather than hanging out in bars where people get drunk; if you are a night owl, rather visit hotels and well-known restaurants.

How Does San Juan Compare?

CitySafety Index
San Juan30
La Paz (Bolivia)52
Sao Paulo (Brazil)45
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)43

Useful Information

  • Visas - Visa requirements for San Juan are the same as for US states. The US is famous for its harsh policy for acquiring a tourist, let alone a resident visa. However, depending on your nationality, it might be easy for you to acquire one. If you're not sure about your visa status, contact your local US embassy for further information.
  • Currency - The United States dollar is the official currency in San Juan. Credit and debit cards are accepted nearly everywhere, and ATMs are widely available.
  • Weather - The climate in San Juan is mostly hot, tropical, windy, and partly cloudy. San Juan has a significant amount of rainfall during the year. The average annual temperature in San Juan is 25.6 °C.
  • Airports - Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is a joint civil-military international airport. It is located very close to San Juan, in suburban Carolina, 5 km southeast of San Juan center.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to San Juan, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables.
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

San Juan Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 24° C
Feb 24° C
Mar 25° C
Apr 25° C
May 26° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 26° C
Dec 25° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

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Where to Next?

11 Reviews on San Juan

  1. "
    "Nat Turner" says:

    A lot of BS

    The BS in this list is through the roof. I bet if anyone searches for the US cities where massacres have occurred in the last decade they are labeled safe to travel. We’re tired of the marginalization of our neighborhoods. Do us a favor, and just stay away.

    1. A
      Anonymous says:

      You are so right!!! Especially it rate “terrorisim” high, what the hell is that??

  2. Ridiculous!

    Why is the terrorism risk is listed as “HIGH” when there hasn’t been a terror attack in all of Puerto Rico since the 1980s? And even then it was an exceedingly rare event. In contrast, New York City has a terrorism risk of “MEDIUM”? This data is 30 years out of date.

    San Juan does have its share of crime. But as a large tourist destination, receiving over 500 cruise ship stops a year, it is relatively safe. It is certainly far, FAR safer than Baghdad, Ciudad Juarez, or Kandahar, all of which scored higher than San Juan on this site’s overall safety index.

    1. BAD BAD

      it matters about how many terrorist attacks are in san juans history in total/ 3 cops were killed today by a carjacker and there was a mass shooting in san juan and 7 people died in the same day. oh and there was 600 murders in puerto rico in 2020.

  3. M
    Michael O'Brien says:

    When did San Juan become its own country?

    Unfortunately, San Juan couldn’t be described as a particularly safe country to visit.

    I thought San Juan was a city, inside of Puerto Rico – which is part of the United States of America’s. Since when did it become an independent country?

    1. J
      Jack Sparrow says:

      San Juan is not a country

      San Juan is not an independent country, it’s the Capital of Puerto Rico.

  4. J
    John Perry says:

    Worst researched article on San Juan - 100% inaccurate

    This is one of the most assbackwards articles i’ve ever read on the internet. There is zero terrorism, pickpocketing is unheard of in the city, unpaved roads! WTF! People, disregard anything this website states. They probably just do some Wikipedia BS research and redact and article in minutes to seem like a legit source.

    1. Have you been to San Juan in recent years? I have been a few times as part of a team working on a documentary. I can tell you first hand, it is not a safe place. I would not come here alone or as a couple. I think it is only safe to travel in a group of 4 or more to places like this and even then, you need to be on high alert. Gang issues are EVERYWHERE and if you so much as give the wrong person the wrong impression, you can find yourself getting the life beat out of you.

  5. WTF ??

    This rating is ridiculous !! Terrorist level is high ? I’ve been traveling back and forth for over a decade on business and have NEVER experienced a fear of terrorism . I’ve felt less safe in Vegas or New Orleans or Florida panhandle at night then I ever had in Puerto Rico . My worse experience was a drunk who wanted to dance . Puerto Rico runs at a slower pace than the states but that the appeal of it .

  6. E
    El Bori says:

    Safe for tourists

    Puerto Rico has a higher rate of crime than most continental US. And in rate per capital to all the US. But overall the rate of death is between the gangs which are controlled by colombian cartels or do bussines with them. Its safe for travel for turist and for most part. Where this article has it wrong is that San Juan isnt the most dangerous place in the island, that tittle goes to Bayamon a neighbor city, and secondly to Carolina. Then goes San Juan but most of San Juan is safe. People mistake the neighbor areas as part of San Juan

  7. Never felt unsafe

    I don’t know, guys, I feel like things are grossly exaggerated by the media. I’ve been to San Juan in 2019 and I honestly had a blast. We traveled as a group so this might explain some of the things I’ll discuss next but come on. I don’t think things are that bad, honestly.

    Yes, you will find bad people in San Juan but this is true for any other destination. Have your street smarts about and you’ll be just fine. If you buy drugs from a guy that randomly approached you or if you pick fights with strangers you can’t blame the city for the awful time you had, that’s all on you.

    Clubbing till morning might lead to gang bust ups so I simply avoided staying that late. We’re all well over 30 and if I’m being honest, we couldn’t stay that late not even if we wanted to.

    During the day we saw zero violence or anything that might pose a threat. That is unless we’re talking about public transportation which is downright awful. This is not a walkable place, you need to either rent a car or uber around.

    Avoiding staying glued to your phone is the best advice I could give you because 1. you are way more careful of your surroundings and 2. you won’t find yourself deposed of it.

    5/5, I wholeheartedly recommend at least looking on youtube for travel vlogs from people that went there and then decide. Use common sense and avoid having luxury brands on you, being bags, shoes or watches. Just an understated luxury look should be enough. If you don’t stand out you won’t catch unwanted attention. And again, don’t go looking for trouble, you might find yourself in a very unpleasant situation. Stick to tourist areas, there’s plenty to see and experience there.

Rated 3.64 / 5 based on 11 user reviews.

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