People told me that Puerto Rico is way too unsafe to travel around outside the hotel resort. Although there are some unsafe areas, just like there are in the United States, do not let that stop you from traveling around Puerto Rico.
If you stay on the resort, you may not get an immersed experience of their culture and you’ll miss beautiful ruins, mountains, rainforests, caves. Although the beach, oceans, and locals that work at the resort need a fair amount of attention, there is something unique about the rolling hills and poor farmers in the center of the island.
Rent a car.
There are many excursions that you can take through your hotel to see caves and go snorkeling, but it is less expensive and less time consuming to rent a car. If you’re looking to meet and spend time with other tourist, then you may want to go on the guided tours. The advantage of renting a car is that a 7 hour trip turns into 4 hours because there are not as many people to keep together. You can also go as early, or stay as late as you want and if you see a small shop or fruit stand on the side of the road, you’re more than welcome to stop.
This is a great opportunity to stop and talk to locals. The majority of people, even in the rural area, speak English. I found it beneficial to touch up on basic Spanish before I went, just in case. You’ll be surprised to find that many of their bars are in car shops and a dog laying at the end of the driveway is overly common. Roads are difficult to maneuver in the city and suburbs because of the potholes and aggressive drivers and the winding roads block visibility on narrow paths in the countryside, but it’s worth the drive. I would pay for the temporary insurance on the car for safe measures!
Stop and ask the locals about their life and experiences. Get insights. Learn more. Tell them about snow, locals are genuinely curious. Go outside of your comfort zone!