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Driving in Puerto Rico


piggiepuff
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We are renting a car and driving from San Juan to the ferry terminal on the east coast (Ceiba).  My husband will be driving, but I'm a little nervous b/c we don't know Spanish and we've been in taxis and ubers with crazy drivers around us.  I saw on another post about toll roads, though - does anyone know if there are toll roads between San Juan and Ceiba that we will need to worry about?  

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Part of the drive is on toll roads, some of it isn't.  Since you are renting a car, it will come with Fastpass, so that you don't have to stop.  Even if it does not have the fastpass attached, and you get a red light exiting, don't worry about it- the rental cars are all supposed to have it, and the fines go to the rental company.

 

The signs are in Spanish, but they are otherwise identical to signs in the US- so the important words are Nord, Sud, este, and oeste (N-S-E-W).  The shapes of the signs are the same, too- just not "STOP".  

 

I've driven in Puerto Rico for a long time, and it's not nearly as bad as most people say- but then again, I'm used to driving in Metro Detroit.  

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3 hours ago, alfaeric said:

I've driven in Puerto Rico for a long time, and it's not nearly as bad as most people say- but then again, I'm used to driving in Metro Detroit.  

 

Howdy Alfaeric,

 

How is driving in the Ponce area?  We are renting a car and driving up into the mountains to visit a coffee plantation.  We don't think it will be an issue, but just wondering what you thought?

 

In addition, have you heard anything about the Ponce area and the earthquakes?  We visit there in a little more than a month and I am hoping that we don't get re-routed away from Ponce.  That was one of the most friendliest ports of call.

 

Thanks

ddaz

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18 minutes ago, ddaz said:

 

Howdy Alfaeric,

 

How is driving in the Ponce area?  We are renting a car and driving up into the mountains to visit a coffee plantation.  We don't think it will be an issue, but just wondering what you thought?

 

In addition, have you heard anything about the Ponce area and the earthquakes?  We visit there in a little more than a month and I am hoping that we don't get re-routed away from Ponce.  That was one of the most friendliest ports of call.

 

Thanks

ddaz

I find it a lot easier to drive around Ponce than San Juan- just less people on the road at once.  The big issue you will have is when you get up into the mountains and the very narrow, twisty roads.  Assuming you are not going to Hacienda Buena Vista- which has pretty easy access.  The others are all up in the mountains.

 

I have heard about Ponce- there has been damage, and right now (without seeing it, which should be next week), I'm betting you will skip the port.  The area that was hit the hardest was also one of the best beach areas on the south side of the island- so that's one big strike.  Then, I saw a big crack in the surface in an area pretty close to the port area- I'd really think the port does have damage.  Lastly, Highway 52 is closed in an area very close to the port- while you will not likely drive there, the fact that it's damaged is not a good sign.

 

I'll know more next week- as we get to Ponce on Thursday for the weekend.  One thing I have to do is put together a battery back up system for my MIL's house- so besides just getting there, I'll need to get around for some stuff...

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On 1/10/2020 at 9:36 AM, piggiepuff said:

We are renting a car and driving from San Juan to the ferry terminal on the east coast (Ceiba).  My husband will be driving, but I'm a little nervous b/c we don't know Spanish and we've been in taxis and ubers with crazy drivers around us.  I saw on another post about toll roads, though - does anyone know if there are toll roads between San Juan and Ceiba that we will need to worry about?  

Hi, my husband and I did this in reverse from ceiba to san Juan. We flew in from culebra to ceiba then drove. Its really easy. If you have Google maps or Waze on your phone, you are fine. 

We are doing culebra to ceiba again on Tuesday the 14th then driving to sju to drop off car rental then ubering to port. 

Re toll roads, just pay them as you go. Or pick non toll rolls.

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Just did this from ceiba to san juan today using avis. We had one toll but we got a green light at the toll plaza so i guess for now we are ok. Drivers are no better or worse then texas or Philadelphia. We dropped off car at avis at the Sheraton near pan American port then walked to the ship. Pretty easy on a Tuesday afternoon. It took us 25 minutes to walk to port. 

Ive driven in much scarier places in my job than Puerto rico. Its not that bad.

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