Puerto Rico Flag. Click to visit purplecoqui.com to view in Spanish


Q. Do you work with the big hotel chains?

A. Our preference is to go local wherever possible, which includes Airbnbs over hotels, and small “mom and pop” establishments like breweries, restaurants and souvenir shops. Local means you’re getting a taste of Puerto Rico in the food, the beer and gifts made by local artists. Hotels that are the same in Bangkok as they are in Puerto Rico, restaurants that serve the same menu in Idaho as they do in Puerto Rico, and trinkets that are made in China do not reflect the Puerto Rican culture or pride.

Q. If I am in a wheelchair, can I book a tour through you?

A. Absolutely! Please let us know what kind of access you need and we’ll go to great lengths to accommodate you.

Q. I have allergies to both peanuts and wheat. Will I have a hard time eating anything but “familiar” foods?

A. Not at all. Although it will take a little more planning, the health food stores and many supermarkets in Puerto Rico carry all sorts of foods that are free of this or that. When making reservations, we’ll also make a special point to inform vendors and establishments ahead of time.

Q. Do I/we need vaccinations for tropical diseases before visiting Puerto Rico?

A. Definitely not. If you are planning to stay in some of the more remote areas, we’ll make sure to tell you what to look for and avoid.

Q. Is Puerto Rico dangerous?

A. Like most places, cities are more likely to have crime than the countryside. It never hurts to bring your street smarts on vacation. We’ll add the appropriate precautions—depending on where you’ll be—to your itinerary.

Q. Is Puerto Rico expensive?

A. Because 97 percent of our food is imported from the U.S., it’s very expensive. On average, what you spend in the states on organic food is about what we pay for non-organic food from the grocery store. What we pay for organic food is pretty expensive. Most other things are usually less expensive than on the mainland.

Q. Do I need to exchange money at the airport?

A. American dollars come out of the bank machines in Puerto Rico.

Q. Do I need a visa to visit Puerto Rico?

A. Whatever the visa requirements are from your country to the United States will apply to Puerto Rico. Either way, you should bring your passport in case you want to visit a neighboring island or take a cruise.

Q. Can I drink the water?

A. Yes, we all drink the tap water here. It’s safe because it’s treated before it’s sent to homes and businesses.

Q. Is it difficult being a vegetarian in Puerto Rico? I hear they eat a lot of meat.

A. Not difficult, but it can be a challenge if you don’t know where to shop or eat. The founder of Purple Coquí Tours and her husband are both vegetarians, so we have you covered.

Q. Do I have to speak Spanish to visit?

A. No, but it can’t hurt to learn some key phrases, such as “Where is the bathroom?” “How are you?” “Enjoy your meal,” and the differences between left and right, etc. The key to making your interactions with Puerto Rican people go smoothly is to at least make an effort to speak the language or, in lieu of that, don’t talk louder or down to people. Remember: you’re not in the U.S., but you’re in a place where English isn’t the first language, so please be respectful. Although many Puerto Ricans speak English, it’s always best to assume the people you interact with don’t. There are apps for your phone that can translate. And keep in mind there are many words in Puerto Rican Spanish that may or may not exist in other Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish varies from island to island and country to country. If you prefer, we can pair you with a tour guide who is fully bilingual and you can do all your communicating through your guide.

Q. How much does your service cost?

A. No two invoices to clients will be the same, because each vacation will be different. We’ll discuss pricing after we talk with you in your free consultation. We’ll need to get an idea of what you want to do, how long you’ll be here, etc.

Q. What should I pack?

A. After we finalize your itinerary, we’ll make suggestions for what to bring. In general, Puerto Rico is pretty casual. Keep in mind we’re in the tropics where the heat and humidity are high most of the time. Light, loose clothes made from natural fibers will be preferred over tight-fitting clothes made from polyester.

Q. If we want to visit another island, can you help us with that as well?

A. Yes, we can. If we get stuck with specifics, we know people in many neighboring islands, who we can consult.

Q. What’s the legal drinking age in Puerto Rico?

A. 18.

Q. Does Puerto Rico have reciprocity with states that are legal for recreational or medicinal cannabis?

A. We can walk you through the process as it’s one of the few things we can’t coordinate for you. Once you’re legal to purchase cannabis on Puerto Rico, we’ll let you know where dispensaries are located close to where you’re staying.

Q. Do you pick us up from the airport, or do we need to rent a car?

A. That all depends on the type of vacation you want. We’ll iron out those details in the planning process.

Q. Is Puerto Rico/Purple Coquí Tours family friendly?

A. Puerto Rican people value family higher than anything. They will go to the end of the earth for their family. There is no such thing as “kids should be seen and not heard” or having a party or event that don’t involve family members of all ages—infants to the oldest member of the family. In keeping with tradition, Purple Coquí Tours encourages you to bring every member of your family with you on vacation.

Q. What are the best times of year to come?

A. There’s really no bad time to come—although it is more risky to visit during hurricane season, which is June through the end of November. If there is likely to be a hurricane to hit the island, it would occur between August and the end of October. Christmas through June are probably the more popular months. Christmas is magical on the island and it runs from the day after Thanksgiving through the middle of January. When it’s winter in temperate climates, the Caribbean is busy with tourist.

Q. Can I bring my dog?

A. There is no quarantine for dogs and cats to worry about, so you can bring them to Puerto Rico. 15 days prior to travel you’ll need an updated certificate from your vet.

Q. Do you do weddings/group events?

A. We love weddings and other group events. In fact, the founder is a former event planner, so in addition to being your vacation planner, she can also plan your wedding or other milestone event.

Q. How can we learn more about the history and culture of Puerto Rico before we come?

A. Everyone at Purple Coquí Tours is very knowledgeable about the island’s history, indeed we have historical tours. If you’d like to know more about the history, please ask and we’ll be happy to send you some reading materials.

Photo credit: Wendy Seda
Photo credit: Wendy Seda
sample itinerary for your Puerto Rico vacation
Photo Credit: Markham Ocean Photography