The sunny Commonwealth of Puerto Rico – located in the Caribbean Sea about 1,000 miles southeast of Miami, Florida – has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since 1898. As such, Puerto Ricans and Americans can travel between the two countries fairly quickly, without much hassle or paperwork.

About Puerto Rico

Spain ceded control of Puerto Rico over to the United States in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War. Though Puerto Ricans are citizens of the United States – and have been since 1917 – they cannot vote in American elections. Instead, Puerto Ricans vote for their governor.

Many tourists, American and foreign, choose to visit the island because of its beautiful beaches and bustling cities. Prime spots include the capital, San Juan, and the rainforest, El Yunque, sometimes called the Caribbean National Forest. Many choose to spend a week or more on the island, and many come by cruise ship. San Juan is a popular cruise ship port.

Accepted Documents

Citizens of the United States traveling to Puerto Rico need only a government-issued form of photo identification because they are not going to another country. Acceptable forms of ID include a driver's license or a photo ID card issued by a U.S. Department of motor vehicles. A U.S. passport is also an accepted a form of ID. Passports are only required by states that require a passport for any air transportation. Americans don't need a visa to enter or exit Puerto Rico.

Travel Considerations

Though Puerto Rico does not require Americans to bring a passport to enter the island, the U.S. Department of the Interior recommends that they bring one along just in case. There are no special immunizations that Americans need to get when going to Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico's currency is the American dollar. Americans will find many people speak English in Puerto Rico; the country lists both English and Spanish as its official languages.

For Citizens of Other Countries

Residents of other countries who are traveling from the United States to Puerto Rico should be advised that they will need at least a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. Foreigners needing a visa to enter the United States will likely need the same visa for entry into Puerto Rico. It is always wise to contact your local consulate to ensure you're up to date on documentation requirements prior to any international travel. When entering Puerto Rico, your passport must have at least six months of validity remaining.