Practical Information in Puerto Rico

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San Juan Practical Information is a great way to learn some basic facts about San Juan, Puerto Rico, while planning your trip. Also known as "La Ciudad Amurallada" (translated to "the walled city"), the city was founded in 1521. Ponce de Leon, the explorer who searched for the Fountain of Youth, founded the original settlement of Caparra, just west of the present day city of San Juan, in 1508.


San Juan is the capital of Puerto Rico, and is located on the northeastern coast of Puerto Rico. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is an American territory located in the archipelago of the Greater Antilles. The Greater Antilles include Cuba, Hispaniola, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, the latter being the smallest of the islands. The exact coordinates of San Juan are 18 degrees 27' 0" north and 66 degrees 04' 00" west.


The approximate population for the city of San Juan is over 420,000 residents, and more than 2,500,000 residents live in the entire metro area. The racial groups breakdown as 72 percent White, 12 percent Black, .5 percent American Indian, .5 percent Asian, and 15 percent other.


The official currency of San Juan, as well as all of Puerto Rico, is the U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar is represented by the $ symbol, often referred to as the "peso" in San Juan, and is subdivided into 100 cents. The coins used are the 1, 5, 10, and 25 cents. There is a 50 cent coin, but it is rarely used. The banknotes used are the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 dollar bill. There is a $2 bill in circulation, but it is also rarely used. It is a good idea to exchange a small amount of cash before arriving in San Juan, but upon arrival, currency can be exchanged at most major banks and hotels. ATMs are a great way to pull local currency from your local bank, but it is advisable to check with your bank before leaving to make sure that your ATM card is accepted throughout San Juan. Major credit cards and traveler's checks are widely accepted, but it is a good idea to always carry a small amount of cash on you at all times.

Time Zone 

The time zone for San Juan is the Atlantic Standard Time Zone (AST) or Coordinated Universal Time minus 4 hours (UTC -4 hrs). San Juan does not observe Daylight Savings Time.


The 2 flat-prong plugs commonly used in the United States, are the same plugs used in San Juan and the electricity is 110V and 60HZ.

February 20, 2010 change by marley16kristin

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