Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, also called San Juan International Airport, is the primary air gateway to the city of San Juan, capital of the island nation of Puerto Rico. San Juan is a popular destination for travellers from the US as it offers a great introduction to the Caribbean. It features a strong Latin culture because of its Spanish heritage but it also has American influence, being a US Commonwealth territory. Driving is a popular option here because exploring at your own pace means you get to fully appreciate the vibrant culture and the breathtaking scenery.
Who to Book With
The car hire agencies present at the airport have desks on the first level of Terminal D. Those arriving at Terminal A, the only terminal physically separated from the rest, can easily walk in the terminal complex to reach the other building. Visitors can use the services of any of the following car rental companies: Enterprise, National, Hertz, Dollar, Charlie, Avis, Budget and Thrifty.
Need to Know Essentials
You will need to show the following documents at vehicle collection:
- Foreign license (preferably International Driving Permit)
- Identity papers (passport, etc.)
- Credit card (the one used in the booking)
- Booking verification form
The FAQs contain more info.
Most of the traffic laws in Puerto Rico are similar to the general laws currently enforced in the US. Though some of the signs within and around San Juan are in Spanish, they will not be that difficult to follow as the symbols should be familiar to those used to driving in the US. Note that parking is difficult in the touristy areas of the capital, particularly the historic district of Old San Juan. Outside of these main attractions, however, parking will be easier to find, although it will involve some parking charges.
Our guide has a few more tips on driving in Puerto Rico.
Though Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is located outside of the main city it services, San Juan, it is only three miles from it. Driving will be an easy task. Thus, self-drive is a fairly common option for both locals and tourists. Taxis, buses and a rapid transit train ply routes in the city, but the train line is currently limited and does not service the airport or the central areas of San Juan.
Each of the terminals has a taxi rank outside its first level. The drive to San Juan city centre can take about 30 to 45 minutes depending on the traffic. Visitors must note that in Puerto Rico, travellers have the option of hiring ordinary cabs and tourist cabs. The advantage of the latter is that for a slightly higher fare, the drivers offer you their knowledge of the city's main tourist attractions.
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Old San Juan via tourist taxi is £12
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Condado or Miramar via tourist taxi is £10
Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport to Isla Verde via tourist taxi is £7.
Buses are cheap at significantly less than a pound per ride and are the preferred mode of transport for many of the locals of San Juan. However, do note that the official bus timetables are only sometimes followed. Many buses arrive late and during rush hour, they are filled to the brim. It is not a good idea to rely on buses when catching onward transport or flights.
The airport has five terminals but only two terminal buildings. Terminal A is separated from the other four by only a few feet. The airport receives around eight to 10 million passengers annually. Many major cities in the US such as Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, and so on have direct flights to San Juan.
American Parking System operates the parking facilities of the airport. There is a multi-storey car park in front of the terminals with both short-term and long-term parking. The first 30 minutes of parking costs £0.6, the second £2 and any additional hour £1.3.
The airport does not have internet access points or Wi-Fi services.
Terminal D, level 1, has a Traveller's Aid counter, while Terminal C has a tourist information counter.
Tourist Information: +1 787 791 1014
Ramps, lifts, phone booths, toilets and dedicated parking spaces have been provided to respond to the needs of persons with reduced mobility. For wheelchairs and other special needs, passengers are advised to contact the Tourist Information hotline.
Restaurants and Bars
The airport has numerous restaurants serving meals, snacks and various refreshments. Most of these concessionaires are on level 2 of Terminals B, D and C. Subway serves hearty subs in Terminal C. The same terminal has a Starbucks branch. Terminal B has Sports Bar.
Terminal D has the American Airlines Admiral's Club, Terminal B the Delta Airlines Crown Room and Terminal C the Continental Airlines President's Club.
Money and ATMs
Banco Popular de Puerto Rico has ATMs on level 2 of Terminals B, C and D. The Departures area of Terminal D, on the second level, has a bank.
There are various duty-free stores and newsstands on level 2 of Terminals B, C and D. Souvenirs Place, Souvenir D'Aquí and Bijoux Boutique are found on level 2 of Terminal D. Yocahu Surf Wear has a location on level 2 of Terminal B.