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Puerto Rico - Frequently Asked Questions
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Puerto Rico | Frequently Asked Questions

General Info, Travel Info, & FAQs are provided to assist with your vacation.

What is the population?
The population of Puerto Rico was estimated at 3,927,188 in July 2006.

How big is the country/island?
Puerto Rico is about 100 miles long by 35 miles wide for a total of about 3,435 sq miles.

Can I drink the tap water?
Tap water is safe to drink in main urban areas. In undeveloped areas drink bottled water or water that has been boiled.

What are the best things to buy here?
Although there is no duty-free zone, there is no sales tax. Luxury designer goods include luggage, clothing, accessories, jewellery, china and crystal. Plaza Las Américas is the Caribbean's largest shopping mall.

For souvenirs with local flavour look for papier maché or coconut masks, intricate handmade lace, wooden figurines of saints and religious scenes, jewellery, cigars, rum and coffee.

Are there nude beaches?
Nude sunbathing is illegal in Puerto Rico.

What are the main industries?
The main industries are pharmaceuticals, electronics, apparel, food products and tourism.

What is the drinking/gambling age?
The legal age for both drinking and gambling is 18.

What native dishes should I try?
The national dish is asopao, a tomato gumbo with chicken or shellfish. Other local dishes to try include mofongo (mashed plantains and meat or seafood in a garlic tomato sauce), carne guisada puertorriqueña (Puerto Rican beef stew), tostones (fried green plantains), pastelón de carne (meat pie filled with salt pork, ham and spices), carne frita con cebolla (fried beefsteak with onions), cabrito en fricasé (goat meat fricassee), carne mechada (larded pork or beef loin with chorizo sausage), arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), mojo isleño (fried fish in a tomato sauce), camarones en cerveza (shrimp in beer), jueyes hervidos (boiled crab), mero (grouper), dorado (mahi mahi), chapin (trunkfish), chillo or pargo (red snapper), capitan (hogfish), sama (muton snapper) and langosta (Caribbean spiny lobster).

Can I use my calling card from here?
For directory assistance dial 411.

AT&T: Service is available for use with AT&T Calling Cards, AT&T Corporate Cards, American Express, Diners Club, Discover/NOVUS, MasterCard and Visa. Dial 1-800-CALL-ATT + area code + local number and follow the voice prompts.

BT: Dial 1-800-854-4826, input your account number and PIN, then dial the number you require.

Canada Direct: Service is available with calling cards from Bell, MTS, Aliant, SaskTel and Telus. Dial 1-800-496-7123.

MCI MinutePass: Dial the access number on the back of the card.

Sprint: Dial 1-800-877-8000 and follow the voice prompts.

For more information see the section in General Info: Telecommunications.

How should I dress to go out?
Dress in Puerto Rico is casual, and lightweight summer clothes are sufficient. In the evenings dress is smart casual in casinos and at nicer restaurants. You may want to bring a light sweater/jacket for evenings.

Can I use my hair dryer and electric shaver?
Electricity is 110 AC, 60 Hz, which is the same as in North America.

How much should I tip?
Tip waiters and taxi drivers about 15%. Some hotels and restaurants automatically add a 15% service charge to the bill so it is not necessary to leave more, unless you feel the service was above average.

Disclaimer: Information is provided as a service to visitors and is updated regularly. All information should be verified prior to travel.

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