The Puerto Rico experience

Visiting Puerto Rico and its surrounding islands enables a new vision of the Caribbean and adds an extra dimension to a yacht charter .Since the music video to the song Despacito captured the iconic streets of San Juan in 2017, the world has been curious what Puerto Rico really has to offer. If you’re in need of inspiration for your next bareboat or crewed catamaran, Puerto Rico will most definitely provide you with an unforgettable experience.

The colourful shores of Puerto Rico

Broker Alice gives tips on how to see the real Spanish Caribbean and how to make the most out of your yacht charter.

Top Tips for a Puerto Rico Charter

Eat like a local

The food in Puerto Rico is unrivalled. In 2017, Anthony Bourdain dedicated a televised episode to Puerto Rican cuisine. Bourdain entitled this episode ‘Parts Unknown’ due to a variation of recipes and tastes that put a Creole twist to Spanish cuisine. Local restaurants and street food are the best way to experience the best of Puerto Rico.

Expect casual diners, exceptional street food, variations of locally sourced plantain and importantly iconic tapas dishes with a unique Puerto Rican spin. The combination of tropical juices and rum make for perfect cocktails. Happy Hour never ends! The Puerto Rican archipelago created the Pina Colada however there are many other cocktails to sample!

Dance like no one’s watching

On the beaches and on every island, the nightlife and dancing is a crucial part of the Puerto Rican culture. An evening in Puerto Rico combines Latino and Caribbean traditional dancing, ensuring a truly unique experience.

Visit Flamenco Beach

This beach is home to many species of tropical fish including parrotfish and blue tang. Flamenco Beach is a popular surfing destination due to the waves created when the surf breaks on the reef. Located near to Culebra, this beach is a must see!

Gaze around Old San Juan

San Juan is known for being the backdrop for the song Despascito. Exuberant streets, vibrant culture and an amazing food scene depict the old streets of San Juan. The unexpected can be found from a city enriched with history, culture, secrets and all night latino dancing. San Juan is made up of a kaleidoscope of tropically-coloured houses. It is easy to become intoxicated by the blue cobblestone streets, artistic walls, restaurants and museums that San Juan has to offer its visitors. This city is an Instagrammers dream!

Contact the Boatbookings team to start planning your yacht charter in Puerto Rico today!

Top 10 tips for your bareboat yacht charter

Top 10 tips for a bareboat yacht charter with Boatbookings Broker Alice shares her top 10 tips prior to doing a bareboat yacht charter. Including the do’s and don’t to make sure that you have a great charter on the water.

1- Bring a hard copy of your sailing certifications.

A hard copy of the relevant sailing certifications is due upon embarkation of the yacht in any country. If you cannot bring the sailing certifications with you, you may not be allowed on the boat.

Note that the specifications for sailing certifications vary from country to country. 

European requirements for a yacht charter: 

  • Croatia: Day Skipper/ ICC/ International equivalent + valid VHF licence for smaller catamarans and most monohulls. For larger catamarans in Croatia, the yacht master certification is sometimes required. Greece:
  • Greece: Day Skipper and ICC are often required.
  • Mediterranean: Day skipper (or equivalent)/ ICC.
  • Caribbean: Detailed sailing resume with charter experience on similar sized vessels.
  • Asia: Detailed resume alongside qualifications in certain areas.

Bring soft bag luggage onto the boat.

This is not a mandatory requirement for a bareboat charter however it certainly helps with space onboard. Typically on a monohull or a catamaran, the cabins are not oversized so taking a soft bag does help with storage onboard. It also saves the decks and prevents any harm or damage being caused to the boat.

3- Be aware of extra costs 

The bareboat concept is essentially just the boat. Other costs such as cleaning, a starter pack, and a handling fee are usually covered in the charter fee. Mooring fees differ from port to port however can range for a bareboat from €25- €60 per night. These are payable in cash on spot so remember to take cash with you.

4- If you have chosen a skipper- trust the skipper’s knowledge. 

Although your broker can give you an insight into the best boats, destinations, restaurants, bars and sailing grounds for your charter the skipper is the best person for itinerary discussion. Upon embarkation, you will be given both a safety briefing and an itinerary briefing for the charter. Be aware that a 10% gratuity of the charter fee is usually given at the client’s discretion.

5-  All bareboat charters in the Mediterranean run on a Saturday – Saturday basis. This is not the same for the Americas, the Caribbean or Asia. 

Most of the boats are chartered on a back to back basis throughout the summer (high) season in the Mediterranean. Embarkation time is at 1700H to set sail the following morning. Disembarkation is usually early morning and requires the charter vessel to be back in port the prior evening.

Mediterranean charters also solely run on a weekly basis and cannot do 10-day charters in high season. Most reputable yacht charter bases only run charters on a Saturday- Saturday basis.

In the Caribbean and Asia, charters do not run on a Saturday- Saturday basis. You can rent a boat for any period of time in these charter destinations.  

6-  Using the base manager as a go-to throughout the week. 

The base managers are always a phone call away throughout the week. If you require any assistance with regards to the boat, breakdowns and general maintenance issues throughout the week keep the base manager as your first port of call. Upon embarkation, if any issues are encountered, the base manager must be made aware of this.

7- Reserving moorings for the charter. 

This is up to you to organise if you have specific marinas you wish to stay in. In the majority of cases, you can just check-in and out of the marinas however, it is sometimes recommended to reserve a berthing spot. Marinas in Croatia are continuously busier and you need to be there pretty early on in the day to get a spot in your preferred marina.

8- Transportation to and from the boat. 

Boatbookings can only assist with this service if the base provides it. The Boatbookings charter brokers organise the boat, not the transportation to and from the boat for bareboat charters. Taxis are always available from the airport and some locations have UBER as an option. 

Uber is a great option in the South of France and Croatia for your yacht charter. Be sure to check out Uber Boat in Croatia and to look at Uber Copter in the South of France to get you to your charter. 

9- Provisions 

Some bases provide the service to do online provisioning prior to embarkation. This is not always the case and varies on a base-base basis. There is always the option of heading to a supermarket prior to embarkation on the yacht. It is advisable to buy basic provisions such as sunscreen, toilet roll, cleaning products, drinking water, and dry foods.

10- Take photographs and make memories for a lifetime. 

Catch sunsets, swim in the clearest waters in the world and make memories with friends and family that are unforgettable. No matter what size the boat is, the waters and destinations are all the same and pave for the best holiday that the globe has to offer. Be sure to invest in an underwater GoPro before heading on the charter. 

Get in touch today for any bareboat/crewed charter requests.