Puerto Rico Update #5 and FAQ

Thank you again for your support and care.  Below is a list of encouraging facts about the island’s recovery as of 9 AM today:

  1. Power – Electricity has been fully restored, even in southern Puerto Rico. Our staff, including those in the south, already have power.
  2. Points of entry/exit – The SJU International Airport, the San Juan Cruise Port, the Ponce Cruise Port and Airport, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, attractions and hotels in northern Puerto Rico, including areas around San Juan, continue to be open and fully functional.
  3. No alerts/warnings – The U.S. Geological Service, as well as the Puerto Rico Seismic Network, have stated that there are no tsunami or any other warning, advisory, or travel watch in effect for the island. Airlines canceled travel warnings.

As stated by Discover Puerto Rico, “Puerto Rico is open for tourism. This week alone we welcomed nearly 56,000 cruise passengers into our San Juan Port. Power in Old San Juan has been fully restored and progress is being made. All major hotels are business as usual. All flights are operating normally to/from the San Juan Luis Muñoz Marin, Ponce and Aguadilla airports. Taxis and ride share options are also available.

The Ponce Cruise Port, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, and major attractions such as El Morro, El Yunque, San Cristobal Fort, including all areas around San Juan, continue to be open for business. Our beaches, natural attractions, restaurants and travel service providers are ready to share Puerto Rico’s unique culture and warm hospitality with travelers. For the latest information and travel updates, visit DiscoverPuertoRico.com.”

We encourage visitors to continue to show their support as tourism is vital. Tourism fuels local economy and helps in the recovery. We stand with impacted communities recovering in the southern region. We are confident that Puerto Rico’s resilient spirit will shine through now more than ever.

  • What is Vamonos’ position regarding the earthquakes in Puerto Rico?

    Vamonos has been monitoring the seismic activity on the island since the earthquakes occurred in the south almost two weeks ago. We understand that smaller aftershocks are normal and expected for about two-three more weeks. We are aware that some buildings and structures suffered damage in the southern region. We are saddened that some of the communities we serve in Guánica and Yauco are still affected. Thankfully, the rest of the island was not affected. Our staff, hotels, and local partners are well, have power, and are eager to welcome travelers.


  • How does Vamonos handle natural disasters during and after a tour?

    Our number one priority is to keep our groups safe and together. We take natural disasters very seriously and monitor these situations closely. We will not travel to areas without power or water or any areas with unsafe structures.

    Since day one, we initiated our crisis and emergency protocol. We sent staff to the affected areas, to partner hotels, vendors, and to our communities to assess any damages. Our goal is to make sure they are open and safe for our travelers and properly inspected.

  • Has Vamonos ever initiated their emergency plan / crisis protocol during a tour?

    Vamonos had a group staying at a hotel near the epicenter of the main earthquake when it hit a week and a half ago. As soon as it hit, our tour manager on site, along with his staff, initiated our emergency plan and followed the necessary steps to keep the group safe, away from harm, and together. We immediately moved the group away from the affected area, checked out of the southern hotel, changed the entire itinerary/reservations for the remainder of days, and moved the tour to the north region. The tour was never cut short; students and staff left pleased and in love with Puerto Rico.

  • Will Vamonos cancel any 2020 Puerto Rico groups due to the earthquakes?

    The U.S. Geological Service, U.S. Department of State, and CDC have not issued any travel warning or advisory for Puerto Rico. Airlines have lifted their travel alerts. 90% of our partners, vendors, and hotels are fully operational and open for service. We see no evidence of the destination being uninhabitable, undergoing force majeure, or under any travel alert.

    According to this evidence, we will not cancel or postpone any groups departing after February 1st, 2020. We are confident that our Puerto Rico itineraries are safe and ready for student travel

  • Will Vamonos offer groups any tour itinerary, date, or destination flexibility?

    Until further notice, Vamonos will avoid the southern region in our itineraries as much as possible. We will not stay at hotels in the south in the coming month. All itineraries are group leader-flexible and “editable” to meet the groups’ needs. We are also offering our non-ticketed February and March groups the opportunity to move their tour dates to the spring or early summer in 2020. Groups can also look into changing their 2020 Puerto Rico tour to another destination such as Miami, San Antonio, Panama, Costa Rica, or similar. All tour funds will be applied to new itineraries at no penalty.

  • Are there any additional costs associated to changing a group tour?

    Our main goal is to avoid extra charges as much as possible. We strongly urge groups to keep their tour dates and simply change the itinerary as needed to avoid additional costs. If new dates or destinations are considered, we need to know immediately. Travelers may expect additional charges such as airline change fees, higher airfare costs, and/or other associated vendor charges.

  • What if a group or traveler cancels their participation on the tour?

    Travelers booked to travel with Vamonos agreed to our terms and conditions upon enrollment. Vamonos has offered groups and travelers tour flexibility plus itinerary, date, and destination alternatives. Therefore, groups and/or travelers who cancel will be subject to our cancellation penalty. Vamonos will, however, give individual travelers that choose to cancel the option to apply any unrefunded funds to a future trip with Vamonos.

  • Will Vamonos offer earthquake-relief service-learning options for their Puerto Rico groups?

    2020 groups interested in service should expect different opportunities for earthquake-relief work. Let us know if you are interested. Presently, we are encouraging travelers to donate and help the following service partners:

    We are considering initiating a fund again to help victims of the earthquake as we did after Hurricane Maria. We will also reach out to our affected vendors and friends in the towns of Yauco and Guánica.

Thank you for your support and care now and throughout our 20+ years of Puerto Rico student travel. The safety of our travelers will always be our number one priority.

We’ve walked this path before; Hurricanes Irma and Maria were devastating. With the help of so many, Puerto Rico and its partners showed strong resiliency and recovered. We feel emboldened by our experience in the face of this new adversity. We know what to do – we will help each other, we will work together, and we will recover. ¡Puerto Rico se levanta!

For further information, contact your client relations representative or email us at: info@vamonostours.com


Jorge Pardo

President, Vamonos Tours Inc.