Puerto Rico: A Destination Like No Other

Isla Verde Beach web.jpg
Isla Verde Beach

The beautiful white-sand beaches, laid back culture and wide range of culinary experiences make Puerto Rico a must-see destination, which is why RCA are headed to there in 2017 for the Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo.

Top 5 Reasons to Join Us in San Juan

  1. Melting Pot of Cultures 
    Influence from the Indo-Caribbean, Spain, Africa and North America blend together to create the unique Puerto Rican heritage. These diverse influences are evident in architecture, lifestyle, music and most importantly… the food! Get to know the local flavor of Puerto Rico during the conference and planned excursions. Learn more about Puerto Rican culture.
  2. Cost Effective
    Travel to Puerto Rico and the conference hotel are very cost effective and comparable to last year’s conference in Denver. Learn more about the cost benefits of this location. 
  3. No Passport Needed
    Puerto Rico is a United States territory island, so no passports or visas necessary for United States citizens. As a bonus, U.S. citizens can travel freely in and out of the island without going through immigration or customs. If you are a resident of the U.S., click here to learn more about your passport. If you live outside of the U.S., you can find more information here.
  4. Easy Access to a Tropical Experience 
    Located in the Northeastern Caribbean, there are over 588 non-stop flights to main cities in the United States every week. Air Canada, Allegiant, American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, United, and WestJet are among the many carriers that service San Juan’s major airport — Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU).
  5. World-class Culinology® Education and Networking
    As always, you can expect to receive education sessions, demos and workshops that will expand your knowledge at the Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo. From keynote speaker Ali Bouzari, Ph.D. and Professional Culinology® Competitions to connecting with fellow Culinologists and research and development professionals, the possibilities to learn and network are endless  and they are all taking place in San Juan. Visit our education page to learn more.

Discover the Taste of Puerto Rico 

Not only will you get to experience authentic Puerto Rican cuisine at the Regional Lunch, RCA will be providing many opportunities to discover the local taste! 

Attendee Breakfasts 

On Thursday, enjoy a local egg tortilla with native white cheese, tomato salsa cruda and a Puerto Rican sausage boniato hash. Sponsored by MIC Foods

On Friday, QUALISOY is sponsoring breakfast with a made-to-order omelet station and skillet potatoes, along with eggs with sharp aged cheddar, bacon and sausage.

Speaker/Sponsor Reception 

Taste the different cultural influences of Puerto Rican cuisine with Cuban sweet plantain chorizo "FUFU" mash and "ropa vieja, accompanied by Puerto Rican yucca & bacon mofongo mash chicken in garlic sauce. 

Check out the Regional Lunch and Awards Reception to see what else is on the menu for RCA 2017!  

Travelling to Puerto Rico: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the currency in Puerto Rico? Can I use my credit card for everything?

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth, so the U.S. dollar is used as currency. If you are traveling from the U.S., you do not need to exchange currency. International attendees traveling to Puerto Rico will need to exchange currency, just as you would if you were traveling to any destination in the continental U.S. ATMs are generally easy to find and are available at both of our Headquarters hotels. Most businesses accept major credit cards, but most cab drivers do not, so do bring ample cash if you plan to take cabs.

Do I need to purchase an international phone package?

Most major U.S. wireless carriers have good service in Puerto Rico. Since Puerto Rico is a U.S. Commonwealth, an international phone package is not required with most carriers. That said, we do recommend you call your wireless carrier prior to departure to ensure you will be covered at no additional charge.

What is the current weather in Puerto Rico? 

Click here to check Puerto Rico's current weather.

What language is spoken in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico has two official languages: Spanish and English. Tourism is a large part of Puerto Rico’s economy, so you will find that most people speak English.

What is the easiest way to get around Puerto Rico?

Cabs are readily available at the airport, both Headquarters hotels, and in Old San Juan. Most cab drivers do not accept credit cards, so do bring ample cash if you plan to take cabs.

Cab fares are based on the amount of passengers in the cab, as well as how far you’re going. A cab from Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) to both Headquarters hotels costs $20-$30. A cab from each of the Headquarters hotels to Old San Juan costs $10-$15. These costs are based on 2-3 people in a cab and could increase if you have more passengers. We encourage you to ask your cab driver what the fare will be before you start your trip.

Uber is available in Puerto Rico, but Uber drivers are not allowed at the airport or at hotel properties.

Is tipping in Puerto Rico different than tipping in the U.S.?

As in the continental U.S., a 15% to 20% tip is customary. 

If I rent a car, is there anything I need to know about driving in Puerto Rico?

If you do need to drive anywhere, keep in mind that gas is sold by the liter and distance is measured in kilometers. Speed, however, is measured in miles per hour. Many national and local car rental companies operate at the airport and at key locations in the tourist districts.

Do I have to bring converters to charge my electronic devices?

Electrical outlets in Puerto Rico are the same as outlets in the U.S., so if you are traveling from the U.S., converters are not necessary. International attendees traveling to Puerto Rico will need to purchase converters, just as you would if you were traveling to any destination in the continental U.S.

Looking to Make This Trip a Vacation? .

There are all kinds of things to do in Puerto Rico! Take a look at this map and this website to get a sense of everything Puerto Rico has to offer. Trip Advisor is also a great resource for planning your vacation.

There are several other destinations in the Caribbean that you can travel to from San Juan as well. St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix are all U.S. Commonwealths, so U.S. citizens who travel there do not need a passport. Vieques is a small island off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast and is a part of Puerto Rico, so U.S. citizens do not need a passport to travel here either.

Zika Virus: What You Need to Know

As we look forward to the 2017 Annual Conference & Culinology® Expo, we want to acknowledge the spread of the Zika virus to Puerto Rico. RCA would like to ensure our event attendees, exhibitors and sponsors are both informed and prepared for all island conditions and experiences.

The current Level 2 Advisory from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) encourages travelers to exercise precaution. The advisory is not about restricting travel; instead, it is about using the appropriate preventive measures. Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and therefore falls under the same guidelines for prevention as other stateside cities and destinations that have also have seen recent Zika cases.

Puerto Rico is historically well prepared for mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria, dengue fever, and now Zika. They are experts in mosquito abatement as they practice mosquito control at all times. Cases of Zika in Puerto Rico have largely been found in outlying areas of the island and not in the metropolitan areas where the RCA conference will be located. And while Puerto Rico has a number of cases of Zika, there are also many reported cases in the United States as well, including Florida.

In tropical climates, mosquitoes are unavoidable, but can be minimized. The conference locations — the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and the Puerto Rico Convention Center — do regular mosquito spraying and fogging throughout the area. The World Health Organization (WHO) advises protection through use of insect repellent and by covering as much of the body as possible with long, light-colored clothing. Upon check-in at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel, guests will be provided with recommendations for preventive measures and information on complimentary insect repellant, in addition to travel size repellant in each room.

Meet Puerto Rico, an organization that promotes the destination for meetings, conventions, trade shows, and incentive groups, has seen an increase in events hosted in Puerto Rico despite the outbreak. It has reported a 7 percent increase in meetings and conventions business booked for June to August, compared to the same time period in 2015. Since March, it has added 57 new bookings, such as conferences and other events, that will take place through 2017. Click here to view the Zika Statement from Meet Puerto Rico. 

RCA will continue to monitor developments related to the Zika virus. For the most current information on the Zika virus, please refer to the CDC website.

Get the facts about Zika here and get answers to frequently asked questions from Meet Puerto Rico.