Isabela, a municipality in the northwest coast of Puerto Rico offers various travel options for tourists. If you live on the east coast of the United States you’ll be happy to know that in just 4 hours you’ll be basking under the Puerto Rican sun.
You have two airport options to fit your travel needs and desired vacation itinerary. See the Map below for the airport locations in relation to Isabela on the island of Puerto Rico.
Flying Option #1 – SJU – San Juan International Airport
Numerous daily flights from various major airlines fly into Luis Munoz Marin Airport (SJU) from many cities in the United States. Isabela is 72 miles west from San Juan. It is about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from SJU to Isabela, depending on traffic and road conditions.
You may take a taxi from the airport, but that would be very costly due to the distance away. The drive is easy and on major roads, so we advise tourists to rent a car at the airport. That way, you may also enjoy exploring all the attractions and things to do in Isabela and nearby places in the Porta del Sol region (west coast).
Vacation Tip: To make your day of arrival easier and have the bonus of exploring another destination in Puerto Rico, we recommend you stay in San Juan 1 or 2 nights in order to explore Old San Juan. After seeing the historic city, leave San Juan after a relaxed breakfast and then head to Isabela.
Flying Option #2 – BQN – Aguadilla International Airport
Airline carriers flying from the USA to the Aguadilla Airport, Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN) include United Airlines, Spirit and JetBlue. Isabela is only about a 10 minute drive east from the Aguadilla Airport to the most popular hotels in town. Because it is best to explore Isabela and/or the west coast with a car, we highly recommend you rent a car ahead of time, to save money, through an online booking service like Priceline.com rather than at the airport. If you’re staying at a resort in Isabela and don’t need transportation around Isabela, taxis are available and waiting outside of the airport after flight arrivals.
Travel Tip: Flying Option #1 (SJU) vs. Option #2 (BQN)
SJU – Many more airlines and convenient flights to choose from, but it is a longer drive to Isabela from San Juan.
BQN – Only 10 minutes away from Isabela, but flights are very limited to three airlines, from only a few select departure locations, and with inconvenient arrival times typically between 1 am and 5 am.
Getting a Car Rental for your stay in Isabela
As we discuss and provide tips for in the Getting Around page, a car rental is the best option for exploring and seeing all of the wonderful attractions in Isabela and the west coast should you choose to venture out further. Isabela has a very long coast, with many beaches, and attractions in many different areas around this Puerto Rico municipality. Both airports mentioned above have many car rental companies and options to choose from.
We recommend using the Priceline.com to book your car rental in advance, you’ll save money and time after landing at the airport. Enter SJU to search for rental cars at the San Juan Airport or BQN for the Aguadilla Airport.
Driving from the San Juan Airport to Isabela
- Upon leaving the airport, take PR Highway 26 OESTE (West) towards San Juan.
- After traveling 3 miles, stay right and take the exit for Highway 22 OESTE (West).
This route has tolls, so as mentioned above, make sure your rental car has an AutoExpreso prepaid toll sticker for traveling to Isabela.
- After driving an hour + on PR 22, this route will merge with / become PR Route 2 OESTE after passing Arecibo and before Hatillo.
- Stay on PR 2 OESTE for another 25-30+ minutes, approx. 13.4 miles.
- Just after crossing the concrete bridge into Isabela, you’ll immediately see a large “ISABELA” sign on the right. Do not exit here as it leads to the Guajataca Tunnel and Beach area only.
- Take the next right, after just a 1/4 mile or so, and exit off of PR 2 and onto PR 113 (there is a large green road sign for Route 113 just before the road/turn. This route has much less traffic than PR 2 and conveniently runs west past the Royal Isabela Golf Resort.) If staying at Royal Isabela, the entrance is on the right at roadside km marker 4.0.
- Continue on 113 for approximately 4.5 miles to the Isabela town plaza/square.
- Once there, you must take a right due to intersecting with a one-way street.
- Take the second street left, then first right turn onto PR 466 (sign there says HACIA 466).
- Route 466 goes downhill toward the ocean, curves left, then runs along the coastline where there are numerous beach access points, restaurants, and places to stay. PR 466 becomes 4466 at Jobos Beach which heads west past more lodging and beaches. (See Interactive Map provided below)
Driving from the Aguadilla Airport
- When exiting the rental car lot at the airport, turn right onto Hangar Road and follow it to the end until you must make a left turn.
- Take the first right to get onto PR 110 South.
- Drive just over 2 miles, approx. 5 minutes, and make a left turn onto PR 4466 at the flashing yellow signal light just after km marker 30.3 (Brisas del Atlantico restaurant is on the right). This road provides access to lodging and beaches and becomes PR 466 near Jobos Beach. Again, PR 466 is the main beach access, lodging, and restaurants access route in Isabela. (See Interactive Map provided below)
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