Is Isabela Safe For Tourists In 2024? – All You Need To Know

Isabela is a town located on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico.

It is known for its laid back surf culture and beautiful beaches.

But is it safe for tourists?

I’ve been traveling in Puerto Rico for many years, and I’ve spent lots of time in Isabela, so I know it’s very safe!

In this article, I’ll cover all you need to know about being safe in Isabela:

What is Isabela?
Is Isabela Puerto Rico safe for tourists?
Is Isabela safe at night?
Is Isabela safe for solo travelers?
Is Isabela safe to walk around?
Is Isabela disability-friendly?
Other frequently asked questions


What is Isabela?

Isabela is a town located on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico.

image of an aerial view of beach in Isabela
Isabela is known for its beautiful beaches and laid back vibe.

Isabela is known as a surfing town, and is often referred to as “the garden of the northwest.”

Learn more about Isabela in the video below:


Is Isabela Puerto Rico safe for tourists?

Yes, tourists are safe here. 

image of a man surfing
Jobos Beach offers consistent waves that are good for a variety of surfing skill sets.

The biggest threat to tourists in Isabela is petty theft, like pickpocketing. This can be easily avoided by leaving valuable possessions locked at your vacation rental, traveling in pairs or groups, and keeping a close eye on your belongings. 

Puerto Rico has recreational drug use and trafficking issues similar to any other place in the United States, but these are very unlikely to impact tourists as long as you are not seeking out recreational drugs. 

If you’re interested in the specifics of safety issues and tips while traveling in Puerto Rico, take a look at Is Puerto Rico Safe For Travel? 12 Things You Need To Know


Is Isabela safe at night?

Isabela is safe at night, yes. 

image of a famous Indian face
La Cara del Indio is a rock sculpture in honor of a native chief Cacique Mabodamaca. This monument marks your entrance to Isabela and the west side of Puerto Rico.

Especially near Playa Villa Pesquera and the town center, Isabela is very safe at night. 

Often there will be restaurants open until late near the beach, sometimes with karaoke, and the town center is usually quiet by 11 pm. 

Some good things to always remember when traveling are to keep your valuables at your rental and to stay on well-lit and well-known routes at night. Traveling with more than one person when you can is also a good idea. 


Is Isabela safe for solo travelers?

Yes! In fact, the Isabela locals are very friendly and social, so if you are traveling alone this is a good place to make new friends. 

image of a beach in Isabela
Isabela is safe to explore for solo travelers, and offers beautiful beaches to read a book or meet other people.

Remember when traveling alone to take extra precautions when meeting others and with your belongings, and to limit your intake if you’re drinking alcohol alone. 


Is Isabela safe to walk around?

Isabela is safe to walk around, although the further you get from downtown the more difficult it is to walk. 

image of Jobos beach
Jobos Beach and the central areas of Isabela are walkable, but a car is recommended.

Isabela is large, and a lot of it requires a car to travel, but in places like the town center and the beaches, you’ll be safe walking.


Is Isabela disability-friendly?

People with mobility aids may have a hard time in Isabela because there are many steep hills.

Most beaches are accessible in terms of there not being stairs to get to them, but parking is usually first come, first serve, so you may have to walk a distance, and in places like Jobos Beach there are no sidewalks.  

image of Paseo tablado en playa jobos
Paseo Tablado in Playa Jobos offers areas that are quiet and can be accessible for everyone.

Neurodivergent people and those with sensory challenges may have a hard time in Isabela. 

It’s often very loud at the beach, with bars and beachgoers playing music. 

The town center often has events in the park with loud music and bright lights, and there are party buses that honk their horns very loudly and unexpectedly. 

I had a tough time sensorily in Isabela because I was unprepared, but if you bring the sensory aids you need and keep in mind mealtimes and weekends, you’ll love all there is to see. 



FAQ section

Is Isabela safe for female travelers?

Yes! Isabela is no more dangerous than it is for any other gender, and Isabela is very safe overall.

Is Isabela safe for families to stay?

Yes, Isabela is very good for families. There are many beaches to swim, nice vacation rentals, and fun activities in and around the surrounding areas.

Is Isabela safe for LGBTQIA+ travelers?

Yes, Isabela is safe for LGBTQIA+ travelers. Churches are very active in the area, so if you’re uncomfortable with church groups talking to you, you might avoid the town center.


Final thoughts

The town of Isabela is very safe for tourists.

It’s no wonder why Isabela is so popular, and you should definitely visit on your next trip to Puerto Rico!

Enjoy this safe, tucked-away surfing spot without worries. If you are a surfer, then check out our article 10 Best Surf Spots In Puerto Rico, many of which are in Isabela.

There is a bioluminescent bay located just over an hour from Isabela. Learn more about this in our article Bioluminescent Bays Puerto Rico – All You Need To Know.

Is Isabela Safe For Tourists In 2024? – All You Need To Know
Article by

Jenny Diaz

Writer at Growing up in New York and spending my summers in Puerto Rico, I have always loved writing, travel, and animals. I began my career as a travel writer, and after many different jobs in media, I have settled back into what I love most. I enjoy the beach, exploring the island with my family, and coffee!

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