Why Puerto Rico & What's Included?
Leader & Participant Manuals (PDF)
Full Hour-by-Hour Trip Itinerary
Puerto Rico Church/Ministry Partner
Experienced Staff to Guide Your Trip
Cultural Orientation & Immersion
Well-Crafted Ministry Options
Worshiping with a Local Church
Service Project Materials
Delicious Meals & Snacks
Purified Drinking Water
Evening Worship Meetings
Final Day Recreation
Long-Term Church Partnership Opportunity
Online Trip Portal to View and Update Trip Information
Puerto Rico Profile
A lush green island in the emerald Caribbean Sea, Puerto Rico is a lively place with a Latin feel. Beaches line the coasts, surfers hit the breaks, and fishermen ply the waters offshore. Average temps are in the 70s and 80s and refreshing tradewinds roll in off the water.
San Juan is a busy, modern city on the north-east coast of the island. As you venture inland switchback roads take you up the mountains and into the rainforest. Life moves slower in the many small towns and villages in the hill country. Puerto Ricans are, as a rule, friendly and welcoming with ready smiles.
Hurricane Maria was the catalyst that brought us to Puerto Rico, and we will help the most vulnerable citizens rebuild for years to come, but it goes deeper than that. Our calling is to partner long-term with healthy local churches as they seek to be ever more effective at reaching out with the love of Christ.
Puerto Rico by the Numbers
56 – Average annual rainfall in inches
52 – Inches of rainfall from Hurricane Maria
81 – Average temperature in Fahrenheit
70 – Average temperature in the mountainous interior
196 – Average days with a rainshower
12% – unemployment
45% – poverty rate
72 – Billion dollars of national debt
46 – Percent of national income from manufacturing
200,000 – Puerto Ricans moved to Florida by late November 2017
25 – Percent, possible population loss by 2020
406 – Years as a Spanish colony
122 – Years as a US Territory
48 – Number of endangered species that live on Puerto Rico
600 – Number of “uncommon” plant and animal species on the island
Clean-up, repair work, and painting in homes and churches
Skilled construction repairing/rebuilding homes
Attend and participate in your partner church
Visit homes of families in need, providing supplies/blessing bags
Homeless, senior citizens, hospitals, children’s homes, etc.
Outreach events, cookouts, evangelism, prayer walking, etc.
Sports camps or pick-up games of soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.
Bible studies, parenting classes, lay-leader training, sewing, etc.
Attend, participate in, or lead youth events or bible study
Attend, participate in, or lead children’s events, Sunday school, or VBS
*Choosing this option may incur an additional cost
Prices & Registration
Early Bird Pricing
$ 799Per Participant
$ 749Per Participant
$ 699Per Participant
More Info at a Glance
- All 2024 dates available for registration except closed dates.
- Trip Prices reflect a 6-day, 5-night mission trip/person
- What’s included?
- Additional Days: $139/person/day
- Camp/Dorm Stay (*NEW for 2024*): $25/person/day
- Guest House Lodging: $45/person/day
- Additional Rooms for Guest House/Hotel Lodging: $120/day
- On-Location Transportation: $29/person/day
Please contact us for your customized trip estimate.
CLOSED DATES: July 3-5, 2024
Private Trip Recreation Options
Old San Juan / El Morro / Beach
(for groups staying in northern Puerto Rico)
After a fulfilling week of ministry, teams will explore the cobblestone streets of historic Old San Juan and explore El Morro, the 500-year-old Spanish fort that stands guard over San Juan Harbor. Teams will then visit a local beach where they can swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, beach comb, sit in a chair under a palm tree, or snorkel or surf, when available. The day will conclude with a meal at a local restaurant.
Ponce / Shopping and Exploring / Beach
(for groups staying in southern Puerto Rico)
Teams will have an opportunity to explore the city of Ponce, widely known as the “Pearl of the South.” Ponce has an abundance of culture, great museums and is rich in history. It’s one of the largest and oldest cities in Puerto Rico and is a great place to grab some local cuisine and shop for a few souvenirs and gifts to take back home. The latter part of the day will be spent relaxing on one of Puerto Rico’s beautiful southern beaches, far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life. Those who want to swim in the Caribbean Sea will be encouraged to do so! The day will conclude with a meal at a local restaurant.
If your group has visited Old San Juan and El Morro before or would like to try a different recreation option, here are some opportunities to consider. Please register for these options through the Thirst Missions office at least 2 months prior to your trip. Each of the options must be done as an entire group.
El Yunque / Old San Juan and El Morro or Beach
Visit El Yunque National Forest, the only tropical rainforest managed by US Forest Service. The ample rainfall (over 20 feet a year in some areas) creates a jungle-like setting with lush foliage, crags, waterfalls, and rivers. The forest has a number of trails from which the jungle-like territory’s flora and fauna can be appreciated. You’ll visit the Angelito Trail in El Yunque where you’ll take an easy ½ mile hike to a pleasant river swimming hole. While there, explore the rocky river terrain, relax in the cool, refreshing water of the rainforest, or jump into the river from a small rope swing. Conclude the day with a visit to Old San Juan and El Morro or a local beach and a group meal at a local restaurant.
Recreation, Transportation and Supper. $45/person
Indian Cave / Bishops Pond Beach
Explore the northern coast of Puerto Rico and enjoy a beautiful view along the rocky coastline. Those who desire can traverse a rock outcropping and miniature cave at Cueva del Indio (Indian Cave). Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on a nearby beach and cove adjacent to the picturesque Arecibo Lighthouse and Historical Park. This tour offers something for everyone and is spectacular in scenery, while providing exercise and an opportunity to swim in the Caribbean Sea. The day will conclude with a meal at a local restaurant.
Recreation, Transportation and Supper. $45/person
Toro Verde Adventure Park
Group members can choose between the following two options:
The longest zip line in the Americas (second longest in the world), with a 1.57 MILES LONG cable, equivalent to 28 football fields. A unique experience in the world that starts when you step on the suspension bridge 155 ft. long and 33 ft. high. This takes you to the launch pad where you finally come face to face with the scariest attraction on the island reaching speeds up to 95 mph, at more than 1,250 ft. high. Minimum weight: 100 lbs. Maximum weight: 270 lbs. There are no age restrictions but must meet a minimum height of 4.5 ft
Transportation, Monster Zip Line and Supper. $100/person
Eight exciting runs, each with arrival and departure platforms and small walks across multiple platforms. The speed of the cable varies with wind speed. Minimum height: 4 feet. Maximum weight: 280 pounds
Transportation, Regular Zip Line and Supper. $100/person
Registration for recreation and any other trip upgrades can be done during registration or after registration through your trip portal, that’s assigned after registering.
FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What are the maximum and minimum group sizes?
Our private trips can accommodate groups as small as 4 people and as large as 50+. Reduced pricing applies for groups larger than 10 people.
What are the Mission Trip prices?
All trip details are available on our registration page.
Is Puerto Rico safe?
Yes! Puerto Rico is a United States territory and is governed by most United States laws. We always travel in groups, our staff have local knowledge, and we are invited by local pastors and communities. Quality hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies are a short drive away from all areas we’ll serve and stay. We do our very best to provide safe and healthy food, and we are experienced in leading teams. There are no guarantees in life, but we have never had a major safety issue in Puerto Rico or in any of our mission trips over 10 years in ministry. God calls us to go, and we go wisely and pray he will go before us and guide our journey.
What denominations do you work with?
Every year we work with a wide variety of denominations from teams in the US and Canada. Our base of church partners in Puerto Rico is varied as well. We strive to match the team with an appropriate church partner and location.
What is the trip length?
6 days/5 nights. See our Prices and Registration section for specifics
What medications and shots are needed?
None are required. We ask that each person visit their own doctor or travel nurse to see what is personally needed to stay up to date. We have a list of recommended medications for those traveling to Puerto Rico in our trip handbook, but nothing is required by Thirst Missions. Generally Puerto Rico – a US territory – is a very safe and healthy place to visit.
What travel documents do I need?
All adult United States citizens only need a driver’s license or another official form of identification. Youth under 18 need a notarized letter allowing them to travel without both parents. No passport is required for United States citizens.
You know what’s great? When you arrive in San Juan you just walk off the plane, grab your luggage, and exit the airport like you would in any other US city. There’s no drama with immigration or customs!
Is airfare included in the trip cost?
No, but the whole trip is all inclusive from arrival in Puerto Rico until departure from Puerto Rico. Airfares vary too greatly to include in the trip cost. However, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the typical rates and flight options from most US cities.
Each group is responsible for booking their own flights that arrive within a reasonable timeframe so as to be ready at our pickup times and on the exact trips dates registered for. We have a travel agent we work closely with if you’d like help booking your flights.
Can I make contact with my loved ones while on my trip?
Phones work in Puerto Rico with most major US carriers, so communication is generally easy and good. That being said we strongly discourage trip participants from using their phones for calling, texting, going online, or on social media during the trip. Most people use their phone as their main camera, and that’s fine – just put it in airplane mode.
The ministry and relationships built when putting our personal devices down is eye-opening. Our philosophy is no news is good news. We encourage each group leader to to post trip updates and send pictures back home on behalf of each group. In addition we post pictures every day from every trip on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thirstmissions. In the case of emergencies we have open and direct lines of immediate communication on every trip.
I have special dietary needs. Can these be met?
There is a section on the Individual Registration form each person fills out prior to the trip in which these needs can be listed. We read these over thoroughly and pass them along to our cooks. The food on our trips is plentiful and amazing!
We do our very best to accommodate all diets and diet restrictions, but please realize we are in a different culture without all the options we have back home. Feel free to bring supplemental food options with you if this will ease the anxiety of not knowing if there will be food which fit your tastes or diet.
Is the $499 registration fee deducted from my final payment?
No, it’s used right away to offset a small portion of planning and preparing for your group’s trip. Please read through our generous payment policy and cancellation agreement.
Where will our team stay?
Lodging will all be either a floor stay, camp/dorm stay or a guesthouse stay.
A floor stay would be at a local church, which would require the team to bring air mattresses, pillows, and a sleeping bag or sleeping bag liner for bedding. (Think indoor camping!)
A camp/dorm stay would mean shared bathrooms, physical bed provided, group lodging, but you will need to bring your own bedding.
A guest house stay would mean each person would have their own bunk with linens provided. Your consultant will let you know how to plan.
What about on-location transportation?
On-location transportation is not included in the price of the mission trip. Feel free to book your own team’s vans, SUVs, or other transport. If you’d like Thirst Mission to arrange transportation, we’d be glad to do so for $29/person/day.
Are service project materials provided?
Approximately 10% of each trip’s cost is dedicated toward materials. If you see a need and are interested in contributing during your trip, please see one of our staff members and we can talk through options for additional contributions of materials or donations. In order to keep trip costs down we ask that each participant bring the tools/supplies listed on the supplies list.
What additional costs are there?
Not many, our trips are all-inclusive. The only additional money that most people spend is for souvenirs, offerings in church, extra snacks or desserts, and travel money for meals at the airports.
Feel free to bring a credit card if you feel you will want to purchase more expensive souvenirs. Most tourist and souvenir shops accept credit cards and the US dollar is used everywhere, there is no need to exchange money.
How can I stay in contact with people once I return home?
You can use Facebook and Instagram or email, call, or text just like you do with your friends back home. Staying in touch with new friends in Puerto Rico is such a blessing and benefit to going and serving.