Puerto Rico is a gorgeous place to live because of its tropical setting, laid-back culture, and amazing food.
All of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants are now US citizens by virtue of the territory’s accession in 1917.
Since then, many Americans have relocated to Puerto Rico to enjoy the island’s nature.
It also provides ease of access to the rest of the US.
I have a lot of business friends that have moved to Puerto Rico (also for tax purposes).
If you’re thinking about moving there as well, you’re probably wondering what its best areas are. Well, my team did the research.
Keep reading to find out just that!
The Issue of Safety
Crime rates in Puerto Rico are far lower than those in many major U.S. cities.
However, the accounts of criminal activity are not entirely untrue.
There is gang violence and drug-related crime in Puerto Rico. Heck, I just had a shooting at my local Walmart due to gang violence.
You probably won’t have to deal with any of that.
You can avoid trouble in the city if you’re cautious with your stuff. Don’t draw attention to yourself and stay aware of your surroundings.
Wild animals and getting lost in the jungle aren’t the only dangers in nature.
The weather may be just as scary.
Conditions here are, to put it mildly, unpredictable. Hurricanes can wreak havoc on Puerto Rico (we also get these in my local coastal city of Mobile, Alabama!)
However, you can safely go about your daily life in Puerto Rico as long as you stay away from potentially dangerous situations.
Just like everywhere else, as long as you pay attention to your surroundings and don’t test your boundaries, you’ll be fine.
Related Reading: Safest Places To Live In Mexico – Read More Here.
The Top Places To Live In Puerto Rico
The island of Puerto Rico is attracting an increasing number of long-term residents.
With the low cost of living, it truly is very attractive.
It isn’t just a holiday destination anymore.
Generous tax breaks and the promise of vibrant nightlife and job opportunities in cities like San Juan are motivating factors for some.
Puerto Rico is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, with its world-class diving locations.
It’s also a famous surfing destination.
Moreover, there are a plethora of low-key locales, ideal for retirees who want to take it easy and bask in the sun.
It’s obvious that there’s something for everyone in Puerto Rico, but how do you choose where to settle down? We’ll explore that in this section.
San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital, is renowned for its history, culture, and vibrant nightlife.
It’s the second oldest European town in the Americas, having been founded in 1521, so there’s a lot to see and do if you’re interested in history.
The importance of the city’s port continues to this day.
It serves as the island’s primary commercial and transportation hub.
Travelers flock to this Caribbean metropolis because it has everything a vacationer (or relocator) could want in a tropical destination.
There are many residential districts to choose from in this city of over 380,000 people.
Miramar is a great option if you’re searching for a luxurious residential area.
There are two marinas and constructed waterfront promenades in this dazzling part of the city.
Ocean Park is a great place to visit if you’re looking for beaches.
It’s a residential area with a nice beach and a modest profile because of its location between two larger resorts on the coast.
Travelers who identify as members of the LGBTQIA+ community will find that this location is well-liked by both locals and tourists, too.
The tiny town of Rincón, on the west coast of Puerto Rico, is a great spot to go if you enjoy water activities.
Surfers come from all over the world to ride the waves here because they are among the best in the Caribbean.
All skill levels will enjoy the hollow barrels that form on the sands of Maria’s, Domes, Tres, and Palmas, especially during the colder months of the year.
It’s perfect for advanced surfers looking to improve their skills.
Novices might find the waves a bit intimidating.
Nevertheless, in the calmer months, it is possible to learn with an experienced instructor from one of the renowned surf schools in the area.
In addition to being a great place to surf, Rincón is also a fantastic diving destination for those who love to spend their time below the surface.
It’s ideal for those who don’t want to spend too much time on a boat because of the abundance of fantastic shore and wall dives.
Snorkelers, too, will find these sites to their liking since they provide the freedom to don a mask and snorkel right off the coast.
There are a plethora of tour companies in the area, and anyone interested in seeing more wildlife can go on an excursion to Desecheo Island.
The reefs around this island, which are about 20 kilometers from the coast, are fantastic diving locations where divers can swim with turtles, sharks, rays, and a wide variety of reef species.
Even landlubbers will fall in love with Rincón’s stunning shores (sunset drinks, anyone?).
The town’s population is just over a thousand, so there’s a pleasant, laid-back atmosphere.
Even while employment opportunities are limited in Rincón, the town’s chill surfer attitude has attracted a growing number of artists and entrepreneurs.
Granted, there isn’t as much to do as in other parts of Puerto Rico, but if you love the water and are looking for a laid-back way of life (probably while working remotely), there’s nowhere better.
Humacao is nestled on the east coast of Puerto Rico.
It’s a hotspot for vacationers thanks to the stunning beaches and exciting nightlife.
The Palmas del Mar resort covers an area of three thousand acres and features a full-service spa, several restaurants, and a variety of recreational activities.
If you plan to move there, the town isn’t nearly as touristy once you leave this resort area.
The University of Puerto Rico is settled in Humacao, which is also home to neocolonial architecture, beautiful churches like the Cathedral of the Sweet Name of Jesus, and a small, walkable downtown area.
If that isn’t your thing, have no fear; this small town isn’t nearly as touristy once you leave the resort area.
With eight different beaches and its convenient proximity to the capital, this destination attracts a lot of relocators.
Punta Santiago and Buena Vista are two well-liked beaches.
Humacao is known primarily for its beautiful beaches, but the island also offers a wealth of other natural resources.
Both Humacao and Punta Santiago are protected areas.
There, you can appreciate the natural splendor by renting bikes and pedaling down trails or paddling across lakes.
There are also excellent scuba diving locations on the nearby island of Vieques.
Humacao is the place to be if you’re a seafood fan and want a little bit of everything.
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If you’re thinking of moving to Puerto Rico, Ponce is a great place to consider.
It’s a wonderful spot to relax, take in some seaside air, and learn about the area’s rich cultural heritage.
Ponce, a city on the central Southern coast of Puerto Rico, is often called “the pearl of the south” because of its beautiful location.
Despite being the island’s second largest city, this popular destination doesn’t attract visitors with its glitz and glamour.
Still, the grandiosity of the buildings is immediately apparent as you stroll the main thoroughfares.
Ponce Creole is an original form of architecture that takes cues from a wide range of different styles, including neoclassicism and art deco.
It is built from a combination of stone and wood and has a variety of decorative elements.
The city also plays host to many different festivals all year long and has many historical sites, museums, and art galleries to visit.
Both high-end restaurants like El Negocio de Panchi and street sellers serve delicious food.
Don’t leave without having a Cuarteta sandwich (which often contains four different kinds of meat).
It’s not the most economical location to live, but if you can afford it, you’ll have access to superb healthcare and a plethora of cultural activities and attractions.
Culebra is a small island located about 27 kilometers from the coast of Puerto Rico.
Although its English name, Snake Island, may put some people off, this beautiful island is actually a part of the Spanish Virgin Islands.
Its residents are known as Culebrenses, and there are only around 2,000 of them.
In all likelihood, you will find peace there. You need to be the chill type to live there.
There aren’t any high-rise hotels or major stores, but you will find plenty of greenery and quiet.
There are few sites in Puerto Rico that can compare to the splendor of Culebra.
Weekend visits from the “mainland” are possible, but otherwise,
Culebra is likely to be enjoyed solely by you and the island’s other laid-back locals.
There are at least ten beaches here, including a sizable wilderness area known as Culebra National Wildlife Refuge.
It is a popular nesting ground for turtles, draws many species of birds, and offers excellent scuba diving thanks to its abundant coral reefs.
Dorado, Puerto Rico, offers a luxurious, stress-free lifestyle just 15 kilometers west of the country’s bustling capital.
Dorado’s golden beaches, posh resorts, and high-end facilities (including three outstanding gold courses) make it a popular destination for high rollers in search of a relaxing getaway.
It is a highly secure town with a wide variety of English-speaking schools, making it attractive to families relocating from farther away.
Even while there isn’t as much to do here as there is in the busier towns, and the resort atmosphere isn’t for everyone,
San Juan is just a short drive away whenever you need a taste of the major city’s excitement.
Carolina, “the Land of Giants,” is located just 12 miles east of the capital.
This municipality, established by the Spanish in 1816, was founded on sugarcane and is now home to Luis Munoz Marin International Airport,
Puerto Rico’s primary air gateway. So, it serves as a sort of port of entry for the island of Puerto Rico.
The town as a whole is quite fashionable. There are cultural institutions, places of historical interest, recreational opportunities, and scenic beauty.
Isla Verde Beach, for instance, is a popular destination due to its expansive stretch of golden sand and pristine blue ocean.
You can also relax in Julia de Burgos Park while in Carolina.
There are beautiful gardens, lush flowers, running paths, and even a water park here.
Carolina has a vibrant nightlife with a variety of restaurants and food stands where you can sample and purchase tasty regional specialties.
There are numerous beautiful drives (often to beaches) in the vicinity if you enjoy taking day trips with your car.
While Puerto Rico’s pleasant climate is a major selling point, not everyone enjoys basking in the sun.
Cayey isn’t on the coast, and its 1,500-foot elevation makes it significantly cooler than the rest of the country.
Considered a green city, this area is framed by the Central Mountain Range of Puerto Rico (or Ciudad Verde).
If you enjoy being outdoors and on trails, Cayey is the place for you.
The adjacent hills, forests, lakes, and mountains all feature countless trails to explore.
For those who need a swim, the famed Carco Azul happens to be nearby.
You can find some fantastic multi-pitch climbs on basalt rock in Cayey, making it a fantastic destination for any dedicated climbers.
There’s a wide variety of both vegetarian and meat-lover dishes available (try the roast pork).
Cayey may not have many job opportunities, but it does have outdoor recreation options not available anywhere else in Puerto Rico.
If you’re looking for the feel of big city life, San Juan is only about an hour away, and there are lots of joyful locals who are always up for a drink or a fiesta on the weekends.
Caguas, a shining, modern city about half an hour from San Juan, stands in stark contrast to the rugged beauty of Puerto Rico’s Central Mountain Range.
The city serves as a portal to the surrounding wilderness, making it an attractive destination for nomadic people who appreciate the concept of having a natural environment so close to civilization.
This urban area is a hotspot for locals and visitors alike, thanks to its unique blend of entertainment, history, and natural beauty.
The Caguas History Museum and an exquisite cathedral from the 1930s can be found in the square’s verdant center.
Caguas is a beautiful town because of its mountain setting.
There are tree-lined streets, parks, and botanical gardens covering 60 acres and connected by winding paths.
It is also a good starting place for excursions into the surrounding mountains.
The Carrite Rainforest may be found here, and it’s a great place to do eco-tourism activities like ziplining, trekking, and wildlife spotting.
Caguas, a smaller city than San Juan, exhibits the Creole Puerto Rican identity of which its residents are justifiably proud.
Rio Grande, which has been attracting visitors since its founding in 1840, is known for its high-end hotels, restaurants, and bars.
Of course, its main draw is its beautiful landscape and long stretches of shoreline.
Rainforests can be found in this area as well.
The area’s widespread acclaim can be attributed to several factors, including its magnificent natural beauty and its championship-caliber golf courses.
You can drive to the capital city of San Juan from Rio Grande, one of the main cities in eastern Puerto Rico, in under an hour.
Living in Rio Grande means having spectacular natural scenery just outside your door.
You may paddle a kayak through the mangroves of Pinone Mangrove Forest and then relax on a private beach.
If you’re visiting Rio Grande, you definitely want to check out El Yunque. I
t is the only subtropical rainforest in the United States.
It spans 28,000 acres and features a variety of wildlife, beautiful scenery, and hiking opportunities.
There’s also much to rave about in the city’s culinary scene.
You can sample authentic Puerto Rican fare at any number of restaurants, from mom-and-pop eateries to five-star fine dining establishments.
East Puerto Rico is where you’ll find Fajardo.
It is one of the best places in Puerto Rico to go swimming, surfing, and sunbathing because of its bearings on the Atlantic coast and close proximity to El Yunque National Forest.
The town, established in 1760, may not have much of its original architecture or culture left, but it does have abundant flora and fauna.
Tourists visit the area to see El Yunque and enjoy the various hotels, delicious seafood, and easy boat access to adjacent small islands.
Many visitors come to Fajardo specifically to enjoy the city’s many beaches (there are 46).
They are often surrounded by tranquil, transparent seas that are ideal for snorkeling. Seven Seas Beach is the most well-known of these.
Fajardo also has some of the few bioluminescent bays on the planet, which is sure to pique your curiosity.
Take a kayak out and see the amazing scene for yourself!
Fajardo’s downtown is a fantastic place to start your explorations of the island because it is peaceful and convenient.
Guaynabo Pueblo is on the northern shore of Puerto Rico and is home to a population of under 4000.
It is one of the nicest areas to reside in Puerto Rico due mainly to its coastal town appeal.
It also offers a low cost of living, a wide range of housing options, convenient transportation, lively nightlife, and plenty of things to do for the whole family.
The town’s lack of diversity and the shortage of available employment are two of its major drawbacks.
However, if you’re willing to sacrifice some time for a long commute, the convenient transportation options will increase your career options. Young professionals can also opt to work from home.
Peace and tranquility abound in Rio Mar. In about half an hour, you may escape to a tropical paradise not far from San Juan.
Because it has less of a party scene than some of the other places on this list, Rio Mar is one of the most budget-friendly options.
This reduces the overall cost of living, making the island attractive to folks on a tighter budget who are still seeking the serenity of island life.
As a small, unassuming village, Rio Mar is notably quiet and peaceful, making it a secure location to call home.
Close proximity to El Yunque National Forest has reduced the number of roads leading in and out of the town, creating a peaceful and secure environment.
Due to its abundance of walking routes and sidewalks, Rio Mar is a great place to go for a stroll.
Everything you need, from groceries to fine dining to the trailheads of the world-famous national park, is within easy walking distance of the lush residential districts.
Rio Mar, Puerto Rico, has a low crime rate because of its quiet atmosphere.
There is limited drug usage and nearly no theft in Rio Mar, making it one of the safest neighborhoods on the entire island.
Since many Americans are drawn to Rio Mar’s beautiful properties, you shouldn’t have any trouble making new friends here.
Isla Verda, which literally means “green island,” is a popular destination for both tourists and long-term residents due to its beautiful natural setting.
Land is only somewhat affordable on Isla Verge.
The area is known for its pristine beaches, which contribute significantly to the expense of buying property there, especially on larger parcels of land.
In case you’re thinking about relocating to Puerto Rico, Isla Verde is a good option because it’s a secure area.
Isla Verde is an idyllic beach community with gated communities and well-lit roadways, making it a safer option than old San Juan.
Isla Verde is a great place to live because of the water.
The sea is what attracts people from all over the world to Isla Verde and what makes living there so enjoyable.
You can opt for a property with an ocean view or one that is situated right on the beach.
Isla Verde is generally walkable despite having fewer stores, restaurants, bars, and art galleries than many other Puerto Rican communities.
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Puerto Rico’s economic outlook is bright despite the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and the COVID-19 outbreak.
The remaining $60 billion that Congress has allotted for the island’s economic development was a top priority for the Biden administration.
Some analysts have even begun to refer to Puerto Rico as “America’s Monaco.”
I plan to have a workation there in the next 12-24 months in order to see if it might be a nice long-term destination for my family.
There may not be a better moment than now to relocate to Puerto Rico, what with the island’s high standard of living and advantageous tax benefits.