Where to Live in Puerto Rico Guide - Relocate to Puerto Rico with Act 20 & Act 22

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Where to Live in Puerto Rico Guide

There are many unique regions in Puerto Rico, each with its own amenities and features. With an array of locations to choose from, there is a high likelihood of finding your ideal neighborhood. With our guide, you will have no trouble finding what area is best suited for you.

We have looked into nine popular living spots:

  1. Old San Juan (San Juan)
  2. Condado (San Juan)
  3. Miramar (San Juan)
  4. Isla Verde (San Juan)
  5. Guaynabo & Bayamon (San Juan)
  6. Dorado
  7. Bahia
  8. Palmas del Mar
  9. Rincon

Old San Juan

Safety: Good

Cost profile: High

Walkability: High

Population density: High

Travel time to SJU airport: 15 minutes

Serving as base for over 500 years, the island of Old San Juan is widely known and visited for its historical significance. Popular with residents and locals alike, the area is teeming with life and color, from assorted boutique shops and busy restaurants, to beautiful Spanish architecture and more.

The cobblestone streets are ideal for exploring on foot, bike, or the free trolley system. History lovers can indulge in hundreds of 16th and 17th century buildings that have been restored and are open to the public, including the three forts of Old San Juan—El Morro, San Cristóbal, and San Gerónimo.

Due to the wide variety of people living here, home buyers with different budgets have several purchasing options available to them. Most of the residential housing consists of three- to four-story row-homes and multi-family structures. Prices change significantly depending on the size, unit, and location within this area. You can find units ranging from 300 square feet to more than 5,000 square feet, and prices from $165,000 to over $2.5 million. Rent in Old San Juan is reasonable, with a 900-square-foot property in a good area coming in at $1,500 per month.

Condado

Safety: Good

Cost profile: High

Walkability: High

Population density: High

Travel time to SJU airport: 10 minutes

Condado

Just a few minutes from Old San Juan, Condado sits on a beautiful beach strip. The pedestrian focused region is a popular residential spot known for its peace and tranquility, as well as a good police presence and a feeling of security. An array of different restaurants, shops, and casinos serve as fun destinations with the beach only a few steps away. Condado is known for having one of the most beautiful beach areas – Ocean Park. Outdoor activities are big in the area, including paddle boarding, surfing, kitesurfing, volleyball, beach tennis, and more.

Living spaces in the region offer a good mix of condos and houses, averaging $650,000 for a multi-room condo. Prices start in the mid $200,000 for a nice, quaint apartment, and go as high as $3 million for a penthouse beachfront unit atop a high rise condominium. A 900-square-foot rental can be found for as low as $1,200 per month.

Miramar

Safety: Average

Cost profile: Average

Walkability: Average

Population density: High

Travel time to SJU airport: 10 minutes

Miramar

Serving as one of the two entrances to Old San Juan, the historic district of Miramar is a great location for anyone looking to be close enough to the action while enjoying more space and quiet. The more residential community appeals to families with children and retirees coming from the mainland US.

The neighborhood is home to the recently constructed Puerto Rico Convention Center that connects to the sweeping green lawns and gently spraying fountains of the Paseo de las Fuentes park. Many restaurants are also located in the area, providing several dining options. The Club Nautico de San Juan offers sailing enthusiasts access to a boating club, sailing lessons, and fishing events. The club hosts the annual International Billfish Tournament that lures in fishermen from around the world.

Miramar offers a more elegant neighborhood, with townhouse/condo-style housing and Spanish-style houses replete with patios and gardens. Even with a few trophy properties exceeding a $2 million price tag, housing costs in Miramar are lower than in Old San Juan or Condado. Prices for condos come in under $200,000, while houses generally start in the $300,000 range. Rent in the area is inexpensive compared to other regions, with a 900-square-foot property as low as $1,000 per month.

Isla Verde

Safety: Average

Cost profile: Average

Walkability: Average

Population density: High

Travel time to SJU airport: 5 minutes

Isla Verde

Directly north of SJU airport is the popular social spot of Isla Verde. The busy area is home to many activities, most of them found in hotels and high rises. Apart from residential condominiums, the area hosts countless hotels that offer visitors direct access to the beaches. The coast is lined with restaurants and lounges, some of them even offering dining tables and projected movies on the sand. Rooftop lounges, nightclubs, and casinos offer great nightlife activities. The island’s largest casino is in Isla Verde, located within two floors of the Ritz Carlton (to be reopened end of 2018).

Searching for real estate in Isla Verde is rewarding considering the number of units on the market at any given time. With a good mix of condos and residential homes with close proximity to San Juan, finding a spot for $300,000 is easy. Luxurious properties in the area can exceed the $1 million price tag, though most homes cost less than $600,000. Rent in Isla Verde is inexpensive with, 900-square-foot apartments available for as low as $1,000 per month.

Guaynabo & Bayamon

Safety: Average

Cost profile: Low

Walkability: Low

Population density: High

Travel time to SJU airport: 30 minutes

Guaynabo

Sitting four miles apart from each other, Guaynabo and Bayamon are considered one by many. Home to about 250,000 residents, this regions is detached from the busy San Juan city and beach commotion. Offering a much more residential feel, this region is home to several industries covering healthcare, social aid, finance, insurance, retail trade, educational services, tech, and more. About 20 minutes inland, Guaynabo and Bayamon have several restaurants and popular attractions. You can find one of the islands most beautiful waterfalls, Poza Prieta Waterfall, hidden in Bayamon, along with the recently reopened 42-acre science museum. For great authentic Puerto Rican food, Guaynabo has many spots offering delicious and inexpensive bites.

Only a few miles from the capital, real estate prices significantly drop. It is typical to find a nice property with a yard for under $250,000. Investing $300,000 for a new residence in the area will get you far. Residences of all sizes are available. Large properties can be found for $5,000 per month, but overall, rent is low, with 3-bedroom apartments costing $1,000 per month.

Dorado

Dorado

Safety: Good

Cost profile: High

Walkability: Low

Population density: Low

Travel time to SJU airport: 35 minutes

About 30 minutes west of San Juan, Dorado offers residents ocean views with quiet and peaceful neighborhoods. A hot spot for tourists, surfers, and boaters, the hotels, golf courses, tennis courts, and beaches draw in visitors looking for a break from from the action in San Juan. With about 40,000 residents, 10% of San Juan’s population, getting in and out of Dorado is rarely a problem. While Dorada is amenity rich, the commute and traffic in and out of San Juan for business and pleasure should be a consideration. Oftentimes, transportation like Uber is only available from San Juan, not to it. On the plus side, Dorado is close to all cities and spots towards the western part of the island.

Real estate prices in the Dorado Beach Resort are some of the highest on the island, almost always topping $1 million. If you choose to live outside of the gated portion, prices revert back to around $300,000 for a 3-bedroom, 3-bath property.

Bahia

Bahia

Safety: Good

Cost profile: High

Walkability: Low

Population density: Low

Travel time to SJU airport: 35 minutes

Located in the northeast of the Island, Bahia is blooming with nature and tranquility. Bahia Beach Resort is affiliated with the St. Regis, a popular alternative to Dorado’s Ritz Carlton.

Similar to Dorado, if you decide to live here, you’ll be more isolated from the metro area and with less population. Living near Rio Grande, the closest city to Bahia, does enable quicker access to the coastal city of Fajardo, the most popular place to store a boat with quick access to the islands of Culebra and Vieques. You will also be closer to El Yunque, the sprawling rain forest national park.

Real estate here is generally cheaper than Dorado, but with less options. The starting purchase price for living inside one of the golf course communities is $300,000.

Palmas del Mar

Safety: Good

Cost profile: Average

Walkability: Average

Population density: Average

Travel time to SJU airport: 1 Hour

Palmas

Residents of Palmas del Mar, near the city of Humacao, love to tout the strong sense of community and family. Located in the southeast corner of Puerto Rico, 1 hour from San Juan, this is a popular location to live “away from San Juan.” Living here is affordable, amenity-rich, and nearly on the beach. Similar to the city of Fajardo just to the north, Palmas is a boating mecca with some of the best boating infrastructure. One thing to consider is your travel time to San Juan, and how your social and entertainment options may be reduced by living outside of the main city.

Real estate here is varied, with many price points and developments from which to choose. Starting at $250,000 you can live within a community on the beach.

Rincon

Safety: Good

Cost profile: Low

Walkability: Average

Population density: Low

Travel time to SJU airport: 2.5 hours

Rincon

Quiet and peaceful, Rincon is nestled in the westernmost end of the island, about 2 hours from San Juan. With open views of the Atlantic, the smaller beaches have not yet been taken over by hotels. You’ll find a very “local” feel here, albeit with many expats who relish the outdoors. Rincon is famous for surfing, which draws in people from around the world, especially during surf competitions. Despite being far from San Juan, Rincon has the infrastructure and services to support your needs, and the needs of families and business owners alike. The major city of Mayaguez is just to the south, and offers a small airport and common shops.

Real estate here is generally very affordable, with small houses starting at $150,000. If you like the vibes of Rincon, you should also take a look at the nearby coastal cities of Aguadilla and Isabela.

Have specific questions, want our personal opinion, or need a real estate referral? Contact or chat with us.

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