When looking for a place to live, Puerto Rico offers a plethora of choices from its 78 municipalities including the island of Vieques and Culebra, mountain and oceans to even stunning islands stemming from the main island. So here’s a roundup of 15 of the best places to live in Puerto Rico in 2015.
Old San Juan – encompassed by old colonial buildings, cobblestone streets and forts, the old city of San Juan is one of the largest tourist areas on the island, and with shops, some great dining and a lot of history. If you’re looking for a place that’s convenient to all the amenities and allows you to connect with other tourists and expats, Old San Juan is the area to explore.
Pros: Great for history buffs
Cons: Tourists, safety and event traffic
San Juan – the largest city in Puerto Rico, San Juan has plenty of landmarks, sweeping ocean views, amazing beach fronts, shopping and nightlife. As a tourist destination, you can’t miss out on visiting San Juan. With plenty to see and do, San Juan offers access to different cultural backgrounds in one unique locality.
Pros: Amazing night life, food and shopping
Cons: Expensive, congested and some areas are unsafe
Fajardo – set in the eastern slice of Puerto Rico, this small city is renowned for its recreational boating on the island. It houses the largest marina in the Caribbean – Puerta Del Ray and is also a popular launching hub for the British Virgin Islands and Culebra.
Pros: Beaches and Location
Cons: Small town life
Palmas Del Mar – tucked away in the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, Humacao is home to the largest resort on the island – Palmas del Mar. This resort is complete with two world class golf courses, a riding center, promenades of unspoiled beaches, a school, and not to mention over twenty tennis courts along with restaurants and shopping within the resort gates.
Pros: Great community amenities, true resort life and safe
Cons: Expensive, but not as much as Dorado or San Juan
Lares – a small town located in the midst of Puerto Rico, Lares is embraced by nature and is noted for its ice cream parlor, which serves weird and exotic flavored ice cream. The locals of Lares are extremely friendly, making it one of the safest places to live in Puerto Rico.
Pros: Beautiful natural surroundings
Isla Verde – claimed to have the best beach in the San Juan area, Isla Verde is popular among tourists and is highlighted with several hotels, resorts and condominiums.
Pros: Close to San Juan and all the city has to offer
Cons: Run-down in places, full of tourist
Culebra – a hot weekend destination for both tourists and mainland Puerto Ricans, Culebra is appointed with the Flamenca Beach, which is regarded as one of the best beaches in the world. Owing to its protective status, there is literally no commercial development in Culebra.
Pros: The most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean
Cons: Isolated and expensive
Rincon – if you’re an avid surfer, the town of Rincon will definitely not disappoint. Located about two hours west of San Juan, Rincon has some of the best surfing beaches on the island.
Pros: West coast relaxed living, the “California” beach town of PR
Cons: An (even) slower pace of life
Cayey – set within the central mountain range, this mountain town boasts a cooler climate owing to its higher elevation and houses the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey – a campus of the University of Puerto Rico.
Pros: Less expensive than many areas
Cons: Small town life
Dorado – located in the Northern Coast of Puerto Rico, Dorado is a well known tourist destination, and is woven with upscale neighborhoods, hotels and golf courses. Real estate is highly sought after in this area from people moving from the U.S.
Pros: Safety and resort amenities
Cons: Most expensive real estate in Puerto Rico
Isabela – A rare city with scenic beaches, a coastline and mountains as well, Isabela has breathtaking panoramic views, and a myriad of natural city lakes as well as several beautiful beaches, diverse attractions and rainforests, lakes, archeological sites featuring unique submarine rivers as well, earning it the title of Jardin del Noroeste, Garden of the Northwest. It is also renowned for its attractions as well.
Pros: Amazing beaches and landscape
Cons: Not much in the way of shopping or a thriving city center
Guaynabo – Hailed as the largest in the Metropolitan Area, Guaynabo has a thriving locality with plenty of festivals held on an annual basis. Guaynabo is quite large, stretching from the outskirts of San Juan to the more inland areas, with sprawling suburbs and developments. You can find plenty of shopping and beautiful homes behind gated communities within reach of downtown San Juan.
Pros: Affordable housing close to the city
Cons: Traffic and congestion
Mayaguez – Located in the center of Puerto Rico, only two hours away from San Juan, it is known as the Nuestra Senora de la Candelaria. Mayaguez has a familiar landscape to many American cities with strip malls and nice houses with big yards.
Pros: Great cityscape.
Cons: Small town life
Ocean Park – A beach community, Ocean Park is located within the district of San Juan, Puerto Rico, within the district of Santurce. The community is renowned for their crystal clear waters and sandy beaches and provides prime ocean hotel locations for your vacation.
Pros: Scenic views, beautiful beaches
Cons: Safety can be a problem
Are you living in Puerto Rico and have tips to add? Join in the discussion by commenting below.