10 of the Safest Cities (and areas) in Puerto Rico 2015

10 Safest Cities in PR - Living in Puerto Rico

One of the first things people want to know when they are moving to Puerto Rico from the U.S. or any other country is: what are the best and safest areas to live?  Puerto Rico has a bad reputation due to an escalating crime and murder rate a few years back.

Luckily those numbers have gone down in 2014 and 2015 and PR is as safe as many cities in the U.S. In fact, The FBI’s Uniform Crime Reports (updated 2013) give Puerto Rico the 12th lowest violent crime rate among the 52 jurisdictions reported on by the FBI. (U.S. States + DC + PR). PR has the lowest property crime rate of all 52 jurisdictions. 

The metro area of San Juan and other cities, are of course, where much of the crime exists. People can live in these areas without any trouble, as long as they take common-sense precautions: Don’t walk alone at night, keep your doors locked and don’t make yourself a target.

Families with children are often looking for the very safest places to move that also offer a good lifestyle and amenities. There are plenty of choices–from expensive gated communities to rural beachside towns—to choose from. Below you will find our picks for the 10 safest cities and areas in Puerto Rico for 2015 based on safety and amenities. Better statistics are not available since the last city-by-city crime data was released in 2009. This list was put together from our own information, along with forum recommendations. Also see our list of the best cities in PR

For day-to-day crime stats throughout Puerto Rico, check the official police Mapa del Crimen 

10 of the Safest Cities in Puerto Rico 

In alphabetical order:

1. Cabo Rojo – a safe, sleepy town with spectacular beaches, famous salt flats, cliffs and The Boqueron State Forest. Cabo Rojo is a great option if you are looking for affordable housing with acreage, though it’s a more rural.  

2. Condado – welcome to the city life with luxury condos, high-end shopping, hot restaurants, bordered by sparkling beaches. Condado (technically not a city — a suburb of San Juan) is a great place for young business people to live and work. There are great schools, medical facilities and shopping all within a few blocks. Condado has a higher crime rate than you will find in more rural areas, but so do all cities. Police presence here is high so if you want to live somewhere in the city that is safe, this is a great option if you have the bank account.

Check out Ocean Park and Isla Verde for more affordable options.

3. Dorado – an affluent, safe suburb 40 minutes west of San Juan (without traffic). This area has some of the most expensive real estate in PR. Its home to Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. There are lots of freshly-migrated-from-the-mainland people here, a bilingual school, good restaurants and educated business people. The Dorado bubble is full of lovely dinner parties, sunrises on the beach and safety—but it will cost you.

Check out neighboring Toa Baja and Levittown for more affordable options.

4. Fajardo – located east of San Juan, Fajardo is known for its boating and has the largest marina on the island, Puerto del Rey as well as a luxury resort, El Conquistador. Beautiful beaches, excellent seafood and affordable housing make Fajardo an excellent choice for families.

5. Guaynabo – stretching along the outskirts of San Juan is Guaynabo with some of the best shopping and dining on the island. This is suburban sprawl at its best, with luxury gated communities, excellent medical facilities, schools and more shopping malls than anywhere else on the island. More affordable and better for families than the metro area though there are some sketchy areas. 

6. Luquillo — Check out the city of Luquillo East of Fajardo for a beautiful city nestled between the Atlantic coastline and El Yunque National Rainforest.  Called “the Riviera of Puerto Rico, ” Luquillo boasts beautiful beaches with unique species of wildlife, and some of the best surfing spots on the island. 

7. Mayaguez – located on the west end of the island, between Cabo Rojo and Rincon, Mayaguez is a safe, excellent choice for families. It is home to some of the best colleges in PR and has wide stretches of palm-tree-lined highway with plenty of shopping. You’ll find a large city center, theatre and shopping, along with the only zoo on the island, plus access to stunning beaches. Mayaguez is quite large, with both safe and unsafe areas. Stay away from the downtown area and stick to the Southwest corner closer to Cabo Rojo. 

8. Old San Juan – encompassed by old colonial buildings, cobblestone streets and forts, Old San Juan is one of the largest tourist areas on the island, and with shops, some great dining and a lot of history. Old San Juan (technically not a city) has a constant police presence, but can be congested. If you’re looking for a place that’s convenient to all the amenities and allows you to connect with all sorts of people, Old San Juan is the area to explore.

9. Palmas Del Mar – on the eastern corner of the island, you’ll find Palmas Del Mar, a suburb of the city of Humacao. This gem isn’t as well-known as other areas, but has one of the largest resort communities on the island. Pass through the gates (open to residents and non-residents) to find excellent restaurants, marinas, golf courses, tennis courts, schools and even a large horse riding stable. There are several condo and housing communities within the gates as well as luxury custom homes perched on cliffs overlooking the ocean. Palmas Del Mar lacks the pretentiousness (and expense) of Dorado without sacrificing an incredible lifestyle.

10. Rincon – looking for a little bit of California life in PR? Find it in Rincon, where you’ll find plenty of West coast natives, surfing, farmer’s markets, vegetarian options, eco-friendly living and a laid-back way of life. Rincon is very safe without relying on gated communities and a constant police presence.

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36 Comments

  • Joanna says:

    Nice list but you missed Luquillo! We just moved here a few months ago and love it. We’ve been all around the island and I truly think there is no better place in PR. IMHO.

    • jacqueline santiago says:

      Were are you from Joanna? Do you still live in PR? I have lived here for many years and love it. I live in Ponce.

  • Rafael Malave says:

    Very nice, but you boast that Dorado has lots of Americans, all puerto ricans are american. There are lots of Americans every where on this island paradise and some tourists too.

    • Marni says:

      Thank you for the feedback. We changed the wording a little after your comment. Yes, all Puerto Ricans are Americans. We were trying to say that Dorado is full of people freshly moved here from the U.S. mainland!

  • Celia says:

    You forgot Aguada it is safer than Aguadilla and Mayguez

  • Susan says:

    Rincon is a paradise….wonderful, safe place to live…

  • Boriken says:

    Wow, Aguadilla? Really?

  • Ivette Mejías says:

    Aguadilla? Are you kidding me? Where a great amount of police officers and judges are corrupted? The person of the FBI that collaborated in this issue has close ties with the mayor to say such absurd and lie about such huge facts. Old San Juan and Guaynabo? What?

  • M says:

    B.S. a couple of these are not even cities. And there are other cities safer. Of course Palmas del Mar is safe, is a resort, probably with private security.

    • Marni says:

      It says in the list that Palmas Del Mar is a suburb of the city of Humacao. Most cities have very good areas and bad, so we tried to show which areas are safest. I would love to hear which cities you think were missed.

  • Joe says:

    ok…………

  • Ivonne says:

    It is Isla Verde (Isla = Island, Verde = Green), not Isla Verda (verda is not a word in Spanish). Americans = people from the Americas, meaning North, Central and South America. I know that’s how you call yourselves and it is a convention, but is kind of egocentric, and that’s why everybody else dislike the term. This article is definitely for US Americans readers because I feel a little insulted just reading it, eventhough I am sure that wasn’t the intention. Anyhow, the article is fairly accurate in its descriptions.

    • Kev says:

      The word “AMERICA” is in the name of our country The United States of AMERICA that’s why we are called AMERICANS. What is it with you people from other countries in the Americas that you don’t understand this, it’s very simple. What do you think, it should be United Statesians? I love Latino culture and people and travel almost exclusively to places in the Americas but I keep hearing “Don’t call yourself an American, the people in (insert country name here) are insulted because they consider themselves Americans. Puerto Ricans are Americans because they are citizens of The United States of America not because they live in the Americas. People in Mexico are Mexicans, Costa Rico are Costa Ricans, etc., the word AMERICA is not in your name! It insults me that you expect me to identify myself according to your customs.

  • Joe says:

    10 of the “safest” cities, the rest of 68 are not. What an embarrassment and blasphemy! Why are you trying to sugar coat the islands crime and murder rate. Numbers don’t lie. http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/01/08/plagued-by-violence-bad-economy-puerto-rico-rings-in-2014-with-bang-13-murders/

  • Nahara Almodovar says:

    I think the title is wrong
    Ps. They forgot the quiet city of Sabana Grande :/

  • Isla Verde says:

    Good choices. But I wanted to say that there is a typo on the Condado item. Is “Isla Verde*” not “Isla Verda”. 🙂

  • Annie says:

    It’s nice that you’re trying to make a list, but if you’re going to make a bold claim like “safest cities” it might be nice to do a little actual research and back it up with some statistics. I find it hard to believe that old San Juan, mayaguez, guaynabo or fajardo actually have the lowest crime stats on the island. If they do I would love to see the numbers. Listing Palmas del Mar as a city is almost insulting. I mean if I was rich enough I could live in El Conquistador but that doesn’t make it an actual city.

    • Marni says:

      Annie, Palmas Del Mar is actually a very large community with permanent housing, not just a resort. City-by-city stats for safety were last reported in 2009, unfortunately, and we gathered our information from locals, the official police crime map, and online forums. Thank you for your contribution!

  • Milagros says:

    Aguadilla, es reconocida continuamente como la ciudad más hacendosa, más positiva y comprometida con sus ciudadanos en todo Puerto Rico. Contamos con el Gran Éxito de Nuestras Empresas Municipales, los empleados municipales cuentan con el salario más alto en todo Puerto Rico. Ahora todo Puerto Rico gira hacia el Área Oeste con la construcción del Paseo Real Marina. Aguadilla, ciudad donde existe el Progreso y la Seguridad de sus Residentes. Yo estoy Feliz de Ser Aguadillano.

    • jacqueline santiago says:

      Yo soy de Ponce, y en verdad siempre he dicho que de tener que mudarme de Ponce, me iria a Aguadilla. Aguadilla is a beautiful city.

  • Arturo Perez Valentin says:

    I was having a great day here in Panama Republic however you spoiled , you left out the most beautiful beach located in Vega Baja, my hometown, that beach is La Playa de Puerto Nuevo very well known in Puerto Rico

  • Joe Danny says:

    Are you crazy. Just Rincon and Cabo Rojo are correct. Central cities of Puerto Rico and southwestern cities are the safest ones. You almost put the top 5 dangerous cities in Puerto Rico.

  • Tito Colón says:

    I take this article cautiously. It’s certainly an opinion with little facts, nevertheless well intended. Puerto Rico is certainly still a great place to live in.

  • Leti says:

    In Dorado, you say “educated business people”. How about just “business people”… It makes it sound like the rest of us are not educated… Just a thought…Please fix it.

  • Marnie says:

    Whoever wrote this bs article does must not live at PR or lives under a rock. If you would like to know what goes on on the realz just check out the news, the newspaper or ask your neighbohr..coworker, etc. CONDADO?! People are robbed there on the regs , not too olong ago there was a rapist near that area Santurce/Condado…..wtf!!!

    • Marni says:

      Higher crime rates always exist when there is a denser population (as in cities). In general, Condado is safer than many areas, and offers great amenities, which is why it is in the list. If you read how we chose the cities/areas, it is based on safety AND amenities and Condado offers both.

  • Carol Graser says:

    This article is highly inaccurate, the only safe cities mentioned are Rincon and Cabo Rojo. The crime rate in PR is higher than ever.

    • jacqueline santiago says:

      Well it is high, but as the original poster expresses, it has plummeted a lot in the last years. Of course, many have moved from PR. But I do agree that it is a little strange that Mayaguez has a lower crime rate than Las Marias which is a small city with fewer population.

  • Rick says:

    How about Isabela? It looks nice with wonderful beaches…Is it safe?

  • eleida diaz says:

    How about CAYEY with its beautiful country setting and mountains makes you feel like your on top of the world and away from all negativity

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