What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In Puerto Rico?

Gary Evans
by Gary Evans

What’s it like living in a tropical paradise? That may be a question you’ve pondered as you went through yet another long and challenging winter. If you’ve often thought of living in a beautiful and sunny locale, then you should strongly consider moving to Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico is often regarded as a great getaway destination, but it is way more than that. Living there long-term can be an appealing proposition in many ways. Admittedly though, there are some downsides as well.

Consider moving to Puerto Rico because it’s one of the most beautiful and interesting locales anywhere in the world. The low cost of living and great food there only serve as additional incentives for you to make the move. On the other hand, high crime rates and hurricanes can make the experience of living there quite unpleasant.

Find out if moving to Puerto Rico is a decision that could turn out well for you. Understand all the pros and cons of living there by continuing with this article.

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What Are the Perks of Living in Puerto Rico?

Let’s kick things off by looking at the perks of living in Puerto Rico. After going through the section below, you may find that there are some truly compelling reasons to live there.

Abundant Natural Beauty

Puerto Rico is rich in natural beauty. There are so many gorgeous places worth visiting while you’re there. It’s also worth pointing out that Puerto Rico’s collection of beautiful destinations is quite diverse.

If you want to chill out at the beach, you have a good amount of options to choose from. Luquillo Beach and Culebra Island are terrific places for swimming, playing beach volleyball, and just hanging out.

The Rio Camuy Cave Park is a great place to visit if you want to try out a different kind of exploration experience. Trekking through El Yunque National Forest also gives visitors a chance to witness nature in its purest form.

We cannot talk about Puerto Rico’s natural beauty without bringing up the island of Vieques and Mosquito Bay. For those who may be unaware, Mosquito Bay famously serves as home to numerous dinoflagellates that illuminate the winters at night. It’s an incredible sight to see in person and one you’ll never get tired of.

There’s so much to like about Puerto Rico when it comes to natural beauty. Move there and get the chance to immerse yourself in all that natural beauty as much as you want. Find out when roses bloom in Puerto Rico.

Fantastic Food

You’re probably not choosing where to live based on food. Still, it’s probably a good thing if one of the places you’re considering offers great food, right? If you decide to move to Puerto Rico, you won’t ever have to worry about eating uninspired food.

The island boasts a wide selection of delectable treats for visitors and residents to try. No matter what kind of food you prefer, you’ll find something to like there.

Let’s start with mofongo. Mofongo is a dish made by frying green plantains seasoned with garlic and olive oil that are then mashed. You can then top off the mashed plantains with your protein of choice. If you’re craving something with more crunch, try out the empanadillas or the tostones. Both dishes are also made from plantains, but you get to experience that food differently due to the frying.

For big celebrations, you’ll often see residents of the island enjoying a roasted pig dish known as pernil. Once you get to try that, you likely won’t be able to get enough of it.

To cap off your meal, you can enjoy sweet treats such as flan or pastelillos de guayaba. The latter is a small pastry filled with some guava paste that offers a nice mix of sweetness and tartness.

Indulge in fantastic Puerto Rican food after moving there. It’s one of the main perks of living there and it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

Affordable Housing

This probably isn’t a big surprise, but houses in Puerto Rico are way more affordable compared to the United States. The house prices in other areas you’re looking at may be out of your range. In that case, you should take a moment to look up what Puerto Rico has to offer.

The median price for a new home in Puerto Rico is around $160,000. In the United States, that number is closer to $231,000. You should be able to find reasonably priced homes all throughout the island if you search long enough.

If you’re trying to save as much money as possible, renting remains a viable option in Puerto Rico. Monthly rent for an apartment there is about half of what you’d need to pay in the United States. Go ahead and rent if you want to save up money for a larger home.

For many folks on the move, buying a home right away is not a realistic proposition. However, you may find a new home to be more attainable if you decide to live in Puerto Rico.

Business-Friendly Environment

Puerto Rico is known for fostering a business-friendly environment. That’s mainly because taxes for entrepreneurs there are very low. Many businesses are even exempt from paying certain taxes.

You can definitely argue that starting a business is easier in Puerto Rico compared to the United States. Moving there could be the step you need to take if you want to pursue your entrepreneurial dream.

What Are the Pitfalls of Living in Puerto Rico?

The experience of living in Puerto Rico is not entirely pleasant. You must acknowledge the downsides of living there as well so you can make a better decision regarding your move. We’ve included the most notable downsides of living in Puerto Rico below.

High Crime Rates

By far the biggest downside of living in Puerto Rico is dealing with the threat of crime there. Sadly, crime rates throughout the island are on the high side.

According to Numbeo, both property and violent crime rates in Puerto Rico are alarmingly high. You will have to invest heavily in home and personal security if you’re thinking of moving there. Walking alone at night can also be risky. Try to bring someone along with you if you need to visit a store at night.

Many residents of the island have awful stories to tell about their experiences using public transportation. If you can afford to buy a car and avoid public transportation, you should definitely consider going in that direction.

The crime situation in Puerto Rico is getting better. At this point though, it’s still far from ideal. You cannot overlook that if you’re thinking of moving there together with your family.


Burglars are not the only potential threat to your home in Puerto Rico. The arguably bigger threat that residents have to deal with there is extreme weather.

You’ve likely heard a lot about how hurricanes have devastated the island in recent years. That kind of thing has happened multiple times in the past. Sadly, there is no guarantee that it won’t happen again in the future. All you can do as a resident of Puerto Rico is to prepare yourself adequately. Start with your home.

Whether you live in your own house or an apartment, you need to invest in adequate hurricane protection. Talk to contractors in the area and ask them how you can adequately protect your home from hurricanes. Their experiences with hurricanes that already hit Puerto Rico should prove very helpful to you.

It’s also not a bad idea to invest in a generator if you can. Blackouts following hurricanes in Puerto Rico can go on for extended periods of time. It would be wise to get one of those generators so you can manage the prolonged power outage better.

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Related Questions

What Can You Expect from the Schools Based in Puerto Rico?

The educational system in Puerto Rico is a bit of mixed bag. It largely depends on what you can afford.The quality of education that kids receive from public schools there can be best described as inconsistent. You must take the time to find a home close to a reputable public school if you’re moving there. Failing to do so could be very detrimental to your children. Meanwhile, private schools in Puerto Rico are generally well regarded. The only issue with them is obviously the cost.You have to weigh your options carefully when it comes to your child’s schooling. If you can afford to send your child to a private school in Puerto Rico, that’s probably the way to go.

How High Are the Cost of Living Expenses in Puerto Rico?

Housing prices in Puerto Rico are low, but what about the other cost of living expenses? Well, they are a bit all over the place.Groceries on the island are priced similarly to what you’ll find in the United States. You may find produce to be a bit cheaper though. Healthcare expenses are more affordable in Puerto Rico. Still, the difference between healthcare expenses in Puerto Rico and the United States are not that significant.Notably, utility expenses tend to be higher in Puerto Rico relative to the United States. They are likely going to take up a big chunk of your paycheck.

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Gary Evans
Gary Evans

Gary Evans is passionate about home improvement. He loves finding out how to make improvements in the easiest, most practical, and most affordable ways. Upgrading his home kitchen is one of his ongoing hobbies. Gary is also a long-time content creator and enjoys spending his free time tending to his hydroponic vegetable garden.

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