There’s no denying that Puerto Rico is a lovely island with a phenomenal location in the Caribbean. It’s idyllic and picturesque, with sunny weather, a gorgeous coastline, friendly people, and great food. Since the early part of the last century (1917, to be exact), Puerto Rico has also been part of the United States. That makes it easy for mainlanders to visit Puerto Rico as well as move there.
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
If you’ve decided to move to Puerto Rico, congratulations! It’s a big step and a big move, no doubt. Even though the island is technically part of the US, living there is far different than the mainland. That makes choosing a good place to live essential, one that’s safe and has access to everything you need. To help you do that, we’ve put together the information below. It’s everything you need to know about the 4 best places to live in Puerto Rico! Read on to discover all four and find your new Puerto Rico home!
Quick Tidbits to Help You Choose a Place in Puerto Rico
Here are a few key points about Puerto Rico that you should know before choosing where to live. They might be of value, depending on your particular situation in terms of family, a job, etc.
- The top-rated city in Puerto Rico is Dorado.
- Bucana Barrio is the safest on the island. (It’s also the smallest barrio.)
- Rio Mar is the 2nd-most walkable city in PR.
- San Juan, the biggest city in Puerto Rico, is also the most walkable.
- The Perla is one of the most dangerous neighborhoods on the island.
- Puerto Rico’s median property value is an affordable $111,000. That makes the island an affordable place to buy a home.
1. Rio Marr, Puerto Rico: Affordable, Walkable, and Chill
Consistently rated as one of the best places to live in Puerto Rico, Rio Marr is a stunning place. It’s also very affordable, mostly because the area has little nightlife. There are, however, several nice restaurants and bars and a few small entertainment venues, so it’s far from boring. It’s perfect if you’re looking for a chill, stress-free, more nature-centric lifestyle. You’ll get the best of the beach and the tropical forest without the noise and crowds.
There are miles of trails to enjoy all of Rio Marr’s beauty. You can comfortably walk from your home into the center of town in minutes. The entrance to El Yunque National Forest is within walking distance too! The trails, in a word, are gorgeous. Lush, green, and bursting with life all around, walking them is a satisfying experience every time. Another perk of living in Rio Marr is it’s only 30 minutes from San Juan. If you want to go shopping, hit the casinos, or enjoy the nightlife, it’s a quick trip into the city.
2. Isla Verde: Life on the Water in PR
Many folks come to Puerto Rico specifically to live in Isla Verde. That’s because the beaches in Isla Verde are world-class, with stunning blue water and gloriously clean sand. Isla Verde is a must-see if you dream of spending your days on or near the water. It’s quiet, clean, relatively safe, and has a high walkability score. Although not the most affordable, Isla Verde offers many beachside living possibilities. There’s a small but devoted ex-pat community here, also. That makes Isla Verde a great choice for retirees or young couples enjoying and exploring the world.
3. Dorado: Accessible, Upscale, and Safe
If an upscale, livable, walkable area is what you desire in Puerto Rico, Dorado is a great choice. Dorado is one of the wealthiest areas near San Juan, with gated communities everywhere you look. That makes it less affordable, as you might imagine. It also makes Dorado one of the safest areas this close to the capital, with very low crime rates. There’s a lot to enjoy here if you like to shop, party, or enjoy a good meal. Also, the beaches, while sometimes crowded, are some of the best on the island. If you’re an ex-pat looking for camaraderie, you’ll find it in Dorado. There’s a large ex-pat community here, with several English-speaking schools and a handful of USA-style restaurants. There’s also easy access to all the nature in the area, whether the beaches or tropical forests.
4. Ponce: Historic, Walkable, and always Entertaining
The historic center of Puerto Rico, Ponce, is a vibrant and fun place to live. There’s always something happening, from live music to exhibitions, art, and more! Hang out at a cool bar, tour one of the sublime art galleries or listen to a local band. It’s all good in Ponce and comes complete with a fun, exciting vibe. The city isn’t cheap, but it’s far from the most expensive. Many of the homes and buildings here have deep historical significance, too. (Making major changes, especially to the facade, is highly restricted.) Crime rates in ponce are low, although theft spikes during tourist season. As for an ex-pat community, there’s a small one, but it too gets much bigger during tourist season. Ponce is also one of the most walkable cities on the entire island. That makes enjoying everything this delightful place offers all the easier.
Places to Live in Puerto Rico Brought to you by Southern Self Storage
We hope you enjoyed the cities we included today and that the info helps with your decision. Although the locations above are standouts, there are many other very nice places to live in Puerto Rico. If you haven’t decided yet, take your time and look around as much as possible. While you do, if you need to store your things, Southern Self Storage can help.
At Southern, we’ve helped thousands of folks moving to Puerto Rico and thousands more who already live here. Many folks rent a storage unit in Puerto Rico with us while they search for a home. We’ve also had customers store their building materials, sports equipment, and retail overstock. (All that stuff can use up a lot of space in your PR home or business.)
If you have questions or need help, click this link. It takes you to our main web page, where you’ll find our 10 Puerto Rico self storage facilities. The addresses and phone numbers are a click away, and you can also reserve a storage unit online. Whatever you need to store, Southern Self Storage can help. Until then, best of luck finding a new place to call home in Puerto Rico!
This article was originally published on 10/03/2020. It was updated on 09/30/2022.
23 thoughts on “The Top 4 Places to Live in Puerto Rico”
Looking to retire
Retiring in Puerto Rico is a great idea!
*live in peace*
Thank you for this information! Which town is best for reliable electric/internet connection? This would be for remote working.
I had the pleasure of living in Puerto Rico for 5 years. Cannot stress highly enough how the incredible food, the atmosphere, the incredible vistas and most importantly how the true native Puertoricanos added to my love of the island.
No place like San German!
San German is the Oldest Town/City of Puerto Rico. Some people may claim that San Juan, the City Capital of the island is by “default”, but wrongly they assumed such. San German starts his “living” back in 1508. But, lets talk about TODAY.
In San German we have the only hospital owned by the Catholic Church in Puerto Rico: Hospital de la Concepcion. It’s provides premier service to the community. In addition to, we have a second hospital, Hospital Metropolitano.
In San German you can find the Oldest Private University of Puerto Rico: Interamerican University of Puerto Rico. San German is a mini-economic pole in the Southwest region of Puerto Rico. San German has an restaurant offering which it’s booming.
San German is the birth place of basketball in Puerto Rico, which cause high passion on sports events.
The town is located at 30 minutes drive from the best beaches of the area.
Housing is affordable, and it enjoys extremely low crime rates.
Thank you for this additional information! It is helpful as I consider where to retire. I will search out more information on your town.
Was there 2 years.not recommended.there isnt evan a english speaking judge in san juan.i filed 2 morions there was none.
The “Cordillera Central” is the area of hills and mountains in the center of the Island. We have beautiful weather all year. From my house I have a beautiful view of the ocean. I do not need air conditioning or heat. After living in the States for 40 years I found this paradise and I praise the Lord for it each day as long as I live.
We are visiting from Wisconsin 5/18/2021 and appreciate your comments. Looking at possibilities! Sue
@MargaritaCardona, what town in Cordillera Central do you live?
The best place is Encantada in Trujillo Alto, gated community with all in one location.
Hello! I will be relocating to Puerto Rico permanently in November. I will however be coming over August 3 for a week to try to find a place to rent a two bedroom, and I’m thinking about the Rincon area and I’m having trouble finding any listings or where to go for listings if you could help me with that that would be great thank you and have a wonderful day!
I am planning to retire to PR and am interested in Vega Baja, any advice on this area?
Vega Baha is historical. Nice architecture
Beautiful old cathedral.
How is the crime rate in Puerto Rico?
How about Fajardo, Luquillo, Culebra, Vieques, Ceiba and the east coast? It just happens that Fajardo is the Outdoor Activities Capital in PR with sailing, snorkeling among many others, Excellent Condos for rent for all budgets.
Why not give it a try?
Yes that true I move here 5 yrs ago in Fajardo la Loma. Gate condo area
How about Fajardo, Luquillo, Culebra, Vieques, Ceiba and the east coast? It just happens that Fajardo is the Outdoor Activities Capital in PR with sailing, snorkeling among many others like the only Rain Forest in the US National Park System, El Yunque. Excellent Condos for rent for all budgets.
Why not give it a try?
I look forward to move to PR…I n wait on God guidance. Amen.. my choice is Cayey , Aibonito, Caguas , Gurabo, y Guaynabo.. God knows best…
Great article , Right on point. ?????
Very Good INFO . I got Five years to spend there, is it better to rent or buy, Like very quiet Settings true PR life. Can you say more on The West Thank you
Juana Diaz,Puerto Rico is the best to live ?is a beautiful place .It’s close to Ponce and south shore and surrounded by Mountain View it’s only two hour drive to San Juan?. Hope to move here next year