Moving to Puerto Rico


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    Are you bored of city life’s hustle and thinking about having a Caribbean life? Well, Puerto Rico will be an easy escape to consider to start a rewarding brand new life in the island city.

    So, let’s find out everything you need to know while moving to Puerto Rico!

    Puerto Rico is a picturesque independent US territory territory that is made up of several small Islands including, Culebra, Mona, and Vieques. 

    With a population of 3,261,000 residents, the island features beautiful Colonial architecture, scenic ocean views, tropical rainforest and mountains,  electrifying nightlife, and more, attracting visitors, and  US expats to settle down in the city. 

    Its capital, San Juan welcomes you to see and explore the city and island with independent or guided tours, tourist attractions, restaurants, shopping, and more.

    Do you feel like the island is for you? Read on to learn more about moving to Puerto Rico from the US. 

    1. What is Puerto Rico Known For?

    Puerto Rico is known for its pristine white-sand beaches, lively festivals,  affluent natural ecosystem, fluorescent bays, extremely vibrant history, culture, and cuisines. 

    During the second voyage of Christopher Columbus in 1493, Puerto Rico was the gateway to the discovery of this southeastern US.

    The state was settled by a group of people (hunter-gatherers) including Taino, Ortoiroid, and Saladoid 3000-4000 years ago before the Spanish’s arrival.

    Prioritizing its rich history and location, it became Spain’s military outpost and was attacked by the English, Dutch, and French several times to conquer the island. 

    Today, this island has become the world’s oldest colony that has witnessed several wars that still have traces and remains in the form of architecture, forts, and monuments.

    Its beautiful natural habitats, delicious cuisines, incredible coastlines, stunning sites, and incredible caves make it an enchanting Island that assures to give back a lasting impression on you.

    2. Is Puerto Rico Safe?

    Puerto Rico has a relatively lower crime rate compared to other US states or territories.

    The overall crime cases in Puerto Rico in 2023 is 1265 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, which is 54% higher than the US crime rate of 2330 cases. 


    Despite having a bad reputation for gun and homicide crimes, Puerto Rico has a very low crime rate recorded than other US territories or states. 

    It’s also a safe tourism destination for travelers & visitors and a safe place to live for females, families, retirees, and singles.

    According to Wise voters, Puerto Rico is the 3rd safest territory in the US with the lowest crime rates. 

    But that doesn’t mean there’s no crime here. The most common crimes that have happened till now are assault theft, pickpocketing, abuse, and more.

    So, it’s advised to remain away from crime areas, avoid flashing costly belongings, and avoid walking alone at night, especially in darker places. 

    The table below compares the crime rate of Puerto Rico with the US national average per 100,000 residents

    Crime typesPuerto RicoUSA 
    Violent crime224396
    Property crime 10321934


    3. Puerto Rico Entry Requirements

    US residents don’t need a passport to enter Puerto Rico. However, producing a US government-issued valid photo ID, e.g. a driver’s license, is essential while boarding an airplane to Puerto Rico.

    International visitors need a valid Visa and passport to enter Puerto Rico. 

    Relocating to Puerto Rico means moving from a state to a territory, or colony, as they say! The logistics, immigration, and state diligence might require asking for various documentation and identification certificates, from moving to settling down.

    So, to enter Puerto Rico, you will need to keep the following documents ready for a hassle-free journey.

    • Original power of attorney
    • Lading bill. 
    • Inventory
    • Freight bill
    • Completed US customs form
    • Birth certificate.
    • US valid driving license, passport, and work permit.
    • US photo identity card.

    4. What to Know Before Moving to Puerto Rico? 

    The things you should know in detail, other than the above information during the transition and settling down in Puerto Rico are as follows:

    5. Living in Puerto Rico

    Living in Puerto Rico is all about diving into the Caribbean lifestyle, inhabiting a tropical environment, and having a tranquil life.


    Its rich and diverse history, culture, and influences set the state apart from other US states.

    Puerto Rico offers an unmatched cozy tropical climate accompanied by an energized lifestyle that blends with it appropriately.

    The residents mostly speak Spanish and English and are known for showing a friendly attitude, respect, outgoing nature, and a strong neighborhood sense.

    Also, 5% of the total population is occupied by foreigners who take the Island as a threat for having no taxes. 

    The Island life of Puerto Rico comprises stunning beaches, a phenomenal climate, great music and art scene, mouth-watering food, tropical rainforest, and a 5.6 km long coastline with water sparkling at night.

    It’s no wonder why people call this island the land of enchantment. 

    6. Cost of Living in Puerto Rico

    The cost of living in Puerto Rico is 90.5, which is 9.5% less than the national average of 100.

    The average cost of living for an individual end of a family of 4 in Puerto Rico is estimated to be $1500 and $3500 per month, respectively.

    An individual needs to earn an average annual salary in Puerto Rico of $45,000 and a median household income of $20,000-$60,000 per annum to live a luxurious life in Puerto Rico.

    Puerto Rico is one of the cheapest places to live in and visit in the Caribbean. People live a higher standard of living at a lower cost of living than most residents crave.

    When compared with the US (100)  and Florida (103.1), Puerto Rico has the lowest cost of living (90.5) than these states.

    This means you will be saving somewhere between 10 to 75% of your total income in this typical territory.

    Even the metropolitan cities of Puerto Rico offer cheaper cost of living than most major US cities and states. 

    Follow our cost of living guide to compare how costly or affordable Puerto Rico is, compared to the national monthly average.

    Cost of Living Index (per month)Puerto RicoUSA
    Food & Groceries $850$440
    Housing cost$485,000$416,000
    Rent cost$600$1702
    Utilities $250$400
    Transportation $70$100-$300
    Health $100$560
    Miscellaneous $200$150


    7. Taxes in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico is the best country for American ex-pats as it’s a tax-friendly territory  People of Puerto Rico are advised to pay several federal taxes including commodity taxes, customs taxes, and various payroll taxes.


    The territory imposes an income tax of 0-25% on net taxable income, 0-25% on personal tax, and 6.765% of property tax on the asserted value of the residents.

    US residents and foreigners often move to Puerto Rico for tax benefits. Qualified business investors or owners who become a resident of this Island get favorable tax benefits as per Act 60 legislation.

    Their income gets exempted from state or federal taxes. For filing a Puerto Rico tax return, one has to fill out Form 1040-NR on their overall income, no matter what and where the Income source is.

    Non-residents are taxed on their income from the territory. 

    Types of taxesTax rate
    Income tax6%
    Sales tax11.5%
    Property tax1.5%
    Federal taxNil


    8. Housing Market in Puerto Rico

    The housing market has trended up by 12% in 2023 and will be growing year over year. The median home price in Puerto Rico is $485,000 and the rate per Square foot averages $450.

    The average rent in Puerto Rico is 50% cheaper than the US average and ranges between $450-$3500 per month, from studio to 3-BHK homes. 

    If buying a home in the States is your concern, then Puerto Rico will be the right place for you as it’s home and real-estate prices are slightly higher than the national average, and real-estate lands and homes are found in massive numbers.

    So, it’s smarter to buy a property here, but it depends on your pocket.

    If you don’t find it affordable, then opting for rental homes can be a good choice as they are easily available in the best neighborhoods in Puerto Rico at a cheaper price range. 

    9. Weather Conditions in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico has a tropical marine climate with hot, warm, and humid summers with two distinct seasons- dry and wet season, year-round. But it never snows in the territory. 

    If you like warm weather then you’ll probably like living in Puerto Rico. The summer or dry months are super hot, and humid, with cool temperatures at night.

    The average temperature during this time varies between 70-90°F and reduces to 65°F in island areas. 

    The wet months (May-November) come up with heavier rainfall, being the worst time to visit and vacation in the territory.

    There’s a high risk of heavy rainfall of about 5-20 inches to be recorded every year. The northern island experiences more rainfall and hurricanes than the southern areas.

    The island has witnessed major hurricanes in the past that have caused destruction and damaged the island to its core. 

    April and June are the best time to visit Puerto Rico. 

    With an average temperature of 70-88°F, January is the warmest and coldest month in Puerto Rico.

    MonthWeather conditions in Puerto Rico
    December – April One of the rainiest months in Puerto Rico. Warm weather is often marked by hurricanes.The humidity level is high.
    April – May Mild dry and pleasant weather.High average temperature to 32oC.Low temperature of 22oC.Increase in humidity level.Beginning of the wet season.
    September One of the rainiest months in Puerto Rico. Warm weather is often marked by hurricanes. The humidity level is high.
    June – November High temperature up to 35oC.Low temperature of 24oC.Frequent rain showers and thunderstorms.Muggy and tropical weather.High level of humidity.

    10. Transportation system in Puerto Rico

    Publicos, Public buses, and Taxis are the main transportation options available to get around Puerto Rico. You can also use intercity light trains to move from city to city.


    But Cars are found to be the prominent transportation option in Puerto Rico as public transportation modes can be time-consuming, congested, & uncomfortable. 

    There are 6 modes of Puerto Rico – roadways, highways Airports, freeways, railway systems, and ports and harbors serving the people of the territory for decades.

    All are funded and governed by the local and federal governments of Puerto Rico. 

    To get around the islands on roadways, you can opt for Publicos, taxis, and buses at a very minimal fare price. But due to high congestion, residents drive their way to the destination by car.

    However, you can also use light rails and intercity trains to transit from city to city with several stop points. 

    Mode of transportationCost
    Light rail$1.50
    UberDepends on the ride

    11. Jobs in Puerto Rico

    The job market in Puerto Rico is thriving, with a participation rate of 50% in the actively vacant positions, primarily in the sectors of finance, tourism, insurance, real estate, and service industries.

    The average salary in Puerto Rico is $60,000 which is slightly higher than the national average of $56,310.

    Puerto Rico has a less healthy employment market than other metro US states.

    Puerto Rico has a 40% job growth rate and a high vacancy rate in the manufacturing, petrochemicals, textiles, pharmaceuticals, and electronics sectors, which are the main drivers of the island’s economy.

    Around 1.02 million people are employed in Puerto Rico, of which 4.5% are foreign nationals with work permits on the island.

    So, people moving to Puerto Rico can easily get a job in another state or start a business and earn a small salary within no time. 

    12. Schools in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico has more than 1,500 public schools and 500 private schools whose education pattern is based on the US model.


    Attending school is important for children ages 6 to 17. The teacher-student ratio in the public schools is about 1:11. 

    Education is highly admired in Puerto Rico and grants the right to education to its residents and non-residents living across the state.

    This ranks Puerto Rico among the 37 largest education systems in the US, serving 36 students in its top-rated public and private schools for the school year 2023-24.

    The public schools in Puerto Rico are governed by the Department of Education of Puerto Rico and the Education Council of Puerto Rico, which oversee all affiliations syllabi, examinations, and academic standards of the schools of Puerto Rico.

    While the schools follow the American syllabus model, the teaching language is Spanish and English is their second language.

    The private schools are operated by private institutions and are mostly catholic. They offer a bilingual teaching system in English and Spanish language.

    13. Best Places to Live in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico is listed as one of the best states to raise a family, because of its lower crime rate, top-rated educational institutes, proximity to the outdoors, & safest neighborhoods to reside in.

    The best place to live in Puerto Rico depends on the location, accessibility and the purpose of living.

    Read on the points below to explore the best places to live in Puerto Rico.

    • Old San Juan- It is situated on the east end of Puerto Rico, on a tiny narrow island along the north coast. There are hotels, guesthouses, inns, historical spots, restaurants, and much more. The crime rate in this suburban place is low, thus making it a safe place for relocation.
    • Condado: Condado is located near Old San Juan. It is relatively a safe place to live, however, there may be some pretty crimes such as pickpocketing. The area is perfect for those who want to relax on the beach, dine and seek entertainment.
    • Isla Verde: The area is near San Juan airport, thus making it easy to travel to different places via flight. It is recommended not to roam alone at night in this region. The area is generally considered ideal for couples and honeymoons.
    • Rincón: Ricon is highly famous for beaches and surfing. There are many budget-friendly houses and rents. Rincon has recorded 13 crimes per 1000 people.
    • Dorado: Dorado is situated on the northern coast of Puerto Rico. It has various accommodations, golf courses, and beautiful beaches. Additionally, Dorado`s crime rate is much lower than other areas. 

    14. Best Places to Visit in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico is a diverse place filled with a lot of attractions to explore.

    From historical museums to lush greenery, beautiful beaches, and dynamic cultural events, Puerto Rico boasts a different combination of natural beauty and cultural richness.

    So, here is a list of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico for your next day or weekend trip.

    Best hiking in Puerto RicoEl Yunque Trail (Big Tree TrailEl Toro TrailGuanica Dry Forest ReserveBosque Estatal de GuajatacaCueva Ventana
    Best beaches in Puerto RicoFlamenco BeachPlaya SuciaSeven Seas BeachCarolina BeachPlaya BuyéVega Baja Beach
    Best attractions in Puerto RicoOld San JuanEl Yunque National ForestBioluminescent BaysPonceCamuy River Cave ParkArecibo ObservatoryRincónMuseo de Arte de Puerto RicoCasa Bacardi
    Best parks in Puerto RicoEl Yunque National ForestCabo Rojo National Wildlife RefugeBosque Estatal de GuajatacaVacas ReserveCabo San Juan Natural Reserve

    15. Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico is home to approximately 300 beaches in the Caribbean. The beaches are mainly covered with white sand, and crystal-clear warm water, offering everything from enjoying the beachviews to sunbathing.


    To help you plan for your next beach vacation, we have put together a list of 5 famous beaches in Puerto Rico.

    • Flamenco Beach, Culebra: It is one of the best beaches in the world. Flamenco Beach is rich in white sand and clear turquoise waters. People may also find iguanas, hermit crabs and wild horses in the area.
    • Playa Crash Boat, Aguadilla: The beach is popular for its natural beauty and ample water sports opportunities. You can swim, snorkel, or surf on the clear water.
    • Luquillo Beach, Luquillo: It is one of the best family-friendly beaches in Puerto Rico. It has fine golden sand and palm trees along the coastline that provide shade to the people for relaxation. Additionally, the beach also hosts many water activities and events.
    • Playa Sucia, Cabo Rojo: It is also called as “La Playuela”. It is highly eminent for its stunning natural beauty, surrounded by lush cliffs. Moreover, there is also a beautiful lighthouse near the beach.
    • Seven Seas Beach, Fajardo:  It is the best place to swim and surf, especially with family. The beach features white sand and picnic areas with tables where visitors can enjoy their meal. It is near the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo.

    16. Things to do in Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico is a thrilling indigenous island that has a lot of things to do. The island is packed with many activities such as adventure, surfing, shopping, relaxation, etc., that will give you epic experiences.

    Check out the table below to know what exactly a particular age group can do in Puerto Rico.

    Age groupActivities 
    KidsRelax on some of Puerto Rico’s wonderful beaches. Explore the historic streets of Old San Juan. Snorkeling, swimming, and kayaking at the Flamenco Beach. Hike through the Bosque Carite Rainforest. Taste the delicious Puerto Rican cuisine. 
    FamiliesVisit the Caguas Botanical Garden. Learn about the history of art museums like the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Relax on the beach and enjoy the sun and sea at a calm and accessible beach.Walk through the streets of local markets for shopping. Explore the field of sunflowers at Finca El Girasol.
    CouplesEnjoy the night in San Juan with its several bars, clubs, and live music events. Spend a day on Gilligan`s island. Go with a partner to enjoy the atmosphere on a sunset cruise. Enjoy a romantic meal at any Puerto Rico restaurant. Take a horseback ride with your partner along the beach.
    Elderly peopleVisit the Caguas Botanical Garden. Learn about the history of art museums like the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico. Relax on the beach and enjoy the sun and sea at a calm and accessible beach. Walk through the streets of local markets for shopping. Explore the field of sunflowers at Finca El Girasol.

    17. Pros and Cons of living in Puerto Rico

    There are a lot of benefits to moving to Puerto Rico, but it might bring you some surprises that you are not aware of, which we are going to discuss below as the cons of living in Puerto Rico.


    • Rich in culture and natural beauty
    • Warm and welcoming residents
    • Availability of plenty of food
    • No need for a visa for US citizens
    • Warm weather throughout the year
    • Low cost of living
    • Tax-free territory


    • Lack of public schools
    • Hurricane prone area
    • Poor infrastructure developments
    • Fewer job opportunities
    • High crime rate
    • Imported things are expensive
    • Low-quality healthcare 

    18. Moving Companies to Puerto Rico

    The average cost of moving within Puerto Rico territory is around $99, while the average cost of moving to/from Puerto Rico is $9000 or more.

    However, the shipping cost of USPS mail ranges from $11-$16, depending on the shipping method and the weight of the package. 

    Moving Companies to Puerto Rico

    The price of moving to or within Puerto Rico depends on numerous elements, such as distance, weight of the luggage, services, time taken to shift, and accessibility.

    It is always better to research each company, check customer reviews, and get quotes to meet your needs for cost-effective and smooth shifting.

    As the large pieces of belongings can take about 2-3 weeks to reach your Puerto Rico destination, it is advised to sell them and only bring important furniture and things with you.

    Check out the list of top moving companies in Puerto Rico.

    • Atlas Van Lines Puerto Rico
    • Caribbean Moving Services
    • Metropolitan Movers
    • Caribbean International Movers
    • Allied Van Lines Puerto Rico
    • U-Haul Puerto Rico (for DIY moving)

    Moving to Puerto Rico FAQ’s

    Is Puerto Rico a rich or poor country?

    Puerto Rico is a poor country in comparison with the United States with 40% of its population living below the poverty line. 

    How to Move to Puerto Rico?

    You can easily move to Puerto Rico without a visa or any paperwork if you are a US citizen. Moreover, it is not required to convert your dollars to another currency. 

    Is it easy to get a driving license in Puerto Rico?

    Yes, it is easy to get a driving license in Puerto Rico. You have to just make an appointment with the CESCO, Department of Motor Vehicles. 

    What are the Puerto Rico travel restrictions?

    The travel restrictions clauses in Puerto Rico are:

    • The US citizens must have a visa to travel to Puerto Rico. 
    • International travelers need to have a Puerto Rico ESTA and a valid passport without which they can`t enter the city. 


    Puerto Rico is truly a charming and captivating destination whether seeking adventure or settling down.

    There are limitless opportunities to escape and enjoy, from its stunning landscapes and picturesque beaches to its rich history and culture, including its rainforests, mountains, and deserts. 

    Besides this, you will find many more things to surprise you on your way, and others can be avoided.

    So, take your time, prepare to move, and have a great journey ahead to the La Isla Del Encanto.