Why Move to Puerto Rico?

Why Move To Puerto Rico, you ask?

In San Juan by a “garita” or sentry post of El Moro

A lot of people ask us, “Why live in or move to Puerto Rico of all places?” Well, the simple answer is “Why not?”, or more precisely, why any other place you may currently be living. We ended up with a life in Greeley, Colorado by chance and are picking Puerto Rico life by choice.

By Chance (Greeley Colorado in the winter)

Royal Palm
By Choice (Puerto Rico in the winter)

The long answer is that Puerto Rico offers just about everything we are looking for in a place to live. It is part of the U.S. which makes it a little easier to transition and move (same money, no passports and customs delays in traveling, English is sometimes spoken, banks are easier to deal with, etc, etc), but it is also not quite the U.S. which is also appealing for a variety of reasons (more autonomy and freedom, Spanish IS spoken frequently which is great for, especially, Cassie, the “free associated state” can decide what laws of the U.S. it wants and toss those that it doesn’t, like as examples, the drinking age, federal income taxes, and some of its bureaucracy). What’s more, the people of Borinquen (the original name for the island) are warm and welcoming and the culture is fascinating.

Beautiful View of the Arboledas

With a property on some acreage we will be able to live more sustainably and get out of the rat race, and somewhat off the grid: we can grow most of our food, collect rain water (or find a property with manantiales (springs) or a river), not have to rely on fossil fuels to keep us warm in the winter (even at night it rarely dips below 70 degrees) and possibly generate electricity from flowing water, wind and/or sun. What a Life!

80 Degrees in December

Probably the biggest reason for me, Cassie, is that it is a Tropical Island! Yes, the land of warm beaches, tropical fruit and plants, and sunshine.

Yellow Flowers
You can grow and see plants like these year round!

Why move? Haven’t you ever caught yourself on vacation wishing you could just stay there? Well, that’s why. Because the paradise we usually just get to escape to for a few weeks if at all, shall be our home with all of its own unique quirks and traits to learn. When we searched out various tropical areas, we found that Puerto Rico is actually a little closer to Colorado than Hawaii, but much more affordable for both the tourist/adventurer and those looking to relocate to the warm Puerto Rican way of life. How could we resist? The Isle of Enchantment had us hooked. And maybe you too! :-)

Rincon Sunset
This could be your life! Need I say more?

anasco beach
Can you believe how empty these beaches are!? (Anasco Beach)

Puerto Rico in relation to Colorado -smack dab in the middle of the Caribbean Sea

This is a Promo Video about Puerto Rico and gives a pretty good summary

For more info on Puerto Rico, check out these sites:

Our Place in Rincón- Info and pictures of our house and acreage in Rincón, PR

Caribbean Business – Puerto Rico news in English

ClasificadosOnline – Puerto Rico’s version of Craigslist (classified ads). Best place to start searching properties, jobs, vehicles, etc

BoricuaOnline -Lots of information on just about any town in Puerto Rico

El Coqui of Rincon – Rincon’s small monthly news and advertising publication

El Nuevo Dia (translates to The New Day) Puerto Rico’s main Spanish language newspaper

Welcome to Puerto Rico -Similar to Boricua Online. Gives lots of facts and info about various areas of Puerto Rico plus some touristy stuff too.

47 thoughts on “Why Move to Puerto Rico?

  1. Jerry

    Hi, beautiful house. Wish you guys luck. My wife an I just got back from Rincon, beautiful as always. I’ve been thinking of buying there..ensenada area…some friends said the prices have been coming down a bit… any information on pricing? Are asking prices much higher than the actual sales price? etc… thanks

  2. Britton

    Prices vary a lot. Asking price can be exactly what the seller wants, or it can just be a shot in the wind.

    Best way to go is to just offer what you are willing to pay. That may be 1/2 the asking price or, it may be what they are asking. There really isn’t a rule of thumb in PR.

    Also there aren’t any tools available (to my knowledge) to see what things are selling for so it makes it an interesting game.

  3. Rico

    Have you tried using Craigslist in PR it now has a map feature in the housing section which gives you a general price overview of an area.

  4. Dana

    Hi there!

    I might have an opportunity to “work from home” in the near future. I currently live in San Diego but an really interested in Puerto Rico. Do you have any idea of what the implications would be from a taxation standpoint? Would my company see me as working in a foreign country? Any advise as far as that goes?

  5. Britton

    Hi Dana! Thanks for stopping by.

    I am not sure how the WFPR deal would work out taxwise. I wouldn’t imagine that it is too difficult as people do it all the time. I am not sure where taxes would be paid (in CA or PR). I have worked remote while visiting PR, so I guess as long as you were ‘just visiting’ you might just have to pay CA taxes ;)

    If you do find out let us know. That would be good info to share.

  6. Britton

    We did look at it quite a few times and I suspect we will be using it more and more when we move. I hadn’t heard of the map feature yet and will check it out. I’ve always been curious. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Reinaldo

    Cassie ,with all the negative of the Kruse Chronicles, why you guys wana move to PR?.I know i disagree with that blog about 80 percent of what they say.I think their blog is garbage and an insult for the locals.Hope your move to PR goes smooth and Life Transplanet dont become like Kruse Chronicles.

  8. Anna

    Hi, my husband, two small children and I are looking to possibly move to Puerto Rico sometime next summer. We do not speak spanish, but plan on learning as much as we can. Curious if you could suggest some family oriented towns that are safe for children and are more in the “country side” (not condos, downtown etc). We like to live simply, and do not need fancy accommodations… yet sill need to be close enough to towns for job opportunities. Thanks. Your site is great.

  9. Rebekah Miller

    My fiance and I are planning on moving to Rincon for 6 months, possibly longer. We have friends who are locals there who offered thier couch, although I’d prefer to rent a place for the two of us. I came across your blog (which is awesome) and I was hoping you might be able to give some suggestions and/or advice. Our price range is approx 400 a month. We are paying 700 now, here in Tampa, Fl and I say 400 in Rincon because our friends pay around 500-600 for a 3 bedroom, two story house that is close to the beach, we would only need a one bedroom-nothing fancy. Also, not sure if we’ll be able to make the same income once there.
    Hope Puerto Rico is everthing you thought it would be and more! Im looking forward to hearing from you!

  10. Natasha Smith


    We too live in Colorado! (Denver), and just got back from Humacao. Since then I have wondered what it would be like to move there, and more specifically, how to go about doing it. I stumbled upon your blog in a search on how to do this. I love it there, and I think your move sounds wonderful! I can’t offer advice on housing in Rincon, but I can wish you luck!

  11. Michael

    Hi my soon to be wife and I are both chefs, dealing with the brutal chicago winters, and with no children we are thinking of relocating to puerto rico after our wedding in january. I am excited but concerned with my lack of knoweldge of safe areas to live and the economy for people in our industry. Any thoughts would be helpfull

  12. Cassie

    Hi Michael!
    We are with you on the brutal winters and think you will love Puerto Rico, if you like tropical weather and the more laid back, free lifestyle.

    I have heard that some places in the San Juan area are not very safe, but beyond that I don’t really know. The rest of the island is very different from the metropolitan area of SJ, so it really depends where you are looking to move. Rincon has about 30% “gringos” or mainland Americans, so it is maybe a little easier of a transition for some people (like my husband Britton who knows very little Spanish for example).

    As for the economy, I would plan on not getting a traditional “job”. You may find something, but maybe not. In San Juan, Cabo Rojo, Vieques, Culebra and Rincon there are more tourist-type jobs, so your food-industry skills could be more needed there. A lot of the “mainlanders” that move to PR either bring a lot of money or their own jobs with them, or they start something -entrepreneurship! (Everyone loves a new, good restaurant for example!) Overall, outside of San Juan you can live pretty cheaply, so you wouldn’t need to make a whole lot of money. Once we get set up in Rincon, we plan on living on less than $1000/month because we will have virtually no expenses.

    Hope that helps and good luck!

  13. mario

    Guys I do not want to be pragmatic or negatives before coming here if you have money,and live in the us and come here in the winter isok, BUT if you come here beaware that the crime is the highest then anyware in the states there is nothing about layed back in this Island hospitals trffic, services, highcost of living, inefficient police you name it i don’t recomend it, I am from here my family is from here but I am dieyng to get out!

  14. Britton

    Hi Mario,
    Thanks for commenting. I suppose the grass is always greener on the other side. We love Puerto Rico. I am sure that there will be many things that we may dislike about it, but that could be said wherever you go (in fact, we have heard many of the same complaints about our area here in Colorado!). We won’t be in the San Juan area, and the rest of the island is much different and laid back (IMO) from the metro area. We love the west coast and rural campo of PR. Our philosophy is that life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond to it. We are super excited to move there in just a few months and start our adventures.

    Heck, maybe we can even help make it an even better place to live!

  15. rafael marrero

    Wow what a great story and yes you hit the point when describing the island. I am originally from puerto rico but I currently live in Philadelphia Pennsylvania , for the last 4 year I have been planning moving back after 15 years here in the state , I have realized what I’m missing from the island. Your story and analogy its almost the same things that made me change it up and move. With gods will our move is set for june 2014. To a town called Coamo (40k in population) were I was born. I wish you best of luck on your new quest. If any one wants land or house to buy check clasificadospr.com they have all you need to find real estate ,cars, boats ,jobs etc.

  16. Ken


    I’m 20 years old and halfway through college. I have a mother and a brother that live in Puerto Rico that offered me to live with them just as long as I would work and help around the house. My brother said that life would be hard at first, I’d have to start all over, get a job, learn spanish, and do the best I can.

    I was wondering about schooling (college), health insurance, jobs that would be suitable for me, and the best way to learn spanish over there. I’m okay at spanish, not perfect nor fluent, and I’m kind of scared of the move to there. I’m scared of messing up, not having a good life, regretting the decision I made, etc. I’m fascinated in Puerto Rico and wouldn’t mind making a life there, I’ve always wanted to speak spanish, and I love their culture. Any ideas or tips to help me out? I’d like to speak to a person that’s moved there from the states, than speak to a local who’s lived there all their lives. You can email me at Kennymccombs3rd@gmail.com or reply back on here. Either way works! Thank you!

  17. Michelle

    I am currently building my home-based business. Once I grow my savings, we may move to PR. My husband and I will ditch our 9-5 jobs. I studied Spanish for many years; it was my minor in college. My husband and I have children so PR can be quite expensive. Particularly because we would want to send our children to a private English-speaking school ($10,000 per year per child). I want them to learn fluid Spanish but I don’t want them to fall behind academically (think SAT scores). I’ve been looking at homes in the $500,000-$800,000 range and I have been impressed. I am especially encouraged by your blog. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Anonymous

    I do think the grass is greener on the other side. You may love it but many people come and leave very quickly. Come with a plan… to be financially secure on your own. Do not come if you need work, expect things to “work out” for you or expect paradise. Massive unemployment, crime, and delays are the normal opporating procedure here.

  19. Stephanie Busby

    Buenas Dias! Thanks for all of your info, it’s very helpful! I especially appreciate your comments on Greeley, I teach in Lyons and the high was 6 degrees on Thursday! Ugggg! We’re all still recovering from the flood in September. I’ve had some life changes and am starting to re-think my pathway! I have 1 daughter in cosmetology school and a sophomore in high school. If I could convince the sophomore to spend her senior year somewhere new, I’ll do it! If not I’ll go after she gets settled in college (unless she goes to University of Puerto Rico! ) I’ve lived abroad before, traveled extensively, speak Spanish and need some challenge in life with rewards of good weather, culture and a slower lifestyle. I’d see if I can teach Enlish/art (I teach art 6 – 12 now) or get into the tourist industry. It’s ideal that I have a few years to get my ducks in a row. I also have contacts with the director at the TASIS school and a rum distillery around Ponce… If you have any suggestions, comments, I’d love to hear it… Can you PLEASE put your toes in the sand for me??? Mine are freezing in my slippers… :)

  20. Tom

    I enjoyed the blog / discussions.
    I just moved here in January and what has made all the difference is the friendly people.
    I have been renting in Viajo San Juan for 3 months to get my bearings ( and to live in a historic world heritage city ).
    But while very cultural with many great restaurants, it is simply too busy and noisy for my liking.
    So starting to look elsewhere … Many terrific and varied choices!

  21. Jaydee

    I am originally from Puerto Rico and after 22 years away from home living in Europe and USA we have decided to move to Puerto Rico. For me this is moving back home but for my husband this will be a totally different life style change. We currently life in Virginia, work full time and I own a photography business.

    We haven’t decided where in the Island we would like to life I guess because it’s all dependent on finding a job first. I would like to continue my business full time but know this may take time to establish clientele once more.

    I enjoyed reading your blog and an even thou I am from the Island originally I still found your information very helpful.


  22. Caleb

    Hi there! Enjoyed the blog! I was wondering…is it possible for a 23 year old to move to PR from Illinois with just a couple hundred bucks after the flight? I need to be in a paradise and it seems like a fun adventure! Thanks!

  23. Britton

    Caleb, while possible, I wouldn’t suggest it. Come with a plan, and a backup plan. Save money and set goals otherwise you might be miserable and have to return to where you came from.

  24. Reed

    Hi everyone! I actually was raised in Greeley! Small world I guess :) I own my own internet business and am thinking about spending 3-6 months in PR. I am 28 years old and will be traveling by myself. I have lived abroad in Europe before so I understand the challenges of a new world. My question is where would be best to move? I want to be near the beach and have access to an active social atmosphere. I’m leaning towards San Juan because I can handle a bigger city. Is there any spots you’d recommend to rent for $1000-1500/m? Any places that will do short term or month to month leases? I certainly don’t want to be in a house all by myself since I won’t know anyone! Any other cities you’d recommend?

    As a side note – In Greeley, If you’ve ever been to Potato Brumbaugh’s or The Neighborhood Grill (Changed to The Colorado Grill), they were my family’s restaurants!

  25. adolfojp

    I hope that I’m not hijacking this forum. I am not one of its creators, just a fan and a local.

    Reed, that money will get you an apartment pretty much anywhere.

    If you prioritize for social life then I would recommend Old San Juan. But OSJ might be a bit too loud, gritty, busy, and crowded, and even though it overlooks the bay on one side and the ocean on the other it doesn’t really have beach access. But I wouldn’t mind living there.

    If you prioritize by beach access then I’ll recommend Ocean Park. You’ll have beach access but you would still be in a nice part of the city. It’s located right next to Condado and not too far from the livelier (but scarier looking) parts of Santurce where interesting things are happening in the world of food, art, and music.

    I can’t really think of other cities to recommend. Ponce is kind of boring and its coast, while lovely, is not particularly beachy. Because of river sedimentation the coast of Mayagüez is not really suitable for swimming and because the place is basically a college town it dies between Friday and Sunday when the students go visit their parents. Aguadilla is rather nice, but mostly because of its natural beauty, and in reality it is just a big town. I could say the same of Arecibo. And Carolina… research what a caco is on urban dictionary before even thinking of moving there.

    About short term or month to month leases I can’t really help you with that but the standard answer for finding rental properties is the Clasificados Online website.

    If you have more questions about the metro area I’m very easy to find on Facebook but for all of your Rincón questions Britton and Cassie are not only much more knowledgeable than I am but also pretty much experts. :-)

  26. adolfojp

    I almost forgot, if you won’t have a car then I can’t recommend any place other than San Juan (OSJ and Ocean Park are parts of San Juan). Public transportation in San Juan is subpar but in many other parts of the island it ranges from very bad to nonexistent.

  27. Reed

    I think I’ve narrowed down to condado, ocean park area, and isla verde. Isla Verde is part of Carolina correct? Is this an area you wouldn’t recommend?

  28. adolfojp

    Hi Reed, it depends. I’ll talk about both Condado and Isla Verde so that you can make your own decision. But if you can, when you visit the island visit both places because what I like might not be what you like and vice versa.

    Yes, Isla Verde is located in Carolina, although you could argue that because of its many hotels it is the least caco-like place in Carolina.

    I encourage you to look at Isla Verde on an online map that has an aerial view. You’ll quickly realize that Isla Verde is a thin strip of land that is bordered by the ocean to the north, by the airport to the east, by an expressway to the south, and by el Residencial Luis Llorens Torres (The Projects) to the west.

    When you zoom in to Isla Verde you’ll see that most of Isla Verde is composed of Hotels, Condos, and the restaurants and stores that support them. And if you look at videos and pictures of the Isla Verde Avenue you might notice that the place doesn’t look particularly walkable.

    That’s not to say that the place doesn’t have a life, or night life, outside of the hotels, but to me it doesn’t feel very organic. Although I must admit that it does have some of the best conventional night clubs in the island, like Brava, where you pay a $20 cover charge to get in but if you want a table you’ll also need to pay for bottle service. You’ll also find some reggaetón oriented night clubs and that’s where the cacos that I mentioned before tend to gravitate. There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with those reggaetón night clubs if you just want to dance or hook up but I’ve always found the culture that surrounds them to be vacuous and a bit dangerous, which makes sense because reggaetón is a mix of dance hall and gansta rap.

    Now take a look at Condado. I should have mentioned Condado when I mentioned Ocean Park because except for a decrease in height of the buildings from west to east there is not a clear division between the two places. And to a certain extent they’re interchangeable. When you look at Condado you’ll see that it is a bit more unbounded. It merges to the south with the rest of Santurce (suburb of San Juan) and to the west with Old San Juan and to the east with Ocean Park. And when you zoom in you will see Hotels and Condos and businesses that support them but you’ll also see a town that could potentially exist without the need for them.

    That’s why in Condado you’ll also find schools and hospitals and plazas that locals actually visit and local residents that have a local culture. In some spots of Condado you’ll get monthly community activities like a Jazz festival, a movie screening by the lagoon (where you can kayak and paddleboard), and a community market. On the downside, even though Condado has many bars and restaurants, it doesn’t really have conventional night clubs like those that you’ll find at Isla Verde. But like I mentioned before, it has quick access to the rest of the city where you’ll find many interesting places. Let me know when you get here if you want specific recommendations regarding those places and I’ll gladly provide them.

    So, if you prefer beach condos and night clubs without a doubt choose Isla Verde. If you prefer a walkable place to live that’s closer to the rest of the city then choose Condado or Ocean Park.

  29. Cassie

    Thanks Adolfo,
    We don’t know very many details about San Juan, and generally try to avoid the craziness of big cities! :-) So thanks for all this info.

    Definitely small world. I know both those restaurants. I think everyone was sad when Potato Brumbaugh’s closed. It was probably the nicest restaurant in town. Good luck on your move to Puerto Rico, and don’t forget to visit the west coast. I think you would also love it over here. Very different, more laid back vibe.

    Take care and maybe we will see you around!

  30. Corrina

    So excited to read your blog. My husband and I have dreamed of spending winter months in PR. We’ve been on vacation several times. My intention is to develop meditation/yoga retreats. I’m an energy healer and found PR to be ripe for this kind of sacred work especially when connecting to nature. Any ideas of places to rent or host these kinds of retreats? I’ve been researching and not much comes up for retreat centers etc. Considered just renting a house and doing from the house. Would love your ideas! Thanks and namaste.

  31. Jojo

    Hi, I’ve also been thinking about moving back to PR. I had an interview about 2 weeks ago, and I just got called for a second interview. My question is do you think I can make in PR on $32,000 salary? A little about me, I’m a single mother of 2 (ages 2 and 6). My job will be on Ft Buchanan, more than likely I will be looking into base housing, however I’m just concerned about the cost of living there now a days.

  32. sean neri

    seems like Puerto Rico might be a good place for me.. would like to chat. I have some questions.. do you know how I can find some people who went to Porto Rico to start businesses or are working independently?



  33. Y

    Rincón is my hometown and I think it’s great but expensive. I’ve been living in PA for too many years and I’d love to move back to Rincón. But I think that schools on PR have no discipline. Hospitals are horrible, police is very corrupted or don’t care and if you are too trusting, people over there would try to take your land, if unhabited . There’s hardly employment and that’s why the crime is high in highly populated areas. If you are moving try to have a job waiting for you before you do. Don’t expect much from hospitals, you will need patience. Rincón is beautiful and a calm town. And if I had the money I would move to Bo. Puntas. Enjoy the beaches, explore the mountains, plant fruit trees in my garden, and live life truly free from this US govt oppression. Make sure you own a vehicle, have a good amount of $ on your savings account and a job waiting for you if you decide to move back to the states. Many ppl work winters in PR and summers in the US and that’s how they make it. Oh, and most importantly, just because you are Americans don’t act like you are better than the islanders, they will despise you for it and believe me when I say, you don’t want that. I say it bc i heard too many rincoeños complain about that. Stay humble and enjoy life to the max bc living in a tropical island could be one of the best things you do in life.

  34. Larry J


    Love your blog. I, like you am from Colorado and this past July officially made the move here to Puerto Rico and also like you live in the “campo” which according to some of my associates is anything west of Bayomon lol). My wife is originally from here so I’ve had the advantage of gradually preparing for our move over the past 5 years by constantly visiting and getting adapted to the culture. We built a home here and I truly feel that we are in paradise!!! We are 100% off the grid and its been spectacular.

    It is so great to read about your experiences and see the perspectives of so many others. I for sure will be checking back here often.

    Feliz dia de Reyes!!!! (Gotta love all of the holidays here too!!!)

  35. jeff

    I am still assuming that if I want to move to PR that my kids, only knowing very little Spanish, will have to attend private school? Do they offer a home school option like here in the states?

  36. Michelle and Sammi Crosser

    Hi. We love in Monticello Indiana and are wanting to move to PR. We would love to talk to you about any infomation from you. We can be reached by email or by phone. Thank you

  37. Tracy Alcantara

    Thanks for sharing this info. Curious how things are now. Any regrets? Would love to make a big move but finding a job would be in order first. Like you, I’m tired of these treacherous winters!

  38. Wilfredo Ocasio

    I arrived in Puerto Rico when I transferred as a Revenue Agent with I.R.S. I worked international cases and traveled to the U.S., Canada and other countries to work on foreign corporations, foreign controlled corporations, and controlled foreign corporations. So as far as how Puerto Rico is treated tax-wise, email me and I’ll be glad to help. I had never really been to the island before my transfer (although I was born here), and I must say that as soon as I arrived at the airport on my single vacation prior to moving, I was obsessed with the tropical smell. I’ve loved it ever since. My wife and I are retired, own our home in the mountains of Guaynabo, and enjoy life to the hilt. I scuba dive, play tennis, get on zip lines, motorcycle. I also have my little shop where I make wooden things to give away to friends and family. I find people too judgmental in the states, ready to condemn anyone or anything. That includes some of my family over there. I often think they’ve become republican conservatives, as extremist as any other extremist around the world! The previous advice is good. Come to P.R. several times, get someone in the island to take you around and if you like it, Welcome!!!

  39. Steve

    Hi Wilfredo,

    I would like some information about the tax situation in PR. I have an internet business and I’ve read some good things about Act 20 and Act 21 but need some clarification please.

    Thank you.

  40. jorge serrano

    simple question as I see that you live in Puerto Rico…Hacienda doesn’t seem to know the answer….

    Do you pay taxes on the Shipping & Handling, if you purchase products from the US that will be shipped to Puerto Rico?

  41. Cassie Post author

    Hi Jorge,
    New goods in large amounts that are shipped in on container I think they try to tax. If you send something to yourself through the mail or Amazon or something, it most likely wouldn’t be.

  42. C.R.

    Hi there, nice blog! I’m looking into moving to the island but cannot find work… Does anyone know of a way to get started? Thank you much appreciated!

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