Warm, tropical weather, rich history, and beautiful and diverse landscapes are some of the most common reasons why people love to visit the small island of Puerto Rico. But here are 16 additional reasons why you should consider living there.
1. Enjoy great food
They say you haven’t really experienced the true atmosphere of a place until you have tried their food. Thankfully, Puerto Rican cuisine has a lot to offer. Start off with a mofongo, which is a delicious fried plantain dish, and as a dessert choose the helado de parcha, the passion fruit flavored local ice cream. There are other delicacies one mustn’t miss, such as arroz con gandules (made of rice, pork and pigeon peas), asopao (gumbo of chicken and rice), and alcapurrias (stuffed fritters).
2. Get Energized with Local Coffee
Although not as famous as its Colombian rival, Puerto Rican coffee is of great quality. Coffee beans were introduced to the island in the 18th century, and became its main export product shortly after. Alto Grande coffee is one of only three coffee brands in the World to be of superpremium quality, the highest rank a coffee can ever achieve.
3. Purchase a luxurious home at an affordable price
Puerto Rico has great offers when it comes to purchasing your own home at an affordable price. For $124,999 you can buy your own three-bedroom, two-bath condominium, which even has a view of the ocean! Built in 2008, this spectacular find is located in an apartment complex which comes with its own swimming pool, playground and garden area.
4. Live in the center of it all
Get a penthouse condo in the San Mateo neighborhood of San Juan for just $210,000! The penthouse apartment, part of Castillo del Parque Apartments, comes with two lovely bedrooms, two baths, a comfy balcony, a fully equipped and stylish kitchen, and a snug living and dining area. The property is complete with two parking spaces, and proximity to the most important facilities the capital of Puerto Rico has to offer.
5. Ease of transfer
Since Puerto Rico is part of the commonwealth of the United States, moving to this amazing Caribbean country is easy. You don’t have to worry about customs, visas, residency, or even a passport! Moving yourself and your stuff will be just as easy as if you were moving to another US state.
6. Same language, same money
The country has two official languages: Spanish and English. Locals are required to study English in schools, and most of the population speaks the language fluently. Even in smaller towns or in rural areas you can get yourself understood, and you can easily move to and live in the country if you don’t know a word of Spanish. The national currency is the US dollar, so you won’t have to worry about exchange rates.
7. Low taxes
Although it belongs to the US, Puerto Rico has its own unique tax system, which is very favorable for American or Canadian citizens. Investors can enjoy total exemption from Puerto Rican income taxes on passive income if they become residents. Residency can be achieved after living on the island for at least 183 days. If you buy your own house on the island, and use it as your primary residence, you don’t have to pay any taxes. If you purchase a vacation property, the taxes are unbelievably low compared to those of the United States or Canada.
8. The perfect destination if you like Pina Coladas
The famous cocktail has been the official drink of Puerto Rico since 1978. The sweet cocktail is composed of rum, coconut cream and pineapple juice. One can even take a distillery tour of the Casa Bacardi, the largest rum distillery in the world, where the history of rum is presented.
9. Party all year round
Puerto Rico is famous for the numerous festivals and parties that govern the streets of larger cities in each month. San Sebastian Festival, held on the third week of January, is just one enormous party, where the streets of San Juan are stuffed with crowds, food stalls, alcohol, music and plenty of dancing. Saborea is the country’s largest food festival, held every April, when some of the best chefs around the world gather to taste and cook amazing dishes. Ponce Carnival is one of the oldest festivals in the country, dating back to the 18th century, and it is the most celebrated and colorful festival of Puerto Rico, held during the week leading up to Ash Wednesday. The main attractions are the vejigantes, the costumed and masked characters, which roam around the cities, cheering locals up.
10. The Center of Christmas Celebrations
Speaking of festivals, the most important day of the Christmas season in Puerto Rico is the 6th of January, when the so-called 3 Kings Day is celebrated. The small town of Juana Diaz is leading the pack when it comes to the celebration, who’s Three Kings make a tour of the island before making their way home.
11. San Juan is for everyone
Are you into history? Head to the Old San Juan, the oldest settlement in the country, established in the 16th century! Do you prefer beaches? Even though the large metropolitan area can seem like a concrete jungle at times, the fabulous Condado Beach is within arm’s reach and can offer a day of R&R. Are you more of an adventurous type? You can get to the Camuy River Cave Park in under an hour and cool off in one of the most amazing cave systems of the Caribbean. If you enjoy an active nightlife, the Puerto Rican capital won’t disappoint, since it’s filled with bars, clubs, restaurants and nightclubs.
12. Beach paradise
One of the best beaches in Puerto Rico is located in Luquillo, which is long, preferred mostly by families with children, but it is not at all crowded. Ocean Park Beach situated between Condado and Isla Verde is preferred by youngsters and adults. If you’re searching for great landscapes, head to either Cabo Roso or Isabela’s beaches, which are often considered a haven for photographers.
13. Ponce, the cultural gem of the south
The city of Ponce values and even promotes its many cultural assets such as libraries, museums, galleries and parks. It is the ideal place for those in search of an active cultural life, since many artistic, musical and other culturally themed events are organized every month in the city.
14. The best place for water sports enthusiasts
Puerto Rico is not only extremely beautiful, rich in culture and architecturally diverse, it is also a prime destination for water sports enthusiasts. The best places to go snorkeling or diving are Mona Island, Caja de Muertos and Vieques, where one can admire colorful fish, octopus, turtles and even rays. Rincon has the best beaches for surfing. A number of Puerto Rican Beaches also feature water-related activities from boating to fly boarding.
15. A mecca for adrenaline junkies
Besides the abundance of water sports activities, Puerto Rico also boasts plenty of adrenaline-filled attractions, of which zip lining is probably the most famous. “The Beast”, located at Toro Verde, is the world’s highest zip line at an altitude of 853 feet, and is the second longest, with a length of 4,745 feet. You go down face forward, on your belly, and can reach a speed of up to 80 miles per hour.
16. Experience wonder at Bioluminescent Bay
Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques is home to tiny creatures, the dinoflagellate, which start to glow whenever the water is disturbed, offering astonishing sights. Tourists can visit it through organized kayak tours.
As an often overlooked destination, Puerto Rico is slowly making its way towards becoming a very popular region for expats and retirees alike.