What is the Cost of Living in Puerto Rico?

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What is the Cost of Living in Puerto Rico?

Puerto Rico is quickly becoming a favorite digital nomad location. It’s the ideal spot to call home, with its crystal-clear waters and sunny skies. It is rather easy for Americans and other nationalities to obtain a visa because it is a US territory. Surfing in Rincon, jungle trekking in the jungles, island hopping in the Puerto Rican Galapagos, and admiring the colorful houses of ancient San Juan are all options. Moving to Puerto Rico provides you with a wide range of freedom and an affordable lifestyle, allowing you to live the life you’ve always wanted; a life full of color, local Puerto Rican spices, and plenty of rum. This is not a place to look for work because it is not known for its excellent jobs or flourishing economy. Puerto Rico is an ideal location for digital nomads, remote workers, and entrepreneurs. It’s even become a hotbed for technology entrepreneurs. Puerto Rico has the convenience of being in the same time zone as New York City, yet Americans are not required to have a passport.

Living in Puerto Rico:

You might expect to retire comfortably in Puerto Rico on roughly $2,000 per month if your total monthly expenses are four times your monthly rent. Even the most expensive areas on the island are still cheaper than most major American cities. You’ll feel a little brighter each day you live here, thanks to the beautiful beaches, vibrant residences, and abundant fresh food. It’s critical to have a comprehensive grasp of what moving to Puerto Rico entails, as well as how much money you’ll need to make and spend. Prices will differ based on where you want to base yourself and how opulent you wish to live. Living on the edges of Old San Juan, for example, is far less expensive than living in a seaside villa.

Housing in Puerto Rico:

A one-bedroom apartment in the city center costs around $580 per month in Puerto Rico. A similar flat outside of the city will cost you around $410 per month. If you want to buy an apartment, the price per square foot in a city center is $169.88, but it’s only $124.21 outside of a city. In the United States, a one-bedroom apartment costs $329.84 per square foot in the city center and $197.83 outside of it.

Rent in Puerto Rico:

Your most significant expense in Puerto Rico will be your lodging. It will vary based on where you want to be located; city center, oceanfront, outside of the city, etc., as well as the type of location you seek. Rent is increasing as Puerto Rico attracts more digital nomads and foreigners. They are still, on average, 30% cheaper than what many people pay in the United Kingdom or the United States. A shared apartment in Old San Juan, for example, can cost as little as $400 per month. A private room costs $350 in Old San Juan, a private apartment costs $700 in Rincon, and a private villa in Luquillo costs $1,800.

Food Cost in Puerto Rico:

Casual meals and street food can set you back $5–$10. However, avoid getting too close to cruise ships, as food prices will skyrocket. Restaurants with a 4- or 5-star rating in San Juan can cost upwards of $40 per person. The majority of Fajardo’s eateries are casual, with prices ranging from $11 to $15 per meal. Tipping of 15–20 percent is customary when dining in Puerto Rico. Dorado’s restaurants are expensive, with meals ranging from $30 to $50 per person. Small pizzerias with an average price of $10 per person can also be found in Dorado.

  • How Much Do Hotels in Puerto Rico Charge Per Night?

From June to September, Puerto Rico’s high season is in full swing. During these months, a night in a mid-range hotel costs around $119.00. A night’s stay can be had for as little as $53.00. There are generally some good deals to be had, especially at the higher-end resorts.

  • What Is the Cost of Food in Puerto Rico?

For one person, the average cost of food and drink in Puerto Rico is $0.00 (00$) a day. In Puerto Rico, an average street food meal costs roughly $11.88 (11.90$). A two-person sit-down supper would cost roughly $33.66 (33.70$). Lunch in a mid-range cafe or restaurant will set you back between the two figures.

  • What Are the Prices of Drinks?

In Puerto Rico, a bottle of water costs roughly $3.78 (3.80$). When you buy a soft drink in a supermarket, it costs around $1.57 (1.60$). When you buy a beer in a bar, it will cost you around $3.09 (3.10$). Alcoholic cocktails cost $5.45 (5.50$) per person at pubs and nightclubs.

Transportation in Puerto Rico:

Getting around Puerto Rico is simple and straightforward. In the metro areas, the AMA bus system operates a number of routes. A ride is only $0.75, and it’s a terrific way to save a little money on your commute. The Public System makes city travel just as simple. Each town has a major station that lists the times, rates, and routes for each trip. To get where you’re going, you’ll probably need to brush up on your Spanish and conduct some research.

Taxi Transportation:

Taxis can be found in plenty throughout the city. Many of them have predetermined pricing, but if you travel outside of the big cities, you’ll have to barter a bit to get a fair deal. You have the option of hailing a cab on the street or calling a taxi. This is the most convenient, but also the most expensive, mode of transportation in Puerto Rico. If you want to stay in one of the coastal towns, all you need is a bicycle or your feet! This would save you money on transportation while also encouraging you to be active. Many expats may purchase a car or motorcycle in order to have access to the open road, and then sell it when they are ready to relocate. An AMI bus from San Juan Airport to Old San Juan costs $0.75. A taxi ride from San Juan Airport to Old San Juan is $30, and a car rental is $25.

Puerto Rico’s Cuisine:

Prepare yourself for one of the most fantastic aspects of life in Puerto Rico: the incredible food scene. The food of Puerto Rico brings the culture to life. Every meal will have you drooling over the variety of tastes and spices. The cuisine is frequently compared to that of Spain or Mexico. Puerto Rican food is influenced by Mexico, Africa, and the Americas in just the right quantity. Meals are frequently hefty and filling. The meat of some kind, rice, beans, and fried plantains are all staples. When it comes to dining, the possibilities are unlimited. Food trucks and roadside vendors can be found all around the island. Puerto Rican street cuisine is some of my favorites, particularly after a night of partying. High-end restaurants with American and European prices can be found in popular districts. They’re great for a special event, but don’t forget about the local spots. It’s just as simple to go to the store as it is to go anywhere else. However, because the majority of items are imported, it will be more expensive. Going to the local Mercado for some reasonably priced fresh fruits and vegetables is also recommended. Meat is a big part of Puerto Rican cuisine. Pork, seafood, and some type of plantain will make up the majority of the meals. In recent years, vegan and vegetarian choices have popped up all across the country in recent years, making eating out immensely easy.

Drinking in Puerto Rico:

Tap water is a bit of a gamble in Puerto Rico. According to the CDC, drinking tap water in China is the same as drinking tap water in the United States. According to recent scientific studies, more than half of all homes have contaminated water. The CDC’s drinking water standards have not changed as a result of these investigations. To be safe, however, it is recommended that you consume cleaned water. The nights out are a lot of fun, and thankfully won’t break the budget, as it’s the home of rum and Pina Coladas. A name-brand bottle of rum will set you back roughly $10.00 in the store. Puerto Ricans know how to drink, and they’ll make sure you do as well. The Cuba Liber, a rum and coke cocktail with a lime wedge, is a fan favorite. Whether you’re day drinking on a Saturday or enjoying a beverage with pals on a Wednesday night, drinking is quite socially acceptable.

Why Should You Bring a Water Bottle to Puerto Rico?

In Puerto Rico, access to clean water is a major concern, and being a responsible visitor entails taking care of the environment. When it comes to filtered water, traveling with a water bottle is the best alternative, and it also helps to keep the country and the beaches clean by avoiding single-use plastic. Even the most pristine beaches are littered with plastic. As a result, do your part to maintain Big Blue’s beauty. You won’t be able to save the world overnight, but you can at least contribute to the solution rather than the problem. When visiting some of the world’s most isolated locations, one can appreciate the entire scope of the plastic problem. Additionally, you will no longer be purchasing costly water bottles from supermarkets. Instead, travel with a filtered water bottle and never squander another dime or a turtle’s life.

Keeping Active and Busy in Puerto Rico:

There is so much to do to stay active and see the best of the island. Imagine waking up, riding your bike to the beach for an early morning surf, grabbing some of the world’s best coffee, and greeting the locals before going to work. There’s everything you need for an out-of-this-world work/life balance, whether it’s surfing, beach yoga, or even attending Puerto Rico’s Carnival festival. If you’re on a tight budget, there are lots of things to do in Puerto Rico that don’t require you to join any clubs. Every night at sunset, you’ll see a swarm of people playing volleyball or hiking to catch a glimpse of the sunset. A two-hour surf lesson costs $60, a one-day bike rental costs $30, weekend festivals cost $100–$250, mangrove kayaking costs $45, a yoga class costs $10, and one-month gym membership costs $40.

School in Puerto Rico:

Every inhabitant of the island is entitled to free public education; yet, educational levels might vary widely from one school to the next. Another factor to consider is that, although being a US territory, Puerto Rico’s public schools are taught in Spanish. It may be difficult for your child to enroll in a public school if he or she does not speak Spanish. Private schools are the most popular option for expats. It will not be free like the public system, but the education will be of the same high quality as in the United States. They use an American calendar and methodology for both English and Spanish classes. In the last decade, Puerto Rico has seen an increase in the number of international schools. If you and your family move around a lot, this is a great alternative because the curriculum and class credits will transfer globally. It is the most expensive choice, but it gives you the most freedom in terms of school transfers. International schools in Puerto Rico charge between $2,000 and $5,000 intuition.

Medical Costs in Puerto Rico:

The cost of healthcare in Puerto Rico varies greatly. Although there are several hospitals, clinics, and pharmacies, finding and keeping skilled doctors seems to be a challenge. The quality of care you receive is comparable to that in the United States, which tempts many local doctors to pursue higher-paying jobs in the United States. A government-funded program manages public healthcare, making it available to all inhabitants. However, due to physician scarcity, wait times can be lengthy. Try having private insurance to cut down on waiting times and to visit whichever doctor you prefer rather than whoever is available. Private insurance is far less expensive than in the United States, and it will keep you covered in the event of an accident. You may also want to think about international healthcare plans. This means that you are always insured and have access to the highest level of care available, regardless of where you are. Digital Nomads, expats, and long-term travelers are all covered by Safety Wing’s monthly healthcare plan. We’ve been using them for a while now and found them to be excellent value for money.

Visas Are Required in Puerto Rico:

The type of visa you’ll need to visit Puerto Rico is determined by your passport. With an identification card, Americans and Puerto Ricans are free to live and travel between the island and the United States. A valid passport is all that is required in a few nations that do not require a visa. The US ESTA is valid for two years and permits you to stay in Puerto Rico for 90 days. This is a great alternative for nomads because you won’t have to apply for residency. To keep your visa, you only need to enter and exit the nation every three months. If you plan to stay in the country for an extended period of time, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. You must, however, show that you spent 183 days on the island in a year and that you earned no more than $10,000 in the United States. It is available if you want to take advantage of some of the tax perks that come with being a true Puerto Rican resident.

Puerto Rico Has a Banking System:

It may take some getting used to if you’re used to online banking and seamless transactions. A form of identification, proof of address, and a minimum deposit are all required to open a bank account. The exact amount will be determined by the bank. Prepare to apply for an account and not be allowed access until after another trip to the bank a few days later. If you get paid in another country and the funds are placed into your Puerto Rican account, be prepared to not see or utilize the funds for at least a week. It can take up to ten days for your money to be available for usage. When bills are due, this can be a major challenge. Puerto Rico is still a cash-based nation, so you’ll need to use the ATM frequently. It may be a smart option to bank with Banco Popular or First Bank. You may use your home cards at ATMs all over the place. It is preferable to carry cash. Get a few separate travel-banking cards to avoid spending a lot of money on ATM fees or foreign transaction costs. They all provide fee-free ATM withdrawals to some extent. You may withdraw roughly $600 per month and have an unlimited card payment limit if you get a Transferwise, Revolut, or Monzo card.

Taxes in Puerto Rico:

If you spend 183 days on the island in a tax year, you must pay income tax on your worldwide earnings. If you spend less than 183 days on the island in a tax year, you will only have to pay income tax on the money you earned there, because Puerto Rico is a United States territory. Along with your Puerto Rican taxes, you may be required to file a US tax return. Additionally, make sure to verify with your home nation to learn about the rules and requirements for filing taxes in both locations of residence.


Each beach has its landscape and feels for relaxing or partying, and cities are incredibly busy and fast-paced for individuals who thrive in a fast-paced environment. The easiest method to figure out which location is suitable for you to pitch up camp is to go to each one. Explore the island, take in the ambiance, meet the residents, and imagine yourself living in various locations. This is how you may figure out what kind of environment you want to live in and where you want to plant your roots in Puerto Rico. Life on the beach appears to be idyllic, but as we all know, nothing is perfect all of the time. Outside of digital start-ups, obtaining a well-paying career in Puerto Rico is not practical if you do not have consistent remote employment.

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