Includes a number of neighborhoods attached to the St. Regis resort on the north coast of the island, one of Puerto Rico's premium resorts. This area has single-family homes, apartments, and vacation homes, as well as beachfront lots. Prices are generally in the millions. There are no nearby private schools, with the closest being San Juan. It's a 30-minute drive to the airport or San Juan.Contact
A smaller community just west of San Juan, Camino del Mar is a budget option that boasts great community and lots of families. It's very popular with US federal employees, including the FBI, and has a real family vibe. It has a small pool, basketball and tennis courts and is 20 minutes from the San Juan airport.Contact
Dorado Beach is among the premier neighborhoods in Puerto Rico, with large single-family homes starting well north of a million dollars and often into the $3m to $5m range. This area boasts three golf courses, miles of private beach, and is connected to the global flagship hotel for Ritz-Carlton. If you can stomach the asking price for what, on the mainland, would be a fairly basic concrete-shell home, you gain a fantastic community and resort-style living. This area, like many on this list, includes several sub-neighborhoods of family homes, larger estates, beachfront apartments, and golf villas.Contact
Dorado del Mar is a collection of several neighborhoods connected to the Embassy Suites in Dorado that share the same gatehouse. On the west side, Dorado del Mar is a neighborhood of small family homes in the 1,000 sq. ft. range, within walking distance of a private beach and the private school Dorado Academy. On the east, by a currently overgrown 4-hole golf course, are the Villas de Golf, three-story vacation homes that are becoming popular residences for new move-ins. Closer to the Embassy Suites are Ocean Villas. This area has been quite rundown for several years but might be on the verge of regeneration.Contact
Over half of the island's population livs in the greater San Juan metropolitan area, which spans a number of municipalities, including Carolina, Bayamón, and Guaynabo, among others (we have called out some of the more popular areas specifically). Within this area are dozens and dozens of neighborhoods, including some fantastic hidden gems if you want to put in the time. This area is 5 to 20 minutes from the airport and has fantastic access to schools, restaurants, and shopping. You are not going to get a golf course or a community pool or health club, or direct access to the beach. You will have many gated and ungated communities to choose from. You may also need to rely much more heavily on your Spanish to get by.Contact
Isla Verde and its surroundings are the beachfront areas on the east side of San Juan by Carolina where you will find a large number of San Juan's beachfront condos. The area is fantastic for restaurants, shopping, and close to excellent private schools and beaches. It's 3-5 minutes from the airport. Downsides include lack of parking. Although there are some houses in this area, it's mostly condos and apartments, as well as a number of large hotels. If you're looking for an urban social life with good amenities, this might be the area for you.Contact
Ocean Park is claimed by some to be the Venice Beach of San Juan and is called out separately here because this beachfront neighborhood is distinctly different from other areas on our list such as Condado and Isla Verde. The area is mostly single-family homes, with small walled yards and a Miami or L.A. vibe. The area is close to private schools, restaurants and other San Juan amenities and is minutes from the airport. Downsides are that although it's gated, there is public access to the neighborhood during daylight hours.Contact
One of the oldest cities in the Americas, with narrow cobblestone streets and colorful colonial architecture, Old San Juan is definitely the most charming of the neighborhoods on our shortlist. What you gain in historical charm you lose in convenience. There is almost no parking, bad transport links, few stores and no schools. There is a heavy police presence here, so although it's not gated, it's one of the safest spots on the island. You also get to be neighbors with the governor. Houses are terraced, often with charming wooden shutters, interior courtyards, and rooftop terraces. It's also relatively quiet except on days when cruise ships come in, usually 2-3 days a week.Contact
Some of the most popular neighborhoods on the island are in Dorado, which may be why prices have more than doubled in the last three years in some. More and more people are looking to duplicate the access of Dorado Beach and the community of Sabanera without incurring the high costs. There are a handful of other Dorado areas that make great alternative options if you're open to putting up with something more unconventional, such as neighborhoods where the houses don't have official land titles (and are unmortgageable), or are raw lots (and have been that way for a decade). These are definitely areas for the value shopper looking to recreate a multi-million dollar experience at half the price. There might be reasons some of these areas are stuck in limbo, but there might not.Contact
Palmas del Mar is in the top three areas for mainlanders to move to. Amenities include a club and golf course, and it's the only neighborhood on the list with a marina. It's the largest neighborhood on the list, with many sub-neighborhoods inside and one main entrance. There is a good private school on the property, Palmas Academy. All the way on the east coast, Palmas is a good 45 minutes to San Juan and the Airport.Contact
A great alternative to live in the exclusive Dorado area at a fraction of the price. Paseos are a collection of double-gated communities all accessed by one giant roundabout. They are generally well-kept and family-friendly. Houses here are larger and feel more American than alternative Dorado or Dorado del Mar. At the same time prices are cheaper due to the lack of beach access, limited facilities, and no private school on the premises. Interior finishes tend to be higher and many houses have their own pools.Contact
Rincón the municipality, including Rincon the town, has to be called out as a highlight on the west coast for its chill vibe and surf culture. The surfing capital of Puerto Rico is two hours from the airport, and is a long way from top private schools and other amenities, but the lifestyle here is more vacation than the areas around San Juan. There are many neighborhoods in this municipality, from exclusive to bargain. Many of the houses are second homes or Airbnbs, so the business community can be harder to connect with, but if you're looking for a relaxed vibe and want to get away from it all, this is definitely an area worth exploring. If this is appealing, you may also consider Mayagüez just a little south.Contact
Comprising a number of neighborhoods surrounding the Wyndham resort on the northeast coast, this area Includes a number of exclusive developments of single-family houses and apartments. It's gated, with beach access and top amenities, including the Rio Mar Golf Course and country club. It does not boast a convenient private school and can feel more isolated than other neighborhoods on this list. This area is in the shadow of El Yunque rainforest, giving it stunning views both to the ocean and inland. The nearest town is Luquillo. It's just over 30 minutes to San Juan and the airport.Contact
Sabanera is a top choice for a high-end family neighborhood. It has great amenities, including one of the best private schools on the island, as well as trails, a pool, health club, and a lake you can take community kayaks on. Houses range anywhere from 600k to 1m and are on the larger size for Puerto Rico (although they may feel small depending on where you're coming from on the mainland). This neighborhood has no beach access. They have been building a lot of new houses here over the past couple of years, but demand is always high due to the school, and inventory remains low.Contact
The municipality of San Juan contains 18 barrios (neighborhoods), of which Santurce is the large barrio on the coast. Santurce is itself divided into 40 sub-barrios, including places like Miramar and Condado. (Some of these, like Ocean Park, we have called out elsewhere in this guide.) Santurce is a very chic area with a rich history and legacy of art and music. It has the best restaurants, museums, and nightlife on the island. The coast is dominated by back-to-back hotels on the coast, switching to high-rise condos the further east you go. The neighborhoods are incredibly diverse. Pick wisely as some spots are quite rundown, but there are nice areas and bargains to be had for the adventurous.Contact
Vieques and Culebra are two islands off the east coast of Puerto Rico. They are only accessible by ferry, which runs several times a day and takes 2-3 hours when you include loading and unloading time. What you lose in convenience and links to amenities such as top schools you make up for in peace and beauty and a lower crime rate. Vieques and Culebra have some of the best beaches in the commonwealth and one of the best bioluminescent bays in the world. Vieques has a population of 9,000, while Culebra is significantly smaller at 1,000 residents. They enjoy better tax incentives than the rest of Puerto Rico.Contact
Puerto Rico real estate is technically the same as the US: there are estate agents that work just like on the mainland, with the same process and commission structure.
But there is no ubiquitous real estate association and no single MLS. The several listing sites have bad information or are hard to find or hard to use. This can lead to some unique problems.
You can live anywhere on the island, but here we take you through the main neighborhoods people moving from the mainland chose to move to.
We strongly recommend choosing a neighborhood first, then using an agent in each neighborhood.
Yes, we recommend getting multiple agents, and no, we're not being dishonest or unfair. Read our reasons why.
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