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La Vida Boricua – A Glimpse of the Daily Life in Puerto Rico

Dreaming of La Vida Boricua? Immerse yourself in the vibrant and colorful daily life of Puerto Rico, an enchanting island where culture, tradition, and modernity blend seamlessly. Known as 'La Isla del Encanto' (The Island of Enchantment), this nickname leads many to ask why is Puerto Rico called La Isla del Encanto, offering a unique lifestyle as the answer: Where to live, work, or retire in blissful harmony.

Image Source: prfdance.org

Ever wonder why Puerto Rico is called Boricua? The term 'Boricua' comes from the indigenous name for the island, Borikén, reflecting its rich cultural heritage. Puerto Rico is a colorful canvas painted with different hues from its past, where people speak Spanish and English, showcasing the island's diverse cultural influences. 

The Puerto Ricans are a mix of indigenous Taino people, Spanish colonizers, enslaved Africans, and American influences. Despite history, they all came together and created the traditions we celebrate today. 

La Vida Boricua – How Its Like Living as Puerto Rican

Understanding why Puerto Rico is called Boricua opens the door to embracing La Vida Boricua. Living in Puerto Rico as an American is like being part of an exciting everyday adventure. Imagine waking up to the delicious smell of local food. You might start your day with a tasty mangu dish or enjoy a cup of Puerto Rican coffee at a nearby café. 

During the day, going shopping is an exceptional experience. You can find markets and cute shops with handmade crafts, fresh fruits, and veggies. Places like La Placita in San Juan are bustling with life and show you what the community is all about.

Lunchtime is a chance to enjoy more of the fantastic local food. You could try a classic dish called mofongo or have the freshest catch of the day at a restaurant by the sea. The flavors of Puerto Rico are like a daily celebration for your taste buds. 

When the sun sets, get ready for a cultural adventure. Evenings often come alive with music, dance, and local festivals. The nightlife in Old San Juan mixes tradition with modern fun, creating a lively social scene. 

Being part of the community is essential in Puerto Rico. People here are friendly, and it's easy for Americans to join in.  Whether volunteering at events or chatting with neighbors, there is a sense of belonging. What are Puerto Ricans known for? Their welcoming nature and vibrant culture make anyone feel at home.

And remember the outdoors! Puerto Rico's beautiful beaches, green mountains, and clear waters are perfect for exploring. Whether hiking in El Yunque, relaxing on Flamenco Beach, or trying out water sports– adventure is always waiting for you. 

Living in Puerto Rico is a beautiful mix. Immerse yourself in the local culture, tasty food, community, and exciting outdoor experiences. The island's charm and friendly atmosphere illustrate why is Puerto Rico called La Isla del Encanto, making it a special place! Some are lucky enough to call it home. 

Housing and Living Conditions – Rent or Purchase? 

While boasting its allure as a tourist destination, the Puerto Rico real estate market is flourishing equally. 

You can choose to rent or buy a property in Puerto Rico. 

Urban areas of Puerto Rico, like San Juan, have the most accessible apartments and rental homes. There are several short-term and long-term rentals; rental prices may vary based on the neighborhood, amenities, and proximity to services. 

Expect popular urban neighborhoods in Puerto Rico, including Santurce and Condado, to have the highest rentals. These neighborhoods are known for their vibrant atmosphere, cultural events, and restaurants. But, the rent is nothing compared to the United States. Rent in Puerto Rico is generally 50% cheaper than on the mainland but this may not hold true for all property types. 

But if renting a property is not your preference, Puerto Rico is sought after for property investments. Several high-net-worth individuals have moved to the island. 

Investors and homeowners love the benefits and unique lifestyle Puerto Rico offers! Coastal areas, such as Dorado and Rincon, offer beautiful beachfront homes. Prices of these luxurious beach houses may vary on their size, beach proximity, and amenities. 

If you are looking for a beachfront and luxury estate in Puerto Rico, our team will happily show you around. 

Families choose suburban areas like Dorado or Guaynabo, the best neighborhoods to raise a family. You can choose good schools, refreshing parks, and family-friendly communities. Retirees seek relaxation in Rincon or Ponce. These neighborhoods in Puerto Rico have a slower pace of life yet have access to different amenities. 

Meanwhile, singles and young professionals are in urban neighborhoods like Santurce or San Juan. These neighborhoods have a lively social scene, engaging cultural activities, and are open to more job opportunities. 

Working and Doing Business 

Regarding job opportunities, Puerto Rico offers diverse sectors in the job market, like manufacturing, tourism, and service-based industries such as finance and insurance are leading on the list. The island’s strategic location and skilled workforce make it an attractive hub for Americans seeking employment and entrepreneurial ventures.

Entrepreneurs found a gem in Puerto Rico– their tax incentives. The government has implemented these promising prospects. It made the island the best location to establish and relocate businesses: 

  • Act 20: It offers a flat 4% corporate tax. Businesses promoting export services are eligible for the act, which aims to stimulate economic growth and employment opportunities. 
  • Act 22: It offers individual investors a total exemption from Puerto Rican income taxes on all passive income generated after becoming bona fide residents. 

Act 20 and Act 22 are now consolidated into Act 60. It has compelled more individuals and businesses to seek haven in Puerto Rico. Under Act 60, companies and individuals enjoy reduced corporate tax rates, capital gains tax exemption, and tax incentives for research and development activities. 

Besides the tax advantages, Puerto Rico has a stable legal and regulatory framework for businesses. 

Legal and Financial Considerations 

Understanding the legal and financial landscape is crucial for Americans considering a move to Puerto Rico. Residency status is often attained through a simple process, allowing individuals to establish Puerto Rico as their primary home. While U.S. citizens have no visa requirements, it is essential to comply with local regulations to ensure a smooth transition. 

Education and Healthcare 

Puerto Rico's education system provides diverse options for residents. Although the system is based on the American model, the primary language of instruction in public schools is Spanish, with English being taught as a second language. Its bilingual academics offer an enriching experience for both local and expatriate families. 

Puerto Rico boasts a well-established healthcare system with a high standard of medical services. You will never have to worry! The island is home to modern hospitals and healthcare facilities.

The healthcare system and diverse educational opportunities make Puerto Rico an attractive destination for American families seeking a high quality of life within a culturally rich environment. 

Community and Social Life 

Puerto Ricans value relationships and community bonds, which are often strengthened through shared traditions, celebrations, and everyday interactions. The warmth and friendliness of the locals create a welcoming environment, emphasizing the significance of close-knit connections. 

In Puerto Rico, community is not just a concept. It is a way of life that invites everyone to be a part of the shared joy and camaraderie. It makes the island an exceptional place. 

Flying into Puerto Rico? Tips for a Smooth Transition Upon Arrival 

Traveling is never easy, and even more so if you are planning to transfer to a country. You must prepare for the possible challenges to make it a smooth transition. 

  • Language Barrier. Life is easier when you know how to communicate. Tourists can walk around Puerto Rico confidently, as English is commonly spoken in tourist areas. 

But, if you plan to live in Puerto Rico, it would be best to learn Spanish. Spanish is the dominant language of business, education, and daily life in Puerto Rico. 

  • Cultural Adjustments. Puerto Rico's local customs and traditions differ from the mainland United States. You must immerse yourself in the local culture and engage with locals to foster connections and adapt more quickly. 
  • Hurricane Preparedness. Puerto Rico is prone to hurricanes. You must prepare during the Atlantic hurricane season (June to November). In addition to an emergency kit, have your home hurricane-ready with shutters and reinforced doors. 

Now, relax! We have addressed the everyday challenges of moving or traveling to Puerto Rico. Besides, life on the island has a more relaxed pace than life on the mainland United States.

We hope our tips help you ensure a smoother trip or transition to life. Embrace the “island time” mentality and enjoy the lifestyle Puerto Rico has to offer. 

Conclusion

Are you captivated by the allure of La Vida Boricua and curious about why Puerto Rico is called Boricua? The island is more than just a picturesque destination; it's a vibrant place to call home, offering an idyllic blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and modern conveniences. While the island's luxurious beachfront and cost-effective living are enticing, it's crucial to consider all aspects of relocating. Weighing the pros and cons is essential in making an informed decision about your future.

If your heart is set on this enchanting island, let us at Christie's International Real Estate Puerto Rico guide you through the journey of finding your dream home. Specializing in luxury real estate in Puerto Rico, we offer an exclusive selection of high-end properties that epitomize the elegance and comfort of island living. From opulent beachfront villas to contemporary urban residences, our expert team provides personalized services, ensuring that every aspect of your real estate experience is seamless and satisfying. 

We at Christie's International Real Estate Puerto Rico are your trusted partner in turning your dream of living in Puerto Rico into a luxurious reality. Contact us today and start your Puerto Rico living with our curated list of properties.

FAQs

What is Puerto Rico known as?

Puerto Rico is often affectionately known as "La Isla del Encanto," which translates to "The Island of Enchantment." This nickname captures the island's natural beauty and cultural richness. Officially, it is called the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

What is Puerto Rico best known for?

Puerto Rico is best known for its vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and rich history. The island's diverse attractions include beautiful beaches, lush rainforests like El Yunque National Forest, historic sites such as Old San Juan, and culinary delights like the famous Piña Colada originated there. Puerto Rico's cultural festivals and lively music also contribute to its charm and appeal as a tourist destination.

Do I need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico from the mainland? 

United States citizens and permanent residents do not need a passport to travel to Puerto Rico. However, valid identification, such as a driver's license, is required. The Real ID Act, effective May 2025, may necessitate additional identification for travel, depending on your state's compliance with these laws.​

Is it easy to find work in Puerto Rico as an American? 

Employment opportunities in Puerto Rico may vary. The manufacturing sector, which includes the production of pharmaceuticals, electronics, and textiles, makes up a significant portion of the island's GDP. Another important sector is tourism, which contributes greatly to the economy and offers various employment opportunities. 

Teaching English is also a common job for ex-pats, with the advantage of being paid in U.S. dollars. But as you plan to stay in Puerto Rico, we recommend having a source of income or securing a job before moving. 

Is the cost of living in Puerto Rico comparable to the mainland United States? 

The cost of living in Puerto Rico generally tends to be lower than in the mainland United States. However, certain goods can be more expensive due to transportation costs. Therefore, while overall living costs might be lower, specific expenses may vary.

 

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