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Find Your Place: Moving With Your Family to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Find Your Place: Moving With Your Family to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Welcome to the enchanting world of Old San Juan, Puerto Rico! This colorful city steeped in history and culture is the perfect destination for families looking to live abroad. In this comprehensive guide, you'll discover San Juan's for sale by owner properties with its charm and beauty. And learn practical advice on moving to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, with children and the benefits and challenges of this Caribbean paradise.

Key Takeaways

  • Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers families an affordable lifestyle with tax incentives and various amenities.
  • Before relocating to Old San Juan, consider language, climate, job market, customs regulations, and local laws.
  • You can familiarize yourself with public transportation options and activities for the entire family for a smooth transition in Old San Juan.


Discover why to move to Puerto Rico, especially Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, where you'll find an affordable cost of living, generous tax incentives, and familiar comforts of home. With its warm, year-round climate, families can enjoy various outdoor activities, explore historical sites, and immerse themselves in the island's vibrant culture. Discovering the unique old San Juan properties can be a part of this enriching experience.

Several factors should be considered before starting your journey to Old San Juan. The official language of Puerto Rico is Spanish, and while many Puerto Ricans can understand basic English, the job market can be limited for those who can speak Spanish. The island's climate is warm and inviting, with beautiful beaches and lush tropical forests waiting to be explored.

Investigating the logistics of relocating, including why move to Puerto Rico, is a key step. This involves obtaining the necessary documentation and understanding customs regulations to make an informed decision. You can familiarize yourself with the local laws and customs and be prepared to adapt to this Caribbean island's unique culture and lifestyle.

Five Things to Know Before Moving to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico

Before embarking on your journey to Old San Juan with your family, you must be well-informed and prepared for your unique experiences. This enchanting city, steeped in history and culture, offers a remarkable setting for family life. Below, we'll take a look at the key considerations to remember when planning your move to Old San Juan in 2023.

1. The Cost of Living Is Lower Than in the US

When contemplating a move to Old San Juan, one of the most compelling factors is the significantly lower cost of living compared to many parts of the United States. On average, you can save approximately 20-40% on everyday expenses, including housing, groceries, and healthcare. For instance, while the average monthly rent for a two-bedroom apartment in a major US city might exceed $3,000, in Old San Juan, you can find comparable accommodation for around $1,500 to $2,500.

2. The Island Offers Generous Tax Incentives

Moving to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 2023 offers a culturally rich and beautiful environment for your family and provides you with significant financial advantages, thanks to Puerto Rico's unique tax incentives. Here's a deeper look at what you can expect:

Act 60: The Puerto Rico Tax Incentives Code

Act 60, also known as the Puerto Rico Tax Incentives Code, is at the heart of Puerto Rico's tax incentives. This comprehensive legislation was enacted to promote economic development, attract businesses, and encourage individual investors to make Puerto Rico their home. Here's a breakdown of some key tax benefits:

3. You Can Find Many of the Comforts of Home on the Island

Old San Juan offers familiar amenities and services that make the transition easier for families. Some of these include:

  • Top-notch healthcare facilities
  • A variety of shopping centers
  • Restaurants
  • Entertainment options

You'll find many of the comforts of home on the island.

Enjoy strolls along the picturesque streets, discover delightful eateries, and immerse yourself in the vibrant local culture.

4. The Island Hosts a Vibrant and Friendly Culture

Puerto Rico's rich culture and welcoming locals create a warm and inviting atmosphere for families. The unique blend of Spanish, Taíno, and African influences is evident in the city's architecture, art, music, and festivals. To make the most of your visit, consider researching Puerto Rico's top questions before your trip.

Old San Juan is an exciting destination for those interested in a diverse and vibrant culture.

5. You Can Enjoy the Great Outdoors All Year

With its warm climate and beautiful natural surroundings, Old San Juan offers year-round outdoor activities for families. Some of the outdoor adventures you can enjoy include:

  • Exploring pristine beaches
  • Hiking in lush tropical forests
  • Biking through scenic trails
  • Engaging in water sports

This Caribbean paradise has no shortage of outdoor fun, especially along the stunning east coast.

Finding a Family-Friendly Home

Old San Juan offers various housing options, catering to various preferences and budgets. You can choose from historic colonial homes with intricate architecture, cozy apartments with modern amenities, or charming townhouses that capture the city's essence. 

Factors such as proximity to schools and your budget should be considered when seeking a suitable home for your family in Old San Juan. By evaluating these aspects and working with an experienced realtor, you'll find a home that meets your family's needs and fully allows you to enjoy the unique lifestyle that Old San Juan offers.

Buying a Home in Old San Juan

If you're considering buying a home in one of the neighborhoods in Old San Juan, it's essential to understand the average cost. The price of homes in Old San Juan can vary significantly based on location, size, and property condition (whether it needs renovation or not).

The median listing price for homes in Old San Juan is $795,000, with the listing price per square foot at $483. Depending on the type of property you’re looking for, expect to come across prices ranging from $24,000 to $8.9 million. 

However, it's worth noting that the real estate market in Old San Juan is dynamic, and prices can fluctuate. Therefore, working with a local real estate agent who understands the market and can guide you through the home-buying process to find a property that fits your budget and meets your family's needs is recommended.

When looking at Old San Juan for sale by owner listings, it's important to understand the average cost and what factors might affect the price of homes and accessibility in this vibrant community.

Rental Options

You can find various rental properties in Old San Juan if you prefer renting. The average rent in San Juan, Puerto Rico, is quite reasonable for a Caribbean paradise. Average monthly rents for a two-bedroom apartment typically range from $1,900 to $2,500

Proximity to Community Spaces

Old San Juan boasts a selection of community spaces, such as parks, playgrounds, and public squares, that cater to families. These spaces provide opportunities for children to play, socialize, and engage in various activities.

Additionally, facilities such as swimming pools, sports fields, and picnic areas allow families to enjoy quality time together.

Navigating Old San Juan with Children

Navigating Old San Juan with children might initially seem overwhelming. Still, adequate preparation and knowledge of the transportation options can transform it into an enjoyable experience for the whole family.

Public Transportation

Public transportation, including taxis and buses, is available in Old San Juan. Taxis can be hailed on the street or reserved in advance, providing a convenient and reliable mode of transportation for families.

The Autoridad Metropolitana de Autobuses (AMA) operates the Old San Juan bus system from 5 PM to 9 PM Monday through Friday and from 6 PM to 8 PM on Saturdays and official holidays.


Parking in Old San Juan can be challenging due to its narrow streets and limited parking spaces. However, parking garages are available throughout the city, making it easier for residents and visitors to find parking. Many residents use public transportation, walk, or bike to get around, especially for short distances within the compact city.

Walking and Biking

Old San Juan is a pedestrian-friendly city with well-maintained sidewalks and designated bike lanes. Exploring the city on foot or by bike is an excellent way to soak in its historic charm. The city's compact layout allows for easy strolling, making it convenient to explore the various shops, cafes, and attractions leisurely.

Accessibility for Strollers and Wheelchairs

Many areas in Old San Juan are wheelchair and stroller accessible, but it's important to be aware that some historic cobblestone streets can be uneven. Most modern buildings and facilities are designed to accommodate those with mobility challenges, ensuring that families with young children or members with mobility needs can navigate the city comfortably.

Fun Activities for the Whole Family

Rich in history, Old San Juan boasts numerous historical sites and landmarks waiting to be explored. Visit the iconic Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal to learn about their significance in Puerto Rican history.

Step back in time at Museo Casa Blanca, the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the Americas, and immerse yourself in the diverse cultures and history of the region at Museo de Las Americas.

Historical Sites and Landmarks

Surrounded by natural beauty, Old San Juan provides endless outdoor adventures for families. Explore nearby pristine beaches, including Condado Beach and Isla Verde Beach, lush tropical forests, and magnificent mountain views that make this island a paradise.

Whether you prefer hiking, biking, swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking, there's an outdoor activity for everyone in this Caribbean wonderland.

Castillo San Felipe del Morro

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Castillo San Felipe del Morro—often called El Morro—is an impressive citadel in San Juan constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries. This six-level fortress was designed to protect Puerto Rico from potential sea attacks and is renowned for being the most successful defensive position in the New World.

Visit El Morro to explore its fascinating history and marvel at the stunning views of the coastline.

Castillo de San Cristobal

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Castillo de San Cristobal is an impressive fortification in Old San Juan. Constructed by the Spanish, it was designed to safeguard the city from land-based attacks.

A visit to Castillo de San Cristobal offers the opportunity to explore its impressive fortifications, take a guided tour, and gain insight into the history of this important site.

Museo Casa Blanca

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Museo Casa Blanca, constructed in 1521, is the oldest continuously inhabited residence in the Americas. This historic building served as the initial fortification of the San Juan islet and was home to Juan Ponce de León, the first governor of Puerto Rico.

Visit Museo Casa Blanca to explore its rich history and learn about the fascinating stories of the people who lived there.

Museo de Las Americas

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Located in the historic Cuartel de Ballajá in Old San Juan, Museo de Las Americas is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and culture of the Caribbean. This fascinating museum features exhibits showcasing artifacts from the pre-Columbian era, colonial-era antiques, and contemporary art.

Take a guided tour to appreciate the diverse cultures and history of the Americas fully.

Outdoor Adventures

Enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor activities in and around Old San Juan. Explore pristine beaches, hike through lush tropical forests, or participate in water sports such as kayaking and snorkeling.

With its warm climate and stunning natural surroundings, Old San Juan offers plenty of outdoor adventures.

Explore the colorful streets of Old San Juan

Wander through the vibrant streets and plazas of Old San Juan, admiring the colorful buildings and lively atmosphere. Discover unique shops and restaurants, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

The streets of Old San Juan are a feast for the senses, offering a glimpse into the island's rich history and unique charm.

Stroll along Fortaleza Street

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Discover the lively atmosphere and unique shops along Fortaleza Street, one of the most famous streets in Old San Juan. This bustling street is lined with:

  • Colorful buildings
  • A variety of shops
  • Bars
  • Restaurants

Making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the capital city.

Stroll along Fortaleza Street San Juan 2023 and experience the vibrant spirit of Old San Juan before heading to the stunning Flamenco Beach.

Take a peek at the governor's house (La Fortaleza)

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La Fortaleza, the official residence of the Governor of Puerto Rico, is an important historical site and a symbol of Puerto Rico's rich history. Built in 1533, La Fortaleza is the oldest executive mansion in the New World and offers a unique glimpse into the island's colonial past.

Visit La Fortaleza to learn about its history and significance and admire the beautiful architecture of this important building.

School and Education

Families in Old San Juan can select from various educational options, including a private school that provides a high-quality education with diverse educational philosophies and curricula. Some of the most highly-regarded private schools in San Juan include:

  • Espacio A School: This school offers a unique approach to education, focusing on each student's individual needs and promoting creativity and critical thinking.
  • Escuela Elemental Abraham Lincoln: Known for its strong academic program and dedicated faculty, this school provides a nurturing environment for students to learn and grow.
  • Antiguo Edificio del Colegio de Segunda Enseñanza: This historic school building now serves as an educational center, offering various programs and classes for students of all ages.
  • Puerto Rican Academy of Fine Arts: This academy provides high-quality artistic education to students, fostering creativity and passion for the arts.
  • Finca Escuela de La Perla: This school is dedicated to providing a hands-on educational experience focusing on agriculture and environmental conservation.
  • Seminario Conciliar: Known for its rigorous academic program and strong emphasis on moral values, this seminary school prepares students for future success.
  • Escuela Norma Regina De Callejas: This school offers a diverse curriculum and focuses on developing well-rounded students prepared for future academic and professional success.
  • Escuela Especializada en Teatro José Julián Acosta: This specialized school offers a unique curriculum focused on theater and performing arts, allowing students to explore their creativity and develop their artistic talents.

Safety and Security

When considering a move to a new city with your family, safety and security are paramount concerns. Old San Juan, known for its historical charm and vibrant culture, also offers a relatively safe environment for residents. Here's an overview of safety and security in Old San Juan:

Crime Rates in Old San Juan

Old San Juan generally has lower crime rates compared to many major U.S. cities. The city's tight-knit community and a strong sense of local pride contribute to its safety. However, as with any urban area, staying informed and exercising common-sense precautions is essential.

Common crimes in Old San Juan, like in any urban area, may include petty theft, pickpocketing, and occasional property crimes. It's advisable to take routine precautions such as locking doors and securing valuables, especially in tourist-populated areas.

Safe for Raising Families

Old San Juan has many family-friendly neighborhoods where parents can enjoy raising children. These neighborhoods often have a close-knit community, providing a supportive and welcoming environment. Schools in Old San Juan and its surrounding areas also focus on safety and provide a quality education for children.

As with any location, families must research and choose a neighborhood that aligns with their preferences and safety concerns. Talking to local residents, joining community groups, and seeking advice from fellow parents who have moved can help you better understand specific neighborhoods and their safety profiles.

It's also worth noting that Puerto Rico's strong sense of community often leads to residents looking out for one another, which contributes to a reassuring sense of security.

Tips for a Smooth Transition

Moving to Old San Juan with children can be a seamless process with proper planning and preparation. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Please make sure that you find a family-friendly home close to schools and the community so you can familiarize
  2. Familiarize yourself with public transportation options in the area.
  3. Arrange activities for the entire family to help everyone settle into the new environment.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to creating a smooth and successful transition to life in Old San Juan.

Best Listings in San Juan to Choose From

Discover the enchantment of living in San Juan with our curated selection of the finest properties. These listings not only encapsulate the vibrant charm and historic elegance of San Juan but also offer an unparalleled lifestyle, making them perfect choices for families seeking the best of this Caribbean paradise. Explore these top choices to find your dream home amidst the beauty and culture of San Juan.

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The luxurious 5-bedroom beachfront property at 1 Malaga Street in San Juan combines elegance with advanced technology, offering breathtaking sea views and unparalleled comfort for $7,890,000. With exclusive features like top-end security and a new generator, it promises a unique lifestyle opportunity in one of San Juan's most desirable locations.

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The luxurious 5-bedroom beachfront property at 1 Malaga Street in San Juan combines elegance with advanced technology, offering breathtaking sea views and unparalleled comfort for $7,890,000. With exclusive features like top-end security and a new generator, it promises a unique lifestyle opportunity in one of San Juan's most desirable locations.

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For $2,800,000, the Bahia Plaza at Paseo Caribe offers a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bath luxury condo with stunning ocean and lagoon views, designed by Aaron Stewart and Stewart Rodriguez. This fully furnished unit features an expansive layout, high-end amenities, and exclusive building facilities, embodying the epitome of luxury urban resort living in San Juan.

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The property at 11 Santa Ana Street in San Juan's Ocean Park offers a luxurious investment with a 10% cap rate, featuring a 4-bedroom main house and a guest casita, extensive amenities including an outdoor patio, and exceptional security with a location adjacent to a 24-7 guard station. This 2,630 sq ft residence on a 4,600 sq ft lot combines elegance with the allure of beachside living, making it a prime choice for investors and homeowners seeking a secure, upscale lifestyle in Puerto Rico.

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1379 PASEO DON JUAN #5B & 5C, SAN JUAN, PR 00907

The Paseo Don Juan in Condado, Puerto Rico, offers a luxurious three-bedroom, 3.5-bath beachfront apartment with 2,111 sq. ft. of space. It features an open layout, a modern kitchen with high-end appliances, and stunning unobstructed ocean views. Built in 1981 in a 13-story building, it combines modern amenities with the historical charm of its neighborhood, making it a perfect blend of tranquility and elegance for beachfront living or investment.

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This landmark three-story historic commercial property in Old San Juan combines timeless elegance with modern design. It features floor-to-ceiling glass windows, 20+ foot ceilings, and a rooftop "mirador" with expansive city views. Strategically positioned across from the Federal Courthouse, it offers convenient access to multiple parking facilities and is available for sale at $4.8 million.


In conclusion, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, offers a unique and vibrant lifestyle for families looking to relocate. With its rich history, welcoming culture, and wide range of activities and amenities, Old San Juan provides an unforgettable experience for families seeking adventure and new experiences. With the assistance of Christie's International Real Estate, finding a dream home and exploring the list of properties in Old San Juan for sale by the owner becomes an achievable reality. Promising a blend of historical charm and modern convenience for a seamless transition to island life.


How big is Old San Juan, Puerto Rico?

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, is approximately 7 square miles; despite its small size, its pit has history, vibrant culture, and numerous attractions.

What are the best things to do in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico?

There are numerous exciting things to do in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. Here are some top recommendations:

  • Explore the historic forts of Castillo San Felipe del Morro and Castillo de San Cristobal.
  • Visit the Museo Casa Blanca and Museo de Las Americas to explore the region's history.
  • Enjoy the natural beauty by hiking in the lush forests, swimming at pristine beaches, or participating in water sports.
  • Stroll along the vibrant streets of Old San Juan, particularly Fortaleza Street, to experience the local culture.
  • Visit La Fortaleza, the governor's house, to glimpse Puerto Rico's rich history.
  • Engage in outdoor adventures such as biking through scenic trails or kayaking in the clear waters.
  • Explore the local cuisine by dining at the city's numerous restaurants.

Is Old San Juan, Puerto Rico safe?

Yes, Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, is generally considered safe for residents and visitors. However, like any other city, it's important to stay vigilant, especially at night, and be aware of your surroundings. It's also recommended that you secure your belongings and avoid isolated areas. Always adhere to local laws and customs for a safe and enjoyable stay.

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