Puerto Rico, also known as 'la isla del encanto' (the island of enchantment) is a small and beautiful island, located between the Dominican Republic and The Virgin Islands, forming part of an island chain in the Caribbean. Expats moving to Puerto Rico will find themselves in an unincorporated territory of the United States, a widely contested issue for the local population of just under 3 million.
Puerto Rico's close proximity to the US has make it an attractive destination for American retirees. Other expats living in Puerto Rico have usually relocated to work in the territory’s major economic sectors, such as manufacturing and tourism.
The official languages in Puerto Rico are Spanish and English, and although expats should get by without learning Spanish, it may make integration to life on the island easier and quicker. The education system is based on that of the US, although Spanish is the primary language of instruction at public and most private schools. The cost of living on the island is pricey, but expats relocating for work purposes will usually receive benefits to cover a number of monthly expenses.
Expats moving to Puerto Rico will find themselves living on an island that offers beautiful mountainous scenery, tropical beaches and a relaxed lifestyle. It's also a great spot for travel to nearby islands, with southern areas of the US and northern parts of South America also easily accessible.
Population: 2.8 million
Capital city: San Juan
Neighbouring countries: Located in the Carribean Sea, Puerto Rico has two neighbouring islands: Dominican Republic towards the west and Virgin Islands to the east.
Geography: Puerto Rico is an archipelago made up of the main island as well as several smaller surrounding islands, only a few of which are inhabited year round.
Political system: Devolved presidential constitutional dependency
Major religions: Catholicism
Main languages: Spanish and English
Money: United States Dollars (USD), subdivided into 100 cents. ATMs are readily available throughout most of Puerto Rico and it's fairly easy to open a bank account.
Tipping: 15 percent is standard, unless included in the bill.
Electricity: 120V, 60 Hz. Plugs are standard North American plugs with two flat blades.
Internet domain: .pr
International dialling code: +1
Emergency contacts: 911
Driving and transport: Driving is on the right-hand side of the road. Public transport is sufficient to get around, especially in San Juan, which has a metro. There are also buses, minibuses and ferries as well as taxis.
"The standard of living can be very good, but expensive. Most expats have a housing allowance, which means they can live in an exclusive, gated community. They can also send their children to expensive private schools, as companies usually allow for that expense as well."
Read more about Lynn's expat experience in Puerto Rico.
Are you an expat living in Puerto Rico?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Puerto Rico. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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