A Review of Rincon, Puerto Rico

When thinking about retiring outside the United States often overlooked is Puerto Rico. Even when someone is considering the Caribbean many don’t think to retire in Puerto Rico. In this article, we’re going to explore Rincon, Puerto Rico. Which is maybe overall the best place to live in Puerto Rico. Recent tax incentives passed in 2017, may make Puerto Rico a great place to look at for retirement.

Rincon is the northwestern corner of the island of Puerto Rico. Rincon is unique for many reasons and thus has many nicknames. However, Rincon may be best known for surfing. Sometimes referred to as “Caribbean’s Hawaii”, waves can reach a height of 25 feet in the winter. Because it gets the Atlantic hitting its northern shore, it gets the waves. But because it also juts out into the Caribbean to the west, the southern shore is protected from those waves. Here you’ll find beautiful beaches where the water is calm, and many enjoy standup paddleboarding (SUP).  Rincon is the best of both and provides activities for those that want wave action and those that want to wade in the warm Caribbean water.

Another unique aspect of Rincon is that it is busiest in the summer, unlike other Caribbean destinations. July is when many Puerto Rican residents choose to vacation, and Rincon is a popular choice. There are world-class resorts in the area along with many vacation rentals and smaller hotels. However, there isn’t a resort section that has created a commercial feel to the area. Rincon still retains its’ Caribbean village vibe.

Rincon has distinct areas. The North Coast has a surf city feel to it like you might experience on the shore of Hawaii or California. However, further south on the Sunset Coast you’ll find small intimate beaches and experience some of the most beautiful sunsets that you’ve ever seen. If long walks on the beach or swimming are your passion, the South Caribbean Coast of Rincon is your destination. Downtown Rincon has many dining choices along with shopping and many art galleries.

Rincon, Puerto Rico Weather

If you decide to retire in Rincon, you’ll love the weather. The temperature doesn’t fluctuate much in Rincon. The coldest month of the year is January when the average low is 71 degrees and the average high is 82 degrees. The warmest month is August when the low is 76 and the high is 88.

Stand Up Paddleboarding off Rincon
Photo credit DiscoverPuertoRico.com

Much like most of the Caribbean and even Florida, the rainiest months are in the summer through October. However, the total average rainfall annually is just 39 inches which is significantly lower than Clearwater, FL at 51 inches and Houston, TX at just under 50 inches.

Is Rincon Safe?

Puerto Rico has a reputation in the States of being a high crime area, especially since Hurricane Maria. However, much like with other Caribbean locations, the reality is that it is safer than you might think. It’s rated safer than many U.S. cities and is even safer in places like Rincon where ex-pat communities exist.

In fact, San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, made the list of the Top 100 Places to Retire at #89 published by U.S. News and World Report. San Juan outranked places like Minneapolis/St. Paul, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City. One consideration to make this list if, of course, the crime rate. The violent crime rate in Puerto Rico is less than in places in the U.S. with similar populations like Arkansas. Again, if you consider Rincon the crime rate is even lower. Rincon may be the safest and best place to live in Puerto Rico.

Getting to Rincon, PR

The flight time from Miami to San Juan, PR is 2 and 1/2 hours. From New York, it’s 3 hours and 45 minutes. The best way to get to Rincon on the northwest of Puerto Rico from San Juan is by car. With traffic, it will take about 2 ½ hours. You could take the 37-minute flight from San Juan into Mayaguez for $39 but the drive to Rincon is 30 minutes and you may want a car in Rincon anyway. However, you could take a taxi from the airport in Mayaguez for about $40.

Map of Puerto Rico. Rincon is in the Northwest Corner
Photo Credit RinconSurfSchool.com
Map of the Rincon Area
Photo credit Rincon.org

Getting Around Rincon

From our standpoint, the downside of living in Rincon is that you need a car. We really like the idea of a golf cart and bicycles. There hasn’t been much provision made for bike lanes on the local roads. If you like biking, mountain biking is the way to go here.

Things To Do in Rincon, PR

It’s the Caribbean so beach and water activities abound. Snorkeling and diving are predominant in the summer while surfing takes over in the winter when the waves increase from the north. Also, horseback riding, SUP boarding, mountain biking, swimming, and deep-sea fishing are popular.

What About Staying in Touch With Family and Friends?

Tres Palmas Marine Reserve

Little Malibu, Step’s Beach and Dogman's’ beach make up the reserve. Scuba and snorkeling are big here. You’ll most likely see bottlenose dolphin, hawksbill turtles, surgeonfish and parrotfish. If underwater is not your favorite place to be you can enjoy relaxing on the beach.

The Thursday Festival in Downtown Rincon, Puerto Rico
Photo credit indicepr.com

The Art Scene in Rincon

The is a burgeoning art scene in Rincon highlighted by the Art Walk and many galleries around town. Every Thursday evening people gather for a mini-festival to celebrate the local music and culture.

Healthcare in Puerto Rico

Healthcare in Puerto Rico is generally of a high standard, similar to the States. But it varies throughout the island. Longer wait times for doctors’ appointments can be expected due to the shortage of physicians. Public healthcare Is managed by a government program that contracts with private healthcare insurance companies. Due to the wait times, many ex-pats opt for private insurance to reduce the wait times. The co-pays are less than in the U.S.

The public water is considered safe to drink and there are no major health risks in Puerto Rico.

Long Term Rentals in the Rincon, PR Area

Rincon is not the cheapest place to live in Puerto Rico. When in the market for a long-term rental in the Rincon area, it is best to look around. Prices vary greatly. For instance, a modest 2-bedroom, 1 bath furnished is listed at $600/month. And a 2-bedroom-2 bath condo near the beach is $1,900 a month. A furnished condo is $2,000 a month not including utilities.

Rincon Real Estate

Real estate in Rincon would not be considered a bargain like in some other Caribbean destinations. The market is much the same as it is on the west coast of Florida. A 1-bedroom condo might sell for $150,000 while a larger condo in an upscale community might be between $400,000 to $500,000.

Cost of Living in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico, specifically the “town of beautiful sunsets”, otherwise known as Rincon, is about 10% less expensive than living in the States. Of course, that depends on what state you live in. Rincon is not the place to retire on $2,000 a month like some of the other Caribbean locations we’ve reviewed. You do get the Caribbean lifestyle without the hassle of moving to another country. It may make the transition easier, but you pay more for it.

What may make a huge difference economically are the changes made in 2017 to Act 20 and Act 22. These are tax incentive programs in Puerto Rico. If you live in Puerto Rico, you pay no tax on income earned in Puerto Rico. And, you only pay a 4% tax if you move a business to the island. This move can be made on paper, of course. For details on the tax incentives in Puerto Rico and why so many high net worth individuals are setting up residency there, visit A Detailed Analysis of Puerto Rico’s Tax Incentive Programs.

Best Place to Live in Puerto Rico for Retirement

With the advantages of living the Caribbean life while still being in the United States and the growing Rincon ex-pat community, this may be the best place to retire in Puerto Rico for Americans.

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