San Juan is the capital of and largest city in Puerto Rico, with one of the best harbors in the Caribbean.
The great thing about this city is that, though it’s a capital city, you are usually a mile or so from an ocean view: and you can jump in year round!
Many people say that the cost of living in Puerto Rico depends on the goods that you buy in the market – meaning that groceries are the most expensive thing here in comparison to U.S prices.
But again, how much you spend, always depends on your preferences and lifestyle.
Food is wonderful in San Juan and this country is actually known for great food. There are great dining opportunities in San Juan, from the down-home Criollo to the most sophisticated and trendy Michelin star restaurants. This means you can eat in an inexpensive restaurant for around 10$, or in a mid-range restaurant where a meal for two will cost you over 50$.
Groceries are expensive in San Juan and entire Puerto Rico – many say that this is the most expensive aspect of living in this country. Many foods and fresh produce in supermarkets are imported, and they can only come from mainland U.S. because of Puerto Rico’s status and laws in the books that still persist today. The price for milk, eggs, and other local goods is regulated by local government.
Owning a vehicle in San Juan is expensive and the cost of maintaining them can only get higher given the humidity and the weather conditions on the roads (potholes, etc). Gas is slightly more expensive than in the mainland states. As for public transportation, it isn’t really cheap but it’s not too expensive either: one-way ticket for public transport costs 1.50$ and a monthly pass costs 39$.
Power utility company has a monopoly on the island so the utilities are actually through the roof. Internet service is also rather expensive, costing around 65$ per month for 8 or 10mbps. Electricity is super expensive (near 200$ for a 85m2 apartment), so most houses don’t have A.C. and if they do, they’re usually located in their bedrooms. Apart from the fact that electricity is so expensive, black outs happen constantly.
SPORTS & LEISURE
Entertainment is slightly cheaper in comparison to everything else, though it depends largely on where you go and what you like to do, of course. Going to the movies for example is relatively cheap, with one ticket costing around 7$. If you like to spend your free time in a gym or a fitness club, your monthly fee will be around 40$.
CLOTHING & SHOES
You didn’t think that San Juan is devoid of shopping malls, did you? In this city, there’s everything, from shopping malls to movies, businesses, offices, the art museum, a performing arts center and a very good outdoor farmers market. So you’ll be able to shop ’till you drop, and the prices are lower than in the U.S. too! You’ll be able to buy quality jeans for around 40$, while quality running sneakers cost a bit more – around 80$ a pair.
RENT PER MONTH
Compared to everything else in San Juan, the prices of rent are not exactly through the roof. Of course, they vary from city to city and region to region, but all in all, you’ll be able to get a decent place for around 500$. If you want to go closer to the center of any of the major cities, the prices go up and it will cost you around 700$, and if you have your family with you – a larger apartment will cost you 1200$.
Cost of Living Averages Table for San Juan
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$ 10.00|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$ 2.00|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$ 1.05||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$ 1.63|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$ 2.85|
|Eggs (12)||$ 2.71||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$ 1.50|
|Monthly Pass||$ 39.24|
|Gasoline||$ 0.78||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$ 186.94|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$ 0.19|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$ 66.40||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$ 40.06|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$ 15.00|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$ 7.50||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$ 42.65|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$ 39.13|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$ 82.28||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$ 695.00|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$ 492.86|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$ 1285.71|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in San Juan?
Food is a large expense for the people living in San Juan, taking up more than 36% of one’s salary.
This actually makes perfect sense, since the groceries in this city are the single most expensive aspect of living here.
The second biggest expense in San Juan are the rents, though they aren’t that expensive, in comparison with other prices in the country.
Restaurants are always in the top four biggest expenses because there are many people who eat in them three times a day.
Transportation is also an everyday necessity for most people so it’s no wonder that 10% of one’s income is spent on buses, trains and trams.
Clothing takes up the least of an average person’s income, as in most countries.
San Juan: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
Salaries are, however, a great surprise give how high they are!
With an average salary of over 2000$, people of San Juan can live relatively comfortably, even with the high prices throughout the country.
Even though the rent is high and the utilities are through the roof, most people can afford to pay them and still have something left on the side.
The minimum wage in San Juan is around 1100$, and even with this amount of money, most people will be able to afford all basic expenses.
Cost of Living by City in Puerto Rico
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|