Convergence of CulturesIyna Bort Caruso
Puerto Rico has been shaped by the influences of multiple countries from around the globe. The result is a convergence of cultures that manifests in its food, music, architecture and lifestyle.
Tropical. Diverse. And welcoming, especially to the wealthy. In 2012, a law was passed to entice the well-heeled who meet bona fide residency requirements with tax incentives that include a 100 percent tax exemption on investment income from interest, dividends and capital gains. Yet, plenty of part-time vacation homeowners have found a slice of paradise in Puerto Rico with a host of other incentives. A Caribbean island that doesn’t require a passport for U.S. citizens is one. Average year-round temperatures in the low 80s is another. And then there is a real estate market as diverse as the culture where buyers can opt for Euro-cosmopolitan, bohemian chic or country club swank.
Spanish colonial architecture is evident in Viejo San Juan, or Old San Juan, the historic district of centuries-old cobblestoned streets, plazas, art galleries and doors that lead to hidden courtyards and striking gardens. Old San Juan is highly walkable--although horse-and-carriage is an option. Those who prefer an urban beach address in a trendy neighborhood can find it in Condado Beach or CoBe as it’s sometimes known. On a peninsula adjacent to Condado are the luxury high-rises and well-preserved Art Deco homes of Miramar. To the east is the beachfront community of Ocean Park, noted for its million-dollar custom homes.
Affluent communities in the San Juan suburbs are in places like San Patricio and Garden Hills in the municipality of Guyanabo. High earners are drawn to its excellent schools and active lifestyle.
About 15 miles west of the city is the seaside resort of Dorado, once the playground of the Rockefeller family and now lined with beachside villas and golf course condominiums. For more breathing room, Bahia Beach on the edge of El Yunque Rainforest offers exclusivity in natural surroundings with a focus on sustainable development.