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Looking for monthly vacation rental-advice

Hi. Trying out PR for the first time this winter. Thinking of renting 3 separate places in different parts. First month in San Juan to get acquainted,  then possibly Rincon or south west. .not sure cause we are not surfers and prefer calmer beaches. Last month on viesque.  So how does that sound as far as areas?  Was not thinking of renting a car but after reading up, looks like a necessity. Not looking for fancy places but confortable, clean , near beaches... where can I find rentals in the 1300 per  month range?  I have been looking at the usual online rentals sites and pretty pricy as sites don't have monthly rates. Thanks for any advice

Hi Axc123,

Welcome to the forum.
Your idea is good but not your budget. Most places are not rented short term, mostly rented for 6-12 months. However there is Airbnb, Homeaway and others but a month rental is likely to cost you 3K and daily rentals are around 70-200.

Regular homes rental (long term) will run you 600-4k a month depending on the location, the real high places are in tourist areas, outside of that you are looking at around 500-1000 a mont for a 2-3 bedroom house or condo (Unfurnished most of them).

Car absolutely required, outside of the metro area there is little to no public transportation.

You need to explore and see the island before you make the jump, PR is not for everyone. You may want to consider splitting the exploration into multiple 2 week trips and stay 1-3 days in the towns that interest you. There are 78 towns in PR.

Rey

If you like quiet beaches, you will love the southwest.  Guanica has fabulous quiet beaches and there are a number of rentals in the area.  Playa Santa tends to be busier, especially over holidays, but the beach is lovely.  Then there's Boqueron, Cabo Rojo, Combate... endless beaches! 

I agree with Rey, monthly rentals will cost you $2000 to $3000 per month.  We have rented for 20+ years and know this very well.

Axc123,

My advice would be to go to Airbnb or HomeAway and simply ask the property managers or owners listing the properties if they would be interested in renting on a monthly basis. Just because they don't advertise the properties as monthly rentals doesn't mean they wouldn't do it. Much can be negotiated in PR if you're persistent and take the initiative.

My property manager rents her apartments through Airbnb nightly, but is currently contracted with at least one renter on a monthly basis. If, for example, someone were to want to rent our 2-bdrm, ocean-front apartment in Old San San for a month or so, it could be arranged for a reasonable rent.

I agree with Rey.Outside of San Juan, you will need a car. The free trollys around Old San Juan and down to Condado beach, along with the bus service in San Juan doesn't make having a car so necessary. In and around Old San Juan it is more of a liability, IMHO.

Good luck.

I've found that even though a lot of places on airbnb, homeaway, and vrbo do not say in the description if they do monthly rental discounts, you can place with dates that you would like and discounts will pop up.  Experiment with the sites and dates because I've found rates in your range.

You will most likely find that the car rental will take up a large chunk of your budget.

Yes, car rental will soak up your cash. There's always Lyft and Uber. And Puerto Ricans like trading services, so you might negotiate the trade of someone's car for a day in exchange for running errands on their behalf, babysitting, or whatever special skill you have.

And Schuttzie is right. Airbnb and the rest might not advertise month-long rentals but do discount for a continuous monthly contract. Sometimes the discount shows up, sometimes not. You can always ask, and again you can often negotiate.

Agree with much (well, really all) that's above.  My advice, freely given and worth every penny  ;-)

One month in each location, at this point in your search, is too much time in one place.  A week would probably suffice, especially if you do your homework before you arrive.  In the NW (Rincon area) what do you want to see?  Beaches?  Shopping?  Nightlife?  Quiet repose?  Scenery?  If you have an idea of what you are looking for, you can get a pretty good sense of the area in a week.  Then move to the next area, and repeat.  SW shouldn't take more than a week.  Check out Cabo Rojo, Mayaguez, Boqueron, even Combate if you want to really avoid the tourists.  Then on to central south.  Parguera, Guanica and Ponce.  Ponce especially if you want the art scene.  Then the east coast, especially if boating is in your plans.  Of course, boating is possible along any coast, but if you want to boat with a destination in mind, those destinations are off the east coast.  This will give you a chance to spend a day or two on Vieques.  You'll want to experience the challenges of merely getting to and from the island.  Up to the NE (gotta do Yunque), and then finally back to SJ.  All told, you can do this in 4-6 weeks.

Since this is your first trip, I'd go for a broad, if superficial tour.  And I've kept you on the coast, only because you mention the beaches.  Mountain living has it's own attractions, but if that's definitely out, you can stick to the coasts, and explore the mountains later.

Weekly rentals are more easily arranged and affordable.  AirBnb is the best way to go, especially because your host can prove to be a very valuable source of information.  Schuttzie is spot on -- the car rental will eat a lot of your budget.

After this first whirlwind tour, you'll have a much better idea of what the island has to offer, and where you likely want to be.  At that point, I'd start looking into the longer-term rentals in that area so that you can learn the difference between the barrios, and decide if that area is truly where you want to be, and if so, where.

The island is only 35 miles top to bottom, and 100 miles end to end, but it is astoundingly complex and varied as you move from place to place.  There are endless opportunities for exploration and discovery.  Don't be fooled into thinking that it is all the same, or that it is just like where you are now.  If I were to draw a rectangle the size of PR over central Virginia, where I am now, there really wouldn't be all that much diversity in the landscape.  All rolling hills, Piedmont we call it.  And easy to get anywhere in that rectangle.  PR is vastly different.

WarnerW thanks a lot, your long reply is perfect and provides excellent advice. Thanks a bunch!

ReyP :

WarnerW thanks a lot, your long reply is perfect and provides excellent advice. Thanks a bunch!

Thanks Rey.  I remember my first trip to the island.  I really did expect it to be largely the same, wherever I went.  Boy, I was quickly disabused of that!  My wife and I spent our first night in SJ, just to rest and recover from the flight, and get a fresh start.  Then off to El Yunque, marveling at the green beauty of Carolina, until we found ourselves at the park, immersed in the lush tropical rainforest.  Absolutely breathtaking!  Then after El Yunque, we were off along the east coast with a final destination of Ponce.  The views of the mountains (where you are headed Rey) were beautiful, accented by the valleys and the cattle pastures, all on our right, reminded us of home, but the coastline and Atlantic all on the left were an added bonus!  Turning the corner in Ponce, we loved the old part of town.  We stayed in an old hotel just off the main square, my guess is a block from Mrkptyn's place.  Loved the town!  Soaked in the history, the art, the food, everything!  Then ultimately to Parguera, our final destination.  Arid and rocky right along the coast, like west Texas (certainly not like Houston!), but the Lajas valley was rich and fertile, home to expanses of plantain farms.  And a charming town, quiet, but lively on the weekends.  Sweet, kind, wonderful people there, and really everywhere we went.  If there was one constant, that was it -- a hospitality that didn't stop.

We still haven't explored the interior, or the NW for that matter.  The only falls we have seen are Minas, at Yunque.  I'd love to do the Ruta Panoramica, and explore some of the river courses in the interior.  For such a relatively small place, there really are endless attractions.

Nature is free in PR, most things cost nothing other than gas for the car and a little patiance while driving. It is a wonderful island.

I grew up in the HatoRey/Santurce line and the east coast so I am very familiar with those areas and have a lot of family including my son, and grankids in the east side. Also have family in Juncos and Las Piedras. Several chilhood friends in Carolina. So I am at home when I come and visit. Once I move there I will be visiting with expats, locals and family, I will be very busy, hehe. Plan to take trips around the island a couple of times a month so my wife learns Puerto Rico, she is a gringa but loves PR.

I also hangout woth Carlos Torres the realtor which has become a good friend and has helped several expats here find a place. I will probably use him to find properties to invest in once I am settled in.

thank you all for your great advice. We are escaping Canadian winter, so are looking to relax, do a lot of beach (not surfing). We like nature, jungles, art scene. though of monthly rotation to save cost on accommodations..... I have researched flipkey, airb&b , VRBO, etc.. was hoping to get referrals of rental agencies. Facebook groups, or any network or group where I can find rentals. ( not hotels) I since found classificadosonline which has some rentals. please send me whatever info you may have.
thanks

You hit all the right places AXC, there is a group in Facebook, "Friends of Rincon" or something like that that deals with the west side but specially the town of Rincon.

Late November to April is Snow bird season, prices go up everywhere and the number of available places diminishes by the day. May want to connect now before inventory is gone regardless of where in the island you plan to stay.

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