Beach or Mountains?
I write this post as I listen to the waves crashing against the shore through the open windows of our rental condo in beautiful Luquillo, Puerto Rico. If I want to see the waves, all I need to do is step out onto our patio. Ahh…. life is good!
We are quite happy to finally be settled in Puerto Rico. We are on the beach, love our town, and our location – however, recently we became confused.
Why? – you may ask.
Well, we were recently presented with an opportunity to rent a house in the mountains of a nearby town that was awesome, had an amazing mountain, farm feel and breathtaking views of the area (to sweeten the pie). So, now we are considering a move and are presented with this question:
What is better? Beach or mountains?
We asked this same question a couple of years ago, back when we visited Panama – it is a tough choice indeed. But now once again, we are faced with the same conundrum. This time though, it’s not a theoretical question, it’s for real!
How do we decide between these two great options?
We thought the best thing to do is to do what we do best – evaluate it logically. For us that means looking at all the pros and the cons of each option.
A little background:
We originally planned on staying in different locations on the island for 3-6 months, to see how we like each one. We wanted to experience different things, like beach living, surfing towns, mountains, farms, etc. This way, we figured, we’d be sure to find exactly what we want.
We only accidentally found Luquillo via an ad on craigslist.com for the apartment we currently live in. We visited here before but only a quick stop to the famous Kioskos de Luquillo (Luquillo’s food kiosks).
Once we got here, we fell in love with this area instantly and decided that we should just settle here because after all, how could it possibly be better anywhere else?
But now, we have become confused, after seeing the amazing beauty of a 40-acre farm on the side of a mountain. So, let me go over our options one at a time…
Playa Azul Luquillo Living
Luquillo is a small ocean-side town that is quite beautiful and very friendly. It has some of the most amazing beaches in Puerto Rico – you can literally walk for miles in either direction and not run out of beach. It is a favorite spot for the local San Juan-ians to spend weekends on the beach during the summer months. There are lots and lots of condo rentals in the area and prices are relatively reasonable, although perhaps a little more expensive than other areas outside of San Juan.
Beach or Mountains: Beach Pros
- Ocean and beach just outside
- Awesome walks on the beach
- Swimming, snorkeling, and boogie boarding any time we want
- Close to everything – Luquillo is totally a walking town
- Medical facilities
- High speed Internet access
- Good for business – up to 18 Mbps down, 1.5 Mbps up
- Friendly neighbors
- Large English-speaking community
- Parties and social life
Beach or Mountains: Beach Cons
- Public beaches are loud
- Not much peace and quiet
- Hurricanes and\or storms are rough on the beach
- Salt water and salt air destroy electronics and cars
- Housing is a little bit more expensive
- Most rentals are “just a little bit beat up” (because of the salt air)
- Theft is more of a problem as in any other tourist area
Mountain Farm in Ceiba
Now let me tell you about the farm… It is a working farm and they grow just about any type of fruit and local vegetable you can imagine: lemons, avocados, mangos, guava, breadfruit, and on and on and on. Some of them we’ve never seen or heard of before. There are 4 horses, 3 dogs, and 1 cat (plus I don’t know how many kittens) on the farm. It is lush, green, elevated, and the house has near 360-degree views of the area. There are 3 houses on the 40 acre property – the owners, care takers, and (possibly) ours.
Beach or Mountains: Farm Pros
- Peaceful and secluded
- Certainly conducive to work and relaxation
- Amazing views of the mountains and the ocean
- 10 minute drive to nearest beach
- Cooler because of higher elevation
- Much less salt to deal with, probably much better for all of our stuff
- Cheaper – water is from a well and you don’t need as much A/C so utilities are lower
- All the fresh fruit and vegetables we could possibly want.
Beach or Mountains: Farm Cons
- Away from the amenities
- Stores, hospitals, restaurants, beaches, social life are all at least 10 – 20 minutes away
- Slower Internet speeds – 5 Mbps down 1 Mbps down
- Only the owners of the farm and the care takers are anywhere in the immediate vicinity
- So, much less social life. It could get lonely
- Steep, steep drive up the mountain – kind of rough on the car
- Toll road that cost $1/each way to get to-from town
So, how do we make this decision?
Looking at the pros and cons, it is a pretty evenly split. I didn’t assign any weights to the list because some of this is simply a “heart thing”. Tim is most definitely partial to the mountains and I am a beach bum all the way. This of course makes our decision even more difficult. We have to decide within the next couple of weeks because both our current landlord and our would-be landlord want an answer. So, we are considering doing the mountains for 6 months and see how it goes. Besides, we can always return to the beach, if we decide we don’t like it. But, we are still on the fence on this decision.
What do you all think? Where would you settle if you had the choice? Beach or mountains?
You may also like our posts on It’s Official We’re Moving To the Mountains, Moving Back To The Beach, and 7 Things I Learned Living In The Rainforest Mountains.