In general, the cost of living in Puerto Rico is lower than in the US, but it is not cheap. A large portion of salary will go to expense on housing, utilities, and groceries. Nevertheless, it is and affordable location for any budget.
Prices for housing are more expensive in the city in comparison to the lower costs in the surrounding suburbs. Smaller cities outside of San Juan are cheaper than living within the capital, but if you have the financial ability to purchase a home, this is the best option.
The cost of rental housing is comparable to mainland US. Apartments are common and may be more expensive than single Family homes depending on where you choose to live. Most often a home purchased on a 30-year mortgage will have a monthly mortgage payment that is significantly lower than an apartment monthly rent.
Utility costs can average between $100-$300.00 USD.
Although most things in Puerto Rico are cheaper than in the U.S., sales taxes are higher, at 11.5%. The sales tax on prepared food is 7%.
Defense Service Network (DSN) Dialing Instructions
The DSN is the provider of long-distance communications service for the Department of Defense (DoD). Every installation has a special DSN number, and the numbers vary by world-wide location. To place a call using DSN, the caller must be using a telephone on a military installation. Cell phones cannot dial DSN numbers. When dialing a DSN number from a U.S. installation to another U.S. installation, it is unnecessary to dial the DSN 312 area code. When dialing a DSN number to/from overseas locations, the DSN area code must be included. The operator can be reached at commercial 719-567-1110. Please note that long distance charges may be incurred.
Borinqueneer's Gate: (Main Gate on PR 28). Service members who arrive at the Luis Muniz Marin (LMM) International Airport in Carolina, will need to take a taxi or Uber to Fort Buchanan, PR. All valid installation access credentials, Veteran Health Identification Card (VHIC) and Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) cardholders, as well as Retirees and their dependents are permitted on base. Disable Veterans may bring one (1) authorized person to assist them to shop at either the Commissary or the Exchange. Appropriated paperwork and clearance will be vetted at the Visitor Control Center (VCC).
SPC Frances M. Vega Gate is open Monday to Friday from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. for inbound/outbound, and outbound traffic only from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Federal holidays. Access to this gate is open to Common Access Card (CAC) holders and persons with valid installation access credentials.
Visitors may go to the VCC at the Borinqueneer's Gate to receive a background record check and access to the installation. Currently, the VCC hours of operation are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday thru Friday, and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is closed on Federal holidays. If you have any questions concerning access to Fort Buchanan, please contact the VCC at 787-707-3995. Access to the VCC is limited to five (5) patrons at a time inside the facility.
The Mission of the USAG Fort Buchanan is to deliver base support and services to enable holistic readiness for the total force.
The Vision of the USAG: Fort Buchanan is a modern, resilient, and sustainable installation, enhancing readiness in a contested multi-domain environment.
The Values: In addition to adopting the Army values as our own, we are professionals who embrace trust, transparency, and collaboration in all that we do.
Puerto Rico was part of the Spanish Empire for 405 years, from the time Christopher Columbus discovered it until the Spanish-American War. United States forces landed in Guánica on July 25, 1898. Upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, Spain ceded Puerto Rico to the United States, and the island became an unincorporated United States territory.
On July 1, 1899, "The Puerto Rico Regiment of Infantry, United States Army" was created. Fort Buchanan, the only active Army installation on Puerto Rico and in the Greater Antilles, was named after BG James A. Buchanan, the first commander of the Puerto Rican Regiment/1st U.S. Volunteers that was formed by Theodore Roosevelt during the Spanish-American War. After defending the Canal Zone during WWI, the regiment was officially designated the 65th Infantry Regiment in 1920. A tract of 300 acres on the south shore of San Juan Bay was obtained in 1923 and designated as Camp Buchanan. It served as a target range and maneuver area for the U.S. Army and National Guard troops from 1923 to 1939. In 1940, Camp Buchanan was renamed Fort Buchanan and, during WWII, became a general depot and induction center/training area for the Antilles command, while expanding to 1500 acres.
Fort Buchanan has passed under the control of the United States Navy, the Third U.S. Army, the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM), and the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). In 2002, Fort Buchanan became part of the Southeast Regional Office of the Installation Management Agency, and in 2003, it became an IMA Reserve installation. In 2006, it became a garrison under United States Army Installation Management Command, Southeast Region (IMCOM-SE).
On October 1, 2008, the Commanding General of the 81st Regional Readiness Command became Fort Buchanan's Senior Mission Commander under the United States Army Reserve Command. Currently, Fort Buchanan falls under the United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM) area of operations, under the direct control of the Installation Management Command, Atlantic Region (IMCOM-Atlantic).
United States Army Garrison Fort Buchanan consists of 746.16 acres between the municipalities of San Juan, Guaynabo, and Bayamón. Fort Buchanan serves a population of approximately 130,000 people including military personnel, their dependents, retirees, veterans, and the civilian workforce. Fort Buchanan is host to several tenant activities, most of them branches from the United States Armed Forces Reserve, such as headquarters for the 1st Mission Support Command of the United States Army Reserve, the Puerto Rico Army and Air Force National Guards, the United States Navy Reserve - Navy Operations Support Center Puerto Rico (NOSC-PR), and the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
For more information, visit the Fort Buchanan homepage. The Fort Buchanan Automated Directory Attendance Service phone number is 787-707-4636 or DSN 312-740-4636
Fort Buchanan serves and supports a population of approximately 130,000 people including military personnel, their dependents, retirees, veterans, and the civilian workforce. Fort Buchanan is host to several tenant activities, most of them branches from the United States Armed Forces Reserve, such as headquarters for the 1st Mission Support Command of the United States Army Reserve, the Puerto Rico Army and Air Force National Guards, the United States Navy Reserve - Navy Operations Support Center Puerto Rico (NOSC-PR), and the United States Marine Corps Reserve.
Ft. Buchanan serves and supports Active Duty, Reserve, and National Guard Soldiers; Air Force National Guard, U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Reserve personnel, DoD civilians, veterans, retirees, and military Family members. The installation also supports some 32 federal agencies stationed in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Fort Buchanan is in the city of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, near the Capital of San Juan. Puerto Rico boasts fabulous ocean views, tropical weather, and lush green mountains. The island is approximately 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, about the size of Connecticut. For a variety of reasons, Puerto Rico is considered a high-cost living area.
The City of San Juan, PR ranks #9 in most expensive places to live in the U.S.
The Fort Buchanan Automated Directory Attendance Service phone number is (787) 707-4636 or DSN 312 740-4636.
Location: Puerto Rico is located 1,018 miles southeast of Miami; approximately 2.5 hours by plane; 4 hours from Boston, and 3 hours from New York.
Note: Both Spanish and English are the official languages of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The following translations of Spanish traffic signs will help you get around:
When you arrive to Luis Munoz Marin International Airport you can call an Uber or use the taxi service located right outside the arrival section of the terminal. The cost of the trip is reimbursable (if on orders). Obtain a receipt from the taxi driver if the fare is more than $25.00. If you need help at the airport, contact the Military Personnel Office at Fort Buchanan at 787-707-3938 during duty hours or the DOD Police desk sergeant, 787-707-4911, after duty hours.
Traveling with Pets: Pets may be picked up at the traveling airline cargo area.
How to get to Fort Buchanan from the airport:
As you exit the Airport stay on your far-right lane and take the exit to Highway 26 (the sign reads "Isla Verde/San Juan"), also known as Baldorioty De Castro Highway. Follow signs towards San Juan.After about 1.5 miles, stay on your far-right lane and follow signs towards Bayamon/Caguas. Once you take that (Bayamon/Caguas) exit you will enter a tunnel (Minillas Tunnel), stay on that Highway for 1/2 mile until you see the sign towards Bayamon (Highway 22), take the road to your right. You will be heading west for about 1 mile. Stay on the right lane, you will see a sign for Fort Buchanan exit, it will say Fort Buchanan 28 and Catano 165. NOTE: before that exit, on your left-hand side there is another sign to Fort Buchanan, DO NOT take that exit. You will take the exit for Road 165 (Sign will be on your right). Once on Road 165, you need to switch to the far-left lane before you reach the first traffic light. At that intersection you will make a left turn into Road 28 (you will see the Federal Prison on your left at the traffic light). After taking the left turn you will pass in front of the Federal Prison, after that you will see on your left some of the Fort Buchanan buildings. On the second traffic light you need to make a left turn to the Fort Buchanan's Gate entrance. Important notice, an ID card is required at the check point.
There is no on-post transportation in Fort Buchanan.