Why work from home when you can work from an island?

By Rachel Chang
April 22, 2021
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With more companies embracing the work-from-home trend, many people are taking their home offices on the road. In fact, 74% of Americans said that they're thinking about taking a workcation, according to a Harris Poll last month.

Now, Discover Puerto Rico — the island's tourism board — is giving six Americans the chance to do just that for two weeks — for free. The "Work in Full Color" initiative, which encourages WFH employees to trade their desks for one that's closer to Puerto Rico's turquoise waves, aims to show just how easy it is to work from the U.S. territory.

After all, no passports are required, and the island is in the same time zone as the East Coast for half the year (and just one hour ahead for the rest of the year). Plus, U.S. visitors won't have to worry about converting currency, and can expect familiar conveniences, including Uber Eats, Walgreens, CVS, and Airbnb (which has its own Puerto Rico microsite).

Even the 31 internet providers and three 5G networks make it simple to video conference or stay connected to your current phone plan.

aerial view of Puerto Rico
Credit: Courtesy of Discover Puerto Rico

To showcase all those advantages, the six winners will be treated to work locations around the island, including a floating villa off Fajardo, an Old San Juan apartment, a luxury oceanfront suite at Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa, and a three-bedroom Palmas del Mar condo.

"We hope travelers will learn how simple and convenient it is to work remotely from Puerto Rico as they won't need visas, passports, or proof of insurance to work on the island for an extended time," Discover Puerto Rico's CMO, Leah Chandler, tells Travel + Leisure. "Additionally, we're eager to expose visitors to the diversity of activities and experiences available throughout Puerto Rico [to enjoy] once the workday ends."

She adds that her favorite parts of working on the island are being "surrounded by friendly locals and exploring the diverse culture, particularly the amazing gastronomy." Some local highlights include eating at the chic outdoor food court, Lote 23, or taking a sustainable tour through Local Guest, which hosts everything from caving adventures and pottery classes to volunteer tours that help build homes damaged by Hurricane Maria or work in a community garden.

Copamarina Beach Resort king size guest room
Credit: Courtesy of Copamarina Beach Resort

To enter, visit discoverpuertorico.com/deskover and describe what you could accomplish by working on the island for two weeks. Winners will receive round-trip economy airfare, accommodations for 14 nights, and Wi-Fi throughout their stay. All entries must be received by May 13, 2021.

Chandler also says that Puerto Rico's natural wonders add allure, especially after a year of being cooped up at home. "The proximity to so many unique landscapes and outdoor resources is also incredible," she says. "To be able to visit the beach, mountains, or rain forest in a single weekend is truly rare and special."

It's worth noting that the CDC currently has Puerto Rico at a Level 4 "Very High Level of COVID-19" advisory, but says that those who are fully vaccinated can travel within the U.S. Those arriving must receive a negative PCR molecular test less than 72 hours before travel or be fined $300, in addition to taking another test within 48 hours of arrival. There's also an island-wide curfew between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Bars are closed, but restaurants, pools, and museums are operating at 30% capacity.