Is November a good time to visit Puerto Rico, or should I plan for the warmer May or August months? Well, depending on your preferred type of weather or activities, Puerto Rico offers unique and appealing travel seasons for all. Read on to get incredible tips on the best time to travel to Puerto Rico.
When Is the Best Time to Travel to Puerto Rico? (Ranked)
The Island is an unincorporated U.S. territory that boasts of mountainous landscapes, numerous waterfalls, and the El Yunque tropical rainforest. Puerto Rico’s geography is an archipelago (cluster of islands) between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, east of the Dominican Republic, and west of the Virgin Islands.
The mountainous landscape offers quite an extensive plethora of sceneries and unique tourist attractions. Also, the Puerto Rican capital and the largest city, San Juan is famous for its hotel strip, beach bars, and casinos.
The blend of heritage, vibrant cultures, friendly climate, sceneries, parks, and warm people, makes this Caribbean jewel a world-class destination. Whether you’re looking for classical music, food, drinks, relaxation, beach time, or wildlife Puerto Rico is the place to be all year round.
That’s why I say; any time can be your best time to travel to Puerto Rico. It all depends on what you’re searching for.
Best Times to Travel to Puerto Rico
Whichever time of the year you want to travel, Purto Rico always has something special for the season. The various tourist seasons according to the Island’s calendar include:
December to March: Great Weather
Puerto Rico’s climate is known as tropical marine, which means that it’s usually sunny, warm, and humid almost all year round. From June through October, the average temperatures are roughly 32° C, dropping to around 28° C between November and May.
Even during the winter season in Puerto Rico, the temperature averages between 21°C and 25 °C, falling between 4° C and 5° C at the higher altitudes. This means that the weather around here is never that acute.
Also, although the rain here falls from May through October, the place is still the best place for a vacation. The showers are usually less than 30 minutes long, and the warm temperatures make swimming during the rain, even more fun. And although some people will describe the months of December through March as having the best weather in Puerto Rico, I would say there is never “too bad weather” in the Puerto Rican Islands.
But what of hurricanes, which are quite common in the tropics? Well, Puerto Rico is not exempt from these natural forces – although that shouldn’t worry you much. The chances of you encountering one are relatively low.
Except for the 2017 Hurricane Maria, the other time the Island experienced such a strong storm was way back in 1931. But, to be on the safe side, studies put the period between August and September as the riskiest period for hurricanes.
If you’re browsing for the most favorable weather conditions for your travel, December to March is your best bet. This period consists of the coolest period Puerto Rico ever experiences with the cool trade winds offering the best environment for relaxing.
Puerto Rico’s weather pattern is quite predictable, and the conditions are never to the extreme.
December to June: Sightseeing and Sports
If you want to experience the most amazing sights that Puerto Rico has to offer, then you must be there at specific times of the year. Some of Puerto Rico’s tourist attractions are highly seasonal. In fact, locals say that some things are only best done or seen during certain months or seasons.
For instance, if you love kayaking or boat riding, on calm waters, December through April would be an ideal season for you. You can also enjoy a boat ride to one of the stunning bioluminescent Puerto Rican bays, whose water glows whenever there’s contact.
This beautiful scene is due to the presence of millions of dinoflagellates (glowing microorganisms). Tour operators advise visits to the site during the new moon when the sky is darkest. This gives you a chance to enjoy the full-blast glow.
Also, since the rain experiences less rainfall, the waters are less murky, which improves the view. For hiking and mountain climbing, December to March is the perfect period, when the weather isn’t too hot.
In addition, the period from April through June offers the best environment for numerous sports and activities. You have a variety to choose from – whether it’s snorkelling, sailing, surfing, or deep diving. Puerto Rico has much to offer, guaranteeing you the most memorable trip.
April to June: Best Season for Honeymooners
The season is ideal for lovers who wish to enjoy some warm weather while avoiding the overcrowded streets and beaches during winter. During this season, winter crowds are long gone, and the weather is still moderately warm and breezy. Hotel prices have also started going down, as compared to the just-ended winter season.
Although rains are gradually approaching, it hardly showers for long periods or even throughout the Island. If you’re looking for a real dose of sunshine, June is the real deal. It’s the hottest month of the year around here.
You can enjoy the less crowded beaches and streets, considerably low hotel prices, and numerous stunning sights. Also, this being the turtles breeding season, you can enjoy the magnificent view of the over 60,000 newly hatched turtles on Puerto Rico beaches. The beaches at this time are a sanctuary for breeding green sea turtles, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.
Tour operators cautiously arrange for the beach tours during this season to ensure that breeding grounds are not affected by tourists.
July to November: Cheapest Season
The hot summers, lasting through the months of July to August, combined with the hurricane-prone season extending to November, makes this the cheapest time to go to Puerto Rico. The low prices will reflect in your entire travel package, including airfare, accommodation, and rental cars.
Although this might not seem like the ideal time for many people, it is still an incredible season, especially if you’re in a surfing mood. The sparkling blue waters and the calming Caribbean breezes offer the best environment for your spirit rejuvenation.
This period guarantees inexpensive accommodation in some of the best hotels and resorts on the Island. The hotels contain air-conditioned rooms and swimming pools, offering you just the right environment to relax and unwind.
During the hurricane season, hotels will lower their prices with up to 40%, in comparison to the peak season and holiday weekends. Even four-star hotels will be giving you incredible deals falling to the lows of $80 a night, which would, on a normal occasion, cost you around $350.
So, if you are not bothered by the potential hot weather or the harsh storms, a visit to Purto Rico in July through November will definitely favor your pocket.
Late November to Mid-January: Partying
Are you a party enthusiast? Then this season should serve you best. It marks the festive season that runs through the end of the year and into the first month of the next. Christmas festivals will last from November to January, making the season a perfect time for partying.
Although Puerto Rico enjoys numerous festivals and parties throughout the year, this season is almost the climax for them all. Have the best of Puerto Rico’s foods, drinks, music, and culture as locals celebrate Christmas and usher in the New Year.
Food and drink
Puerto Rico’s food is truly amazing. There are even food and drink tours that give you a chance to taste almost all their best cuisines. The Island’s constant evolution in their cooking results in a combination of traditional and trendy flavors, which promises perfection in every bite.
One ingredient you can’t miss in almost every plate is sofrito. This is a blend of garlic, peppers, herbs, and onions that gives any dish that extra Boricua taste. Local dishes such as Mofongo, fried or mashed plantain, and slow-roasted tasty pork, expresses the perfect blend of Spanish, American, and Tahino cuisines.
Music and Culture
The rich and colorful history of Puerto Rico is a mix of the indigenous Taínos, the Spaniards, and the Africans. This integration is visible through in the colonial architecture, spirited painting, strong literature, and vibrant music throughout the Island.
Dance and music are important indicators of the islanders’ vibrancy. From the most conventional sounds such as bomba and plena to reggaetón’s urban sounds, the fusion of races occurs in every rhythm.
You can hear the vibrant music of salsa, merengue, bomba, and plena all the time and everywhere.
October to December: Best Beach Time
For those who want to enjoy the lush beaches of Puerto Rico, consider a trip during the colder months. During the cold season, Puerto Ricans don’t usually visit the beach – it’s too cold for them.
This is unlike the months of May through August when the weather is warm, schools are closed, and the locals are enjoying their holidays. They will spend lots of time on the beaches, especially during the weekends having fun with family and friends.
But from October to December, you can enjoy numerous beautiful beaches, almost by yourself. Visit beaches like Playa Caracas and Flamenco beach, or take a tour to a beautiful island like Culebra Island, and enjoy some quiet relaxing moments on the almost deserted beaches.
After December, beaches gradually starts becoming quite crowded, with the busiest time being around March. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy Purto Rican beaches during the warmer busy periods. There are hundreds of beaches along the over 272 miles of coastline you can enjoy.
Every beach or Island has its unique, attractive features and marine life that varies in color, wave flow, and sand textures. This means that you have more than enough to appreciate any time of the year.
Worst Time to Travel to Puerto Rico
Although Purto Rico is accommodative all year round, some people will prefer certain periods than others. Some seasons might also be riskier to travel to the Island than others.
For instance, the hurricane season is deemed as the riskiest time to travel to Puerto Rico. And although it’s not all that bad, some big occurrences like the 2017 Hurricane Maria can cause devastating experiences.
If you wish to avoid the risk of encountering hurricanes, don’t visit this Island between August and September. This is the official hurricane season in Puerto Rico.
Increased precipitation during this time will also not go well with some people. This period is characterized by heavy rainfall, although it never goes beyond 6.89 inches.
The season between May and August can also get uncomfortably hot. Although the season is quite popular with surfers due to the high waves, some people would be stressed up by the hot weather. If you like cool temperatures with a bit of breeze, then this might not be your ideal time to plan your travel.
Key Takeaway: Best Time to Travel to Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico experiences different weather patterns, and have different season ideal for different activities. The weather is, however, never too extreme to spoil your vacation. As I said earlier, your best time to travel to Puerto Rico depends on what you’re looking for. The different seasons we have listed gives you a chance to visit the Island, during the time that best suits your travel needs.
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