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When is the Best Time to Travel to Puerto Rico? (Ranked)

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Is November the best 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 a unique and appealing travel season for all. Read on to get incredible tips on the best time to travel to Puerto Rico.

The Island is an unincorporated U.S. territory that boasts 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 an extensive plethora of landscapes 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, lively culture, friendly climate, sceneries, parks, and warm people makes this Caribbean jewel a world-class destination.

With this comes proper planning for your visit. August through November are the cheapest times to go because of hurricane season. Visiting in the winter or spring months will bring more temperate weather and cooler temps to enjoy the island, but that comes at an added premium, of course.

What are you looking for in Puerto Rico? Best Month to Travel in Puerto Rico
Great Weather December to March
Sightseeing and Sports December to June
Honeymoon April to June
Cheap Prices July to November
Partying Late November
Festivals and Holidays December to April
Visit San Juan Puerto Rico December to March
Beach Time October to December
Water Surfing December to April
Wind Surfing November to April

Best Times to Travel to Puerto Rico

Whichever time of the year you want to travel, Puerto Rico always has something special for the season. The various tourist seasons, according to the Island’s calendar, include:

For Great Weather: December to March

Puerto Rico Flag in the Mountains

Puerto Rico’s weather is known as tropical marine, meaning 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.

During the busy winter season in Puerto Rico, the average daytime temperature is between 21°C and 25 °C and falls between 4 °C and 5 °C at higher altitudes. This means that the weather around here is never that acute.

Also, although the rainy season 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.

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.

It’s important to note that Puerto Rico’s tourism reached its highest point in March. This is because of spring break from school. But it also means more crowds on beaches and higher prices at hotels.

If you’re browsing for the best months to visit Puerto Rico, anytime between December and March is your best bet. This period consists of the coolest period Puerto Rico has ever experienced, with the cool trade winds offering the best environment for relaxing.

The Hurricane Season in Puerto Rico

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 in 1931. But, to be safe, studies consider the period between August and September the riskiest period for hurricanes.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Nassau, Bahamas

For Sightseeing and Sports: December to June

San Felipe del Morro, Old San Juan at Sunset
dennisvdwater / Adobe Stock

If you want to experience the amazing sights in Puerto Rico, then you must be there at specific times of the year. Some of Puerto Rico’s tourist attractions are highly seasonal. Puerto Ricans say that some things are only best done or seen during certain months or seasons.

For instance, if you love kayaking or boat riding, December through April would be ideal for you on calm waters. 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 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 – snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing, surfing, or deep diving. Puerto Rico has much to offer, guaranteeing you the most memorable trip.

See Related: Best Time to Go to Mackinac Island

For Honeymooners: April to June

beaches in puerto rico

The season is ideal for lovers who wish to enjoy warm weather while avoiding overcrowded streets and beaches during winter.

Winter crowds are long gone this season, and the weather is still moderately warm and breezy. Hotel prices have also started decreasing compared to the just-ended winter season.

Although rains are gradually approaching, there are hardly any 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 now are a sanctuary for breeding green sea turtles, leatherback, and hawksbill turtles.

Tour operators cautiously arrange beach tours during this season to ensure that tourists do not affect breeding grounds.

See Related: Best Overwater Bungalows in the Caribbean

Cheap Time to Visit: July to November

Puerto Rico Coastline
Image by Arturo Donate

The hot summers, lasting from July to August, combined with the hurricane-prone season extending to November, make this the cheapest time to go to Puerto Rico. The low prices reflect your 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 the right environment to relax and unwind.

During the hurricane season, hotels will lower their prices by up to 40% compared 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 Puerto Rico in July through November will definitely favor your pocket.

See Related: Honeymoon Destination Ideas

For Parties and Festivals: Late November

Puerto Rico Flags Being Sold at a Festival
Khristian/ Adobe Stock

Are you a party enthusiast? Although Puerto Rico enjoys numerous festivals and parties throughout the year, this season is almost the climax. Have the best of Puerto Rico’s foods, drinks, music, and culture as locals celebrate Christmas and usher in the New Year.

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.

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Best Time to visit Puerto Rico with Family and Kids: December Through April

Puerto Rico Beach
Image by Pete

The best time of year to visit Puerto Rico with family and kids is during the winter months. December through April is the best time to go because the weather is mild, and there are plenty of things to do.

During this time, you can enjoy the beaches, hike, explore the rainforest, and much more. Another great thing about traveling to Puerto Rico during the winter is that you can avoid crowds and save money on your trip.

One of the best things to do with family and kids in Puerto Rico is to take a hike in El Yunque National Forest. El Yunque is the only rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System and is full of beautiful scenery and wildlife. Hiking through the rainforest is a great way to get active and see the scenery.

See Related: Most Beautiful Places in the World

For Holidays: December to April

Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image by Oscar Rohena

The best time to visit Puerto Rico for festivals is definitely in the summer months. This is when the island hosts a number of different events, including the San Sebastian Street Festival, the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastian, the Maricao Coffee Festival, Puerto Rico Discovery Day, the Caribbean International Film Festival, and the Festival Nacional Indígena, which celebrates Puerto Rico’s indigenous roots at the end of November. 

There’s also the Carnaval de Ponce, one of the biggest carnivals in Latin America. If you’re looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, the off-season might be a better choice. The weather is still warm and sunny, but fewer crowds and lower prices exist.

The Le Lo Lai Festival is a celebration of Puerto Rican culture that takes place each year in Ponce. The festival celebrates the island’s African heritage and features music, dance, food, and African and Caribbean art.

The festival is held each year in November and attracts thousands of visitors from all over the world. The best holiday season in Puerto Rico is from December to April, when the weather is at its best.

Best Time to Visit San Juan

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Image by Breezy Baldwin

San Juan is a beautiful city that offers accommodates diverse desires. The best time to visit San Juan, Puerto Rico, is during the winter months when the weather is mild and there are plenty of things to do.

The beaches are beautiful, and there are plenty of cultures to enjoy, including sightseeing, shopping, and enjoying nightlife. You can also visit during the summer months when there are a number of festivals and holidays taking place. Just be prepared for the hot weather and crowds.

The best things to do in San Juan depend on what you’re looking for. If you’re interested in history, then checking out the old city is a must. You’ll find attractions like the old San Juan Cathedral and the Castillo de San Cristobal there. If you’re looking for something more active, then head to the beach. There’s great surfing and swimming to be had there.

For Beach Time

Beach in Puerto Rico
Image by Jeffrey Bary

For those who want to enjoy the lush beaches of Puerto Rico, consider a trip during the colder months. Puerto Ricans don’t usually visit the beach during the cold season – it’s too cold for them.

Unlike May through August, schools are closed when the weather is warm, and the locals enjoy 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 of a beautiful island like Culebra Island and enjoy some quiet, relaxing moments on the almost deserted beaches.

After December, beaches gradually become quite crowded, with the busiest time around March. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Puerto Rican beaches during the warmer, busy periods. There are hundreds of beaches along the over 272 miles of coastline.

For Surfing

The best time to go surfing in Puerto Rico depends on the type of surfer you are and what you are looking for. If you are a beginner, the waves might be too big and dangerous during winter.

December through April is the best time to go if you are looking for good waves and plenty of them. There are a number of surf competitions that take place during this time.

If you want to avoid the crowds, May through August might be a better time for you to go. There will still be waves, but they will not be as big. This is also when the weather is likely hot and humid, so bring plenty of sunscreen and water.

If you are a windsurfer, the best time to go is in winter when the strongest winds are. When you’re visiting Puerto Rico, there are different activities you must indulge in to enjoy what the island has to offer. Here are some of the things you must experience:

Food in Puerto Rico

Fruits Sold at a Market in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Jennifer / Adobe Stock

Puerto Rico’s food is truly amazing. Even food and drink tours allow you to taste almost all their best cuisines. The Island’s constant evolution in its 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 blend of garlic, peppers, herbs, and onions gives any dish that extra Boricua taste.

Local dishes such as Mofongo, fried or mashed plantain, and slow-roasted tasty pork perfectly blend Spanish, American, and Tahino cuisines.

Music and Culture

Music and Salsa in Puerto Rico
Julaix / Adobe Stock

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 colonial architecture, spirited painting, strong literature, and vibrant music throughout the Island.

Dance and music are important indicators of the islanders’ vibrancy. The fusion of races occurs in every rhythm, from the most conventional sounds, such as bomba and plena, to reggaetón’s urban sounds.

You can hear the vibrant music of salsa, merengue, bomba, and plena all the time and everywhere.

See Related: Portable Drones for Travel

Worst Time to Travel to Puerto Rico

Although Puerto Rico accommodates year-round, some people prefer specific periods. Some seasons might also be riskier to travel to the Island than others.

For instance, the hurricane season is 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 exceeds 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 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.

Puerto Rico experiences different weather patterns and seasons, which are ideal for different activities. The weather is, however, never too extreme to spoil your vacation.

As I said earlier, the best time to go to Puerto Rico depends on what you’re looking for. The different seasons we have listed allow you to visit the Island when it best suits your travel needs.

FAQs

What’s the worst month to go to Puerto Rico?

The worst month to go to Puerto Rico is May. The weather is hot and humid, and there are fewer things to do than in other months. If you’re looking for good weather, the best time to visit Puerto Rico is from December to April.

What month is hurricane season in Puerto Rico?

Hurricane season usually runs from June to November in Puerto Rico.

What is the hottest month in Puerto Rico?

In the summer months from May to October, when the cool breezes of the trade winds die down and temperatures regularly reach into the 90s, Puerto Rico can be quite hot and humid.

What is the cheapest time to go to Puerto Rico?

The cheapest time to go to Puerto Rico is during the offseason, May through November. However, remember that it may be more difficult to find flights and hotels during this time and that some attractions may be closed.

When is the best time to go to Puerto Rico?

When is the best time to go to Puerto Rico? This depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for good weather and plenty of things to do, December through April is the best time to go.

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