The Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico (By a Local)
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is between December and April for fresh weather, empty beaches, and local festivals, but it is also the high season for tourists. Summer and fall are good seasons for less expensive travel and warmer beaches.
With year-round warm weather, Puerto Rico is always a great vacation spot. Of course, each season offers different and exciting opportunities for travelers, so the best time to visit depends on what you want your vacation to be like.
Besides knowing where to stay and what to do in Puerto Rico, figuring out when to visit is one of the most important decisions to make.
As a Puerto Rico local, I love different seasons for different reasons. I’m here to tell you all about them so you can also pick the best time. Let’s dive in!
Table of Contents
- When is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico
- Puerto Rico Month by Month
- Puerto Rico Weather, Climate, and Hurricane Season
- FAQs About When to Visit Puerto Rico
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When is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico generally has the best weather between December and April with little precipitation and fresh temperatures. However, this makes it the peak season for international travelers escaping frigid winters and you’ll be competing for hotels and beach real estate with plenty of others. The best season to visit is between April and June, to get good weather without the crowds of the busy winter season.
But, as you might not be looking for the same thing as everyone else out of your vacation, let’s break down the best season to visit Puerto Rico for different types of trips:
When to Visit for Good Weather
If you want to avoid the season with daily rain showers, then visit during the dry season from December to April. During this season, temperatures drop by a few degrees and the weather is more pleasant.
When to Visit Puerto Rico for Cheap Prices
If you’re wondering about the best time to travel Puerto Rico on a budget, then you should consider visiting the island between August and November. This is the low season in Puerto Rico but it’s also part of the hurricane season. During this time, you can find cheap hotel prices even in the capital city of San Juan.
Just be sure to keep your eye on the weather. We usually know about a week in advance if the island is going to get hit by a hurricane, and though it doesn’t happen every year, it’s good to be on alert.
When to Visit for Warm Beach Days
The rainy season (summer) is the high season for the locals. During these months, you’ll find a combination of heat and rain, with August as the rainiest month. The average daytime temperature is 89 degrees Fahrenheit and the waters are better for swimming.
When to Visit with Family and Kids
If you’re planning to come to Puerto Rico with your family, then should consider traveling between December and February. The winter months are full of festivals and parties that the whole family will enjoy. See my guide to the best festivals in Puerto Rico for more details.
When to Visit for Surfing
Surfing is a popular activity in Puerto Rico and is especially among the best things to do in Rincon and in Cabo Rojo.
The months between September and December are the best to find good waves to surf in Cabo Rojo and Rincon. In November, you can even enjoy the Rincon International Surfing Festival that takes place in Playa Domes.
If you’re a surfer, then check out my guide to surfing in Puerto Rico for more details!
When to Visit to Avoid Crowds
To avoid the crowds of the winter and spring breaks, but still get great weather, you should visit between mid-April and the early summer. Although it’s the start of the rainy season, it only rains for a while during the day. The fall is another great season perfect to avoid crowds and have San Juan’s tourist attractions to yourself.
When to Visit to Catch Local Festivals
If, instead of the beach, you’re looking to enjoy the local culture, then you’ll be glad to know that Puerto Rico has many festivals throughout the year. You can visit during January to catch one of Puerto Rico’s famous festivals: La Calle San Sebastian. You can read more about these below.
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Puerto Rico Month by Month
January forms part of the high season and attractions in Old San Juan and the rest of the island get crowded. You can enjoy fresh temperatures in the low 80°F and some of the best local festivals if you’re staying in San Juan.
- Three Wise Men celebrations – January 6
- San Sebastian Street Festival – mid-January
- Festival de la Novilla – third week of January
February is great for visitors running fleeing cold winters. The weather is fresh and the beaches are warm enough to spend the day beach bumming.
- Ponce’s Carnaval – a week before Ash Wednesday
- Puerto Rico Open
- Maricao Coffee Festival
March is the busiest month for Puerto Rico tourism. With Spring break and Holy Week, travelers flood the beaches of the island and the streets of San Juan. Prices stay on the high side of the budget, but the weather is nice to enjoy.
- Feria Dulce Sueño
- Dia Nacional de la Salsa
- Good Friday and Easter – in March or April
From mid-April onwards, Puerto Rico starts its off-peak season. The winter crowds leave the island and Puerto Rico’s hotels start advertising lower rates. During this month, you can visit the best beaches in Puerto Rico that sport warm and pleasant temperatures.
- Saborea Food Festival
- Rincon Film Festival
May is a great time to avoid crowds and get good hotel prices. Although it’s one of the rainiest months of the year, showers don’t last long and you can take advantage of the warmer weather. You can try doing some of the best things in Puerto Rico like swimming at Flamenco beach, scuba diving, or snorkeling in one of Puerto Rico’s healthy coral reefs.
- Campechada – Puerto Rican art festival
June, July, & August
June and July are the peak season for locals but the off-season for international travelers. With the exception of July, it’s the beginning of hurricane season. It’s the season for the warmest temperatures of the year and the best beach tides. It’s also honestly the preferred beach season by Puerto Ricans!
- Noche de San Juan – June 23
- Loiza Carnival
- Aibonito Flower Festival – Late June
- Festival del Juey
- Fiestas de Santiago
- Pineapple Festival
- International Billfish Tournament August
September is the best month to travel on a budget as tourism in Puerto Rico plunges. Since it is the peak of the hurricane season, hotels lower the rates and you can find special deals on all kinds of activities. Just be sure to stay on top of the forecast to make sure your trip to Puerto Rico is safe!
- Fiesta de Nuestra Señora de la Monserrate
In October, the temperatures start to feel fresher but the tides on certain beaches get stronger. The risk of bad weather is high, but you can still travel on a budget during the shoulder season.
- Festival del Cine Internacional de San Juan
- Le Lo Lai Festival – Tuesdays in Fort San Cristobal
- Halloween parties and concerts
This is the last month before the high winter season hits. Historically, very few hurricanes hit the island during November and the temperatures are fresh and enjoyable.
- Festival Nacional Indigena – Last week of Nov, celebrating Puerto Rico’s indigenous roots
- Rincon Film Festival
- Calle Loiza Culinary Fest
- Queer FilmFest
- Puerto Rico Discovery Day – commemoration of the arrival of Christopher Columbus to the island
Traveling during the holiday season is expensive as the high season hits, but it’s worth the price. Besides sporting fresh temperatures, December is also a month of festivities, special Christmas dinners, and local festivals with live music, ideal for visiting with family and kids.
- Hatillo Masks Festival
- Bahia Urbana Navitown
- Plaza Las Americas Christmas activities
- San Juan Christmas Boat Parade – mid December
- Old San Juans White Christmas Festival
- Christmas Eve celebrations
Puerto Rico Weather, Climate, and Hurricane Season
Puerto Rico sports warm and humid tropical weather. The average annual temperature is between the mid 80’s and 90’s degrees Fahrenheit, but humidity affects the overall heat sensation.
It rains all year, but the driest months are between December and March.
Like other Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico is affected by the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November, when tropical storms and hurricanes are a risk to the island. Read my full guide to hurricane season in Puerto Rico if visiting during this time.
Hurricane season is just a Puerto Rico fact of life. But, it doesn’t mean hurricanes will affect the island directly every year. And, if you pay attention to the NOAA’s hurricane center, you will know with enough time to take precautions.
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FAQs About When to Visit Puerto Rico
What months are hurricane seasons in Puerto Rico?
Is December a good time to visit Puerto Rico?
December is a good time to visit Puerto Rico if you want to enjoy the culture, the lively Christmas in Puerto Rico, and local festivals, but December is a high season for traveling, and most attractions get crowded.
I hope this helped you find the best season to visit Puerto Rico. Whatever your preference may be, the island is open to be your escaping paradise all year round! Before you leave, be sure to check out my guide to the top 33 Places to Visit in Puerto Rico.
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Thank you so much for your insight and info!!! I have now decided on a time of year to visit Puerto Rico! Absolutely invaluable! 💜