Plan Your Perfect Vacation
As a year-round vacation destination with plenty to offer guests during peak and shoulder seasons, there is no single best time to travel to Puerto Rico — but there are a few guidelines and tips to help you decide when to visit.
When it comes to trip planning, the best time of year to visit all depends on your preferences. Do you seek a tropical winter getaway or would you rather visit in the summer? Are you a budget traveler looking for the lowest rates? Are seasonal activities, like viewing nesting sea turtles, important to you? Check out this guide to the best and worst times to travel to Puerto Rico — you’ll be booking that trip in no time!
December - Mid-April
Best for: People seeking the perfect Puerto Rico weather (and an escape from the cold)
Weather: Sunny, hot, minimal rain. Highs in the low 80s.
Events: Holiday festivals
Seasonal Favorite: Bioluminescent bay tours
This time of year is the busiest in Puerto Rico as thousands of travelers plan holiday trips and flee from their local winter weather. The weather on the island during these months includes the endless sunny days, temperatures that are warm but not too hot, and minimal rain that Puerto Rico is known for.
If you don’t mind the crowds, you’re in for perfect weather and the fun of the holiday festivals. Kicking off right after Thanksgiving, you can enjoy the Town of Bethlehem light display, Old San Juan’s White Christmas Festival, the religious procession of Las Mañanitas, and more. January brings the Three Kings Festival and Puerto Rico’s own version of Mardi Gras, the San Sebastian Festival.
Another reason to visit Puerto Rico between mid-December and mid-April is to kayak or take a boat tour in one of the island’s three bioluminescent bays, secluded inlets whose water glows at every touch thanks to millions of microorganisms known as dinoflagellates. To see the glow at its brightest, tour operators recommend visiting during a new moon, when the moon is the darkest in the sky, since too much moonlight can dim the effect of the bioluminescence. Another tip is to take your tour when there hasn’t been much recent rainfall (which can cloud the water). Plan your visit during December to April — the driest months — to see the glow at its brightest. You can still see the bays year-round.
Travel tip: Keep in mind that many school breaks occur in March, meaning lots of families with children (and even college spring breakers) flock to Puerto Rico around the middle of the month. Consider visiting in February or April to avoid the crowds (and related high costs).
Mid-April - June
Best for: Travelers who want to avoid the winter crowds and enjoy warm weather
Weather: Sunny and breezy. June is the hottest month on the island (high 80s).
Events: Food, dance, and music festivals
Seasonal Favorite: Turtle nesting season
The winter crowds have gone home and the weather remains delightful. Hotel prices have lowered a bit compared to their winter rates, and although the rainy season is slowly approaching (expect more showers in May), it hardly ever rains across the whole island at once, meaning you can pick up at the sight of impending showers and head to another part of the island until they clear. If you came for a real dose of sunlight and hot weather, June is usually the hottest month on the island, perfect for working on your tan.
Event highlights during these months include Saborea in April, an entire weekend dedicated to the signature cuisine of Puerto Rico; Danza in May, a festival event that celebrates the dance form that originated in Ponce; and a casual summer fair in June at Crash Boat Beach to usher in the summer season.
One of the most special times of the year in Puerto Rico is sea turtle nesting season. The island becomes a haven for green sea turtles, leatherback turtles, and hawksbill turtles, who make their nests on the beaches of Culebra and Mona Island, off Puerto Rico’s west coast. The turtles come from cold Canadian waters to reproduce and lay eggs. Over 60,000 turtles are born on the beaches of Puerto Rico in a year, and seeing the nesting mothers on the island’s many beaches is a can’t-miss experience. Tour operators know how to make each visit as eco-friendly as possible and minimize human impact on the turtles’ nesting grounds. If you’re visiting during the spring or summer, you should definitely book an eco-tour to see the phenomenon yourself.
June - November
Best for: Budget travelers seeking cheap flights and hotels
Weather: Hurricane season, followed by rainy fall days
Events: Culinary fest, sportfishing tournaments, and fashion week
Seasonal Favorite: Secluded beaches
June to July marks the start of hurricane season in Puerto Rico, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay home. While hurricanes are common in the tropics, your chances of experiencing one are pretty low. Before Hurricane Maria hit the island in 2017, the last severe hurricane took place back in 1931. Also, hurricanes usually come with lots of warning, so you’re not too likely to get stranded. Apart from hurricane season in Puerto Rico, the weather between June and November can be rainy with plenty of sunny days as well, perfect for lounging on the beach, hiking in El Yunque Rainforest, or taking a snorkeling tour.
Another perk of traveling to Puerto Rico in the late summer to fall is that hotel and flight prices drop significantly. You can stay in a room with beach views for almost half the winter rate, and airlines drop prices in an effort to fill up their seats. If you’re a budget traveler who can overlook some rainy days, the best time to travel to Puerto Rico is during late summer to fall.
Events during the late summer and fall include the SoFo Culinary Fest in July or August, one of the most popular annual food festivals on the island; a major sportfishing tournament in August; and San Juan’s High Fashion Week in September. Don’t forget about Thanksgiving! Puerto Rico loves Thanksgiving, and the cities even start to decorate for Christmas in November.
One of the best seasonal perks of visiting Puerto Rico in the fall is that you’re likely to have the beaches all to yourself, especially if you visit some of the less-popular ones. White sand to black sand, sunbathing to cliff diving, Puerto Rico’s beaches have it all. Check out the guide to the best beaches in Puerto Rico to find your favorite.