Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico’s tropical temperatures remain steady year round, with a range of 79–85°F (26–29°C). Winter is the coolest and driest season along the coast with average January lows of 70°F (21°C). During the summer, the mercury can rise well above 90°F (32°C) but refreshing morning breezes and brisk trade winds allow for comfortable days and nights. August is the wettest and hottest month, averaging a sticky 81°F (27°C) with seven inches (18 cm) of rain. At higher elevations in the central mountains of Cordillera, temperatures can plummet below 40°F (4°C) at night.
El Yunque National Forest is very wet year round with an average rainfall of around 200 inches (5m). The driest place on the island is Guánica Biosphere Reserve and State Forest, a dry forest in the Southwest region with some 30 inches (76 cm) of rainfall annually. True to its moniker as the “Surf Capital of the Caribbean,” fall and winter bring impressive surf breaks and huge reef barrels on Puerto Rico’s West Coast.
Hurricane season officially runs from June 1 to November 30. Hurricanes rarely disrupt travel plans and reliable forecasts allow for effective precautions. Historically, the most damaging storms have impacted the island during August and December.
Prices and Deals
The peak tourist season is from December to April when an influx of sun-seeking North Americans and cruise ship visitors in the Metro area drive higher prices. For cheaper flights and hotel deals—and the ability to just wing it with tours and restaurant reservations—you’ll also want to avoid the school holidays (July/August and spring break).
If you plan to travel during the winter, allow yourself at least a two-month lead time. At upscale hotels and resorts, Christmas and February can sell out months in advance.
The sweet spot for visiting Puerto Rico is the shoulder season, from mid-April to June, when cooler, dry temperatures prevail and savvy travelers can score discounted hotel rooms and flights. Traveling in the shoulder/low season also allows for a more relaxing and authentic travel experience and greater opportunities to check off bucket-list items.
- April to June is the time to swim with leatherback turtles on the West Coast near Rincón.
- Held in April, the annual Rincón Film Festival (RIFF) was rated by MovieMaker Magazine as one of the “25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee.” The location here is another major draw with outdoor and oceanfront screenings at hotels and resorts and gourmet cuisine served by the island’s top chefs.
- During the shoulder season, there’s plenty of tables available at the hot ticket restaurants and walk-ins can generally be accommodated.*
- Tours and activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking (bio bay tours), caving, river tubing, tennis and golf have greater availability and are often offered at reduced rates.
- Rental cars (and lines to pick up your vehicle) are much more palatable.
*Note that with pent-up demand, post-COVID 19 and limited capacities, reservations are advised regardless of the season. Masks (and sometimes even proof of vaccination) may be required to enter.
Festivals and Events
There’s always a festival or a party going on in Puerto Rico. Impassioned locals never pass up the chance to showcase their island’s vibrant cultural traditions. Puerto Ricans’ world pulsates to the beat of salsa, reggaetón, salsa, plena, bachata, Afro-Cuban and bolero.
Unique to Puerto Rico is the bomba dance, a rich expression of Puerto Rico’s African heritage. The more formal danza resonates in the form of Puerto Rico’s national hymn, “La Borinqueña,” which is heard across the island in a variety of settings.
Timing your trip to coincide with one of the island’s most celebrated and emblematic events is a great way of immersing yourself in the local culture.
Which local festival will you attend during your trip?
Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián – San Juan, PR
Carnaval Ponceño – Ponce, PR
Corona Pro Surf Circuit Tour – Rincón, PR
Rincón International Film Festival – Rincón, PR
Saborea Puerto Rico – Playa de Escambrón, San Juan, PR
Puerto Rican Danza Week – Old San Juan, PR
Festival de la Piña Paradisíaca – La Parguera, PR
San Juan Bautista Day – Islandwide
Carnaval Loíza – Loíza, PR
SOFO Culinary Fest – Old San Juan, PR
Coffee and Chocolate Expo – San Juan, PR
National Plantain Festival – Corozal, PR
Festival Nacional Indígena – Jayuya, PR
Hatillo Masks Festival – Hatillo, PR
Come join us!
Festival Plena y Quenepa
Festival Calle San Sebastian
Festival Calles San Sebastian
Festival Calles San Sebastian
Saborea Culinary Festival