Best Time To Visit Puerto Rico

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This Caribbean Island is part of the USA and lies on a latitude that guarantees warm weather all year. Tropical rainforests, mountains and waterfalls cover this island whose capital, San Juan, has a city population of 330,000 on the north coast. With 2.3 million living in the greater metropolitan area, over 70% of the island’s capital lives close to the city. They are a mix of Spanish, African, Caribbean and local indigenous people.

Spain occupied the island in years gone by, with the colonial architecture in Old San Juan one of the main reasons to spend time in the city. Puerto Ricans have USA citizenship, which has been the case for over a century. Spanish occupation ended as a result of the Spanish-American War in 1898. Puerto Ricans do not have the right to vote in Presidential Elections, with the island’s status regarded as “unincorporated”, neither a state nor an independent nation.

The best time to visit Puerto Rico is anytime because its attractions last all year round. You will find warm, even hot weather as a constant factor in life. There are only two seasons in the year, rainy from April to November and dry for the other four months.

Best Time To Visit Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico in Summer

best time to visit puerto rico reddit Puerto Rico travel tourist woman in San Juan, looking down at the fort Castillo San Felipe Del Morro,
Fort Castillo San Felipe Del Morro is a famous attraction in Old San Juan city Puerto Rico. The best time to visit is summer.

Families with children whose main holidays are in July and August have limited choice for when to take their break away from home. In Puerto Rico, temperatures do not vary much around the year. Summer is the rainy season, but that does not mean hour after hour of rain each day.

Most of the island’s attractions are enjoyable every month. If you decide to make San Juan your base, there is the Old Town with plenty of cafes and restaurants to enjoy as you walk its streets. Likewise, several popular day trips from the capital are a way to see the wonderful natural environment. You may decide to move around to different places during your stay. In that case, do your planning in advance to know you have somewhere to stay.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are small variations based on altitude:

  • June (Sunrise 0545, Sunset 1900, Average Low Temperature 26C (78F), Average High Temperature Average High 31C (88F))
  • July (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 1905, Average Low Temperature 26C (78F), Average High Temperature 31C (88F)
  • August (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1850, Average Low Temperature 26C (78F), Average High Temperature 31C (88F)

Five Things to Do in Puerto Rico in Summer

1- Explore Old San Juan
san juan puerto rico best time to visit
One of the best times to visit Puerto Rico is summer to see the colourful historical buildings on the coast of Old San Juan.

Old San Juan reveals the years of Spanish occupation. Its National Historic Site includes architecture dating back to the 16th century.

They include two fortresses, the Felipe del Moro and San Cristobal, the Bautista Cathedral and the tomb of Juan Ponce de Leon.

You can wander cobbled streets with colourful houses on either side and find shade in the lovely piazzas.

2- Explore El Yungue National Forest

El Yungue National Forest is extensive, covering almost 29,000 acres (11,735 ha).

You will find it in the northeast of the island, and there are plenty of tours you can boo.

Independent travellers can use the visitor centre with marked trails to mountains and waterfalls, but you will need a reservation either way.

There is limited fauna, but the species of different trees are impressive.

3- Visit Arenales Caves

The Arenales Caves in Vega Baja on the north coast is a unique experience.

Hike to the Charco Azul River, where you can swim in the pools and into the caves themselves.

Before you start your hike, you have a road trip in this mountainous region.

Guided tours are readily available if you feel you need help on this adventurous day out.

4- Go Horseback Riding

Horseback Riding is available in a few places in Puerto Rico.

Why not look at taking a morning tour of a couple of hours and an afternoon one on another day to see the sunset?

Isabella on the northwest coast is where you can ride along the sands and do a little exploring.

5- Taste Puerto Cuisine
the best time to visit puerto rico
Shrimp and mashed plantain with salad with cheese: there’s no best time to visit Puerto Rico if you’re into tasting cuisine.

Puerto cuisine is fairly simple, with pork as the main ingredient. Vegans and vegetarians will not find options in every café and restaurant.

The cuisine developed with several contributing influences from West Africa, the USA, Latin America and indigenous food.

Plantain fritters are popular with the locals, pork of course but the availability of the daily catch puts crab, lobster and conch on the table.

If you want to learn more, do it with a guide on an organised tour wherever you are on the island.

Top tips:

best time to visit puerto rico
Domed building in the heart of San Juan.
  • Light cotton clothing is suitable in the hot climate.
  • Pack sun protection, a hat and comfortable footwear.
  • Puerto Rican local dress is a little conservative so avoid wearing shorts and slogan T-shirts anywhere other than the beach.

Puerto Rico in Autumn

what is the best time to visit puerto rico old fortress
There’s no best time to visit Puerto Rico if you’re keen on history.

Rain persists in these autumn months, with the dry season not arriving until December. That does not mean that autumn rain is likely to limit the activities you would like to do. The main reason for visiting Puerto Rico is to experience the natural environment and the activities they provide on land and sea.

There is the chance of a hurricane throughout the rainy season, with September the most common month for them to occur. The 2017 hurricane, Maria, was category 5 and caused major disruption in September.

Unless you are familiar with the island, you should seriously consider looking at the good tour operators and what they offer. That can include visits to offshore islands with just short ferry trips and activities in the forested parts of the country. Whether hiking or ziplining, always go prepared and follow any advice provided by the professionals who organise the tours.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are small variations based on altitude:

  • September (Sunrise 0610, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 26C (78F), Average High Temperature Average High 31C (88F))
  • October (Sunrise 0620, Sunset 1805, Average Low Temperature 26C (77F), Average High Temperature 31C (87F)
  • November (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 25C (75F), Average High Temperature 30C (85F)

Five Things to do in Puerto Rico in Autumn

1- Go Snorkelling Around Culebra Island
best time to visit san juan puerto rico An older elderly man snorkels in tropical waters
Autumn is also the best time to visit Puerto Rico for a snorkelling adventure off of the Puerto Rican island of Culebra.

Culebra Island snorkelling in the clear waters reveals various colourful marine life.

This east coast island has stretches of white sand, turquoise waters and plenty to enjoy under the waves.

You will likely encounter turtles and even rays with smaller species adding a splash of colour.

A camera that takes photographs under the water is a good idea if you can manage it.

2- Discover Gilligan’s Island

Gilligan’s Island is a USA sitcom, but it was not filmed there. This island is on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast.

It is part of the Guanica Biosphere Reserve and is an excellent place for swimming and suitable for children.

There are some interesting mangroves and good hiking trails, something for everyone, even those who want to relax and lie on the sand.

The passenger ferry running six days a week takes just 10 minutes each way from Puerto Rico itself.

3- Go Ziplining In Toro Verde Adventure Park

Toro Verde Adventure Park is just one of the options for ziplining over the forest.

The one in this park is the longest on the island at a length of 2.5 km (1.5 miles) and one of the longest in the world.

The park is in the mountains in the middle of the island and you will reach a speed of up to 95mph (160 km per hour).

4- Go Offroad In Luquillo

Offroad tours in Luquillo are fun, and you will get a choice of vehicles, all suitable for the terrain you will encounter.

Expect to spend two hours with an experienced tour guide leading the way.

5- Spend Time On The Beach
best time of year to visit puerto rico
The gorgeous coconut palm-lined Luquillo beach on the large island of Puerto Rico.

Luquillo Beaches are an option for the rest of the day.

Yes, this is still rainy, but the dry season is approaching quickly if you head here in November.

You are in the northeast of Puerto Rico if you head to this small town and its beaches.

There are 14 in all, though a couple are dangerous for swimming because of the strength of the Atlantic.

Top tips:

puerto rico best time to visit
Autumn is one of the best times to visit Puerto Rico to spend time on the beach. This is Steps Beach near Rincon.
  • Always go suitably dressed for the activities planned for the day.
  • Check whether you need to book in advance for whatever you are planning to avoid a wasted journey.
  • Do not take risks if you are on an “adventure trip.”

Puerto Rico in Winter

best time to visit culebra puerto rico
The best time to visit Puerto Rico for surfing is in winter. Pictured here is the coastline known as La Perla or The Pearl.

The winter weeks see the dry season arrive while the weather remains warm to hot, and there is an increased amount of blue sky. The coast and offshore islands are worth researching in advance. Some places may be fully booked with the USA on the doorstep and no visa requirements.

The tourist infrastructure is good in most of Puerto Rico. There are ferries running regularly to the small offshore islands and plenty of bars and restaurants at the major coastal resorts.

You may want to spend most of your time on the beach, but that means you would be missing some of the experiences the island can provide, like coffee plantation visits, and chocolate being a local product. Wherever you go, you will find hospitable people who will help you with anything you need to enjoy your holiday.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are small variations based on altitude:

  • December (Sunrise 0650, Sunset 1750, Average Low Temperature 23C (74F), Average High Temperature Average High 28C (83F))
  • January (Sunrise 0700, Sunset 1810, Average Low Temperature 22C (72F), Average High Temperature 28C (82F)
  • February (Sunrise 0650, Sunset 1830, Average Low Temperature 22C (72F), Average High Temperature 28C (83F)

Five Things to do in Puerto Rico in Winter

1- Go Kayaking In Mosquito Bay

Kayaking in Mosquito Bay is fun and perfectly safe. The bay is on Vieques on the east coast of Puerto Rico.

The best time to enjoy this bioluminescent bay is in the dry season, where there is less chance of the waters being cloudy.

Bioluminescent micro-organisms glow at night, so it is worth hanging around after your daytime exercise to see the lights.

Swimming is not advised, despite the inviting, warm waters, because the algae can cause sickness.

2- Explore Coffin Island

Coffin Island (Isla Caja de Muertos) lies off the south coast, an uninhabited island known for its precious turtle nesting sites.

There is a regular ferry connection for those wanting to enjoy the beach or hike in the interior.

It was a haven for pirates centuries ago, and the old lighthouse is just one of the reasons to explore.

3- Explore Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana

Parque Ceremonial Indigena de Caguana is the most important archaeological site of the Taiho people in the whole of the Caribbean, the people living in the region before the Spanish arrived.

The site is in the mountainous town of Utuado, near the Tanama River.

4- Visit A Coffee Plantation
what's the best time to visit puerto rico
Winter is the best time to visit Puerto Rico’s coffee plantations.

Visit a coffee plantation to see how the coffee is grown, and the beans are roasted.

You will find an option just a short drive from San Juan.

The views from the hillsides where the plantations sit are stunning, so keep your camera ready.

5- Go Snorkelling In Tres Palmas Marine Reserve

On the northwest coast at Rincon, Tres Palmas Marine Reserve was the first on the Puerto Rican mainland.

The lovely coral was the initial reason to protect the area, and it’s a great place for snorkelling, surfing or relaxing.

Top tips:

best time to visit bio bay puerto rico Puerto Rico blue marked in the map of Caribbean.
Looking for the best time to visit Puerto Rico? This paradise in the Caribbean has great beaches and interesting history.
  • Always respect locals and don’t dress inappropriately.
  • Make room in your suitcase for some coffee and even chocolate.
  • Ensure you have sufficient protection from the sun and water if you are exploring.

Puerto Rico in Spring

best time of the year to visit puerto rico
White church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the best time to visit it is in the late afternoon for the light.

In the middle of spring, you are likely to find that clouds increase and showers begin, but the weather shouldn’t hinder any of your plans, whether inland or on the coast. If you are staying in San Juan, visit a local market to see the fantastic produce that makes such tasty meals when you sit down for dinner.

You will get plenty of suggestions about where to go and what to see from locals involved in the tourist industry. It represents 10% of the island’s GDP, which is rising. Covid damaged the economy, but numbers are increasing once again.

Here are some guideline stats but remember there are small variations based on altitude:

  • March (Sunrise 0630, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 23C (73F), Average High Temperature Average High 29C (84F))
  • April (Sunrise 0605, Sunset 1840, Average Low Temperature 23C (74F), Average High Temperature 29C (85F)
  • May (Sunrise 0550, Sunset 1850, Average Low Temperature 24C (76F), Average High Temperature 30C (87F)

Five Things to do in Puerto Rico in Spring

1- Discover Fajardo
when is the best time to visit puerto rico
The Fajardo coast has an old abandoned ship that has shipwrecked and been left to rot.

Fajardo in the northeast is popular because it offers plenty to do on land and at sea.

It is still a region in pristine condition with plenty for divers and snorkellers to see.

Forest and mangroves cover the land with plenty of flora and fauna to enjoy.

2- Shop In A Local Market
puerto rico weather best time to visit flag on plate of plantain and meat
A local Puerto Rican meal.

Local markets are always fascinating; in Puerto Rico, that means lots of colour.

If you just head to your nearest market, you can see everything from avocados to bananas, coconuts to corn, grapefruit to eggplant.

Don’t forget coffee, ginger, cassava and beans. No wonder you are sure to enjoy the local food.

3- Go Hiking In Reserva Natural de Humacao

Reserva Natural de Humacao is in the island’s southeast corner, covering 3,000 acres of wetlands, mangroves and forests.

This area was once famous for its sugar cane and has remnants of a military past.

Today, just a small area is open to the public for recreation, but that recreation involves hiking trails, the chance to rent bikes or kayaks, fishing and picnic areas.

4- Relax In La Marquesa Forest Park
when is best time to visit puerto rico
The Orange Cheeked Waxbill it is common throughout the coastal lowlands and interior valleys of Puerto Rico.

La Marquesa Forest Park is in Guaynabo, close to San Juan and provides a great “green escape” from the city.

It is run professionally and attracts locals on holidays.

There is a funicular, an observation tower, and an organised route around the 600-acre (242 ha) site.

5- Visit A Fish Factory

Vivero de Peces de Maricao is a fish factory that opened just before World War II to study trout.

It is famous for breeding Largemouth Bass, which stock the island’s local waterways.

Top tips:

when's the best time to visit puerto rico child in the water
Swimming at the beach in Isabela.
  • Take a rucksack packed with all you will need for the beach and the possibility of taking a walk inland.
  • Bring a refillable water bottle.
  • The high season, dry season, is finishing, so in late spring, you may be able to negotiate discounts.

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Steve Smith is a widely travelled man who has lived on the South West Coast of Turkey since 2008. He hails from North East England where he lived most of his life but has been to every continent of the world, with a particular love for Southern Africa and its wildlife. He lists Argentina, India, and Vietnam as other favourite places that he enjoyed greatly while sport is also a passion, cricket and golf as a participant, rugby union and soccer as a spectator.