Thinking about going to sunny Puerto Rico for your next vacation? Great choice! You just need to know the best time to visit Puerto Rico (and when to avoid going) to make the most of your tropical trip.
Find it here in this quick travel guide, along with the cheapest, least busy, and worst times to visit. We’ll also share some helpful travel tips to make the most of your stay!
Why You Should Visit Puerto Rico in 2023
Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island sandwiched between Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic) and the Virgin Islands. It’s home to some of the world’s most beautiful tropical landscapes and natural features, so it’s really popular for travelers in search of sand, sun, and scenery.
Puerto Rico is surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s warm here year-round with pleasant temperatures in the 70s and 80s (Fahrenheit).
It’s made up of 6 different regions that are home to dense tropical rainforests, cascading waterfalls, and rugged mountains covered in lush greenery are only some of the highlights of this laid-back island nation.
Oh, and if you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you won’t even need a passport to visit Puerto Rico! That can make vacation planning and entry a lot easier.
Countless Things to Do
So what should you do while you’re here? Puerto Rico truly has something for everyone. Guided tours can show you the storied history and culture of the island and make a great, easy activity for your first day in Puerto Rico.
Walking tours, beach and rainforest tours, tasty food and bar tours, and ATV tours through the jungles are all fun activities to add to your to-do list.
If you’re the adventurous type, surfing lessons at Crash Boat Beach on the western shore will be right up your alley. Zip line tours through the El Yunque rainforest canopy will make your trip unforgettable.
Hike and spelunk the incredible Cuevo Ventana (Window Cave) situated on cliffs overlooking a scenic valley. Or explore the 500-year old El Morro citadel that overlooks the San Juan Bay!
If sun-worshipping and urban exploration is more your thing, you’ll love visiting Old San Juan for unique shopping, restaurants, and museums when you’re not relaxing on the sunny shores.
And sunny shores are abundant on the island with Puerto Rico’s 300+ miles of coastline! You’ll even find otherworldly black sand beaches on the island.
Do yourself a favor and take a short ferry ride to the glowing, bioluminescent shores of Vieques’ Mosquito Bay at night. This is the brightest bioluminescence found in the entire world and holds a Guinness World Record to prove it.
The ethereal glow on the shores at night is unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. It’s a must-do item for any Puerto Rican vacation itinerary!
Th Food Is Amazing
You’ll be wowed by the diverse range of authentic Puerto Rican food available to you on the island. Try a tripleta sandwich – Puerto Rico’s version of the Cuban sandwich – with a big side of fried plantain tostones.
Finish off the meal with tembleque (coconut pudding) or guava pastelitos pastries and you’ll see why the traditional food here is a big part of the allure.
Puerto Rico is really at its best when you go at the right time of year, taking care to avoid the peak hurricane season and stifling heat. You’re looking for the best time to visit Puerto Rico – when the weather is sunny and warm, the rain is minimal, and the beaches are in full swing.
Maybe you’re looking for the time of year when Puerto Rican flight and hotel prices are lowest. Or perhaps you’re just looking for the least busy time of year to go (hello, empty beaches!).
If you want the ideal Puerto Rican getaway, you need to know the best time to visit Puerto Rico for excellent weather, cheaper prices, and fewer crowds. And lucky for you – you’ve come to the right place to find out!
The Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico
- December-April is the best time to visit overall
- Mild weather in the low-to-mid 80s
- Driest part of the year with little rainfall
The overall best time to visit Puerto Rico is from December to April. This is Puerto Rico’s dry season, when the island experiences the least amount of rain and storms.
Minimal rainfall to ruin outdoor plans combined with the sunny skies and warm temperatures in the low to mid 80s make it the perfect time to go. Puerto Rico has a booming tourism industry and it’s at its peak from December to April.
Although this is the peak season and you’ll deal with bigger crowds (and slightly higher prices), it’s more than worth the tradeoff. You’re getting ideal weather and perfect beach conditions at this time of year.
And since locals don’t typically flock to the beaches until the hot and stormy summertime, the beaches and shores won’t be as crowded as you think. If you want the best Puerto Rican experience, visit within the December to April time frame.
We recommend planning your visit in February (driest month of the year here) or April (warmer with fewer crowds) for the optimal trip. If you travel during the month of December, you’ll have access to great waves for surfing.
In Cabo Rojo and Rincon, you’ll have the best chance at catching serious waves. Visit a little earlier in November to enjoy the Rincon International Surfing Festival on Playa Domes!
Cheapest Time to Visit Puerto Rico
- August-November is the cheapest time to visit
- Low tourism season and rainy season
- Hotter temperatures from upper 80s-90s
The cheapest time to visit Puerto Rico is sometime between August to November. This is the tail end of the rainy and hurricane season on the island.
So if you’re keen to brave the chance of stormy weather, you’ll benefit with rock-bottom pricing on flights, hotels, and activities on the island.
Plus, the hotter temperatures in the 80s and 90s make it perfect for spending days sunning on the beach. Just make sure you have a way to take quick cover if a rainstorm comes up! It’s wise to bring an umbrella and shoes that can get wet if you visit during this cheaper time of year.
There are tons of festivals and celebrations happening at this time of year, so you’ll have lots of chances to engage in the local culture and learn more about the real Puerto Rico.
If you do your research and book early, you can find amazing package deals for the months of August, September, October, and November.
From all-inclusive resorts to hotels and attractions just trying to bring in more visitors during the low season, there are tons of deals to be sniffed out in Puerto Rico at this time of year.
For the best chance at good weather during the cheaper months, try to plan your visit in October. August and November are the rainiest months of the year here and September has the highest chances of storms and hurricanes.
Least Busy Time to Visit Puerto Rico
- September-December and April-May see the fewest tourists
- Better weather in April-May for beachgoers
- Spring and fall shoulder seasons make prices drop
The least busy times to visit Puerto Rico are during the shoulder seasons, from September to December and from April to May.
Since Puerto Rico’s peak tourism season runs from December to April with another spike in July and August, getting in on the action in the springtime or fall will give you a much more laid-back, relaxing Puerto Rican experience.
You’ll get mild but warm temperatures in the mid 80s in April and May. There’s little rainfall in April but May can be pretty wet on the island.
Apart from slight chances of rain, the sunny skies, warm temperatures, and dwindling crowds on the beaches in late April and May make this a great time of year to go. From September to December, temperatures are slightly higher in the upper 80s, sometimes reaching the low 90s.
You’ll deal with increased chances of rainfall, tropical storms, and hurricanes during the fall, but you can mitigate the risk by purchasing travel insurance and keeping a close eye on the forecast before your trip.
The empty beaches (apart from small numbers of tourists and a few locals) make the shoulder seasons in spring and fall just perfect for someone who wants to avoid the noise and booking difficulties of peak season.
Worst Time to Visit Puerto Rico
- March and September are the worst months to visit
- Bigger crowds + higher prices in March
- Tropical storms + hurricane risk in September
The worst times to visit Puerto Rico are in March and September. March is the busiest month of the year for Puerto Rican tourism, thanks to spring break and Easter week bringing visitors and visiting natives to the island in droves.
September is the peak of the hurricane season in Puerto Rico, making it the riskiest month to travel here. Easter (which can fall in March or April) always brings large numbers of tourists to Puerto Rico.
Anytime kids are on school breaks, visitor numbers rise in response. Sometime in mid- to late March, spring breakers come pouring into the country to take advantage of the mild, pleasant weather and sunshine on the island.
Since Puerto Rico doesn’t require U.S. citizens and permanent residents to have a passport for entry, the island is jam-packed with American college students looking for a tropical getaway without the usual headache of international travel and passport requirements.
That means hotels are booked up (sometimes months in advance) and prices are much higher at this time of year. In September, you won’t have to deal with large crowds, booked-up hotels, or high prices.
In fact, September is one of the cheaper times of year to go. But you’ll be there at the riskiest time in terms of weather.
Puerto Rico’s hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, with most of the risk concentrated in August and September. If you visit during September, you risk being caught in a severe storm, tropical storm, or hurricane on the island.
For this reason, it’s wise to purchase travel insurance if you plan to go during the hurricane season. This will ensure you don’t lose money if you need to cancel last-minute due to poor forecasts or weather concerns.
Puerto Rico by Month: Climate & Activities
Still unsure about the best time to visit Puerto Rico? Take a look at our summary of the weather and climate by month below:
Winter temperatures in Puerto Rico range from 20-28°C (68-82°F). It’s a popular month for outdoor activities, including exploring Old San Juan, hiking in El Yunque National Forest, and enjoying the beaches.
January also hosts the San Sebastián Street Festival in San Juan, featuring live music, traditional dance, and vibrant parades.
Similar to January, February maintains warm temperatures between 20-28°C (68-82°F). Visitors can indulge in water sports, attend cultural events, and experience the vibrant nightlife in San Juan.
The Ponce Carnival, one of the oldest carnivals in the Caribbean, takes place in February with colorful parades and lively celebrations.
As spring begins, temperatures range from 21-29°C (70-84°F). March is perfect for exploring historical sites, participating in festivals, and enjoying outdoor dining in the island’s cities. The Casals Festival in San Juan celebrates classical music, attracting musicians and enthusiasts from around the world.
Spring temperatures in Puerto Rico range from 21-30°C (70-86°F). It’s an ideal time for beach vacations, snorkeling, and hiking in the scenic landscapes of the island.
The Saborea Puerto Rico culinary festival in San Juan showcases the island’s diverse cuisine with tastings and cooking demonstrations.
May sees temperatures ranging from 22-31°C (72-88°F). It’s a great month for exploring the bioluminescent bays, attending music festivals, and enjoying the diverse cuisine.
The La Molecula Festival in Mayagüez highlights science, art, and technology through exhibitions and interactive experiences.
Summer arrives with temperatures between 23-31°C (73-88°F). June offers opportunities for water activities, such as surfing and paddleboarding, and experiencing the lively atmosphere of local markets. The Puerto Rico Salsa Congress in San Juan attracts salsa enthusiasts and features dance workshops, performances, and social events.
July maintains warm temperatures from 23-32°C (73-90°F). It’s a peak month for tourism, attracting visitors with vibrant festivals, beach parties, and water adventures. The Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián in Old San Juan is a lively event with music, dance, and traditional food.
Temperatures in August range from 23-32°C (73-90°F). Despite occasional rain, it’s an excellent time for exploring the historical forts, diving in coral reefs, and enjoying Puerto Rico’s tropical landscapes.
The Festival de la Novilla in Hatillo celebrates Puerto Rican agricultural traditions with a cattle festival, music, and folkloric activities.
The wet season begins, with temperatures between 23-32°C (73-90°F). September is the peak of hurricane season, so travelers should monitor weather conditions.
It’s also a quieter time for tourism. The Rincón International Film Festival showcases independent films and promotes cultural exchange.
October sees temperatures ranging from 23-31°C (73-88°F). It’s a transitional month, and while some businesses may close for maintenance, visitors can still enjoy the cultural richness of Puerto Rico. The Festival de las Máscaras in Hatillo celebrates the island’s mask-making traditions with parades and artistic displays
Fall temperatures range from 22-30°C (72-86°F). November is a great time for eco-tourism, exploring coffee plantations, and experiencing the local traditions during Thanksgiving celebrations. The Maratón de San Blás in Coamo is a popular marathon attracting runners from around the world.
Winter returns with temperatures ranging from 21-29°C (70-84°F). December brings festive holiday events, lively Christmas celebrations, and opportunities to enjoy the warm weather.
The San Juan Christmas Boat Parade illuminates the bay with decorated boats, and the Parrandas in Ponce feature lively music and dancing in the streets.
Things to Consider
You know the best time to visit Puerto Rico for your vacation goals, but what else should you know about before you book your trip? Here’s a little info on what to expect in tropical Puerto Rico and how you can make the most of your trip:
- Don’t skip a trip to the glowing Vieques’ Mosquito Bay. Puerto Rico’s Vieques island is 6 miles off the coast of the mainland and it could be the crowning jewel of your visit. Don’t skip it! The world’s brightest bioluminescence is found on the shores here, making a dazzling and ethereal display at night. You can take the Vieques Mosquito Bay ferry from Ceiba on the mainland straight to Mosquito Bay for a dollar or two (free for infants and seniors).
- Venture off the beaten path. While there are tons of great activities, shops, and restaurants conveniently located on the beach and near the hotels, it pays to take a walk on the wild side in Puerto Rico. Visiting the lush 29,000 acre El Yunque rainforest southeast of San Juan will blow your mind – especially if you take a zip line tour. Exploring the many caves and sea caves, natural swimming holes, waterfalls, old fortresses, and villages on the island will give you a more authentic experience that leaves you with lifelong memories.
- Don’t let the rainy season scare you. While a downpour can ruin a tropical beach vacation, the rainfall in Puerto Rico is a little different because the storms move through so fast. While daily rainfall is the norm during the rainy season (roughly April to November), the average shower lasts less than half an hour. Duck out of the rain until it passes and then head back out to enjoy the day!
- Pick the right coast to visit. Puerto Rico’s northern coast (Atlantic Ocean) is home to urbanized and upscale beaches like Condado Beach, Isla Verde, and Ocean Park Beach. There are more restaurants, shops, and planned activities here. You’ll find more natural beauty and less infrastructure on the west and southwest coasts on the Caribbean Sea. Areas like Rincon, Cabo Rojo, and Aguadilla are perfect for surfing (especially in September/November and April/May), whale-watching, and beautiful scenery.
- Pack the right essentials. Lightweight, breathable clothing, comfortable footwear (sandals and tennis shoes), and a hat to block the sun are essential for any Puerto Rican getaway. But you’ll regret traveling without ample sunscreen and bug repellant – both are absolutely key to enjoying your stay without pesky sunburns and bug bites. An umbrella is a smart choice, especially if you’re visiting in the rainy or hurricane seasons!
- Brush up on Spanish, but locals speak English, too. If you’re worried about communicating well on your trip, don’t! Puerto Rico has 2 official languages: Spanish and English. Most of the locals speak English and you won’t have any issues communicating. Brush up on a few key Spanish phrases if you’re visiting a less tourist-y area of Puerto Rico (and don’t forget that your phone is a great tool for translating).
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico?
The best time to visit Puerto Rico is undoubtedly from December to April – it’s one of the peak seasons for tourism here for a reason. The weather is mild and comfortably warm, there’s very little rainfall, and the activities and tours are open and in full swing.
With amazing tropical landscapes to explore, warm waters to surf, snorkel, and swim, colorful cities and villages to stroll, and tons of outdoor activities to broaden your horizons, we think everyone should visit Puerto Rico in their lifetime. Happy travels!