Honestly, the best time to visit Puerto Rico depends on you. The island is fantastic all year round! Whatever experience you're chasing, here's what you need to know about the weather, price differences, festival dates, and more.
No matter when you go to Puerto Rico work with an island local to plan your trip. Our locals in Puerto Rico will design a safe trip away from the crowds—full of up-to-date info you might not find online. Learn more.
Puerto Rico is pretty fantastic to visit all year round. Temperatures on the coast average 85°F, cooling off by a few degrees the closer you get to the central mountain—so it’s super easy to plan a trip year-round.
Most people choose to visit in the winter—Puerto Rico's sunny weather provides a perfect escape from icy gray northern climes. But the best time to visit may be in the springtime when the peak season crowds have subsided, hotel prices have lowered, and the weather is mild.
Puerto Rico’s rainy season lasts from May to October, which seems like a long time—but the showers usually don’t last more than 30 minutes. Since the sun shines nine hours a day, the ocean waters are almost always perfect swimming temperature (81°F) - and you’ll want to swim because it can get very hot in June - August! Remember to drink plenty of water.
Hurricanes are common in the tropics, and Puerto Rico isn’t immune. Hurricane season lasts from June to November.
The good news is that your odds of experiencing a hurricane are extremely low. Although Puerto Rico was hit hard by Category 4 Hurricane Maria in 2017, the last time the island experienced a storm that severe was in 1931. The most recent hurricane to make landfall in Puerto Rico was Category 1 Hurricane Fiona in 2022. And while it caused significant damage, it was far less than Hurricane Maria.
Parts of Puerto Rico are still recovering from both hurricanes, but much of the island is open and is safe to visit right now. For more information, check out our Puerto Rico tourism update. Or, better yet, talk to one of our travel planners in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico’s tourist season is divided into two parts—peak (December to May) and off-peak (June to November).
Off-peak season is a little rainier, but not by much. So, if you’re trying to take a cheap trip to Puerto Rico, it’s definitely a good time to go. Plus, traveling during the off-peak season also means you can check out the best places to visit in Puerto Rico with fewer crowds.
Rain storms are often short and intense in the afternoons, which means you can plan your days with that in mind. You could explore in the morning, have lunch, enjoy an afternoon siesta, and then head back out for the evening. Or you could check out museums, cafes, or shops in the afternoons and save beach time and hikes for the morning or evening.
Because of the possibility of hurricanes (remember, off-peak season lines up with hurricane season), make sure your reservations have good cancellation policies and keep an eye on the weather before you go. If it looks like a hurricane might hit, reschedule your trip.
Locals tell us that you'll find cool things to do in Puerto Rico all year round, and traveling in the off-season is a great opportunity. Our trip planners tell us that you can enjoy weekly events like Rincon’s farmers’ market all year, an excellent way to travel like a local.
Puerto Rico has a fantastic festival calendar. Best of all, locals tell us you can enjoy most festivals for free.
From San Juan’s Culinary Fest in August to the islandwide Three Kings’ Day in January, the odds are that you’ll be able to celebrate Puerto Rican holidays with friendly locals. The Maricao Coffee Festival, San Sebastian Street Festival, and the Ponce Carnival are all excellent. Benefit from local insights—our trip planners can build your Puerto Rico itinerary around a fiesta or two.
Fiestas patronales are religious festivals of patron saints that occur year-round, complete with lots of dancing, drinking, and feasting.
Winter is peak season for a reason: you can almost count on sunny, warm days that are perfect for lounging on the sand and swimming in the sea. So, the crowds are there for good reason. If you don’t mind sharing the beach with other people or looking for off-the-beaten-path beaches, then it’s a great time to go despite the higher prices and larger crowds. Locals can show you why winter is so popular in Puerto Rico and help you avoid the most crowded spots so you can enjoy a dreamy winter getaway.
Locals advise that some things to do in Puerto Rico have seasonal availability.
For example, you’ll only be able to see sea turtles nesting in Rincon and Cabo Rojo from April to June, and hiking through the massive Camuy Caves is most pleasant in the summer (caves are chilly, and Puerto Rico is hot, hot, hot).
The amazing food is by far one of the best parts of traveling to Puerto Rico. Locals rave about the selection of slow-roasted pork, fried plantains, and piña coladas—not to mention incredible locally-grown coffee.
When it comes to food, you definitely don't want to guess your way through the trip. Our trip planners will let you know about farmers' markets, locally-loved restaurants, and which dish to order first.
Puerto Rico is packed with fantastic activities—locals rave that the island offers opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, coffee tasting, tubing, hiking, and more. When browsing tours, keep two key things in mind: (1) is the tour guide legit (Puerto Rico is really safe, but it’s always good to make sure ), and (2) if the tour should be booked in advance. Popular tours fill up fast!
When you have a local plan your trip, they can help with logistics like these.
The Spoon Food Tour in San Juan is fun and free. It focuses on locally-owned restaurants that prioritize local ingredients.
COVID restrictions have been lifted in Puerto Rico. Travelers from the US don’t need any documentation - it’s similar to traveling between states. Masks are recommended on public transportation but are not required.
As with the majority of heavily-traveled areas, Puerto Rico’s main issue is petty theft (think pickpocketing). Locals say that by using your street smarts and being aware of your surroundings—especially around tourist attractions—you’ll be absolutely fine. PR is a great destination for solo female travelers and even young families—crime-wise, San Juan is actually safer than many US cities.
The easiest way to sightsee in Puerto Rico is by rental car. Uber is a good choice within San Juan.