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Puerto Rico

Best and Worst Times to Visit Puerto Rico

© Puerto Rico Tourism Company
© Puerto Rico Tourism Company
Puerto Rico is both a major cruise destination and a popular Caribbean island for longer term stays. But the best months to visit aren’t always the most popular.

An important part of planning any vacation in Puerto Rico is figuring out the best time to go. Caribbean weather patterns that can dump rain on islands some months and be quite dry at other times

Besides planning for good weather, some people have different views on the best times to go based on prices, crowds, kids in school and other factors. But in general, the best times to visit Puerto Rico are winter through spring. The worst times are late summer to late fall.

But even during these times, some months are better or worse than others. Tourism statistics and historical weather patterns help reveal some answers. They make it easier to make some planning decisions.

Monthly Tourism Statistics

Puerto Rico tourism statistics
Puerto Rico visitor totals by month. ©
The chart to the right has statistics from the Caribbean Travel Organization showing the most popular and least popular months to visit Puerto Rico.

They clearly show the most popular month to visit is March and the least popular is September.

The surge in March visits is largely because of a jump in cruise visits and families with children on spring break from schools.

December through February also show high numbers because many western Caribbean cruises begin in San Juan during that time period. Some Caribbean cruises start in San Juan while others include San Juan as a port of call.

September shows a steep decline because that month is the most active time of the annual Caribbean hurricane season. October and November also are part of the hurricane season and show low numbers of visitors as well.

Monthly Weather

San Juan monthly temperatures
San Juan temperatures stay in a narrow range all year, but even 5 degrees warmer in the summer makes a difference with water temperatures. © 2019 Scott Bateman
Another reason why January through March are so popular is the fact that those months are part of the island’s dry season.

The average rainfall during that period is about two to three inches per month, according to statistics from the World Weather Organization.

By comparison, the average monthly rainfall reaches more than five inches from August through October and six inches in November. They are the worst months to visit Puerto Rico.

San Juan monthly rainfall
San Juan has a brief rainy season in May and a longer one starting in late summer. © 2019 Scott Bateman
The island also has a brief rainy season in May when average rainfall reaches six inches again.

Temperatures are not an issue during any month of the year. Average highs stay in the mid-80s Fahrenheit and high 20s Celsius and vary only a few degrees each month.

Average low temperatures -- mostly at night -- reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 degrees Celsius in months like January and February. Those low temperatures will make swimming in the mornings chilly and uncomfortable.

Best Times to Go

March is the most popular time to visit San Juan, but it also will be the most crowded in major tourist attractions like Old San Juan. Prices will likely rise as well.

April will have fewer crowds, warmer temperatures and only slightly more rain. May should be avoided because of the brief rainy season.

Otherwise, the next best months to visit Puerto Rico are June and July when average rainfall is about four inches, temperatures are warm enough for swimming and crowds are usually moderate in size.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Best Times to Go   

November 01, 2019

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