The Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Fewer Crowds, Better Weather, and Lower Prices

The perfect tropical trip — no passport required.

Puerto Rican flag on a beach in San Juan

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Puerto Rico is a holiday hot spot for families, couples, and groups of friends — and rightfully so. It’s blessed with beautiful beaches, lush rain forests, mountains, and picture-perfect weather much of the year. Of course, like virtually every vacation destination, this tropical U.S. territory has both periods of heavier and lighter tourism. High season is December through April. Most people consider shoulder season to be the stretch between when winter travelers depart and the rain rolls in. And low season coincides with hurricane season, which falls from June to November.

Besides its obvious natural beauty, many people journey to Puerto Rico for surfing and other types of outdoor recreation. This stunning Caribbean island also offers many historic landmarks, a vibrant culture, and a dynamic culinary scene. High-rise hotels, nightlife, and casinos dot the Condado district. There are luxury resorts like Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, and The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico, as well as eco-oriented properties in more rugged areas. The low-key off-shore isles of Culebrita and Vieques exude an entirely different type of energy altogether. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that American travelers don’t need a passport to visit. 

Considering a trip to Puerto Rico? Read on to figure out the best time to plot your escape. 

A narrow street in Old San Juan with colorful buildings

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Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Good Weather

When much of the U.S. is battling snow and arctic blasts, Puerto Rico continues to enjoy swimsuit weather. Average temperatures in peak winter months typically hover around 80 degrees Fahrenheit, and it tends to be dry with little chance of precipitation — meaning you can bet on some glorious beach days. 

Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Fewer Crowds 

The best time to visit Puerto Rico for smaller crowds is its shoulder season, which runs from mid-April to June. That’s the period after the busy winter season ends and summer begins. The weather is great, and since the winter crowds won’t be here in full force, you can roam the uncrowded beaches, old forts, and forested trails without being elbow to elbow with fellow holidaygoers.

Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Lower Prices

The shoulder season draws fewer tourists, which in turn lends itself to more favorable rates. Travelers can score the best deals of the year during the summer, especially in August and September, when the probability of storms increase. For example, a room at the boutique hotel Dreamcatcher by DW costs about $172 per night during the summer season, but surges to $539 in the winter. Although some people don't mind gambling the chance of inclement weather during their stay, it’s a decision that shouldn’t be made lightly — or simply with price in mind.

Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Beaches

Puerto Rico brims with beautiful beaches. For fun in the sun, you can’t beat the winter. It’s prime time to take advantage of the blue skies, consistent sunshine, and warm temperatures. That means a whole of strolling on the sand, catching rays, and swimming in the turquoise waters. The shoulder season is pleasant because the beaches are less busy, but the summer rain hasn’t started. Meanwhile, many locals (and plenty of travelers) prefer beach days when the thermometer peaks in June and July, though it does overlap with the beginning of hurricane season.

Isla Verde resort beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico for Surfing

Not only does the northwest coast — from Isabela to Rincón — boast some of the most gorgeous beaches on the island, but it also lays claim to top surfing spots. The best time of year to grab a board and ride the waves? Winter. In fact, the epic swells and barrels during this period are how Puerto Rico got its nickname, the "North Shore of the Atlantic."

Worst Time to Visit Puerto Rico

While Puerto Rico enjoys warm weather year-round, like the majority of tropical Caribbean destinations, it’s very much affected by hurricane season, which runs from June to November, with the greatest risk in August and September. Major storms have caused significant damage and devastated the island over the past few years. Plenty of travelers decide to take their chances given the favorable rates, but it’s worth considering that the chance of bad weather very well may impact your trip.

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