When to visit Puerto Rico
National holidays and celebrations
Puerto Rico celebrates all US National Holidays and most businesses will be shut during these, with Public Offices having to close. They also celebrate National Holidays across Easter, Christmas and New Year.
January 6th - Epiphany - Celebrating the visit of the Three Kings to the baby Jesus.
January 11th - Birthday of Eugenio Maria de Hostos - Celebrating the birth of a Puerto Rican who fought for the nation's independence and to end slavery.
Third Monday in January - Martin Luther King Jr Day - A US holiday, recognising the work done by the civil rights activist.
February 18th - Birthday of Luis Munoz Marin - Celebrating the life of the first democratically elected governor of Puerto Rico.
Third Monday in February - Presidents' Day - A US holiday, recognising each of the 44 presidents.
March 22nd - Emancipation Day - Celebrating the end of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873.
April 16th - Birthday of Jose de Diego - Celebrating the life of the famed poet and political leader.
Last Monday of May - Memorial Day - Remembering the lives of all service men and women who have fought in the US army.
July 4th - Independence Day - A US holiday, celebrating its independence in 1776.
Third Monday in July - Birthday of Don Luis Munoz Rivera - Celebrating the life of the journalist and poet who fought for independence from Spain and the US.
July 25th - Puerto Rico Constitution Day - Celebrating the creation of the constitution of Puerto Rico.
July 27th - Birthday of Dr. Jose Celso Barbosa - Celebrating the life of the doctor and an early supporter of the statehood for Puerto Rico.
First Monday in September - Labour Day - A US holiday, celebrating the contribution of workers.
Second Monday in October - Columbus Day - A US holiday, marking the discovery of North America by Christopher Columbus.
November 11th - Veterans' Day - A US holiday, honouring military veterans.
Fourth Thursday in November - Thanksgiving - A US holiday, originally aimed at celebrating the harvest.
With a rich mix of cultural influences, the cuisine you can sample in Puerto Rico is unsurprisingly varied and diverse. From Caribbean soul food to European fine dining and even chain restaurants, there is something to suit all palates and tastes.
Heading to the island in peak-tourist season may mean you struggle to find inexpensive meals in restaurants. However, if you are on a budget and looking to travel in the busiest periods, try eating from one of the many street food stalls on offer in San Juan and many similar places across the island.
Puerto Rico benefits from year-round sunshine, boasting a hot and tropical climate and an average temperature across the year of 26-27°C. Rain is possible throughout the seasons and hurricanes can happen between June and November, though major ones are exceptionally rare.
The busiest periods for travelling to Puerto Rico are between December and April and throughout July and August. During these times, the cities and attractions will be the busiest and prices for hotels and flights will be highest. If you are looking to spend a major holiday, such as Easter, New Year and Christmas here, you will need to book well ahead. Over recent years, it has also become a popular Spring Break resort, so expect the island to be inundated with college students between February and March.
Puerto Rico Holidays
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Norwegian Airlines will reinstated direct flights to Puerto Rico from London Gatwick from this month. The air carrier will offer twice-weekly flights to the Caribbean island, just in time for the high tourist season. Within nine hours, holidaymakers will be sunbathing on pristine beaches, swimming in the turquoise sea, and strolling around the Spanish colonial capital city of San Juan.
Puerto Rico Tourism Company recently launched a brand new route for nature lovers and visitors who wish to get to know more about the island’s ancestral culture. The new experience goes by the name of “La Ruta Taina” and passes through several interesting towns before arriving at the Caguana Indigenous Ceremonial Park in Utado. This tour takes travellers to stunning sceneries and shows them some of the islands traditional Taino customs.
The El San Juan Hotel & Casino in Puerto Rico has announced it will temporarily close its doors to undergo a complete renovation programme. The luxury hotel in the Isla Verde district of San Juan will upgrade its guest rooms, swimming pool area, nine restaurants, bars and spa facilities. The work has already started and is scheduled to be completed in early 2017.