Calendar of Events in Puerto Rico

A woman stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the jungle of Puerto Rico.
••• Michael Hanson / Getty Images

We've already put together a list of the biggest events and festivals around the island each year. But here's a comprehensive event calendar, broken down by month, with details on the island's biggest parties, festivals, and excuses to cram grapes in your mouth and jump into the ocean.

  • 01 of 12
    Chupinazo
    ••• Getty Images

    Unlike the U.S., Puerto Rico is still in Christmas mode in January, but that's not the only major celebration in town. The San Sebastián Patron Saint Festival comes to Old San Juan, converting one of the main avenues in town into a huge block party. And on the west coast of the island, January kicks off whale-watching season.

    The weather is terrific, the holiday season has the island in a festive spirit, and Three Kings Day is a special occasion around the island. It's a good time to be in Puerto Rico.  

  • 02 of 12
    February in Puerto Rico
    ••• Courtesy of Puerto Rico Tourism Company

    In a place as romantic as Puerto Rico, love is most definitely in the air in February. But even Valentine's Day takes a back seat to the Ponce Carnival, the island's biggest, most colorful, and most traditional festival. And for those who ​love classical music, February brings a chance to enjoy top-quality performances around San Juan.

     

  • 03 of 12

    March

    Sea turtle in Puerto Rico
    ••• Brandon Rosenblum/Getty Images

    March kicks off a series of tournaments that really celebrate the island's diversity: where else will you find international golf, salsa, and sailing competitions all taking place in one destination, in the same month?

    March also marks the start of a beautiful season on Culebra Island: when nesting turtles arrive by the thousands on its shores.  

  • 04 of 12
    High Angle View Of Fish With Salad Served In Plate On Table
    ••• Yelitza Rodriguez / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Mmm, Saborea. I've made trips to the island in April two years in a row just for this fantastic food festival. Foodies will love this weekend-long event that brings top-class chefs from around the island and around the world. Historians, on the other hand, will get a kick out of a different sort of celebration: a reenactment of a historic battle between British and Spanish soldiers.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
  • 05 of 12

    May

    Danza in Puerto Rico
    ••• Sollina Images/Getty Images

    May celebrates Danza, a formal, elegant dance form that originated in the city of Ponce. In San Juan, the biggest festival of the month brings artisans from all over the island, and all over the world, to showcase their skill and display their crafts. One of Puerto Rico's most popular beaches, Crash Boat, also throws a laid back summer fair to inaugurate the season.

  • 06 of 12
    Jazz drummer in Puerto Rico
    ••• Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

    Summer is in full swing, and on the island, that means a major international jazz festival and numerous quaint and local fairs celebrating patron saints, ​paso fino horse competitions, mango, and crab, among others.

    If you're in Puerto Rico in June, it's a great time for a road trip to check out the local flavor around the island.

    June is also the official start of hurricane season on the island. The season runs from June to November, but on the whole, it shouldn't keep you away from Puerto Rico.

  • 07 of 12
    Dance in Puerto Rico
    ••• Patricia Marroquin/Getty Images

    Salsa and Puerto Rico go hand in hand, and the Puerto Rican Salsa Congress in July is the biggest Salsa event of the year. While the dates and sometimes even the month changes, July usually brings out the Sofo Culinary Fest, one of the most popular annual food festivals in Puerto Rico.

    This is also a month full of patron saint festivals and fiestas de pueblo, or town fairs, which means it's still a good time to hit the road and experience the rustic side of Puerto Rico.

  • 08 of 12
    Woodcraft
    ••• Arne Hodalic/Getty Images

    As far as events and festivals go, August is a relatively quiet month (after all, even Puerto Rico needs down time!). But even though summer's winding down, there's still a major sport-fishing tournament going on, and an annual folk art competition in the town of Juana Diaz that celebrates the art of wood-carving Santos, or patron saints.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
  • 09 of 12
    ••• John Parra/Getty Images

    Like August, September is devoted mostly to small-town fairs and festivals around Puerto Rico. However, shopaholics will want to stay in San Juan for High Fashion Week, when you'll get a chance to get to know some of the island's premier designers.

  • 10 of 12
    A woman stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the jungle of Puerto Rico.
    ••• Michael Hanson / Getty Images

    Halloween isn't as big a deal in Puerto Rico as it is in the U.S., but October does bring some welcome chills, thanks to the Puerto Rican Horror film fest. The island also celebrates troubadors, jazz, and patron saints. And in San Juan, look for the Catando y Picando food and wine fest, which combines local cuisine and music.

     

  • 11 of 12
    Puerto Rico Nativity scene
    ••• Zain Deane

    The holiday season in Puerto Rico really gets going in November. Puerto Ricans love Thanksgiving, and they really love their pavochòn. The town of Aguada is known for its Discovery of Puerto Rico Day celebration, and NCAA college basketball comes to the island. Of course, the long Christmas season also gets its start in November, and Old San Juan gets decked up in beautiful Christmas decorations.

    Finally, November marks the official end of hurricane season on the island, and the weather at this time of year is close to perfect.

  • 12 of 12
    Christmas decorations on the Alcaldia and City Hall, Plaza de Armas, Old San Juan, San Juan, Puerto Rico, December 2009
    ••• Walter Bibikow / Getty Images

    Not surprisingly Christmas and New Year's Eve dominates the holiday calendar. There are parties galore, parades and festivals around the island, and it's generally a wonderful time to be in Puerto Rico. In addition, there's a major horse race, artisan fair, and festival of masks taking place around the island.