This is a busy month in Puerto Rico. February welcomes the biggest celebration of the year in the Ponce Carnival, the region's preeminent classical music festival in the Caribbean, and sports events that bring world class baseball, marathon runners and street performers to the island. Add a BBQ fest and whale watching, and you've got something going on all month long.
- Nothing eclipses the pageantry of the Ponce Carnival, an event that draws hundreds of thousands of visitors to Puerto Rico's Second City each year.
- The Casals Festival, Caribbean's premier classical music event, begins in February and extends through March.
- It's prime whale-watching season on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and there are several boats that will take you out and get you up close to migrating humpback whales.
- February 2-8: Puerto Rico costs the Serie del Caribe at the Hiram Bithorn Stadium. This international baseball competition features teams from Venezuela, Cuba, Mexico, Dominican Republic and, of course, Puerto Rico.
- February 6-8: Dubbed the "Best Half Marathon in the World." the San Blas Half Marathon brings athletes from around the world and an expected 250,000 spectators to Coamo. The run takes place on the 8th, but is preceded by a weekend-long festival.
- February 7-8: Puerto Rico's Circo Fest, or the International Circus & Street Performers of Puerto Rico Festival, comes to Old San Juan. Admission is whatever you feel is worth it for the performance, which includes clowns, magic acts, jugglers and more.
- February 11-15: Think you're a daredevil? How would you stack up against these guys? Launching from Arecibo, Xtreme launches its annual freefall festival just before Valentine's Day.
- February 14: Valentine's Day is quite popular on the island. Check my blog for special deals and dinner offers at hotels and restaurants. Or you can go watch Luis Fonsi in concert at the San Juan Coliseo.
- February 21-22: The 7th Annual Cattlemen's BBQ Competition takes over the Puerto Rico convention center. It's the largest barbecue competition in the Caribbean, and is open to all entrants.
- February 22: Ringo Starr comes to Puerto Rico, and he's bringing his all-star band! The famous ex-Beatle is on the island for one day so don't miss him!
- February 26-March 14: The internationally renowned Casals Festival is the premier classical music festival in the Caribbean, a storied tradition that brings the world's best performers to Puerto Rico. This year that list includes cellist Yo-Yo Ma, pianist Steven Hough, the Shanghai Quartet, and many more. Events will be held at the Luis A. Ferré Performing Arts Center in San Juan.
- February 26-March 4: The Ponce Carnival is Puerto Rico's answer to Mardi Gras, Rio'd Carnaval, and every other pre-Lent celebration. And if New Orleans has its beaded revelers and Rio its costumed dancers, Puerto Rico has its Vejigantes, elaborately masked figures representing local folkloric demons.
- Throughout February: Whale-watching season continues in the west coast of Puerto Rico, when humpback whales can be spotted off the coast. An excellent spot to see them is the observation park at the Rincón lighthouse.