Top 6 Annual Events in Puerto Rico in July

Check out the fireworks, festivals, and favorite foods

San Juan, Puerto Rico
Harshal Desai/Getty Images

July is a month full of festivals and events on Puerto Rico, an island territory of the United States. July 4, the day that commemorates America's Independence Day, like the American mainland, sends crowds to the beach.

Other events include a global congress that brings salseros to San Juan, a traditional festival in Loíza that celebrates the island's African heritage, and a festival in Salinas to honor mojo isleno, a local favorite condiment sauce. Check out the numerous happenings you can expect if you are visiting Puerto Rico in July.

  • 01 of 06

    July 4th, U.S. Independence Day

    Admittedly, the U.S. and Puerto Rico have an unusual relationship, and Puerto Rico is not a state as yet; however, if you want to spend July 4th there, Puerto Rico takes part in all U.S. public holidays, including U.S. Independence Day. On the Fourth of July, you can celebrate the island with traditional Puerto Rican food, local live music, and fireworks. 

    In Old San Juan, most celebrations occur in and around Plaza del Quinto Centenario with music, food, and firework displays. Or you can visit the Puerto Rico Convention Center for the 4th of July annual Cattlemen’s BBQ competition, where you can enjoy local foods, live music, and varieties of BBQ foods.

  • 02 of 06

    Since the NBA season is over, you might miss watching some good basketball, if that's the case, head to the Puerto Rico Convention Center in Miramar, San Juan, for the Jeep Basketball Junior Olympics.

  • 03 of 06

    Vieques Patron Saint Festival

    Usually, in the third week in July, Vieques Island celebrates its annual patron saint festival, with fireworks every night and a carnival on Sunday. The local Viequenses party hard to celebrate the Vírgen del Carmen, patron saint of the sea, seafarers, and fisherman. More a festival than a religious event, islanders gather in Isabel Segunda's central plaza, where food stands, bandstands, and amusement rides are set up. Parades of dancers, decked out in shimmering outfits and feathers, lead the way.

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    Around July 25, the feast day of Saint James, Loíza celebrates the multi-day carnival Fiestas Tradicionales de Santiago Apóstol, which celebrates the African heritage of the town and the island. Loíza is a town steeped in tradition. It has roots that combine Spanish culture and traditions with African culture and melds them into a unique Puerto Rican experience. You can catch folk and religious ceremonies, including costumes, masks, and bomba dancers. 

    Continue to 5 of 6 below.
  • 05 of 06

    Usually the last week in July, The Puerto Rico Salsa Congress gathers salseros from around the world. The congress features exhibitions by professional and international dancers, nightly dances, workshops, and some of the best salsa bands from around the globe.

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    Salinas honors its very own delectable contribution to Puerto Rican cuisine with the Festival del Mojo Isleño, a sauce created by a local resident Euladia Correa in the 1940s. Mojo isleño is made with olives, peppers, and garlic, among other seasonings, and is typically used in seafood. The festival celebrates the cuisine and culture of Puerto Rico and showcases the work of over 120 artisans.