Puerto Rico’s hospitable climate is hot, usually humid, and summerlike all year long. Rainfall is heaviest between May and October, when daytime temperatures peak at around 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius). From November through April, daytime highs and nighttime lows will cool off by a few degrees, and rainfall diminishes in most locations as well.
Altitude and proximity to the ocean are primary determinants of climate in Puerto Rico. The heavily populated northern coast is more humid than the southern coast, although the temperatures experienced are similar. In the interior mountainous and forested regions, daily averages can drop by 6-10 degrees Fahrenheit (4-6 degrees Celsius) or more, depending on the elevation.
Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Season
The United States Weather Service classifies the period from June 1 to Nov. 30 as hurricane season in the Caribbean. Hurricanes are most common in Puerto Rico between August and October, and tropical storms that don’t reach hurricane intensity may also be experienced. The hurricane season coincides with the rainy season in Puerto Rico, when rainfall is a regular occurrence in most regions.
Fear of hurricanes shouldn’t make you reluctant to visit Puerto Rico, since highly destructive storms are not that common. But you should at least be aware that some risk exists, if you’re thinking about vacationing in Puerto Rico in the late summer or early fall.
The Eastern Region of Puerto Rico stays hot and humid 12 months out of the year. Temperatures remain in the 85-89 degrees Fahrenheit range for highs and 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit for lows. Since the number of days with rainfall doesn’t vary much between seasons, there is no rainy season per se.
Visitors to eastern cities like Fajardo and Ceiba are seldom surprised by weather conditions, which are more consistent and predictable than in other parts of the island.
Western Region (Porta del Sol)
On the western side of Puerto Rico, daytime temperatures remain balmy in all seasons, often surpassing 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) or more at their peak. Once the sun goes down, these readings decline a bit more than in other parts of the island, with temperatures in the 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit (18-21 degrees Celsius) range being quite typical.
There is a clear distinction between the dry season and the rainy season in western Puerto Rico. The latter runs from May to October and the former from November to April.
Central Region (La Montaña)
The central region features the Cordillera Central Mountain range, which divides the island running east and west. Travelers who visit the mountains will encounter temperatures of around 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) in the daytime and below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius) at night, but temperatures in towns and cities located below the Cordillas are much warmer.
Temperatures in lower-altitude cities like Utuado or Lares will usually reach at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) in the afternoon. Rainfall is frequent during the rainy season that extends from August to November, but that is counterbalanced by the Central Region’s dry season from December through April.
Puerto Rico’s northern region (to the west of the capital city of San Juan) features daily average temperatures between 85 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (29-32 degrees Celsius) all year long. The humidity is noticeable, especially in summer, but there is less rainfall in this area than in San Juan.
Nighttime temperatures in the north frequently drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) in all but the summer months. This makes for comfortable sleeping conditions.
South Region (Porta Caribe)
Puerto Rico’s southern region, which includes the Caribbean coast and its second-largest city, Ponce, is hot but drier than the northern part of the island. Temperatures regularly reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) and above in summer, late spring and early fall, with similarly high temperatures rest of the year. But humidity levels stay consistently lower in all months, and days of rainfall are limited.
If avoiding overly humid conditions is your goal, in any season, a vacation on Puerto Rico’s southern coast would be ideal.
San Juan Metro Area
San Juan is Puerto Rico’s largest city and primary tourist destination. It is hot and humid, with a prolific rainy season that lasts from August into December. In San Juan, there’s little difference between daytime highs and nighttime lows for most of the year: the former generally remain in the 85-88 degrees Fahrenheit (29-31 degrees Celsius) range, while overnight temperatures seldom drop below 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).
In general, San Juan is best visited in winter, when the heat and humidity are not so oppressive.
Spring in Puerto Rico
Temperatures and humidity levels in Puerto Rico are relatively moderate in the spring, especially in March and April. Highs of around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) are normal during these months, and rainfall is generally light.
Things will begin to change in May and June, however, as temperatures slowly climb and the number of rainy days increases. If you plan to travel in late spring, it could be a good idea to visit the island’s southern coast, where inviting temperatures combine with lower humidity levels.
What to pack: You should prepare for both the heat and the rain if you travel to Puerto Rico in the spring. Be sure to take rain gear for outdoor activities, in addition to light, summer clothing for daylight activities. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants may be necessary at night, and for any trips you take to the cooler interior. Sunscreen with a high SPF is vital when visiting Puerto Rico, but that can be purchased locally.
Summer in Puerto Rico
During the summer in Puerto Rico, it is normal for the mercury to rise above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius), and it will seldom drop below 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) at any hour. Afternoon rainfall is a regular occurrence in most locations on the island, especially in August and September, and humidity levels during this time of year may reach 80 percent.
It is cooler in the interior of Puerto Rico in the summertime, and many visitors choose this time to explore in and around the Cordillera Central Mountain range.
What to Pack: Light clothing appropriate for the tropics is standard. While conditions are generally hot and humid at night, long-sleeved pants and shirts still have utility as a protection against mosquitos. If you go in late summer, be sure to take sufficient rain gear, including an umbrella, ponchos, plastic coverings for backpacks and other personal items, and shoes suitable for walking in wet conditions. Getting travel insurance is important, since Puerto Rico’s hurricane and tropical storm season begins in the summer.
Fall in Puerto Rico
Autumn in Puerto Rico delivers temperatures that would be experienced during the summer in most of the continental United States. This means readings that range from around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) during the daytime to approximately 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Celsius) overnight. The rainy season on most parts of the island extends into the early fall months, which makes humidity a factor.
In general, the fall is a good time to visit most locations in Puerto Rico, including the popular northern and southern coasts, since the heat is not overly extreme.
What to pack: Fall weather in Puerto Rico is diverse. It can be very hot during the day, much cooler at night, sunny for several days in a row or rain steadily for a week. Consequently, it is wise to pack an assortment of clothing and gear to prepare for changing and variable weather conditions. Travel insurance should be purchased, to protect you in case of unexpected weather-related developments.
Winter in Puerto Rico
The winter months in Puerto Rico offer delightfully warm conditions and reasonable humidity levels. Temperatures generally range from around 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) in the daytime to near 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) at night in most locations, with only modest rainfall as a rule.
Tourism in Puerto Rico peaks in the winter, with the coastal areas proving especially attractive.
What to pack: Light clothing appropriate for summerlike conditions are still required, especially if you’ll be spending time on the beaches or visiting attractions at low latitudes. Since the nights can get cool, however, it is important to have long-sleeved pants and shirts as well. Mosquito repellent and netting are also vital all year round in Puerto Rico, and you should carry at least an umbrella and shoes suitable for walking in wet conditions, even if rainfall is less of an issue in the winter.