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Best Place to Visit in Puerto Rico in December: Top Destinations Revealed

There is no such thing of – Best Place to Visit in Puerto Rico in December. Because there are many! December is one of the most enchanting times to visit Puerto Rico. With the hurricane season behind us, the island welcomes visitors with a comfortable climate and a festive atmosphere that sweeps through its cities and towns. Puerto Rico transforms into a lively Christmas wonderland, where traditions and modern festivities blend to create an unforgettable holiday season.

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As I explore the island in December, the weather is pleasantly warm, making it perfect for both beachgoers and those looking to delve into Puerto Rico’s rich culture. Packing for this trip involves a mix of summer wear and light layers for the cooler evenings. The cities are adorned with holiday lights and the air carries the rhythm of traditional Puerto Rican music, setting a vibrant backdrop for travelers.

Key Takeaways

  • December offers a festive and warm travel experience in Puerto Rico.
  • Light summer wear with layers for the evening is ideal for the December weather.
  • The island presents a blend of beautiful beaches and cultural holiday festivities.

Weather and Packing Essentials for December

When planning a December getaway to Puerto Rico, I keep in close mind the island’s warm temperatures and occasional rain. These two factors guide my packing strategy to ensure comfort and preparedness for all that Puerto Rico has to offer.

Typical December Weather

During December, Puerto Rico boasts a mild climate with average high temperatures from 84°F (29°C) to 87°F (31°C), ideal for beach outings and outdoor exploration. However, I’m aware of the average of 16 days of rain throughout the month, typically brief showers that freshen up the afternoons without dampening the day’s plans. The sun shines bright, so I consider the UV index and prepare accordingly for prolonged sun exposure.

What to Pack

For my suitcase, I have narrowed down the essentials:

  • Clothes: I include lightweight shirts and breathable pants or shorts, suitable for the warm weather, along with a jacket for cooler evenings. I don’t forget a rain jacket to stay dry during unexpected showers.
  • Accessories: A hat is a must to shield me from the sun, alongside UV-protection sunglasses.
  • Sun Protection: A high-SPF sunscreen is crucial, as I’ll spend ample time under the pervasive sun.
  • Footwear: Comfortable walking shoes for the city and water-resistant sandals for the beach.
  • Beach Gear: Swimsuits and a quick-dry towel make my beach visits hassle-free.
  • Umbrella: A small, foldable umbrella comes in handy for sudden rain, and it’s easy to carry around.

By focusing on lightweight layers and protection from both sun and rain, my luggage is equipped to handle the delightful yet at-times unpredictable December weather in Puerto Rico.

Top Destinations and Attractions

December in Puerto Rico offers some of the most vibrant experiences with warm weather and festive spirits. From the rich history of colonial cities to the natural beauty of tropical beaches, I’ve narrowed down the highlights that every traveler should consider.

Historical Sites

Old San Juan is a must-visit with its colorful Spanish colonial buildings and cobblestone streets. As I walk through this area, the historic Fort San Felipe del Morro stands tall. With its impressive six levels and massive walls facing the Atlantic Ocean, often leaves me in awe.

Just a short distance away is the Castillo San Cristóbal. Another massive fort that once guarded against land attacks on San Juan. Both are part of the San Juan National Historic Site and offer breathtaking views and a deep dive into the island’s past.

el-morro

Beaches and Natural Attractions – Best Place to Visit in Puerto Rico in December

Puerto Rico’s beaches are among the Caribbean’s finest. And the tranquil Flamenco Beach on Culebra is often ranked as the top beach destination for its white sands and crystal-clear waters—perfect for a December escape.

For those who enjoy hiking and nature, El Yunque National Forest offers lush landscapes. And, also, an unique opportunity to explore a tropical rainforest in the United States.


In the southwest, the dramatic cliffs and lighthouse of Cabo Rojo create a picturesque sunset that’s not to be missed. For a magical experience, the Bioluminescent Bay in Vieques, known for its glowing waters, is unforgettable, and choosing a bioluminescent bay to visit is the first step in enjoying this natural wonder.

Best Place to Visit in Puerto Rico in December – Cultural and Artistic Venues

The vibrant city of Ponce, known as “La Perla del Sur,” is rich in cultural and artistic offerings. It’s home to the Ponce Museum of Art, which features a vast collection of European and Puerto Rican art. As December is filled with festive celebrations, it’s an ideal time to immerse in local traditions and enjoy street parties. The cultural heart of San Juan, La Placita de Santurce, turns into a lively spot for dance, music, and dining in the evening. Exploring these venues gives a true taste of the island’s artistic soul and party spirit.

Travelers in search of the perfect beach experience can find the most suitable one on a detailed map of Puerto Rico’s best beaches, highlighting a variety of options from the secluded coves to popular surf spots.

Activities and Experiences

In December, I find Puerto Rico alive with opportunities for adventure, local flavors, and festive cheer. The island’s diverse offerings range from outdoor thrills to cultural experiences that excite all the senses.

Outdoor and Adventure – Best Place to Visit in Puerto Rico in December

I enjoy the mild weather perfect for hiking through El Yunque National Forest, exploring its lush trails and hidden waterfalls. For those who love the water, the beaches offer great surfing conditions and a chance to swim in crystal-clear waters. There are also unique experiences like exploring the caves of Parque de las Cavernas del Río Camuy. If you prefer a more high-energy adventure, consider an ATV tour through Carabalí Rainforest Park for an exhilarating ride.

Local Cuisine and Gastronomy

Puerto Rico’s cuisine in December cannot be missed. I savor the taste of traditional dishes such as mofongo, a local favorite made from fried plantains. To explore a variety of local dishes, the Flavors of Old San Juan Food Tour provides a delightful experience sampling delicious Puerto Rican food kiosks. Not to forget are the tempting ice treats to cool down after a day in the sun, like piraguas, shaved ice drizzled with fruit-flavored syrup.

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Arts, Music, and Festivities

I can’t speak of December in Puerto Rico without mentioning the vibrant festivities. Old San Juan comes alive with music and dance, culminating in the grand celebration on January 6, known as Three Kings Day. The island’s passion for the arts is evident with numerous museums and galleries showcasing both contemporary and traditional works. For live entertainment, I often find venues with exhilarating live music performances that keep the island’s rhythm pulsing through the night.

Accommodation and Travel Tips

A sunny beach with palm trees, clear blue water, and colorful buildings along the coastline. A warm, tropical atmosphere with people enjoying outdoor activities

When planning a trip to Puerto Rico in December, I consider not only the warm Caribbean climate but also where to stay, how to get around, and the local dining and nightlife scene. Here’s what I’ve learned about finding accommodations, navigating the island, and making the most of Puerto Rican cuisine and entertainment.

Where to Stay

In my experience, the Condado and Isla Verde areas offer a diverse range of hotel options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly accommodations. Condado is known for its beaches, shopping, and proximity to Old San Juan. Here, you can find upscale hotels with all the amenities you’d expect from a top Caribbean destination. On the other hand, Isla Verde appeals to those looking for a more relaxed vibe with easy access to some of the best beaches in the area.

Getting Around

Traveling around Puerto Rico can be straightforward if you plan ahead. Renting a car gives you the flexibility to explore at your own pace. And since the island is relatively small, driving between attractions is manageable.

For those who prefer not to drive, using a travel app like Uber or local taxis can be convenient for short trips. Public transportation options are limited, so I suggest private means for a smoother experience.

Dining and Nightlife

The culinary scene in Puerto Rico is a vibrant mix of flavors, with numerous restaurants serving both traditional and contemporary dishes. In December, enjoy al fresco dining in many establishments due to the pleasant weather. For a lively evening, visit La Placita de Santurce. This is a local market by day that transforms into a hub of bars and nightlife after sunset. The district’s energetic atmosphere is ideal for savoring street food and dancing to Caribbean rhythms.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ll address some common inquiries about visiting Puerto Rico in December. My replies are rooted in solid information to help you plan your trip effectively.

What are the top attractions to visit in Puerto Rico during December?

Puerto Rico in December boasts a variety of top attractions, including the historic Old San Juan, the vibrant bioluminescent bays, and the lush El Yunque National Forest. The festive decorations and cultural events also add to the appeal during the holiday season.

How is the weather in Puerto Rico in December, and what should visitors expect?

The weather in Puerto Rico during December is ideal, with temperatures typically ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and lower humidity levels. Expect warm days perfect for outdoor activities and beach visits, with minimal rainfall.

Which part of Puerto Rico is considered the most beautiful to explore?

Many consider the island’s natural wonders like El Yunque National Forest and the Culebra Island to be the most beautiful areas in Puerto Rico. The scenic landscapes and pristine beaches make them a must-visit.

For tourists looking to swim, are the beaches in Puerto Rico warm enough in December?

Yes, the beaches in Puerto Rico are warm enough for swimming in December. The sea temperature is comfortable, complementing the warm weather, allowing visitors to enjoy water activities throughout the month.

What are some recommended places to stay when visiting Puerto Rico over the December holidays?

During the December holidays, I recommend staying at resorts or boutique hotels in San Juan for easy access to events and festivities. Or consider coastal towns like Rincón or Dorado for a more relaxed experience.

Can visitors experience unique holiday festivities in Puerto Rico over the Christmas season?

Visitors can indeed experience unique holiday festivities, such as parrandas, which are Puerto Rican Christmas caroling parties and the traditional holiday feast including lechón asado (roast pork). The local festivities offer a rich cultural immersion.

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