Puerto Rico – Outdoor Celebrations and Festivals Every Traveler Needs To Know About
What to Do in Puerto Rico? Check Out These Amazing Outdoor Celebrations and Festivals
Get Off The Resort! 7 Outdoor Celebrations You Can Enjoy in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico celebrates its culture, food and music through a variety of celebrations and events each year. With many taking place in outdoor venues and spaces, it’s important to dress accordingly, follow safe traveler tips and remember to spray yourself with bug repellent regularly.
Events abound year-round for those looking to explore culture, food and history outside of the beach and city activities. Here are some of our favorites:
Three Kings Day celebrations
Celebration for this annual holiday happens everywhere in Puerto Rico. Festivals celebrate the three wise men who visited baby Jesus. Expect parades, music and dancing as this is often a livelier time to celebrate.
San Sebastián Street Festival
If you can tear yourself away from your sunning, boating, fishing, surfing, whale-watching and other Puerto Rico adventures at the end of January, partake in the holiday season’s finale: the San Sebastián Street Festival. Held on the third weekend of January, the entire San Sebastián Street is closed for the Puerto Rican Mardi Gras party. This popular event features live music and parades that draw 250,000 people.
Colorful floats, dancing and street parties takeover the city of Ponce for the Carnival celebration. Get your camera ready as you’ll want to Snap, Instagram and share pictures and video of the brightly colored horned masks worn by masqueraders.
Puerto Rico Open
Golf continues to be a popular activity in Puerto Rico with more than 20 golf courses on the island. In March, the PGA returns to Puerto Rico for the Puerto Rico Open where world class golf pros and fans enjoy the warm weather and sea breeze.
Sugar Harvest Festival
To celebrate the end of the sugar harvest season, residents of San German take to the streets with live music, crafts and food in late April.
Luquillo Beach Jazz Festival
At the end of May, Luquillo Square becomes the jazz center in Puerto Rico. Free to the public, the event celebrates jazz with live performances, activities and local cuisine.
Guanica Crab Festival
Located on the other side of the island, the Land Crab Festival occurs every June in Guanica. This three day festival features local dishes made with land crabs in addition to local artisan crafts, live music and activities for kids.
4th of July Celebration
Celebrate the 4th of July in Old San Juan around the Plaza del Quinto Centario for fireworks, music and food. Be sure to check local hotels as they also host festive celebrations for their guests.
International Billfish Tournament
Hosted in San Juan, the Billfish tournament is one of the premier game-fishing tournaments in the world. One of the biggest catches to date was a 1,086 lb. blue marlin in 2000. But it’s not all for sport, Puerto Rico is a leader in blue marlin preservation and research.
National Public Lands Day
Visit Puerto Rico’s oldest forts El Morro and Fort San Cristobal in Old San Juan for free in late September as the U.S. and Puerto Rico celebrates national parks.
National Plantain Festival
From Mofongo to Postelón, plantains are mashed and fried in many Puerto Rican dishes. Often a popular and important ingredient, travelers can celebrate their love of plantains in a local town called Corozal. Expect to find music, dancing and of course, plantain dishes!
Puerto Rico Discovery Day
November 19 marks a momentous day that dates back to 1493 when Christopher Columbus arrived in Puerto Rico on his second voyage.
Holidays in the Caribbean
The first custom you’re bound to encounter is parrandas, an island take on caroling that surely sets the season’s tone. In residential areas, groups of friends go from house to house singing songs while playing traditional instruments like maracas, cuatros (like a guitar), congas and pleneras (similar to a tambourine). The cool temperatures found during the Caribbean nights, averaging between the mid 70’s in the coast and mid 60’s in the mountains make the evening the perfect time to go out and enjoy an outdoor gathering full of local food, music and dancing. Some hotels even hold their own parranda
Make sure you get to sample a Puerto Rican feast on Christmas Eve. Delve into local flavors like lechón asado, which is roasted pork, pollo guisado (chicken stew with potatoes and green olives) and tostones (chips made of smashed green plantains). A signature item is pasteles, a Puerto Rican holiday favorite that consists of mashed green bananas stuffed with a meat filling and wrapped in a banana leaves, then boiled. Visitors should also try coquito, a rum and coconut-based drink that is similar to eggnog, – delicious and dangerous, depending on the family bartender.