Puerto Rico is a small Caribbean island nation with a really cool capital called San Juan, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture. And it has great beaches! Find out why Puerto Rico in November is an excellent destination before the holiday season sets in!
Puerto Rico is a so-called unincorporated territory of the United States and is the home of an exotic mix of traditional Spanish and Caribbean cultures. This also means that US citizens can travel here without a passport!
Despite its nearness to the equator, visiting Puerto Rico in November has many advantages. I just visited for a month in August 2023, and that was LOVELY, but also really hot (and with some mosquitos).
Read on to learn more about what makes the second last month of the year perfect for a Puerto Rican getaway!
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Fall Travel Delights: Exploring Puerto Rico In November
- The mild temperatures! While average temperatures remain relatively stable around the island throughout the year, November is an especially cool and pleasant time to visit (because summers can get excruciatingly hot). November in Puerto Rico is still borderline shoulder season, and the average maximum temperature highs range from 80 degrees Fahrenheit (26.6°C) in San Juan to 86°F (30°C) in Fajardo.
- Much smaller crowds! During the height of summer, Puerto Rico’s beaches and attractions can get crowded with tourists. But in November, expect fewer visitors and more open spaces to explore.
- Lower prices! With fewer people visiting, you’ll also be able to find great deals on airfare and accommodations throughout the island.
- Holiday Festivities! November is the start of Puerto Rico’s holiday season—towns and cities across the island host special celebrations, parades, processions, and lots more fun stuff.
- Seasonal wildlife encounters of a lifetime! November is the first month the humpback whales return to these waters, and you can also experience the incredible bioluminescent water where plankton glow in the dark!
- World Class Golfing! Outside Isabela on the southeastern corner of Puerto Rico, you find Royal Isabela, famous for its incredible, luxurious hotel facilities and the fabulous location of its golf course. And there are lots of other great golfing paradises as well.
Read more about each point and some extra useful information for your Puerto Rico holiday below!
Map Of Puerto Rico
Perfect Friendly Weather Conditions
In November, temperatures in Puerto Rico are mild and pleasant.
Highs usually reach a comfortable 80-87°F (27-30°C), with low humidity and gentle breezes that keep the air feeling fresh.
So you will not evaporate in the heat and humidity, which is super pleasant!
November is the first month outside of the rainy season, which is also mainly the low season. This is when hurricanes and tropical storms are (mainly) a thing of the past, and afternoon rain showers are fewer and further between.
That makes it ideal for outdoor exploring and activities like sunbathing on the beach or heading off on an expedition to El Yunque National Forest, and scuba diving is also great.
Fewer Holiday Crowds
Puerto Rico is a popular destination, especially in the period from December to April, which is the dry season and peak tourist season.
If you plan your trip for November, you can bask freely in the beauty of Puerto Rico while avoiding the crowds.
Fewer people mean more time to explore attractions, beaches, local neighborhoods, and off-beaten tracks. Plus, fewer tourists mean lower prices for accommodation and activities.
Friendly Off-Season Prices
November is considered the “off-season” for travel to Puerto Rico.
This means prices drop significantly compared to peak months like July and August, and even December.
You can expect to find lower rates on airfare, accommodation, car rental, and more – so it’s a great time to save money and enjoy all the delights of Puerto Rico.
Holiday Celebration Preparations
Puerto Ricans love to celebrate, and November is no exception, effectively helped by holiday celebrations on the island that start slowly in the month of November.
On November 19th, the island celebrates its patron saint, Virgen de la Providencia, with parades, street parties, live music, and lots of delicious food.
This celebration is over 400 years old, as it started in 1611 when a cleric succeeded in securing the founding of the church by prayer. The saying is that “God helps those that help themselves”; in other words, God will help you if you help yourself first!
November is an excellent time to experience this unique part of Puerto Rican culture and create unforgettable memories.
Incredible Wildlife Encounters
November is a great time to visit Puerto Rico for wildlife watching – particularly if you’re interested in birds!
During the fall months, many migratory species flock to the island, so it’s the best month with the opportunity to catch a glimpse of some quite rare and beautiful creatures.
Keep an eye out for endemic species like the Puerto Rican Amazon parrot or the yellow-shouldered blackbird.
November is also ideal for wildlife enthusiasts who want to see whales, sea turtles, and bioluminescent organisms.
The Humpback Whale season starts from November until April, and you can watch these majestic creatures play and feed in their natural habitat.
You can also witness the magic of bioluminescent bays and glow-in-the-dark plankton that light up the water!
Los Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve and the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge are excellent places to explore sea turtles.
World Class Golfing In Puerto Rico
The rather small territory of Puerto Rico has more than a staggering 30 golf courses scattered around the island! Making it an excellent destination for golf lovers of the world, who also love the Caribbean climate.
Just around one and a half hours east of the capital, San Juan, on the north coast of Puerto Rico, in Isabela village, is Royal Isabela.
This closed resort area only accepts guests and members to enter its grounds. Once inside, you can enjoy luxurious amenities and an unsurpassed location “on top of” the Atlantic Sea!
This high-rated golf course has top-notch reviews from happy golfers, with an incredible location where you have infinite views of the Atlantic while swinging your clubs around the course.
At the end of the day, you can retreat to your suite at the Royal Isabela Hotel, which offers top amenities and luxurious pampering surroundings for when you have had enough of the green.
In addition to this incredible golf resort situated high above the Atlantic.
Here are some of the other top-rated golf resorts and courses in Puerto Rico you want to check out!
Puerto Rico Adventures Year Round
In addition to the things to do in Puerto Rico that are unique to November, you can still enjoy all the fun, interesting, and tasty things on the island that you find here all year round.
Get your travel itinerary ready to take some more notes; here are even more cool things to experience in Puerto Rico!
Puerto Rican Cuisine
Puerto Rican cuisine is a particular blend of Spanish, African, and Caribbean flavors with distinct dishes, spices, and ingredients that are now unique to Puerto Rico.
November is the preparation month for the holiday season, and with it comes Puerto Rico’s famous Christmas dishes!
Try treats like lechón (roast pig), arroz con gandules (rice with peas), pasteles (meat pies made of plantain), and coquito (Puerto Rican eggnog).
If you’re a foodie, visiting in November is the perfect time to indulge in a food adventure and learn how to cook authentic Puerto Rican cuisine!
Where To Go In Puerto Rico November
Given Puerto Rico’s diversity of landscapes and activities (despite its modest size), there are so many cool places to visit during your stay!
Here are some highlights:
- San Juan: Puerto Rico’s vibrant capital city offers a mix of old and modern attractions, from centuries-old fortresses to historic old San Juan to modern malls and incredible city beaches.
- Rincón: Head to the west coast for some surf and sand. This town is often referred to as the surfing capital of Puerto Rico, and the beaches in this town are world-famous!
- Ponce is the second largest city in Puerto Rico, situated on the southern coastline with around 135.000 inhabitants. Known as the Pearl of the South, it is famous for its historical and cultural attractions.
- Isabela is a quiet village in the northeastern corner of Puerto Rico, with fierce waves hitting its beautiful beaches. This village is perfect for travelers who want a quiet holiday, rent a holiday home close to the beach, or for those that love golfing!
- El Yunque National Forest: This lush rainforest is home to waterfalls, rare wildlife, and stunning views situated only a short drive outside the capital
- Vieques Island! This island off the coast of Puerto Rico is known for its pristine beaches, kayaking tours, and starry night skies. It’s also famous for boat tours of Bioluminescent Bay (or Mosquito Bay), where tiny microorganisms give the water a blue-green glow in the dark when disturbed by swimmers!
Planning Your Puerto Rican Getaway
Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, November is a really good time to visit Puerto Rico.
But as always, a bit of planning is always smart to make sure you create the itinerary that is perfect for just you!
Be sure to check out all the amazing activities Puerto Rico offers before you get here, from ziplining through the rainforest to beach hopping in Vieques.
Here are some of the best-rated tours in Puerto Rico that will make your holiday a trip of a lifetime!
With plenty of things to do and see, you’ll be sure to have an unforgettable getaway!
And don’t forget the delicious cuisine and drinks you’ll find everywhere, from San Juan’s trendy restaurants to quaint roadside stands.
Useful Tips For Travelers To Puerto Rico
When planning a trip to Puerto Rico in November, there are a few tips that can help make your holiday fuzz-free and
You might want to avoid traveling to Puerto Rico during the peak hurricane season, which runs from around June to the beginning of October.
The risk of traveling exactly when a hurricane hits is really very small, just to state that. You will most likely have a wonderful (and cheaper) time in August, September and October as well.
If you decide to travel during this period, it is important to check that your travel insurance covers any incidents caused by a hurricane so you don’t end up with lots of unexpected expenses if this should happen.
It’s important to pack for both warm and slightly cooler temperatures, as the weather can vary throughout the day. Although it is not cold, you might need an extra jacket in the evening when the warm temperatures might cede a little!
Lastly, be sure to bring any necessary medications you normally or irregularly use, as well as bug repellents (there are mosquitos!), in case of unexpected issues.
What to Pack for Puerto Rico
Be sure to bring along the following items when traveling to Puerto Rico in November:
- Lightweight clothing: You’ll want to stay cool and comfortable in the mild temperatures.
- Rain gear: Since November can still have some rainy weather conditions in Puerto Rico, it is smart to be prepared and bring a lightweight jacket or umbrella for potential rainy days.
- Hiking shoes: Puerto Rico has plenty of trails for exploring its forests and mountains, so make sure you have a good pair of hiking shoes!
- Swimwear! There are plenty of beaches to enjoy, even though the water temperatures are not as hot as in the summer months!
- A Spanish phrase book or online translator app! While English is widely spoken in Puerto Rico, it doesn’t hurt to brush up on your Spanish, if only just for fun!
- Remember sunscreen and aftersun, which is equally important in November as the rest of the year!
Festivals In Puerto Rico In November
November is the month to go if you want to experience Puerto Rico’s vibrant cultural heritage, with festivals, events, and parades held throughout the island. Two of the most famous ones are the San Sebastian Street Festival, and spring break in Puerto Rico is also popular!
Other popular key events are the National Indigenous Festival, Ponce International Marathon, Saborea Food Festival, and the Fiesta de Santo Cristo de la Salud.
National Indigenous Festival
This festival celebrates Puerto Rico’s indigenous roots and the influence of Taíno culture and traditions.
The town of Jayuya was named after one of the big caciques, or chiefs, that lived on the Island when the Spanish arrived in the 1500s and where Taíno hieroglyphs were found carved into a giant boulder.
The Taínos were eradicated by the Spanish, but their influence is still present in Puerto Rican culture.
Jayuya also contains the highest peak in Puerto Rico, some of the best coffee plantations on the Island, a moonshine distillery, and a hot air balloon.
Getting there is tricky, but worth the trip!
Ponce International Marathon
With music, art, dance, food, and drinks, these events are an excellent way to experience local customs, traditions, and cuisines.
A Little More About Puerto Rico Weather In November
November falls just outside of the hurricane season in Puerto Rico.
In this first month in the Caribbean dry season, which is also part of the high season with the best weather when the average temperature is neither too hot nor too chilly. Making the winter months a perfect time to soak up the sun on the beaches or indulge in outdoor activities.
In November, the weather starts to get slightly colder in Puerto Rico after the hot and humid summer months, and hurricane season.
During the day, it is around 30°C (86°F), which has wonderful warm weather for taking a leisurely stroll around San Juan, hiking, and dipping your feet in the ocean.
There are 17 days of rain on average in November, but the downpours are rather short, sometimes just half an hour during the afternoon. Mainly you will have good weather!
You can also enjoy the cooler temperatures at higher elevations while exploring mountain trails, waterfalls, and forests on the island, which you should!
Puerto Rico: The Island Of Enchantment
Hopefully, by now, you are ready to explore all that Puerto Rico has to offer in November! If you’re looking for a tropical getaway this month, Puerto Rico is an ideal destination.
With its near-perfect weather, incredible wildlife experiences, friendly prices, and unique holiday celebrations, November is the ideal time to visit this beautiful Caribbean island.
This island paradise is a hotspot for tourists all year round. However, with the tropical breezes, mild weather, and festive atmosphere, November is arguably a really great time to visit Puerto Rico.
Visiting during the off-season means you can get the most out of your trip at a great price!
Wrap-Up Puerto Rico In November
In conclusion, November is a perfect time to visit Puerto Rico!
With fewer crowds, mild sunny weather, lower prices, and vibrant festivals, you will definitely have an unforgettable trip.
You can enjoy the island’s nature, festive atmosphere, and rich local culture without breaking the bank. So pack your bags and get ready to experience all the delights that Puerto Rico has to offer!
Be sure to pack sunscreen (it is still the Caribbean Sea), a camera, and an adventurous spirit, and enjoy the delights of Puerto Rico in tranquility before the holiday season.
Puerto Rico is waiting for you!
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