Puerto Rico Holidays and events
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date but are based on the time of Easter. Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Lent, which lasts 46 days, begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Holy Saturday. Pentecost is 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints’ Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st. On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|6th January||Holy Three Kings|
|10. January||Birthday of Eugenio Maria de Hostos|
|January 17||Martin Luther King Day|
|3rd Monday in February||President Washington and Lincoln Day|
|March 22||Day of the Abolition of Slavery|
|April 15||Luis Muñoz Rivera’s birthday|
|Last Monday in May||Remembrance day for the war victims|
|July 4||USA Independence Day|
|15th of July||Luis Muñoz Rivera’s birthday|
|July 25||Constitution Day|
|July 27||José Celso Barbosa is born|
|1st Monday in September||Labor Day|
|2nd Monday in October||Columbus day|
|November 11||Veterans Day|
|November 19||Day of discovery of Puerto Rico|
|4th Thursday in November||Thanksgiving|
The following events take place in Puerto Rico every year:
Street festival in honor of Saint Sebastian in San Juan
Carnival in Ponce
Heineken Jazz Festival in San Juan
International Salsa Congress in San Juan
Festival of the Innocents in Hatillo (This impressive mask festival refers to the biblical story in which Herod had the newborn Jewish boys murdered.
There are also numerous carnival and music festivals and other events throughout the year.
The Fiestas Patronales (celebrations in honor of the patron saint) with processions, fairs, music, dance and competitions that last up to 10 days are celebrated throughout the year in many localities.
The San Blas de Illescas marathon is held in Coamo in February. The Hyatt Senior Tour Championship is held annually at the Hyatt Dorado Beach golf course. And the Copa del Palmas regatta is held every year in Palmas del Mar.
Puerto Rico: climate
Puerto Rico has a tropical climate all year round with hot temperatures, and it is a little cooler at higher altitudes. Precipitation often falls on the north coast and in the highlands, while the south is relatively dry. June to November is hurricane season, and tornadoes sometimes form in the region.
The idea of what is meant by a particularly favorable travel climate depends on various factors. Pure cultural travelers certainly see the climate differently than people planning a beach holiday. Health status and age can also play a role in the experience of the climate. People who like to enjoy a lot of sun and for whom higher temperatures do not cause any complaints are recommended for a stay in Puerto Rico all year round – especially on the coast.
However, people who prefer a more moderate climate and lower temperatures should better avoid a stay in Puerto Rico.
The following table shows climate data for Puerto Rico. It should be noted that the climatic conditions in different regions of the country can differ from each other and therefore also from the values shown. In addition, the monthly temperature averages have little informative value with regard to the minimum or maximum temperatures. It is possible that at average temperatures of around 20 ° C maximum values of 30 °C or more occur. The table therefore only provides a general overview of the climatic conditions in.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
La Fortaleza Fortress and Old San Juan
The island of Puerto Rico, east of the Dominican Republic, has created a military facility in San Juan in the Caribbean that is hard to find again. The city was founded by the Spanish in America in 1521. The city was expanded into the aforementioned fortress in the 15th to 19th centuries as a base for the military on the European model. Every ship that came from eastern waters had to make a stop here, otherwise it would not have been possible to continue. For centuries, the island was home to the French, English, Dutch and Spanish who claimed ownership. The complex is widely ramified, there are ramparts, several fortresses, walls and porches. In 1898, when the Spanish-American War ended, the island was handed over to the United States without a fight. For almost 3 centuries people tried to make the island impregnable with this fortress. The fortress “El Morro” is located at the tip of the island on a rock and juts out into the sea, the walls are over 40 m high. La Fortaleza served as the barracks, prison and residence of the governor. You can admire powder magazines, cannons and all other defense installations.
La Fortaleza fortress and Old San Juan in Puerto were inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1983. See also USA
Cities and towns
San Juan, the capital and largest city of the country, was founded by the Spanish in 1521. The city has around 440,000 residents – in the metropolitan region even 2.5 million. The city is located in the north on the coast of the island.
The city wall, built around 1630, follows the contours of the peninsula and offers a wonderful view.
In the old town there are several restored colonial buildings from the 16th and 17th centuries, the “Casa Blanca” (home of Ponce de León) from 1523, “La Fortaleza” from 1541 (today’s governor’s residence) and the Alcaldia (town hall), which was built between 1604 and 1789, as well as numerous interesting museums.
In Old San Juan, as in other early colonial cities, most of the streets are arranged at right angles. The streets are very narrow and fully parked. There are two free TrollyBuses for the tourists. It takes an hour from Fort Felipe del Morro to the port.
For the tourists the most important streets are the Fortaleza as a shopping street, Santo Christo to the cathedral and further to the Quincentenial Plaza and Fort Felipe del Moro. Some streets of the old town still have the blue cobblestone pavement
throughout. Las Monjas street, paved with the blue cobblestone pavement, leads from the original city gate on the west bank directly to the cathedral.
Ponce is located on the south side of the island on the Caribbean and is the second largest city after San Juan with around 152,000. The historic district consists of buildings whose architectural style is called Ponce Creol and Art Deco. Most of the houses were built between 1890 and the 30s of the 20th century and were restored in the 90s.
The small town, founded in 1512, was included in the US National Register of Historic Places, just like San Juan, thanks to its diverse architecture.
Guayama has existed since 1736 and derives its name from the Taino-Guamani word (our way). The city has around 45,000 residents and is located in the south of the island on the Caribbean. Noteworthy is the “Iglesia San Antonio de Padua” church located in the central square. The church is the only one in Puerto Rico in a neo-romantic style.
Also worth mentioning is the “Museo Casa Cautiño”, which was built in 1887 as the home of Don Genaro Cautiño’s family. During the years when the building belonged to the Cautiño family, an extensive art collection was created. In 1987 the building was renovated and converted into a museum renovated the house and converted it into a museum. Other important residents of the city are the poet Luis Pales Matos and the composer Tite Curet Alonso.
Fountain in Paseo de la Princesa
Fountain is at the end of the boulevard Paseo de la Princesa along the south city walls. It shows allegorical figures that represent the ethnic group of Puerto Rico, the Spaniards, the indigenous peoples and the Africans who came to the island as slaves, surrounded by dolphins as a symbol of attachment to the sea.
Old sugar mill and rum museum in Ponce
The sugar mill and the rum museum should definitely be visited. But be careful: the rum has it all.
Handicraft Center in the old Guayama Railway Station
Casa del Libro in San Juan
Old books and manuscripts are exhibited here
Museum of Art and History in San Juan
The collection was housed in the market building erected in 1855, in the courtyard of which concerts are often held.
Museo Casa Cautiño in Guayama
The “Museo Casa Cautiño”, which was built in 1887 as the residence of the family of Don Genaro Cautiño, is remarkable. During the years when the building belonged to the Cautiño family, an extensive art collection was created. In 1987 the building was renovated and turned into a museum.
Museum of Ethnology in San Juan
Museum of Latin American Graphics in San Juan
Museum of Colonial Architecture in San Juan
The exhibition, like the country’s family museum, is located in the historic building “Casa del Callejon”.
Art Museum in Ponce
Here you will find classical and modern paintings and sculptures as well as an important collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings from the 19th century.
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico
This art museum in San Juan has a fairly low price of $ 6 for its exhibits.
Opera and theater
Del Parque Theater
This San Juan theater offers great performances from ballet to comedy to classical drama.
Teatro la Perla
This Ponce theater is set in a 19th-century neoclassical building.
This San Juan opera house is U-shaped and was built in 1824.
The construction of this theater was completed in 1909.
Churches and monasteries
San Juan Cathedral
The church was built around 1520 and restored in 1977.
Dominican monastery in San Juan
The building erected in 1523 now houses the country’s cultural institute.
San Jose Church of San Juan
Porta Coeli Cathedral in San Germán
The church, built under the Spanish in 1606, is one of the oldest in Latin America
Fortresses and forts
El Morro in San Juan
The Spanish fortress was built on a rock in the middle of the 16th century.
Fort San Cristobal in San Juan
The fort was built in 1771
La Fortaleza Fortress and Old San Juan
For more information, see UNESCO World Heritage Sites above
Old places of worship
Indian Ceremonial Park in Ponc
Tibes Indian Ceremonial Center near Ponce
In addition to an old tomb of the Taínos, a village of this Indian people has been reconstructed and a small museum has been built.
Caguana Indian Ceremonial Park south of Arecibo
This former cult site of the Taíno Indians is around 800 years old.
The second largest radio telescope in the world is located near Arecibo. It was built between 1960 and 1963 with a parabolic antenna in the form of a non-swiveling spherical reflector with a diameter of 305 m, which was set into a natural valley. Here not only unusually precise observations of celestial objects can be carried out, but it is also possible to send signals e.g. B. to send out for radar observations. The system also appears in the movie “Contact” with Jodie Foster and the James Bond film “Golden Eye” with Pierce Brosnan.
Underwater educational trail on the island of Caja de Muertos (Sarginsel)
The approx. 300 m long diving educational trail, located in a nature reserve, is provided with display boards made of glass and weighted with concrete.
University of Puerto Rico
The University of Puerto Rico was established in 1903, making it the oldest and largest university in Puerto Rico. About 65,000 students are currently studying at this university. The university has 11 campuses spread across the country.
Mayagüez Tropical Agricultural Research Station
This botanical research station at the University of Puerto Rico is open to visitors on some days.
Botanical Garden of San Juan
This tranquil garden in the capital San Juan extends over an area of around 30 hectares = 300,000 m² in the Rio Piedras district – south of the bank mile at the University of Puerto Rico. Friends of orchids get their money’s worth here, the garden management speaks of around. 30,000 flowers, which is not the same as 30,000 different plants. You should plan at least two hours for a tour. However, much longer for an intensive tour.
El Yunque rain forest area in the Sierra Luquillo
The 113 km² national park with its waterfalls and dense tropical vegetation is home to over 240 tree species, around 150 different ferns and 50 species of orchids. There is also a bird sanctuary in the Luquillo Mountains. Colorful parrots and the little tree frog El Coqui live here.
“Glowing” bays at Vieques and La Parguera
Here you can see a fluorescent sea glow in the dark, which causes billions of microscopic creatures. While there are a few other places on the planet where bioluminescence (biological light) occurs, nowhere is it permanent (every night) and as strong as at Mosquito Bay in Vieques.
Camuy Caves near Arecibo
The third largest underground river system in the world was created here over the course of several million years. In the so-called “Cathedral Cave” there are paintings and former places of worship of the Taíno Indians.
Off the west coast of Puerto Rico there is a very varied flora and fauna with entire reef plateaus full of giant sponges and numerous caves. From the Caja de Muertos (coffin island) dives on extremely steep rock faces can be undertaken (“The Wall” in front of Parguera). The Culebrita Reef off Culebra, east of Puerto Rico, has beautiful coral blocks with colorful fish and also a shipwreck.
National Wildlife Sanctuary Culebra
The park covers 0.69 km² of the island of Culebra and 23 other islands and rock formations and was founded in 1909 by the American President Roosevelt. However, only two areas are accessible to tourists.
On the 57 km² island, you can admire large iguanas, numerous species of birds and monstrous trees. Here, too, the diving grounds are exceptional.
Vieques National Wildlife Refuge
This nature reserve is located on the 135 km² island of Vieques. The east of the island was used as a military training area from 1941 to 2003 and was therefore a restricted area during this time.
The region was made usable again for tourism at great expense after the withdrawal of the military
. Here, visitors will find wonderful bays and beaches. There are also good opportunities for snorkeling and fishing. The unique vegetation and the numerous species of birds are pure joy for every nature lover. Worth mentioning are Playa Caracas (Red Beach) and Playa La Chiva (Blue Beach)
Boquerón Nature Reserve
The small fishing village Boquerón is located in the southwest of Puerto Rico. The visitor will still find a region spared from mass tourism with restaurants in wooden huts and open-air snack bars. On the weekends, visitors can take part in the festive life of Puerto Ricans.
Nearby is the fantastic Balneario de Boquerón beach – which some consider to be one of the most beautiful on the island.
Here you will find a bicycle rental and basketball court as well as tables for picnics. Sports fans can go kite surfing, snorkeling or diving here. Other beaches in Boquerón are the Playas Buyé, where you can see many different species of birds, or El Combate.
Sports boaters will find an attractive marina here.
In the neighboring Refugio de Aves de Boquerón you can encounter numerous water birds and – with a little luck – manatees