You are likely heading to Puerto Rico to chase the sun, feel warm, and enjoy the tropical weather. However, as Puerto Rico has more to offer than just sun and swimming, it's a good idea to research what to wear.
Your packing list will, of course, feature the obvious such as a camera, sunscreen, a bathing suit, and a toothbrush but we've broken it down for you below. Continue reading to find out what to wear in Puerto Rico.
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Here's what we're covering:
What to Wear in Puerto Rico Based on the Weather
No doubt you have checked all the weather guides for Puerto Rico, and now you are checking the forecast. Do not be disheartened if you see rain forecast daily – it is always raining somewhere on the island. Head to sites like The National Weather Service or Wunderground for location-specific information.
While there is no advice for what you should wear in general, it will depend on what you are planning for the day. If you are planning on booking tours or day trips, you might want to pack with a “be prepared for anything” mindset. Consider organizing your Puerto Rico packing list like this:
For the beach
It may be that you planned to stay on the beach all day and not move except from the sand to the water. However, it pays to be prepared, especially if you want to head to a cafe to escape the sun.
For women, a stylish cover-up is great to have with you on your beach days – perfect for those cafe pop-ins.
Men should always have a shirt with them in case of the “no shirt, no service” rule that some venues impose.
For hiking and nature walks
When hiking throughout Puerto Rico, you will feel the heat and work up a sweat. Shorts would be the ideal wardrobe option for both men and women. We'd suggest that you choose breathable fabrics like linen and cotton. For your shirt, special moisture-absorbing singlets and tops are designed for hiking.
For water experiences
Reef or water shoes should be high on your list when you are deciding what to wear in Puerto Rico. Perfect for heading to places like El Yunque National Forest, they are practical and comfortable. Unlike other shoes, they are designed to get wet and most of all, protect your feet from sharp rocks.
We highly recommend the Keen Newport H2 sandals that are great in the water and out.
For going to bars and restaurants
In the major cities, like San Juan, you may find that there are restrictions around what you can wear to certain bars or clubs. Be sure you are prepared and add some nicer clothes to your packing list.
While women can dress up a flowy dress with accessories, ensure you upgrade your flip flops to strappy sandals.
Men should wear a shirt with a collar, linen pants, and closed shoes like espadrilles.
BEFORE YOU CONTINUE
Planning your trip to Puerto Rico and looking for places to stay in San Juan? Learn about the top 3 neighbourhoods and recommendations for where to book.
For cooler weather
Nights can come in cool in the winter months but you'd be surprised to find out that it doesn't get as cold as you think. Even in the winter, the min temperature is 72°F (22°C).
Pack a sarong that can double as a wrap to put around your shoulders at night when you are out. If you are choosing to travel in the potentially stormy months, add a light sweater and long pants.
What to Pack for Puerto Rico
Packing for this vacation goes beyond figuring out what to wear in Puerto Rico. Check out these items below that make all the difference when you travel:
- A quick-dry travel towel for day trips are small and lightweight. They really come in handy when you head out on day trips. They will not take up a lot of room in your day pack and will dry quickly in your hotel room.
- While Puerto Rico has the same drinking water as the United States, bringing a refillable water bottle with filter may come in handy. Tropical storms are known to stir up grime in the water systems. Bringing a bottle with a filter will ensure that the water is safe to drink. These are also great to take on hikes to refill water from nature.
- Some of the most spectacular scenery you will see in Puerto Rico will be under the water. Consider investing in an underwater camera or GoPro to capture what you see below the surface.
- Ensure your checked in baggage is secure with a TSA-approved combination lock. This will allow you peace of mind that your bags will remain secure in the event that TSA is required to open your bag for further inspection.
- If you have gone somewhere and ended up with a dead smartphone, you'll know that it really is quite inconvenient. These days, our cell phones have everything – in addition to allowing you to contact people, they are our maps, our source of music, and even provide us access to our banks. Portable powerbanks are small and lightweight, they won’t take up much room in your day pack. Buying a powerbank could really save you from getting stuck without a phone.
Also consider adding these items to your Puerto Rico Packing List
- Reef friendly sunscreen – There are more and more chemical-free sunscreens available that are a better choice for ocean animals and coral.
- Light and comfortable walking shoes – Having a great pair of walking shoes should be at the top of your packing list. With gorgeous cities to explore, days will call for lots of walking to see the history and culture of this island. Again, Keen Newport H2s are highly recommended.
- Hat and sunglasses – While your soul purpose may be to soak up the sun, basic sun protection should still be worn during the day. For the most cover, Tilley hats are amazing and Maui Jim have the best optics in the industry.
- Mosquito repellent or mosquito repelling wristbands – With so many stunning waters in Puerto Rico, you are bound to get mosquitos. Mosquitoes can carry diseases, so be sure you have repellent or invest in some repellent bands. The most effective repellent is by Repel or you can go deet-free.
- Poncho – Even if you are not traveling to Puerto Rico in the traditional rainy season, there is always a chance you will experience some random island rain. Temperatures will remain warm, so a plastic poncho will do to keep you dry. Best of all, they are small enough so you can keep it in your day pack, so it will be easy to have something on you to keep you out of the rain.
If you do happen to forget an item from your packing list, do not worry. Puerto Rico has many of the same stores that the US has, especially in San Juan.
As long as you have all the essentials, there is no need to worry about what to wear in Puerto Rico. Be comfortable, play with color, and most of all, have fun!
Frequently Asked Questions
In the winter, the lowest temperature is 72°F (22°C) so it remains quite comfortable.
Even in the hottest summers, the temperatures don't get as hot as you think. The max temperature is usually 89°F (32°C).
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