Things To Do

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Annual Festivals in Puerto Rico

There is a festival or celebration around the Island almost every weekend. Almost every weekend, there is a festival or a celebration around the Island. These are some of the biggest and most popular. Festivals in Puerto Rico are colorful and loud: live bands play, amusement park rides twirl, parades take over streets, and, of course, fried foods are enjoyed. Each festival is rooted in tradition, often Catholic in origin, starting mostly mid-week and lasting through the weekend. Some events are held in the San Juan metro area, while others will require a road trip to explore more Puerto Rico. Going to a Puerto Rican festival is a great way to experience local culture while having a great time.]

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Noche de San Juan - June 23rd

San Juan Saint John's Eve, locally known as Noche de San Juan, is an unofficial celebration in the capital of Puerto Rico that celebrates the nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Hundreds of people crowd the beaches so that at midnight they can jump backwards into the ocean seven times for good luck. Some hotels and bars also throw parties in honor of Noche de San Juan.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián - Third weekend of January – Old San Juan

One of the most anticipated parties of the year and the unofficial close of the holiday season, the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián takes over Old San Juan from Wednesday evening until Sunday afternoon. During the day, plazas are filled to the brim with artists and artisans; some have stages for live music, dance, and circus performances. In the evening, the party ignites, and the street fills with people and music.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Festival de la Novilla Third weekend of January – San Sebastián

A novilla is a heifer, and it is the focus of a popular celebration in San Sebastián, a rural town on the west side of the Island. Celebrated on Sunday, live bands perform everything from folk music to salsa, artisans, and fried food vendors occupy the town square, and amusement park rides are set up. A cow is decked out in a crown of flowers and leads a parade through the town where scenes of country life are depicted on elaborate floats. The Festival de la Novilla closes with a concert of traditional music.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

La Campechada

La Campechada brings together artists, performers, musicians, actors, puppeteers, and others with the aim of educating the public about Puerto Rican art and culture. Every year, the festival is dedicated to a prominent Puerto Rican artist and that becomes the inspiration for many of the new works presented during the festivities. There is an Artisan Fair, a Book Fair, an Art Fair, guided walks, conferences, workshops, live drawing, theatrical performances, and more. The city hosting the event changes each year.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Festival de la Piña Paradisíaca June 7th to 9th – La Parguera, Lajas

The "Pineapple Festival" is celebrated every year in La Parguera, an oceanfront community in the southern town of Lajas. The festival features vendors selling locally grown pineapples and dozens of local agricultural products and fried foods while local bands liven up the evening. La Parguera is packed with restaurants and bars as well as small hotels, charter boat rentals, and even a bioluminescent bay. During the celebration there is a 5K race with an impressive view of the marina and mangrove coves that make La Parguera a favorite getaway for both locals and tourists.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Festival de Santiago Apóstol Last weekend of July – Loíza

In Loíza, there is another style of vejigante, the ones whose masks are made from coconut and drift wood. During the Festival of Saint James, the Apostle, in Spanish Santiago Apóstol, there is a lively parade through the town where the vejigantes and the Spanish knights do battle, representing the struggle between the forces of good and evil. Bomba music, a traditional folk music with a distinctive African influence, thumps out while dancers use their colorful skirts to create a dialogue with the drummers, and the musicians respond to the dancers rather than the other way around.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Festival de las Máscaras de Hatillo December 28

This festival commemorates the Día de los Santos Inocentes, the Puerto Rican version of April's Fools. In the town of Hatillo, it's called the Festival of Masks and features people dressing up in colorful and elaborate costumes for a parade with equally outlandish floats crossing through the town.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

New Year's Eve December 31st – all over the island

Enjoy the end of the year celebration at one of San Juan's gorgeous hotels, dinner overlooking the ocean followed by an open bar and fireworks at midnight. Many restaurants also offer special menus for that night and drink specials.