Top 15 Festivals In Puerto Rico

festivals in puerto rico
| 7 min read

Puerto Rico is made of an extensive group of beautiful islands. Its main island is the Greater Antilles while there are several other tiny islands in the neighborhood. The country is truly a melting pot of rich and diverse cultures starting from the South Americans to Europeans and from North Americans to Africans. This island nation today has a majority of Dominicans and Cubans who know how to celebrate life in a carefree manner. If you are planning to visit this country soon, you will be glad to know that the tiny nation celebrates a host of events and festivals that are vibrant and happening. There are also plenty of best resorts and vacation rentals to choose from during your trip. Want to experience these celebrations in Puerto Rico that range from music and dance festivals to art and cultural festivals and sporting events? Continue reading to learn about the top festivals in Puerto Rico.

1. Epiphany (Día de los Reyes Magos)

Source: Photo by Flickr user Ayuntamiento Roqu... used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Epiphany, known as “Día de los Reyes Magos” in Puerto Rico, is a vibrant and culturally significant holiday celebrated on January 6th each year. This festive occasion commemorates the biblical journey of the Three Wise Men to Bethlehem, bearing gifts for the infant Jesus. In Puerto Rico, it holds special significance as families and communities come together to honor this tradition.

The day typically begins with colorful parades featuring elaborately decorated floats and actors portraying the Three Kings. Many Puerto Ricans also engage in various customs, such as leaving grass or hay under their beds for the Kings’ camels and exchanging gifts.

However, the most cherished tradition in Puerto Rico’s festival is the consumption of “rosca de reyes,” a round sweet bread with hidden figurines and a bean, where the person who finds the figurine is responsible for hosting a celebration on February 2nd, known as “Día de la Candelaria.”

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2. Aibonito Flower Festival

Celebrated in Aibonito, a mountain town in Puerto Rico, the Aibonito Flower Festival is also the biggest flower festival and plant show in the country. This Puerto Rico event celebrates pink asters, white daisies, and mini sunflowers, as well as, a million other plants and flowers that are on sale. It has mouthwatering food kiosks, beautiful floral displays, stalls selling crafts, plants, and live music. It is a huge event in the town and thousands of visitors visit Aibonito to check out the various attractions. Kids also love to come here as there are different types of joy rides for them.

Aibonito Flower Festival

Address: Carr. 722 Km. 6.6 Bo. Rabanal Interior 00705-0644 Aibonito, Puerto Rico

Website: Aibonito Flower Festival

Takes place: June to July

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3. Ponce Carnival

Carnaval de Ponce 2011, C. Marina, Plaza Las Delicias
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Roca Ruiz used under CC BY-SA 2.0

One of the most colorful and vibrant festivals of the island country, the Ponce Carnival is also one of the most ancient ones. Dating back to the 16th century, tourists, as well as, locals love to participate in this festival. The main attractions at the event are the vejigantes that are costumed folklore characters in demon masks. Held in the month of February/March every year, this celebration in Puerto Rico is characterized by masked participants, massive crowds, and funky music. It ends on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. There is a mock funeral procession attended by sham mourners and men dressed in women’s clothes.

Ponce Carnival

Address: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Website: Ponce Carnival

Takes place: February

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4. San Sebastián Street Festival

Interesting lady.....
Source: Photo by user Angel Xavier Vier... used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Also known as the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, the San Sebastián Street Festival is held every year in the month of January. This famous festival in Puerto Rico is a big outdoor party while also being one of San Juan’s biggest annual celebrations. This makes the street on Old San Juan a great place to visit during this time as it is stuffed with alcohol, food, people, stalls, art and crafts shows, and music among others. Huge masks or “Cabezudos” can be seen making their way among the crowd and representing the popular folklore of the country. People join them in singing and dancing performances on the streets.

San Sebastián Street Festival

Address: 00901 San Juan, Puerto Rico

Website: San Sebastián Street Festival

Takes place: January

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5. Puerto Rico Salsa Congress

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Puerto Rico Salsa Congress on Monday, August 2, 2021

This festival celebrates everything that is associated with the immensely popular Salsa dance. It is held in the month of June/July every year and allures international and local Salsa lovers, who attend the celebration for the dancers, to pick up the dance from experienced instructors, while jiving to the foot-tapping music. However, passes and tickets are not quite cheap. So, you have to be serious about this dance form before attending the festival.

Puerto Rico Salsa Congress

Address: Av. Isla Verde, Carolina, 00797, Puerto Rico

Website: Puerto Rico Salsa Congress

Takes place: July

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6. Heineken Jazz Festival [Event has passed]

Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Fest 2007
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jaime Olmo used under CC BY 2.0

Heineken Jazz Festival happens to be one of the biggest Jazz festivals in the Caribbean. Every Jazz lover dreams of attending this annual Jazzfest in Puerto Rico. The ideal venue for this much-loved and immensely popular event and festival in Puerto Rico is Tito Puente, an open-air amphitheater in the district of Hato Rey in San Juan. The concert lasts for four days and brings the Jazz masters and famous Jazz artists together on one platform to celebrate music. Usually, the festival is held in the month of March every year. If you are serious about music, you can also attend one of the jazz workshops.

Heineken Jazz Festival

Address: Tito Puente Amphitheatre, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Website: Heineken Jazz Festival

Takes place: April

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7. Rincón International Film Festival [Event has passed]

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Rincon International Film Festival on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

It is the largest film festival held in Puerto Rico and is a much-awaited annual event in the country. Entertaining movies are screened beachfront and outdoors at the Rincón International Film Festival. These films are typically shown at plush resorts while the finest chefs on this island country prepare exotic dinners for the guests. The organizers usually showcase films that please the crowd in English or ones with subtitles in English. Films in the genre of romance, documentary, horror, or comedy are in demand at this festival.

Rincón International Film Festival

Address: Rincon, PR 00674 Puerto Rico

Website: Rincón International Film Festival

Takes place: April

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8. Saborea Puerto Rico [Previously known as Saborea Sunset Festival] [Last event in 2019]

Everyone will agree that food is the best way to experience and explore a country’s culture and tradition. So, if you are visiting Puerto Rico in the month of April, you should definitely not miss the Saborea Sunset Festival. The festival is truly a culinary extravaganza of both food and a wide variety of wines. Puerto Rico’s Isla Verde Beach is the ideal beach for hosting such a festival. Saborea means “Taste Puerto Rico” and the name is really apt to describe this festival. You will be overwhelmed by the large number of fabulous lifestyle and culinary seminars that are held at this festival.

Saborea Sunset Festival

Address: Public Beach Area, Carolina, Puerto Rico

Website: Saborea Sunset Festival

Takes place: April

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9. Hatillo Mask Festival

Festival De Mascaras de Hatillo, Puerto Rico
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Joe Delgado used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Hatillo is a lovely coastal town located on Puerto Rico’s north coast and borders the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Every year, people in the town participate in celebrating a tradition called the Masks Festival with great enthusiasm. This annual event is celebrated to remember the Holy Innocents or the Christian martyrs. The residents of the town regard it as an extremely special day while men and women belonging to various age groups are seen donning colorful costumes. They are covered completely from head to toe and accompany traditional music. The participants walk through the town’s streets and other neighboring towns including Camuy and Arecibo.

Hatillo Mask Festival

Address: Plaza Pública de Hatillo, Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Website: Hatillo Mask Festival

Takes place: December

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10. Casals Festival

The Casals Festival pays homage to Pablo Casals, the famous cello player and is an event that celebrates classical music. The celebration of this festival began in 1956 with an aim to promote tourism in the country. This premier music event continues today even after the musician is no more. As the years passed, the event has attracted some of the most famous artists in the industry. The festival continues for many weeks and is held annually in the San Juan Performing Arts Center.

Casals Festival

Address: Centro Gubernamental Roberto Sánchez Vilella (Minillas), Avenida José de Diego, San Juan, 00907, Puerto Rico

Website: Casals Festival

Takes place: Usually held February to March

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11. Coffee Harvest Festival [Last event in 2019]

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Puerto Rico’s Coffee Harvest Festival is also referred to as The Marico Coffee Festival and lasts for three days. It is one of the most popular festivals in the country and will give you a chance to savor a cup of delicious local coffee or ‘Corto’ with cinnamon while enjoying the mesmerizing vistas of the Caribbean. The food available at the festival is traditional Puerto Rico cuisine and includes Mofongo, beans, and rice prepared using authentic local recipes. You can also treat yourself with old-fashioned sweets of the country like rum lollipops and banana brittle.

Coffee Harvest Festival

Address: Maricao, Puerto Rico

Website: Coffee Harvest Festival

Takes place: February

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12. St. James The Apostle Festival

St. James The Apostle Festival is celebrated at a town called Loiza in the northwestern part of the country. The festivities are a mix of Hispanic and African cultures with the latter dominating at the event. The celebration continues for 10 days and recalls the struggles and agonies suffered in the hands of foreign people. By paying homage to St. James, people have a belief that God will bless their lands. The event includes a parade of people in masks, which are carved from coconut and woods. In recent years, the festival has become an important commercial attraction for visitors and draws people from all over the country and even beyond.

St. James The Apostle Festival

Address: Loíza, Puerto Rico

Website: St. James The Apostle Festival

Takes place: July

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13. Puerto Rican Danza Week

Danza Jíbara - Puerto Rico
Source: Photo by Flickr user Jaime Olmo used under CC BY 2.0

If you are passionate about music, you simply cannot afford to miss the Puerto Rican Danza Week while visiting the country. Held in the month of May every year, the festival lasts for one week and celebrates the native music of Puerto Rico. Danza is a genre or form of music, which is immensely popular among Puerto Ricans. The music is influenced by the musical styles of Cuba and France, People of Puerto Rico love to participate in this festival. There are also parades and dance events in Puerto Rico’s Danza Week.

Puerto Rican Danza Week

Address: Ponce, Puerto Rico

Takes place: May

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14. Puerto Rico Discovery Day

Ricky Martin at the National Puerto Rican Day Parade
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Brian used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Every year the country celebrates the Puerto Rico Discovery Day on November 19th to celebrate the day in the year 1493 when Christopher Columbus, the famous explorer had landed here. He christened the island as San Juan Bautista, which eventually got the name, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is celebrated with different cultural activities and fairs. It also marks the start of the Christmas festivities in the country. You will see many Christmas trees decorated and put up on several public and private buildings and shops in the country.

Puerto Rico Discovery Day

Address: Puerto Rico

Takes place: November 19

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15. Jayuya Indian Festival

A yearly folk festival, Indigena Jayuya or Jayuya Indian Festival is held in a city called Jayuya in Puerto Rico. A major highlight of this festival is rewarding young women for looking like their Taino ancestors. The festival has another major event wherein scholars who have conducted researches on pre-Columbian cultures are recognized. Traditional clothing items are exhibited at the festival while vendors offer traditional craft and art items and dishes that were eaten by Taino people in the past.

Jayuya Indian Festival

Address: Jayuya, Puerto RIco

Website: Jayuya Indian Festival

Takes place: November

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Enjoy the festivities in Puerto Rico throughout the year

Puerto Rico is a lovely nation boasting a fascinating, rich and vibrant cultural heritage. Almost all its villages and towns are known for a tradition or a festival, making it a unique country. To complement these events, Puerto Rico has several party hotels, boutique hotels, and beachfront hotels available for rent. While the country always has a party at someplace, we have put together the 14 most popular festivals in Puerto Rico for your convenience.

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Frequently asked questions about festivals in Puerto Rico

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Pala Sen is an avid follower of travel and health updates, current affairs and entertainment news from all across the world and writing is a passion for her. She had been previously associated...Read more

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