The Puerto Ricans know how to party. Whether it's music in the streets until 4am, winding streets covered in streamers and food barbequed food on every corner, Puerto Rican festivals are often the highlight of any trip. Whether it's one of the nationwide Puerto Rican holidays, or just an annual saint-related festival, you are guaranteed a late night out, fruity drinks and amazing food.
It seems that every town, from San Juan down to the tiniest Puerto Rican village, has a patron saint. And every saint has a festival, none of which can be contained to a single day. Often lasting over a week, these Puerto Rican festivals are where you'll see how the locals really live - their parties are legendary, not to mention exhausting if you are ill-prepared. Though these festivals are religious in nature, the entire proceedings have grown over the years to include all sorts of different elements, from sporting events to the pulsating beats of Caribbean-tinged folk songs that last well into the night; you'll hardly find time to rest during these Puerto Rican holidays. The most popular of these festivals are found in San Juan in late June and Ponce's in mid-December.
Of course, the ultimate in Caribbean festivals is always Carnivale - not quite the unstoppable
force of nature that hits cities like Rio or the island
of Trinidad, Carnivale
in Puerto Rico is still a thing to behold. The most uncontrolled
of Puerto Rican festivals, you won't have to worry
about finding a place to sleep on the nights, you won't
need it. Many just sleep on the beach, anyway. Again,
it's San Juan and Ponce that really pull out all the stops during Carnivale, and
if you can schedule your Caribbean vacation to include
stops at one of these cities around Ash Wednesday, make
sure to do it. The whirlwind of brightly colored costumes
and unabashed revelry will likely be a blur, but that's
all part of the fun.
San Juan is the place to be for most Puerto Rico events. Their annual San Sebastian Street Festival is another of the Puerto Rican festivals not to be missed. The city of San German brings people from all over the island for its Sugar Harvest Festival held every spring. For music-lovers, each November brings the Festival of Puerto Rican Music to San Juan, exploring the roots of the island's native plena and bomba folk styles.
Puerto Rican holidays mirror those of the United States, all the way down to Martin Luther King Day. But are still a few that are unique to the island - holidays like Emancipation Day, Constitution Day and Puerto Rico Discovery Day.