It's Christmastime on the island, truly the most wonderful time of the year ... but Santa and the Three Kings aren't the only reasons to visit Puerto Rico in December. This year, the holiday season kicks off with all kinds of entertainment.
- Of course, Christmas takes the cake, a truly marathon festival on the island that gets going around December 15 and lasts until January 6 (and sometimes beyond).
- The Winter Sofo Culinary Fest brings together over 30 terrific restaurants during the first weekend of December.
- Music superstars from Tony Bennett to Jennifer Lopez rock the capital throughout the month.
- December through early January: La Feria The Park brings the carnival to Puerto Rico with rides, shows, games, and holiday lights.
- December 1-2: It's a good weekend for Patron Saint Festivals, or Fiestas Patronales. The towns of Humacao, Lares and Guayanilla honor La Virgen de la Inmaculada Concepción (the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception).
- December 7-9: The Winter Sofo Culinary Fest comes to Old San Juan's Fortaleza Street, with some of San Juan's best eateries participating in a weekend-long open-air dining festival.
- December 8: Thousands come to Ponce's lovely cathedral at 5 am to sing Las Mañanitas, the traditional Mexican Christmas song. The religious procession is led by mariachis singing in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the city's patron saint. After a morning mass, a "peoples" breakfast is held, while the Mariachi play typical mexican music. Live music, rides, food and parades continue through the weekend at the Plaza Las Delicias.
- December 8: Rockers Creed come to the Coliseo in San Juan.
- December 12: The Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Dorado Beach opens its doors to guests for the first time.
- December 13: Legendary crooner Tony Bennett comes to the Centro de Bellas Artes in Santurce.
- December 15-January 6: Christmas in Puerto Rico isn't just about one day; rather, it's three weeks of family activities, religious ceremonies, parades, parties, kings and, of course, santa. Here's the full agenda.
- December 21-22: Local boys Wisin & Yandel bring their reggaetón to the Coliseo, and Jennifer Lopez is coming with them for their "Follow the Leader" tour.
- December 28: If you like colorful folkloric celebrations, be sure to check out the Hatillo Masks Festival. Celebrated since the Spaniards founded Hatillo in 1823, the festival honors the story of King Herod ordering the death of all infant boys, attempting to kill Baby Jesus. Men donning vibrant masks and costumes represent the soldiers, and march or ride through the town in floats looking for the children.
- December 31: Don't plan on sleeping, because all of Puerto Rico will be partying on New Year's Eve.