Visiting sun-splashed Puerto Rico in the middle of hurricane season sounds like a terrible idea, doesn't it? After all, who wants to spend a week looking out their hotel room at a rain-soaked beach? Well, before you look to other destinations, take a closer look at why Puerto Rico might just be an excellent off-season destination.
1. A Long Season
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First, let's take a look at dates. Hurricane season typically runs from June 1 to November 30 on the island. Obviously, this overlaps with such peak travel dates as summer holidays for the kids and major national holidays like July 4th and Labor Day. More than that, it's a long period of time ... and you have to realize that the island is not continually besieged by storms and bad weather for the entire six months. Still, while summer is generally peak season for many popular destinations, it's the slow months for Puerto Rico ... which really sets the stage for points 2 and 3.
2. Deals!Puerto Rico tourism is really two animals. During peak season, you'll pay premium prices for the lure of its near perfect weather and tropical vibe. But in the off-season you can find tremendous bargains at some of Puerto Rico's best resorts. They know business is slow, and they’re prepared to offer a generous carrot to visitors. Sometimes these price drops are so drastic that you can get into a four-star hotel at a two-star price.
3. CrowdsIt's not just that Puerto Rico is a far more crowded place in the winter months. Sure, the island is crawling with tourists from November to May, but that, in and of itself, isn't a bad thing. It's more the availability of restaurants, rooms, and activities that are important for off-season travelers. This is especially true of Vieques and Culebra islands. Because they are smaller, you'll find their best restaurants booked far in advance, hotels fully booked, and generally far poorer accessibility. Besides, it is a true treat to travel to one of the island's beaches and find a secluded beach that is virtually your own for the day. That kind of exclusivity is much, much harder to get during peak season.
4. When it Rains ...... It doesn't necessarily have to pour. By that I mean that even during a rain or storm, there are still ways to stay entertained in Puerto Rico. The casinos are open no matter what's going on outside (barring a true catastrophe, of course). The food at the restaurants is just as good, even if you might get a little wet getting there. And the old, walled city can be enjoyable even in the rain, if you can brave the bad weather. It's not all about the beach on this island.
5. History is On Your SideThis article isn't making light of hurricanes. They have devastating power and can destroy communities, let alone vacations. But in Puerto Rico's case, you'll find that history indicates a few positives when it comes to storm damage. Several hurricanes have grazed the island's coasts in past decades, and it certainly lies in an active region. However, Puerto Rico has not been hit by a Category 4 or 5 storm since the 1930s. The last major hurricane to cause severe problems in the island was Georges in 1998, and that was the first storm to directly impact the island in more than 60 years.
6. A Risk You’re Willing to Take?
At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if booking a vacation to Puerto Rico in hurricane season is worth the risk, but make sure you understand the risk. As I mentioned above, it's a long season and the chance of storms creating havoc on the island while you're there are unlikely. Of course, it doesn't take a major hurricane to literally dampen your holiday; if you are traveling during these months you might well experience days of rain. But when it’s not raining, the weather is just as warm and the island is just as gorgeous as it is during peak season, when you pay peak prices. So check the forecast
in the days leading up to your trip and plan for a great time. Like the postman, Puerto Rico tends to deliver at all time.