What’s Happening? December 2016

December in Puerto Rico is a lively time, with a generally festive atmosphere. Holiday lights are everywhere, and everyone is getting in gear for Christmas and New Years. Food is a huge part of the local holiday celebration, so make sure to try some traditional holiday dishes like lechon, morcillas, pasteles, tembleque, and coquito, among other favorites. Don’t forget about the music and dance … we can’t have a holiday without them! Shopping is always in season, with many handmade local artisans selling interesting and unusual crafts.

If you just want to chill out, relax, and not think about the holidays, our weather is great this time of year. You can beach all day, every day! Puerto Rico truly has something for everyone!

While there is always something fun happening somewhere in Puerto Rico, there are a few special events each month that deserve a mention. Here are some highlights for December 2016.

December Events

throughout December: Lighting of Holiday Decorations

Most towns decorate their town plaza and town hall for the holidays. They have “lighting” celebrations that usually include music, dancing, food kiosks, and other entertainment. Check our event calendar for the dates for various towns across the island.

December 1 to 4: Festival de Platos Tipicos

This food festival takes place in the Luquillo Town Plaza, and features typical food of the island and of our holiday season, artisans, live music, and other fun stuff.

December Events

December 1 to January 8: La Feria – The Park

The largest amusement park in the Caribbean takes place in the parking lot of the Hiram Birthorn Stadium in San Juan every year around Christmas. Complete with typical carnival rides, games of chance, musical entertainment, and usually a circus, La Feria – The Park is fun for the whole family.

December 8 to January 22: El Galeón Andalucía Tall Ship

This replica of a 17th Century Spanish Galleon is a floating museum that will be docked in Old San Juan, between piers 3 and 4. Go aboard for a tour of the 4 decks, discover the different maneuvers that the crew performs while they are sailing, as they were done centuries ago, and see the 10 cannons that would have been used to defend a sailing ship of this type. Tours will be offered daily.

December 10: Christmas Boat Parade

Every year, this boat parade lights up the San Juan Bay. Boat owners go all out and decorate their boats with lights for this floating parade. Find a spot along the water front in Bahia Urbana in Old San Juan, and enjoy the lights and the music of the holiday season. Starts at 5pm.

December Events

December 10 to 11: Artisans in December at Fort San Cristóbal

The San Juan National Historic Site invites you to join them for their “Artisans in December” event at Castillo San Cristobal. Just in time for the holidays, they have invited a diverse group of 32 creative artisans to gather in Placita Norzagaray in front of the historic entrance to Castillo San Cristóbal. The artisans will be on hand to demonstrate their skills and will have products available for purchase between 9:00am and 6:00pm. Park Rangers will present interpretive programs related to the artisans’ relationship to the cultural history of the fortifications at 10:00am and 2:00pm. There will be a craft table for kids as well throughout the weekend.

December 15: Saborea Puerto Rico Winter Party

As a prelude to the main Saborea Puerto Rico food festival in April, enjoy dishes prepared by 20 local chefs, drinks, and live and DJ music. The party is at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino at the Convention District. More info can be found on their Facebook page.

December 16 to 18: Rincón Surfing Festival

This event has been postponed until further notice.

Celebrate all things surfing with live music, food, games … and surfing! At the lighthouse in Rincón, with free admission. More info can be found on their Facebook page.

December 28: Hatillo Masks Festival

The Hatillo Masks Festival remembers the Holy Innocents. There is a big parade, and people in costume on foot and on horseback. Expect TONS of people, food kiosks, music, and lots of traffic.

December Events

December 31: New Year’s Eve Celebrations

Hotels and resorts across the island have New Year’s Eve parties (buffet or sit-down meal, open bar, live music, toast at midnight), typically with advance reservations required. Many of the resorts shoot off fireworks at midnight. We usually toast the New Year, sitting on our deck in our jammies, while watching the fireworks along the coast from San Juan to Río Grande.

Other Events

This is just a small subset of activities occurring this month. As always, be sure to check our events calendar, Facebook page, or Twitter feed for other events happening this month and throughout the year all across the island.

December Events

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 3 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

thank you! I updated the calendar.

Comment by Gwenn on 14 Dec 2016

FYI For the Rincon Surf Festival - "The Rincon Surfing Festival – due to permit complications – will be re-scheduled on a date to be determined in the new year." they posted on their Facebook page.

Comment by Lou on 13 Dec 2016

Thanks for presenting us all the schedule of activities in San Juan Area.

Comment by Iris Nereida Rodriguez on 30 Nov 2015

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