Puerto Rico may be technically part of the United States, but its climate is more akin to its Caribbean neighbors than any of the other states. Here you’ll find historic cities, tropical rainforests and nearly private islands with secluded beaches.
Pack accordingly for a week-long getaway to Puerto Rico. I recommend packing as lightly as possible, as you may want to catch smaller flights between islands. I brought my Timbuk2 Aviator Travel Backpack and Litegear City Tote, which were ideal for carrying on.
The climate is mild throughout most of the year, but if you’re in the mountains, it could get cold at night. Otherwise, this Puerto Rico packing list should suit your trip year-round! Don’t forget to bring waterproof items like a rain jacket and sandals for those afternoon storms.
2 pairs of shorts– 1 pair of athletic and one regular
2 tank tops– I love solid colored tanks for layering and mixing and matching.
2 swimsuits– Have one to dry and one to wear.
1 dress or skirt– They’re great to throw on over a swimsuit or wear out to dinner.
1 sarong or scarf– Same goes for the multipurpose sarong.
Undergarments– I recommend at least one sports bra for active days.
Rain jacket– Pack a light rain jacket for random storms.
Towel– Travel towels are great, but not so much for laying on the beach. You may want to splurge on a full sized towel for this trip.
Hat– Keep the sun out of your eyes stylishly.
Tevas, Chacos or athletic sandals– I wore my Tevas instead of flip flops to the beach and tramping around El Yunque National Forest.
Tennis shoes– For some activities, you’ll need closed toe shoes, but I packed mine to go running.
Flip flops or cute sandals– Bring a pair of sandals to pair with a dress or skirt for going out at night.
Sunscreen– Bringing from home is almost always cheaper.
Shampoo and conditioner– Pack in travel sized containers.
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Medications– “Farmacias” are available, but anything you need immediately should be brought with you.
Kindle or books– You may want to come prepared with a paperback in case your Kindle battery dies.
Laptop– WiFi is available, but not always free or reliable. I didn’t see any internet cafes to speak of, so this trip may be better if you disconnect.
Chargers and adapters– Puerto Rico uses standard American outlets.
Purse or daypack– A tote or purse should work to bring to the beach and to carry around the city.
Flashlight– Bring a flashlight with you on a bioluminescent bay tour.
Binoculars– You never know what creatures you might see!
Clothesline– My Litegear braided clothesline was perfect for drying my towel and swimsuits. You can buy this specific brand on Ebags, or you can read out another brand of clothesline here.
Puerto Rico is a great place to leave the troubles back home behind you, disconnecting from the world. I recommend packing as low-maintenance as possible, in both clothing, hair and mindset. Be prepared for any and all activities you might want to enjoy, whether it be kayaking, snorkeling or scuba diving, horseback riding, hiking, sailing or zip lining.
Renting a car is almost mandatory for getting around the islands, and between them you can take the longer, cheaper, less reliable ferries, or hop on an inter-island flight. If you get lost, don’t hesitate about asking the locals. Spanish is the most used language, but many people also speak English. Puerto Rico uses US dollars as their currency.
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This is the best, most reasonable list I have seen. Most of the lists have high heals on them.
Thanks Elyse! We appreciate your comment!
This has been really helpful! Thank you for taking the time and making a reasonable list!
I went last year with my sister and her family. And i must say you are spot on with this list.
Thank u going in july and dont want to pack a ton
Thanks so much! I was thrilled to see such a practical packing list! We’re going to PR for an active, interesting travel experience (but with plenty of book-on-the-beach time, too) and your recommendations are just what I was looking for!
You are so spot on with this list….i have been to PR many times and this is the list i always refer back to. San Juan is a great city so if you do forget something you can pick something up without any hassle.
This is a great packIng list. We are here in San Juan currently, the only thing I might add is a jacket or hoodie for restaurants. I’ve been freezing in these restaurants. Thanks for the list, I may have packed lighter if I had it beforehand.