Puerto Rico’s 350 miles of coastline and its many islands offers plenty to explore for any diver, regardless of their experience. It has unmatched visibility, winding underwater caves, pristine coral reefs and many islands that are practically unsullied by the modern world. From the remote islands of Desecheo and Mona that offer uncrowded reefs and abundant wildlife, to the deep waters in the south that make for perfect drift diving, scuba diving Puerto Rico is certainly a rewarding experience and never fails to impress.
Source: The Best Scuba Diving on the Planet?
While it’s possible to enjoy these sites throughout the entire year, some seasons are indeed better than others when it comes to scuba diving Puerto Rico. Whether you prefer to explore this country when there’s fewer people in the diving spots, or if you’re trying to avoid the rain, here are a few things you’ll need to look into when looking for the best time to dive in Puerto Rico.
Source: Best Time to Visit San Juan, Puerto Rico
When to Go Diving
Because Puerto Rico has a tropical climate, its temperature and humidity practically stays the same the entire year. Unlike in more temperate countries, Puerto Rico only has two seasons, the wet season and the dry season. Each of these seasons have different effects on the diving conditions, and depending on your preferences, you can take advantage of one or the other to get the best out of scuba diving Puerto Rico.
Source: Best Scuba Diving in Puerto Rico
The Wet Season
The rainy season in Puerto Rico generally lasts between the months of June and November. During this season, it’s not uncommon for it to rain daily, though not for too long at a time. These months are also when hurricane season starts, so having a traveler’s insurance when you visit Puerto Rico during this season is a good idea in case something bad happens during your trip. During these months, water temperatures vary anywhere between 75°-78°F.
One of the biggest advantages of scuba diving Puerto Rico during this season is that most of the dive spots tend to be uncrowded. Accommodations will also be cheaper, since it’s considered to be the off season. f course, conditions tend to change at a drop of a hat, so making sure that you check the water conditions before you dive is a must.
The Dry Season
Puerto Rico’s dry season lasts from December to May. You can expect the weather to be sunny and humid during this season. The water temperature tends to be the most comfortable at this time, playing at around 79°-83°F. Visibility is always at its best during this season, as the planktons aren’t in bloom. The waters tend to be calmer during this season as well.
Because it’s in the middle of winter in some areas of the world, however, a lot of tourists flock Puerto Rico during this time. The tourist high season means you’ll have to deal with more crowded diving spots, and the accommodations tend to be more expensive. Visiting Puerto Rico during this time isn’t all bad, however. Some marine animals can only be seen during the dry seasons, and it’s the best time to dive into reefs because of the unmatched visibility.
Puerto Rico has a rich collection of coral and fish species gracing its waters. As a matter of fact, about 700 fish species live in the country’s grass beds, mangrove forests and coral reefs. It’s possible to spot different species of fish, rays, turtles, sharks and whales in the water. If you’re scuba diving Puerto Rico between November and May, there’s a good chance you’ll see humpback whales and their young passing by during their migration, especially around Mona Island.
Mona Island itself has a good collection of marine wildlife, including the rare leatherback turtle. Because of its rich collection of animals, it has become known as the Caribbean’s Galapagos Island. Visiting this area between November and May gives you the rare chance to meet rare wildlife but arranging a trip here can be a difficult thing to arrange. Once you manage it though, it’s certainly going to be worth it.
Source: Best of Puerto Rico – Wildlife and Scenery
Places of Note
Source: Diving Monito & Mona Island , P.R ( Los Desertores @ Dive )
The biggest attractions in Puerto Rico are the islands of Mona, Desecheo and Vieques. All of them are remote, and regardless of the season, they tend to be the least crowded out of all the diving sites. The visibility in these islands are also exceptional, with each island enjoying anywhere above 100 feet visibility.