What to Pack for Puerto Rico: A Complete Guide

When planning a Puerto Rico trip with a stay in San Juan, one of the most important aspects to consider is your wardrobe and the basic essentials for an amazing trip. With the country’s many landscapes, from sandy beaches to a hike on a forest trail, you will want to have the right outfits to keep you comfortable and looking good while ensuring your attire is suitable for the specific environment. You also don’t want to leave behind the basic essentials that ensure a stress-free vacation.

To be prepared for whatever you choose to do, day or night, the following travel tips suggesting what to pack for Puerto Rico should make selecting the right outfits and accessories easy.

Packing for a Day on the Beach

Photo Credit: EllenSmile

Whether you’re planning to soak up some rays, swim in the ocean, stroll the beach, or gather seashells, a few basic items are all you need.

  • At least 2 swimsuits – 1 to wear while the other is drying.
  • Beach cover-up, such as a multipurpose sarong.
  • Flip flops.
  • Sun Hat.
  • Sunglasses.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Full-sized beach towel.

Packing for a Hike in the Jungle

Photo Credit: My Good Images

For those who want to explore the natural landscape with a hike along scenic trails in the El Yunque National Forest for the day, pack according to the time of year, the anticipated temperature, and the type of terrain you’ll be traversing. Whether you’re hiking a well-marked trail or if you plan to forge through more remote landscapes, dress right and bring along the essentials needed for a safe jaunt through the wilderness.

  • A pair of sturdy hiking boots, athletic sneakers, or mesh slip-on water shoes.
  • Thick hiking socks.
  • Jeans or other sturdy, long-legged pants.
  • T-shirt or long-sleeved shirt.
  • Flannel shirt (optional).
  • 1 or 2 sweaters, a light jacket, or a hoodie.
  • 1 lightweight rain jacket.
  • Mosquito repellent.
  • Anti-itch cream.
  • A backpack.
  • Sunscreen.
  • Sunglasses.
  • A sun hat to protect your face and neck from UV rays.

Packing for City Exploration

Photo Credit: Halay Alex

There are plenty of things to see and do, attractions to peruse, Old San Juan to explore, and a variety of specialty shops and cultural dining venues. Get comfortable and dress accordingly.

  • Pack 3 to 5 T-shirts
  • 2 to 3 sundresses.
  • 1 or 2 skirts.
  • 2 to 3 pairs of shorts.
  • 3 to 4 solid colored tank tops used for mixing and matching).
  • Sandals to pair with shorts, skirts, and sundresses.
  • Tennis shoes
  • Tote-style purse or daypack.

Packing for Nightlife and Entertainment Venues

Photo Credit: Roman Samborskyi

While in San Juan, you’ll want to experience the many nightlife and entertainment venues. Be prepared with outfits you can mix and match. Not only does this keep the packing low, you will always be prepared for the unexpected, because you never know what activity you’ll want to experience.

Note; Many of the bars, clubs, and restaurants have a dress code of what can and can’t be allowed. In some establishments, clothing, such as shorts, jeans, T-shirts, sleeveless shirts, flip flops, and sneakers are not allowed. Know before you go what, if any, restrictions are in place. In San Juan, it’s better to be overdressed than under-dressed.

  • Dress pants with a chic top.
  • Accessorize with a stylish scarf.
  • A light jacket will keep you warm during chilly nights.
  • A shawl wrap enhances your style, whether it’s worn with a pair of upscale pants or a dress.
  • A nice-looking pair of jeans with a stylish top may be okay.
  • Bring a pair of heels that perk up any outfit.
  • A basic black cocktail dress for upscale dining establishments.
  • A stylish purse to complement the cocktail dress.
  • Sundresses along with sandals and ankle high boots make a nice outfit for a night on the town.

Packing Personal Items and Toiletries

Photo Credit: Sea_Ekaterina

If your vacay time is for one week, be sure to bring the essentials.

  • Your favorite sleeping attire (pajamas or gown).
  • At least one sports bra.
  • 5 to 7 pairs of underwear.
  • Several pairs of lightweight socks.
  • Shampoo, conditioner, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash,brush, deodorant, hair ties, hair clips, razor, comb, and makeup.
  • Moisturizer to replenish your skin after a day outdoors.
  • Have any medications filled prior to your trip.

Additional Items Not to Forget

Assorted Entertainment

Photo Credit: Pablo Rasero

Whatever you have planned for the day, these items will keep you entertained.

  • Stay entertained with a Kindle.
  • A pair of earbuds.
  • Pack a paperback book for long flights or for reading beside the pool.
  • Bring a GoPro camera to use for photo opportunities.
  • You can see for miles and miles with a pair of binoculars for that hiking adventure you have planned.

Technology Items

Photo Credit: ouh_desire

Pack these items so you don’t have to worry about finding items and most likely paying a higher price.

  • Laptop or tablet.
  • Flashlight for nighttime out-and-about time.
  • Chargers.
  • Adapters.
  • Extra batteries.
  • Map of the city and surrounding area.
  • A portable cell phone charger.

Miscellaneous Items

Photo Credit: yayhastudio

There are always a few things it is easy to forget to pack. This short list is a reminder of some of those things that are easily forgotten.

  • A mini clothesline is ideal for drying your swimsuit or beach towel..
  • A waterproof cell phone case.
  • A waterproof case for your wallet, money, and other essential items.
  • An umbrella for unexpected cloudy and rainy days.
  • Provide protection for your devices with flotation wrist straps.
  • Mini clock.
  • Travel first aid kit, which should have band-aids, gauze, ointment, etc.
  • A water bottle.
  • Travel insurance – don’t leave home without it.

Summary Checklist of Items to Pack for a Trip to San Juan

The above lists have plenty of information about what to pack for a variety of outings and activities. Below, each is summed up with a suggested number of items to add to your Puerto Rico packing list.

Clothing

  • Bathing suits.
  • Cover-ups (1 for the beach and 1 for fun).
  • Fancy dresses (a step up from casual).
  • Sundresses.
  • A basic black cocktail dress.
  • Dress pants.
  • Jeans.
  • Casual pants (Capris).
  • Socks.
  • Sleeping attire.
  • Bathrobe.
  • Underwear (panties and sports bra).
  • Hiking boots.
  • Angle-high boots.
  • Sandals.
  • Flip Flops.
  • High Heels
  • Sneakers (with good traction for hiking)
  • Tennis shoes.
  • Comfortable walking shoes.
  • Shorts.
  • T-shirts.
  • Tank tops.
  • Skirts.
  • A standard purse.
  • An upscale purse.
  • Tote.
  • Daypack.
  • Rain jacket.
  • Light jacket.
  • Hoodie.
  • Flannel shirts.

Miscellaneous

  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen with an appropriate spf rating.
  • Umbrella
  • Raincoat.
  • Waterproof holders for phone, wallet, etc.
  • Kindle
  • Laptop or Tablet
  • GoPro camera.
  • Extra batteries for devices.
  • Portable charger for devices.
  • Assorted toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, hand sanitizer, nail file/ or emery board,

Overall, keep in mind San Juan, Puerto Rico is a tropical Caribbean destination. Expect consistent moderate temperatures with plenty of sunshine during the day. Evenings can get chilly. Like everywhere else on the globe, Puerto Rico has a rainy season, and it also has a hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30.

What to pack for Puerto Rico getaways depends on the time of year you choose to travel and the activities you have on your itinerary to do. With the right attire and essentials, your time in San Juan can be a memorable adventure.

Featured Image Credit: Pixel-Shot

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