What to Pack for Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico | SuitcaseandHeels.com

San Juan, Puerto Rico | SuitcaseandHeels.com

A Perfect Puerto Rico Packing Guide

Spending some time in Puerto Rico during the winter is undoubtedly a good idea. There’s lots of daylight, beautiful white sand to sink your toes in, and tons of delicious foods available. Whether you want to explore glowing bio bays, learn how to surf, immerse yourself in Boricua culture or seek out the best mofongo on the island, there’s something for everyone to chase away the winter blues.

Packing for a Puerto Rican vacation can either seem like the simplest task or a daunting one, depending on which type of traveller you are. The territory is diverse and your Puerto Rico packing list is really going to depend on where you’ll be traveling to. I’m going to help you figure out a capsule wardrobe and other travel essentials for a trip that is super popular this time of year: the Puerto sun vacation.

You may think, “I just need a few swimsuits, a cover-up, some flip flops and I’m good to go!” but even if you’re doing more than a cruise day trip you’ll need a few more outfits to round it all out. I can help.

Using my 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 packing list method, I’ve put together a capsule wardrobe that will take you from Vieques to Rincon to Ponce to San Juan and back again.

Puerto Rico Packing List

Puerto Rico Packing Essentials

In general, you’ll want lightweight summer dresses, versatile basics, and swimwear. If you have that covered the rest is a bonus.

Summer Dresses

You may think dresses are too formal but they’re a favourite travel packing hack of mine. Just one item and you’re ready to go. Plus, you can dress them up or down depending on your activity. Throw on sneakers and a ball cap and you’re ready for the day. Swap out your jewellery, put on some heels, and a classic red lip and you’re ready for a Pina colada and some alcapurrias.


I love wearing an oversized button up shirt as a beach cover-up. When an item of clothing can be worn multiple ways it earns a spot in my suitcase. To keep your swimwear looking more upscale, go with solids. Texture is big this year so look for ribbed material. A wide-brimmed straw hat or a ball cap and great sunnies are an absolute must. Pair is with a woven tote for a complete look whether you’re heading to Culebra or the strolling Candado Beach.


Besides sneakers for long walks in towns and a classic flat sandal for small town exploring I’ve included a pair of espadrille water shoes for beaches and boats. These water shoes are cute enough to wear as an every day shoe. Leave the cheap flip flops at home. That’s a rookie tourist move. These three pairs should cover any event you’ll encounter on your vacation in Puerto Rico. Whether you’re hiking El Yunque or kayaking in Mosquito Bay or strolling the shiny cobblestone of Old San Juan.

Bonuses to Beat the Heat

It’s no secret it gets hot in Puerto Rico. To beat the heat, pack a few of these extras in your day bag:

  • Mega Babe Thigh Rescue
  • Blotting Sheets
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle (freeze it overnight if you can and it will stay colder longer into the day as it melts)
  • A folding fan
  • Cooling face mist
  • Small cooling towel
  • Claw clip for getting hair off your neck

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