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17 Beautiful Puerto Rico Beaches You Cannot Miss

by Caitlin J
cool beaches in san juan

With over 270 miles of coastline, Puerto Rico has plenty of beaches to choose from! If you’re a fan of white sandy beaches, clear blue water, and lots of sunny weather, Puerto Rican beaches will not disappoint.

Last fall, I traveled to Puerto Rico and really enjoyed the island’s tropical beauty. If you’re searching for things to do on Puerto Rico’s islas, look no further. Keep reading to discover the best beaches in Puerto Rico!

best beaches puerto rico
Me with friends (at Jobos Beach I think…) on my first trip to Puerto Rico in 2013.
best beaches puerto rico
Me at at one of the many Puerto Rico beaches I visited on my first trip to the island in 2013.

The Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Whether you want to lounge on the beach or enjoy boating and watersports, there is a beach option for everyone in Puerto Rico. If you’re having trouble deciding which Puerto Rican beaches to visit, use this guide to learn about all of the things that each beach on the island has to offer.

1. Crash Boat Beach – Aguadilla

Located in the northwest corner of the island, Crash Boat Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico. Home to several different kiosks and food stands, this beach has been dubbed as Puerto Rico’s party beach in recent years. 

One of the main food stands, Cocoloba, serves fresh fish, traditional Puerto Rican food, and coconut water served out of a real coconut. You can also usually find some kind of ice cream stand nearby.

Crash Boat Beach boasts very clear blue water, perfect for snorkeling, and certain calmer spots are great for swimming. The long pier provides excellent diving opportunities for beginners and is also a popular spot for local fishermen.

2. Playa Boquerón – Cabo Rojo

In the town of Cabo Rojo, in southwest Puerto Rico, you will find Playa Boqueron, a quiet beach with calm waters. This beach has been named a “Blue Flag” beach, an award given to beaches around the world that adhere to strict standards regarding safety and water quality. 

Playa Boqueron is one of the most relaxing Puerto Rico beaches- you can read a book, go swimming in the calm waters, or lay out on the large stretch of golden sand. Over a mile long, you will see dark blue and turquoise waters with plenty of palm trees while you’re here. 

3. Playa Sucia – Cabo Rojo

One of the most popular beaches in Cabo Rojo, Playa Sucia, is part of the town’s nature reserve. Perfect for nature lovers, this area has plenty of stunning beachside views and wilderness areas to explore. White sand and clear azure water make this one of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico. Situated near Los Morrillos Lighthouse, Playa Sucia’s parking lot is small, so try to get here early!

4. Isla Verde – Carolina

best beaches puerto rico

Recently voted “Best Urban Beach” by USA Today, Isla Verde is located east of San Juan. This large beach area is actually comprised of three different beaches: El Alambique, Pine Grove Beach, and Balneario de Carolina. Balneario is likely the best portion of this beach to visit- the sand is regularly cleaned, the water quality is monitored, and bathroom facilities are available.

While Isla Verde sees many visitors on the weekend, it is around three miles long, so it still feels laidback even on the most crowded days. Located near many beachfront hotels and resorts, Isla Verde’s golden sands and bright blue waters are an excellent spot for a relaxed day on the beach.

5. Flamenco Beach – Culebra

best beaches in puerto rico

East of Puerto Rico, on the small island of Culebra, you will find the white sands of Flamenco Beach. Pristine sands and wave-less turquoise waters combine to create an ideal area for snorkeling, swimming, and beach-bumming. Known as one of the top Puerto Rico beaches, and one of the best beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach is particularly post-card worthy. 

The most iconic sight on Flamenco Beach is The Tank, a reminder of U.S occupancy on the island. This beach also offers bathroom facilities, lifeguards, showers, and kiosks with authentic Puerto Rican food.

6. Tamarindo Beach – Culebra

On the western side of Culebra, Tamarindo Beach has a unique shore. The sand is a combination of pebbles, coral, golden sand, and white sand. Calm turquoise waters make this an ideal spot for snorkeling, and this beach might be even more beautiful underwater than above the water. While you’re here, you might just run into the abundant marine life, ranging from sea turtles to manta rays.

7. Tortuga Beach – Culebrita

best beaches in puerto rico

Nestled on the tiny island of Culebrita, just west of Culebra, Tortuga Beach is the definition of island paradise. The powdery white sand and crystal clear water make this one of the most stunning Puerto Rico beaches. 

Tortuga Beach was named after the many sea turtles that make their home in these waters. This beach is extremely remote, so don’t expect food stands, bathroom facilities, or lifeguards while you’re here.

8. Isla Palominos – El Conquistador Hotel Beach 

Isla Palominos is a private island owned by El Conquistador Hotel, home to sparkling blue water, white sand, and plenty of palm trees. There’s no need to deal with large crowded beaches in Puerto Rico when you can have an entire island to yourself!

El Conquistador Hotel is one of the most iconic Caribbean hotels, perfect for your next trip to Puerto Rico. Boasting several activities, lovely rooms, and of course, an entirely private island, this hotel creates a genuinely exclusive beach experience. To learn more, click the button below.

9. Playa Escondida – Fajardo

Playa Escondida translates to “hidden beach,” and it really does live up to its namesake. To reach Playa Escondida, you will need to hike 25 minutes from Seven Seas Beach through a mangrove forest. At the end, you will be rewarded with cerulean waters and golden sand. 

Swimming is not encouraged in this area- strong currents and riptides are very common on this beach.

10. Playa Jobos – Isabela

best beaches puerto rico

In northwest Puerto Rico, Playa Jobos is a must-visit beach while visiting Isabela. The white sand and blue water create an excellent backdrop for surfing, paddleboarding, or enjoying pina coladas at one of the many beach bars or restaurants nearby. If you choose to swim in Playa Jobos, be careful! Strong riptides are very common.

11. Caja de Muertos – Ponce

Another island beach, Playa Pelicano is a stunning island off the coast of Ponce. The walking path toward the beach follows an old railroad and showcases lovely views of the beach. Along the way, you will likely see huge waves and impressive rock formations.

12. Luquillo Beach – Luquillo

best beaches in puerto rico

Luquillo Beach is in eastern Puerto Rico, and is home to bright turquoise water, white sand, and shallow waters, perfect for swimming. Plenty of palm trees create many shady areas, in case you need a break from the sun. This shore also features several beach bars, restaurants, and gift shops, making this a fun area to explore.

13. Domes Beach – Rincon

Known as one of the best surfing beaches in Puerto Rico, Domes Beach is situated on the northwest point of the main island. With no lifeguards and a rocky bottom, this beach is not a great area for swimming. However, Domes beach offers plenty of space, golden sands, blue water, and huge waves.

14. Ocean Park Beach – San Juan

best beaches puerto rico

Located in the heart of San Juan, Ocean Park Beach is popular among locals, and can get somewhat busy on holiday weekends. With a mile of light golden sand, some shady areas, and a relaxed atmosphere, it’s easy to see why this beach is so popular. Surrounded by hotels, condos, and apartments, this is the definition of a beachy urban oasis.

15. Condado Beach – San Juan

Surrounded by cultural experiences, excellent dining, and vibrant nightlife, Condado Beach is the perfect way to relax from the bustle of the city. Take a nap on the beach, get some sun, or if you’re feeling more adventurous, go windsurfing. The currents are very strong on this shore, so swimming is not recommended. 

The best way to enjoy Condado Beach is to book a cabana rental at Condado Ocean Club. With pool access, comfy chairs, and cold drinks, there is nothing more relaxing on Condado Beach. Prices usually range from $250 to $350 (this is an adults-only activity). Click here for more details!

16. Playa Capitolio – Old San Juan

best beaches puerto rico

Hidden behind the busy streets and old city walls of Old San Juan, Playa Capitolio is one of the town’s best kept secrets. This beach is small, but perfect to visit with a few friends. The shoreline is covered in smooth pieces of sea glass in a rainbow of colors. Not really a swimming or surfing beach, this is a “hanging-out” beach.

17. Black Sand Beach – Vieques

Easily one of the most unique and dramatic beaches in Puerto Rico, Black Sand Beach is located on the island of Vieques. The black sand, rocky coastline, and blue water combine to create some of the most beautiful photo opportunities in Puerto Rico. Take a hike along the beach, play in the unique sand, or simply take in the breathtaking scenery while you’re here. 

Ready to Start Planning Your Puerto Rico Vacation?

best beaches puerto rico
Me at Jobos Beach on my very first trip to Puerto Rico, 2013

From black sand beaches to private islands, Puerto Rico abounds in beachy getaways. If you’re looking for more things to do in Puerto Rico, check out these other Big World, Small Girl Travel Blogs below!

Pin This Guide to the Best Beaches in Puerto Rico!

Puerto Rico Beaches
Puerto Rico Beaches
Puerto Rico Beaches

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