The 13 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico, for Any Taste

0 Best beaches in Puerto Rico

Nestled in the Caribbean sea, Puerto Rico hosts some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world. White sand, turquoise waters, sea turtles, colorful fishes… I was there for 3 months and I often had to pinch myself to believe that I wasn’t dreaming!

The whole island has about 300 beaches, so I bet you won’t be able to see them all, that’s why I made this guide with the TOP beaches in Puerto Rico, including something for any interest. Whether you want to chill, snorkel or surf, there are countless options in this tropical paradise.

NOTE: If you want to explore many of the beaches I’ll recommend in this post, you HAVE to rent a car. There is no public transport in Puerto Rico, only in the San Juan metropolitan area, so it is really necessary unless you just want to stay in the capital. 

I also included a hotel option for each beach, so you can spend the night in the nearby area. Now, are you ready to explore them all with me? 

Let’s go!

If you are in a hurry

Here is a quick list of the best beaches in Puerto Rico divided by interest:

Here’s a map that will help you visualize where the best Puerto Rico’s beaches are located on the island: 

Map Best beaches in puerto rico

1. Condado Beach – top urban beach

1 Condado Beach top urban beach

📍 Location: Condado Beach
🚗 Parking: Free street parking or private parking
🗺️ Closest Town: San Juan
🏨 Recommended Hotel: La Concha Renaissance San Juan

Located in a tourist resort area of San Juan, on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast, Condado Beach is perfect if it’s your first time on the island and you are looking for a place to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital.

This sandy beach is perfect for just chilling or enjoying some watersports, but it’s better if you don’t swim there (unless you’re very good at it) because the currents are quite strong, especially during winter (November – April).

Condado Beach is fully equipped with sun-loungers, beach chairs/umbrellas, and beachfront restaurants (it reminds me of Miami Beach!)… So you’ll have everything you need to spend a lazy day at the beach after having explored Old San Juan on a walking tour!

2. Ocean Park Beach – best choice for laid-back vibes

2 Ocean Park Beach best choice for laid back vibes

📍 Location: Ocean Park Beach
🚗 Parking: Free beachfront parking
🗺️ Closest Town: San Juan
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Numero 1 Beach House

Located between the airport and Old San Juan, Ocean Park Beach is perfect if you want to spend a tranquil day at the beach but you want to avoid the crowds you can find in the most popular beaches like Condado Beach!

The mile-long Ocean Park beach has a very laid-back atmosphere, but offers also many activities and watersports to join, from kite-surfing to paddle tennis and beach volleyball. 

And if after all these activities you get hungry, buy hot crab empanadas from the food vendors or grab a delicious sandwich at Numero Uno Beach Hotel and Restaurant (known as Pamela)!

3. Flamenco Beach, Culebra Island – best for snorkeling

3 Flamenco Beach Culebra Island

📍 Location: Flamenco Beach
🚗 Parking: Flamenco Beach Parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Culebra
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Aleli Cottages

If you take a 1 hour ferry from Puerto Rico’s Mainland to the magical Culebra Island, you’ll find one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole world, Flamenco Beach. Here you’ll literally feel like you’re in a movie, at least I did!

This golden beach, surrounded by palm trees and green mountains, offers warm and shallow waters and coral reefs (some of the best ones in the Caribbeans) is the perfect place for diving, snorkeling, and discovering all the tropical fishes.

The beach is also equipped with many facilities: toilets, kiosks, picnic areas, showers, umbrella rentals and lifeguards, so you don’t have to bring anything, just your snorkel!

Culebra Island actually hosts many other stunning secluded beaches, like Zoni Beach, but some of them are hard to reach if you don’t have a boat. If you want to explore them all, check out this 1 day Kayak & Snorkel tour, including round trip ferry tickets from and to Puerto Rico.

P.S.: Only 15 minutes from Ceiba (where you take the ferry), you’ll find 7 Seas Beach, another incredible beach with turquoise blue waters, where you can snorkel or just chill under the palm trees and enjoy the view!

4. Domes Beach Rincón – a surfer’s paradise

4 Domes Beach Rincon for surfing

📍 Location: Domes Beach
🚗 Parking: Free beachfront parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Rincon 
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Casa Verde Hotel

Are you a surf addicted like me? Then you cannot miss Puerto Rico’s surfer’s heaven: Domes beach, located in Rincon surf town, on Puerto Rico’s west coast, offering turquoise blue waters, golden sand, and great waves for expert surfers.

In fact, with waves up to 15-foot-high in winter, Domes (also called Maria’s beach) hosts yearly surfing competitions. Are you ready to join? 

Even if you don’t surf, this public beach is an excellent spot for whale watching from mid-January to March, or to just chill under the palm trees the whole year!

If you’re already seeing yourself surfing there every day of your holiday, check out this beautiful apartment within walking distance from Domes beach (it even has a private pool)!

5. Playa Crash Boat – the most vibrant beach in Puerto Rico

5 Playa Crash Boat

📍 Location: Playa Crash Boat
🚗 Parking: Free street parking 
🗺️ Closest Town: Aguadilla
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Parador el Faro

If you just want to spend a leisurely beach day with your friends, you should check out Crash Boat Beach, located close to the lazy town of Aguadilla, the perfect place for beach bums!

In summer, Playa Crash Boat gets full of locals and tourists listening to music from their big speakers, drinking beers, and just dipping in the water. Here you’ll find many restaurants and bars where you can have a drink while watching breathtaking sunsets, like the Cocoloba Beach Bar, offering great cocktails, food, and live music. 

But on this public beach, you can also join some fun activities, like snorkeling, scuba diving or playing beach volleyball… and if this is not enouLuquillogh for you, at 20 minutes driving from Crash Boat, you’ll find Survival Beach, where you can follow a panoramic hike on the coast!

6. Tortuga Beach, Culebrita Island – most beautiful beach

6 Tortuga Beach Culebrita Island most beautiful beach

📍 Location: Tortuga Beach
🛥️ Water taxi: H20 Water Taxi
🗺️ Closest Town: Culebra
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Club Seabourne hotel

On the west of Culebra (check out beach #3), there is another small and stunning island, Culebrita, hosting the most beautiful beach you’ll ever see, Tortuga Beach (if you’ve seen a better one, please let me know!).

This white sand beach takes its name from the lovely sea turtles that populate its clear waters, but there is an infinite marine life you can explore here (I saw a small shark!), so don’t forget to bring your snorkel!

This is also the perfect place to just lie down on the golden sand, soak up some sun and release all your stress. The only downside is that to reach this remote beach you need to take a water taxi or have a private boat… but the boat trip is actually what I enjoyed the most!

7. Playa Sucia – the most pristine beach in Puerto Rico

7 Playa Sucia Free beachfront parking

📍 Location: Playa Sucia
🚗 Parking: Free street parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Cabo Rojo
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Cozy 1BR Apartment

Located close to the charming village of Cabo Rojo, on Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast, you’ll find an untouched beach framed by almond trees and coconut palms: Playa Sucia, which is all the contrary to what the name suggests (Playa Sucia literally means dirty beach).

To reach the wild and pristine Playa Sucia you’ll need to do a short 10 minutes hike from the parking lot, but it will definitely be worth it! Once there you can just relax on the white sand without the noise of people, swim in the transparent waters or just take in the breathtaking panorama!

NOTE: There are no facilities there, so make sure you bring your own food and drinks if you plan on spending the whole day!

8. Combate beach – best party beach in Puerto Rico, USA

8 Combate beach best party beach

📍 Location: Combate Beach
🚗 Parking: Free street parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Cabo Rojo
🏨 Recommended Hotel: El Combate

Around 20 minute drive from Playa Sucia, you’ll find another unspoiled paradise in Puerto Rico’s southwest coast: Combate Beach, part of Boquerón National State Forest. From here you will see the most incredible sunsets in the island!

But this doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the beach during the day. Combate hosts big reefs to explore, and many restaurants and bars in the close surroundings, which turned it a favorite among younger crowds.

So get ready to just relax on its white sand, go swimming and diving in its calm waves, or join some crazy beach parties on weekends!

9. Sun Bay Beach – best beach in Puerto Rico for families

9 Sun Bay Beach

📍 Location: Sun Bay Beach
🚗 Parking: Free beachfront parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Vieques
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Esperanza Inn Guesthouse

If you’re going to Puerto Rico with your family and you want to spend a relaxing and fun beach day without being surrounded by speakers playing loud music (hard in Puerto Rico) you should hop on a 30 minute ferry to Sun Bay Beach, on the beautiful Vieques island!

This golden sand beach (apart from being absolutely beautiful), stretches over one mile, so you go for long waterside walks, and offers picnic areas, barbecue grills, food kiosks, lifeguards, and toilets… So you will have all the facilities you need to spend some quality time with your beloved ones!

If you want to know more about Vieques and where to stay there, check out this post about the best places to stay in Puerto Rico!

Other must-sees in Vieques are the stunning Playa Caracas, a snorkeling paradise, or Mosquito Bay, where you will see the magical phenomenon of Bioluminescence… interested? Then check out this tour from Vieques

10. Escambrón Beach – closest beach to Old San Juan

10 Escambron Beach

📍 Location: Escambrón Beach
🚗 Parking: Beachfront paid parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Old San Juan
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Kasa Skyview

If you are going to spend your whole holiday in Puerto Rico’s capital, you need to check out Escambrón Beach, located just a short walk from Old San Juan: the historical, and cultural center of the Island, and one of the best areas to stay in San Juan!

Escambrón Beach has a Blue Flag award, which means it is easily swimmable: get ready to splash, snorkel or go scuba diving! 

This white sand beach has the same crystal waters as the beaches on the west coast but is surrounded by many hotels and restaurants, so it is more accessible and is also fully equipped with family-friendly amenities, like toilets, showers, food stalls, and there’s even a kid’s playground nearby! 

11. Jobos Beach – great beach to both chill and surf

11 Jobos Beach Closest Town Isabela

📍 Location: Jobos Beach
🚗 Parking: Free Street Parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Isabela
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Parador Villas del Mar

If you are going to Puerto Rico with a group of friends, and some of you are surfers but others just want to chill under the sun, I have the place to meet everyone’s needs: Jobos Beach, one of the most popular beaches in the coastal town of Isabela.

In Jobos Beach the waves break far from the shore, so you can dip in the water, which is low until the waves’ breakpoint, while your friends catch some good waves! 

The beach brims with bars and restaurants where to have a snack, a fresh cocktail or a meal… I suggest Uma Bar, which is also one of the only beach bars on the island with wifi (I had such a hard time finding one!), in case you need to get some work done!

PRO TIP: About a 3 minute drive from Jobos, you’ll find Montones, a super tranquil beach with way fewer crowds, hosting a natural pool (called pool of Manati), which is just incredible and perfect for families with small kids!

12. Luquillo Beach – best beach in Puerto Rico for foodies

12 Luquillo Beach best beach in Puerto Rico for foodies

📍 Location: Luquillo Beach
🚗 Parking: Beachfront paid parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Luquillo
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar

Luquillo Beach, located on Puerto Rico’s north coast, is an amazing beach for 2 main reasons: exciting watersports and access to delicious food… great combo, right?

In fact, here you can try kite-surfing, jet skiing, kayaking and paddleboarding, and recharge your energies after all these activities at the many food stalls selling traditional Puerto Rican cuisine (try the fried empanadas and tostones!).

Also, Luquillo beach is only 15 minutes drive from El Yunque National Forest, a must among all the best things to do in Puerto Rico!

13. Isla Verde Park – one of the closest beaches to the airport

13 Isla Verde Park closest beaches to the airport

📍 Location: Isla Verde
🚗 Parking: On-street free parking
🗺️ Closest Town: Isla Verde
🏨 Recommended Hotel: Latitude Adjustment

If you want to have one last dip in Puerto Rico’s warm waters, or you’ve just arrived on the island and you want to go straight to the beach, the Isla Verde neighborhood is located literally 10 minutes from San Juan international airport!

Ilsa Verde is divided into 3 main beaches: Pine Grove for surfers, the laid-back Alambique, and Balneario de Carolina for families, all offering access to the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean and to great restaurants, bars, shopping centers, and hotels at walking distance!

🏖️ Best urban beach:Condado Beach
🤿 Best beach to snorkel: Flamenco Beach
🌊 Best surf beach:Domes Beach
🌴 Most beautiful Beach:Tortuga Beach
👪 Best family-friendly beach:Sun Bay Beach 
✈️ Closest to the airport:Isla Verde 
⬅️ West Coast:Best for beaches
➡️ East Coast:Best for forests / nature

FAQs about Puerto Rico Beaches

2 Culebra Best places to stay in Puerto Rico for couples

🏖️ Which are the best beaches is Puerto Rico?

The best beaches in Puerto Rico are Playa Sucia, close to Cabo Rojo, Tortuga Beach in Culebrita Island – perfect if you want to snorkel, or the laid back Alambique, in Isla Verde area, the closest area to the airport!

📍What part of Puerto Rico has the best beaches?

The west coast has definitely the best beaches in Puerto Rico, both if you want to surf, like in Domes Beach and Jobos Beach, or just chill, as in Playa Crash Boat!

🏄‍♀️ Which are the best beaches in Puerto Rico for surfing?

The best beaches in Puerto Rico to surf are Domes Beach (also called Maria’s beach), Jobos Beach, and Surfer’s Beach, all located on the west coast and working better in winter.

🤿 Which are the best beaches in Puerto Rico to dive?

The best beaches in Puerto Rico to dive or snorkel are the Seven Seas Beach, Tortuga Beach in Culebrita or Playa Sucia, located on Puerto Rico’s Southern coast .

Conclusion

Best AirBNB to stay Puerto Rico

Well, we are already at the end of this tropical vacation through some of the BEST beaches in Puerto Rico, which ones will you visit first? 

Whether you’re looking for a beach where to just chill with the family, snorkel in crystal clear waters, surf perfect waves or to escape the crowds of San Juan, there is the right place for you here!

Just remember to rent a car if you want to visit these stunning beaches. Puerto Rico doesn’t have public transport, so there’s no other way to move around (unless you want to spend a fortune in taxis). 

I hope you enjoyed my guide as much as I did sharing with you all the dreamy spots I’ve been to in Puerto Rico, and if you want to suggest some more beaches or you have any question for me, please share them in the comments below, I am looking forward to reading them all!

Have an exciting holiday!

Elena


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