For anyone wanting to get away from it all, and have the most unforgettable vacation of a lifetime, you will most certainly want to head to any one of the almost 300 officially recognized beaches in Puerto Rico. There is such a wide variety of beaches, from those with pristine white sand to ocher to black, those next to large cities and those in remote settings, that you will find the perfect spot for you. Spend time at more than one and you will undoubtedly find that one of these Puerto Rico beaches is “the one” that you will fall in love with and want to return to again and again.
There are many other small towns and attractions that you will also want to visit to get a real taste of the local culture and pick up some souvenirs to remember your trip by. Below we have a sampling of a few of the Puerto Rico beaches that we know you will enjoy, and have tried to add a wide variety. There are so many amazing beaches in the country that it is hard to pick from, but these you will want to be sure to see.
1. Flamenco Beach
Flamenco Beach is one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. It is located on the northern shore of the country’s small island of Culebra in the Caribbean Ocean. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico according to many travel writers, and the Discovery Channel named it the second- most beautiful beach in the entire world!
It lays along a horseshoe-shaped bay covered with a wide span of amazingly soft, white sand. The crystal clear turquoise water is shallow and the bay is protected from rough waves, which makes the waters calm enough that swimming is safe for people of all ages. A little ways off the coast there is a reef, which is a very popular place with scuba divers. Sport fishing is also a favorite activity for locals as well as tourists. There is a wide array of marine life here including wrasse, parrot fish and blue tang as well as many crustacean species such as the Ghost crab.
Bordering the beach is the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, which is one of the oldest wildlife preserves in the United States. Over 50,000 species of birds have made this their summer home. Several species of sea turtles can also be seen nesting in the area, including the endangered leatherback and hawksbill. One of the more odd, but infamous Puerto Rico attractions here are the two rusted out Sherman tanks that were abandoned here by the US Navy.
They have since been “decorated” by people painting layers of graffiti on them. New street art is being added to them regularly, keeping them bright and cheery. All along the shoreline there are vendors selling mounds of local food favorites, drinks, souvenirs and gear for that favorite water sport. Full facilities are scattered throughout as are lifeguards. There is an area set aside for camping that includes showers and all you need. For that perfect holiday, spending the day playing in the amazing water of one of the most beautiful Puerto Rico beaches, then lounging in the sand with a Piña colada watching the sunset is the best way to go.
2. Luquillo Beach
Luquillo Beach is another one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico according to both locals and tourists from all over the world. The fantastic water of the Atlantic Ocean is very calm here, thanks to some spectacular offshore reefs, making this a perfect place to swim and enjoy many varieties of water sports. There are also many places that are prime for diving and snorkeling. The reefs have an amazing array of corals and various aquatic life that you will spend hours trying to see them all.Surrounding the beach are many giant coconut palm trees that provide shade for the whole area. There are many food and drink vendors that offer a wide variety of items, from snacks to full meals, to tempt your taste buds and make you that perfect tropical drink to sip on while watching a beautiful sunset. Many of the vendors play the best tropical music you will hear throughout the day, making it such a fun atmosphere here.Many other stalls will sell you any souvenir or other items you need. Lifeguards are on duty as well to keep everyone safe and having a great time. Once a week the beach has their “Sea Without Barriers” program, which is designed to help those in wheelchairs enjoy the ocean as much as everyone else. With everything this beach has to offer, it is definitely one of the best places to see in Puerto Rico.
3. La Selva
La Selva is known as one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico for surfing. It is a small cove located on the eastern coast of the country, and is one of the more remote and isolated beaches in Puerto Rico. It is in the Northeast Ecological Corridor, which is a protected reserve. The only access to it is a 2 mile walk from La Pared through some beautiful wooded area where you may spot all sorts of native wildlife. This secluded spot is perfect for anyone wanting to enjoy the ocean and Mother Nature without the craziness of many people around. And for surfers, this is one of the Puerto Rico attractions you will want to make the effort to see.
4. Mosquito Bay
Mosquito Bay, also known as the Bioluminescent Bay, is perhaps the most fascinating of all of the Puerto Rico beaches. The luminescence is caused by the dinoflagellate, a micro-organism found in cool deep waters that have many surrounding mangrove trees as well as other prime factors. These little guys glow whenever the water is disturbed, creating a magnificent trail of neon blue.The bay is one of the best examples of a bioluminescent bay found anywhere, and has been listed as a national natural landmark and one of the more popular Puerto Rico attractions. Another factor necessary to maintain the bioluminescence is a channel to the ocean to keep the dinoflagellates in the bay.
As Wikipedia states, “This small channel was created artificially, being the result of attempts by the occupants of Spanish ships to choke off the bay from the ocean.The Spanish believed that the bioluminescence they encountered there while first exploring the area, was the work of the devil (‘El Diablo’) and tried to block ocean water from entering the bay by dropping huge boulders in the channel. The Spanish only succeeded in preserving and increasing the luminescence in the now isolated bay.” In order to further maintain this treasure, no modern development has been allowed.There are small local vendors however, where you can get food and drinks, or even rent a kayak to be able to better view the incredible beauty. This is definitely one of the Puerto Rico beaches you simply must see while in the country.
5. Los Bohios Beach
Los Bohios Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico. Located near Maunabo on the southeastern coast on the island of Vieques, it is one of three beaches known for their warm and wild blue and green waters of the Caribbean. The beach is fantastic for swimming, and surfers from all over love these waters. There are also ample opportunities for diving and snorkeling and enjoying many other water sport.With full facilities everywhere, areas to have barbecues and spectacular scenery all around you, this is one of those Puerto Rico beaches you won’t want to leave. The entire island of Vieques is a wonderful place to explore. It is home to the largest US Fish and Wildlife Preserve in the Caribbean, as well as wild horses and some of the best tropical vegetation you will find.In here is where you will also find the endangered coqui, which are little frogs that sing at night like a bird. They are endemic to the island and can be found in the surrounding mountains. Add to the natural beauty of the island the many restaurants and shops and the lively night scene, this is one of the best places to see in Puerto Rico.
6. Punta Tuna Beach
Punta Tuna Beach is the second of the three Puerto Rico beaches you will find on this island. It is also known as Playa Escondida, or “the hidden beach” by the local. To access it you must take a short walk down a dusty road through some grape trees, which is perfect for keeping it less crowded than many other beaches in Puerto Rico. There is an amazing lighthouse that was built by the Spaniards at the end of the 19th century. It is still in operation and is open to the public, so you can explore this quaint Puerto Rico attractions.
7. Los Pinos Beach
Los Pinos Beach is the third of the trio of Puerto Rico beaches that are on the island that are mostly visited by locals, but are well worth seeing. On one side of the beach there is a hill that is lined with pine trees, which is where the name, which means “the pines”, comes from. The sand at this beach shines from black carbon minerals, making it very beautiful.It is claimed by the locals that this comes from either underwater volcanoes, or fossil fuel deposits in the sea. Whatever the source, it is another of the interesting places to see in Puerto Rico. The deposits do tend to stick to anything that is wet however, so it isn’t a popular beach to swim in, but it is still a great place to spend some quiet time while enjoying some more spectacular scenery.
8. Island of Vieques
Also located on the Island of Vieques are Red Beach, Blue Beach, and Green Beach, all beaches in Puerto Rico that were named by the navy and have retained those names over the years even though they are no longer controlled by them. All of these have amazing white sand with palm trees surrounding them that make them picture perfect.The coral reefs out in the amazing blue waters add to the beauty and make for some awesome snorkeling and diving. Lagoons and mangrove swamps are throughout this area that are also amazing to explore and play in. All of these are some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico that you could imagine.
9. Monserrate Beach
Monserrate Beach is one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico as far as locals are concerned. There are camping spots in a grassy area that are wonderful, and a favorite for locals. Also known as Balneario Monserrate, it is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico for tourists from all over the world. It is a “Blue Flag” beach, meaning it is groomed daily and has many other amenities and all of the full facilities that you could possibly need to make a day here the best day ever.There are many vendors all along the shore that offer the best food and drink as well as souvenirs, and anything else you could possibly need to make the day memorable.
With a wide beach of fine sand that is lined with palm trees and a beautiful rain forest behind it, this is one of the most picturesque beaches in Puerto Rico. There is ample room along the warm beach so you will not feel crowded.There is a reef a ways off shore that breaks the waves enough that it is a perfect spot to enjoy a great swim, paddle board, kayak or many other ways to play in the water, and with the many lifeguards on duty everyone can feel safe. The reef provides many species of coral and fish that it is a wonderful place to snorkel and dive. This beach is one of the best Puerto Rico attractions, where you can take a thrilling hike in the rain forest, then relax and cool off in the ocean. Top off the evening sitting on the beach with your favorite tropical drink watching the beautiful sunset!
10. La Pared Beach
La Pared Beach is also considered one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, especially for surfers. The name La Pared means “the wall”, referring to the wall that separates it from the road. The waves in these waters are perfect for surfing or using boogie boards closer to the shoreline. There are a few surf shops in the area where you can get anything you need for a great day of surfing, and you can even get lessons if you are new to the sport.On one end of the beach there is a grassy area with palm trees that offer a cooler place to set up if the sandy area gets too hot. Nearby is the town of Luquillo, which is a wonderful town to explore and visit the many shops and restaurants. While there are vendors on the beach, you will want to explore the wider variety of gifts and souvenirs there are here, as well as take in some of the local culture. For the best option of having the get-away of the ocean next to the convenience of a town, this is one of the Puerto Rico beaches that can’t be beat!
11. Puerto Del Rey
Puerto Del Rey is perhaps one of the busiest beaches in Puerto Rico as it houses the largest marina in the Caribbean. Located by the small city of Fajardo, this beautiful bay is naturally protected from large waves and even tropical storms or hurricanes, making it ideal for the many boats that dock here. If you have sailed to Puerto Rico on your own boat, this is the perfect place to make as your home base while visiting.It has all of the accommodations you could possibly want or need, and is very near amazing place to sail such as the islands of Culebra and Vieques, and a little further out the American and British Virgin Islands.. If you do not have your own boat, this is a great place to rent one, or hire a guide to take you out to sea, whether it is for a diving expedition or to tour the country by boat. Either way, this marina is a spectacular sight, with the 1,000 slips housing boats of all shapes and sizes. It is one of the most remarkable places to see in Puerto Rico.
12. Crash Boat Beach
Crash Boat beach is one of the most remarkable beaches in Puerto Rico. Located near the town of Aguadilla, it was once a military port that was used to rescue crews from downed aircraft from Ramey Air Force Base. There is a pier left over from those operations, and it is the perfect place to fish from or to jump off into the beautiful waters from. Many palm trees line the shore that provide wonderful shade when you aren’t sunbathing and want to cool down a bit.The water here is crystal clear, and with a wide array of marine life to enjoy, it is a perfect place for scuba diving and snorkeling. The ocean here is ideal for surfing, paddle boarding, jet skiing or anything else you could want to do, or sit back in the warm sand watching the people or build a sand castle! A stroll along the beach is also a fantastic way to spend the day or evening as the area is surrounded by some breath taking mountains and there are plenty of colorful, Mediterranean-style seashells to collect. The entire area has that amazing Mediterranean feel to it that makes it one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico to have a great time.
13. Seven Seas Beach
Seven Seas Beach is one of the more popular of the Puerto Rico beaches, especially for tourists on vacation. Located near the town of Fajardo, it is a wonderful Blue Flag beach, meaning it is well maintained and has all of the facilities and lifeguards available that will make your stay here picture perfect and very safe. The crescent shaped beach of pristine sand is lined with palm trees that offer some welcome shade.There are some camping spots available for those that have dreamed of camping on one of the beautiful beaches is Puerto Rico. The crystal clear, warm waters of the ocean offer something for everyone. There are shallow waters that are relatively calm for anyone wanting to wade, swim or snorkel. There are some fantastic reefs where you will see amazing examples of some of the most colorful coral to be found, and many species of marine life, making it a thrill to both snorkel and scuba dive in the area.
The wind along this beach are ideal for windsurfing, sailing, paddle boarding and so much more. Offshore a little further are some small islets, including Icacos, Palominos, Palominito, and Diablo, as well as other uninhabited coral islands that are also amazing to explore and spend some time on. So plan a picnic or grab some local food here, then sip on a Pina Colada while sunbathing on arguably one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico.