Puerto Rico has so many things to offer, from beautiful cities to explore, history to learn, rainforests to wander and delicious food to devour. But with all of that there is almost no one who goes to Puerto Rico without intending to spend time relaxing and enjoying the beaches.
The island has beaches to spare, but while exploring from San Juan to Fajardo we found a handful that are worth a trip back. Some are just out of San Juan and others involve hopping on the ferry to Culebra. If you’re visiting soon pick out a few of these spots to dive into on your trip.
My two favorites have to be a tie for the most beautiful beach we visited, Playa Flamenco, and the best waves we found to play in, Ocean Park.
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You will need to catch a ride here, but there are a variety of catamaran tours that you can hop on or local fishermen might be happy to take you over as well for a more private tour. This practically deserted island has beautiful white beaches, turquoise waters and a clear view back of Puerto Rico. You can lay on the beach or snorkel off the shore. I also enjoyed relaxing on the boat enjoying. There is also a beautiful reef right off shore where the tour will take you, or your boat can dock up as you snorkel on the reefs. If you’re making your own tour bring some bread with you. It was fun feeding the fish on the reef.
This has to be the most beautiful beach I have ever seen, and since it makes so many lists I know I am not the only one who thinks so. You will find it on the island of Culebra, which is about an hour ferry ride from Fajardo, where you witness the Caribbean Sea meet the Atlantic Ocean. For only $3.50 each way it’s a bargain trip. You can easily spend $20 for two for a whole day on the island. With white sand beaches and water so clear you can see the bottom, even at 20 feet deep, it is a true treasure. It feels like you’ve reached a place untouched in many ways. We spent most of the day switching between floating in the water and laying on the beach.
Just around the corner from the Luquillo Kiosks, where you can find any type of tasty street food, you will find the Playa Luquillo. This beach was perfect for a quick stop before we headed over to El Yunque to explore. They also have lifeguards (in season) and food service/restrooms on the beach. I loved walking along this beach, getting a great view of a new side of the island if you’ve just headed over from San Juan. People were also taking kayaking tours in the area and it looked like a perfect spot to do that as well.
Also on Culebra, this beach is named after the trees that surround it. You find a beautiful view off the island and a reef right along it. We took a tour out snorkeling. Here we saw stingrays, sea turtles and dozens of fish. We swam a good while off shore and had the chance to explore this bay. Learn a little more about our trip to Culebra and exploring Tamardino here.
Ocean Park Beach
While Ocean Park did not have the breathtaking beauty of some of the beaches we’d come across exploring Puerto Rico it did have the best waves. During the winter, the Northeast side of the island was lacking in waves, and as a Southern California girl I love playing in them. Ocean Park actually had ones big enough to body surf on. This beach is in San Juan just west of Isla Verde. You’ll find some smaller more boutique hotels including Numero Uno, where we stayed, here. Also, if you’re staying or ordering from their restaurant Pamela’s they have lounges and umbrellas on the beach. To top that off you can have Piña Coladas brought right to you in the sand.
Relax and Jump In
Puerto Rican beaches offer two great things; the perfect place to relax and the opportunity to jump in and explore. Whether it is learning how to surf, hopping on a paddle board, or heading under the waves to snorkel a bit, make sure you do more than just lay on the beach when you’re visiting.
This list only covers a corner of the island and I am hoping to get back and explore more of it sometime soon. If you’ve been before let me know your favorite beaches.
If you’re planning a trip to Puerto Rico make sure to take a look at my full list of things to do.