View of the author sitting on the sand by the beach in Puerto Rico

19 Best Puerto Rico Beaches for 2021 (By a Local!)

Puerto Rico has hundreds of beaches, so it’s understandable if you are finding it hard to decide which ones to visit.

As a Puerto Rico local and a huge beach lover, I know there is a beach for the family, the nature lover, and the businessman. But it’s hard to tell which is which just by looking at the pictures. 

To help you out, I’ve put together a list of the 19 best beaches in Puerto Rico so you can find the perfect beach for you!

Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support my work by purchasing through the affiliate links on this page, which may earn a commission for this site. Thank you!

19 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Condado Beach

San Juan

View of a person swimming in Condado Beach in San Juan

Google Maps | Parking: free parking on nearby streets or private parking, $8-$10 | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: La Concha Renaissance San Juan Resort

Condado Beach is a great beach for first-time visitors in Puerto Rico. Located in a popular resort area of San Juan, this beach offers watersports, beach chairs, umbrellas rentals, and beachfront restaurants to enjoy the morning on the beach and the afternoon walking around the city.

👉 Headed to San Juan? Be sure to bookmark my list of the top things to do in the city!

Jobos Beach

Isabela

View of Jobos Beach in Isabela
Jobos is a popular surfing spot on the north coast

Google Maps | Parking: free on the street | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Parador Villas del Mar Hau

Jobos beach is popular among local surfers. The currents are strong though, so swimming at this beach isn’t recommended for inexperienced swimmers or kids. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy your beach day, though. 

You can choose to stay in the shallow part or eat local street food from the nearby food kiosks. Keep in mind that there aren’t any facilities on the beach and that it gets crowded during the weekends.

Sun Bay Beach

Vieques

View of the Sun Bay Beach in Vieques and some palm tree by the beach

Google Maps | Website | Parking: $4, free Mon-Tue during low season | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: El Blok

Sun Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico for nature lovers. Sun Bay Beach sports white sand, blue waters, a relaxing landscape, and beautiful wild horses along with facilities like showers, bathrooms, lifeguards, and a cafeteria. You can also camp on the beach for $10 a night. 

👉 Want to Explore Puerto Rico like a Local? Check my rundown of my 49 favorite things to do and see in Puerto Rico! It covers popular activities but also some things to do that only locals know about!

Playa Pelicano

Caja de Muerto, Ponce

View of Playa Pelicano and a rugged hill in Caja de Muerto

Google Maps | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort

Puerto Rico’s southern coast offers one of the top beaches on the island, Playa Pelicano in Caja de Muerto. This is ideal to reconnect with nature and to enjoy with your family. You’ll find bathroom facilities and gazebos where you can enjoy your lunch, but you’ll have to bring everything else needed for a day trip to the beach.

⛴️ How to Get There: Since the 2020 earthquakes the ferry to Caja de Muerto leaves from Marina Salinas. You need to make a reservation on their site.

Luquillo Beach

Luquillo 

View of the Luquillo Beach and some palm tree in it

Google Maps | Parking: $4 cars, $8 buses | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort

Luquillo beach is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico for a few reasons. Located next to El Yunque, it sports warm and shallow waters along with hundreds of palm trees that are ideal for family beach time. But, what makes Luquillo Beach so popular are the beachfront kiosks with traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and fresh seafood.

Combate Beach

Cabo Rojo

View of Combate Beach in Puerto Rico at sunset

Google Maps | Parking: free in nearby areas | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Combate Beach Resort

If you’re looking for a Puerto Rico beach that offers both fun and great sunsets then head straight to Combate Beach. It’s close to restaurants, snack bars, and other popular spots among locals. Even if there aren’t any facilities, it’s a preferred beach by young people, which means there’s always a lively atmosphere during the weekends. 

Mar Chiquita

Manatí

View of the author having fun in Mar Chiquita
Watch your step, the rocks at the shore are slippery

Google Maps | Parking: free in front of the beach | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Hyatt Place Manati

Mar Chiquita is a hidden gem in Puerto Rico and one of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Mar Chiquita is a natural pool in the form of a half-moon, formed by two giant limestone rock formations. It doesn’t have many palm trees for shade so you should take umbrellas, chairs, and sunblock with you.

Playa Peña 

Old San Juan

View of some small waves from the blue water of Playa Pena
Playa Peña can be seen from Castillo San Cristobal

Google Maps | Parking: Around the streets of Old San Juan | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel:  352 Guest House

Old San Juan is our top choice for the best area to stay in San Juan, so there is a good chance you’ll be based there. If you’re looking for a secluded beach just a short walk away from Old San Juan’s historical attractions, then Playa Peña is for you. Playa Peña, also known as La Ocho Beach, is located across the Capitol and you get there through the stairs next to the statue. There aren’t any lifeguards or facilities on the beach, so you need to swim with precaution.

👉Local Tip: Playa Peña beach is not recommended for children for its strong rip currents. But, during the summer, a natural pool emerges on the west side of Playa Peña safe for the whole family.

Playa Crash Boat 

Aguadilla

View of the colorful landscape in Crash Boat and its pier
You can jump from the pier at Crash Boat

Google Maps | Parking: Free parking in nearby areas and streets or paid parking across the beach | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Parador El Faro

Playa Crash Boat in Aguadilla is a favorite among the locals for its colorful landscape, its pier, and the availability of watersports like jet skiing. 

This Puerto Rico beach actually splits into two parts. One sports a paying parking lot and facilities like bathrooms and showers. The other free side doesn’t have facilities, but you’ll find kiosks and watersports equipment rentals. Once at the beach, you can cross from one side to the other.

Tortuga Beach

Culebrita Island

View of a small boat on Tortuga Beach

Google Maps | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Club Seabourne Hotel

Tortuga Beach is the perfect destination to disconnect yourself from the world. You can only get there by water taxi or a private boat. If you’re into hiking, historical ruins, and snorkeling, you will love Tortuga Beach. You’ll find all kinds of marine life in the water including sea turtles and a beautiful old lighthouse on land.

Flamenco Beach

Culebra Island

View of an old rusty tank by the beach in Flamenco Beach

Google Maps | Parking: $5 parking plus $2 per person admission | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Aleli Cottages

Once rated among the top ten beaches in the world, Flamenco Beach offers visitors the opportunity of a getaway in the Caribbean with crystal clear waters and a low tide safe for the whole family. Besides sporting great landscapes with coconut palms for shade, picnic areas to rest, and an iconic military tank to photograph, the crystal clear waters off Flamenco Beach offer great snorkeling.

👉Local Tip: If you want to explore other beaches of Culebra, check out Playa Carlos Rosario just a 20-minute hike away from Flamenco’s Beach parking lot. Even if it doesn’t offer any facilities this beautiful beach is home to great coral reefs to explore. 

Icacos

Fajardo

Aerial view of Icacos Beach and some yacht and small boat on it
You can visit Icacos on a Day Trip from San Juan

Google Maps | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: El Conquistador Resort

Icacos is one of the many cays of Puerto Rico and is located on the east coast. This small cay offers one of the most beautiful shores in Puerto Rico, with shallow clear waters and fine sand perfect for beach bumming or snorkeling close to coral reefs. You can get there by water taxi or a private tour but go prepared as there aren’t any facilities on the island.

👉 Pro Tip: Icacos makes for a great day trip if you are based in San Juan. If you’re looking for more excursions to take from there, be sure to check out my full article on the best San Juan day trips!

Playa Sucia

Cabo Rojo

View of Playa Sucia on a sunny day

Google Maps | Parking: free at designated areas | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Combate Beach Resort

Don’t get confused by the name, which means “Dirty Beach” in Spanish. Playa Sucia is actually one of Puerto Rico’s most breathtaking beaches!

Located on Puerto Rico’s southwestern coast, Playa Sucia offers visitors a natural landscape without any resorts and a picture-perfect beach to lie on all day.

👉 Did you Know? Playa Sucia is just minutes away from Los Morrillos Lighthouse, one of the best places to visit in Puerto Rico. Check my complete local guide of the best spots to go in Puerto Rico to learn more about this amazing place.

Cayo Aurora

Guanica

View of the clear water in Cayo Aurora and a wooden pathway

Google Maps | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Copamarina Beach Resort & Spa

Cayo Aurora, also known as Gilligan’s island, sports another one of the top seashores in Puerto Rico. You can reach Gilligan’s island by renting a kayak or by private boat. This cay is famous for its shallow and clear waters ideal for kayaking and snorkeling.

Isla Verde

Carolina

View of people having fun in Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach in Isla Verde is perfect for kids 

Google Maps | Parking: free on nearby streets in Isla Verde, $4 in Carolina Beach | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Courtyard by Marriott Isla Verde Beach Resort

Isla Verde Beach is accessible and convenient for every traveler. It’s perfect area to stay in Puerto Rico if you want to enjoy the blue waters of the north coast of Puerto Rico without leaving the metro area. Isla Verde splits into Pine Grove, Alambique, and Balneario de Carolina and it sports bathrooms, showers, and beachfront restaurants with Puerto Rican cuisine.

Ocean Park Beach

San Juan

View of a beautiful sunset in Ocean Park Beach

Google Maps | Parking: free parking across the beach | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Numero Uno Beach House

If you’re looking for a Puerto Beach beach in the capital that is less crowded than Isla Verde, drive a little farther to Ocean Park Beach. Even if Ocean Park Beach is small and doesn’t have any facilities, this public beach sports a Miami Beach-style vibe and it offers adventurers sports like kite surfing and beach volleyball.

🚗 Is Driving in Puerto Rico Safe? Yes, but check out my full guide to how to drive in Puerto Rico if it’s your first time!

Poza del Obispo

Arecibo

View of the Poza del Obispo from the top

Google Maps | Parking: free parking across the beach | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Arecibo Inn

Another hidden gem beach lovers can’t miss is Poza del Obispo on the north coast in Arecibo. This public beach is a natural shallow pool formed by rock formations and it’s home to brilliant turquoise waters and golden sand. There aren’t any facilities on the beach, so you need to come prepared.

Escambrón Beach

San Juan

Aerial view of Escambron Beach

Google Maps | Parking: from 8:30 to 5:00 pm, $5 cash | 👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Caribe Hilton

If you want a warm beach with golden sand and clear blue waters without having to go to the west coast, visit Escambrón Beach in San Juan. This family friendly-beach sports a Blue Flag award, and it offers swimmers the opportunity to snorkel or go scuba diving. You will also find bathrooms, showers and food stands.

Punta Icacos

Yabucoa

View of a rocky shore in Punta Icacos

Google Maps | Parking: Free |  👉 Best Nearby Hotel: Rustica Beach Hotel

Don’t get confused by the name: Punta Icacos isn’t the same as Icacos cay. This beach is a hidden treasure in Yabucoa that you will not see in any travel guide! 

Punta Icacos sports blue crystalline waters, among huge white rock formations and it offers visitors a thrilling hike and a  paradisiacal landscape. Please note that there are months when the tide is high and it’s considered dangerous, so consider this when deciding when to visit this part of Puerto Rico.

👉 Local Tip: To get to Punta Icacos you need to hike 15 minutes from the parking spot and then descend the cliff to get to the water. There aren’t any facilities so you’ll need shoes with a good grip and a fully equipped backpack. I recommend this amazing mesh backpack you can fold neatly into your luggage while traveling and use later to take with you clothes, snacks and, snorkeling equipment during your excursions to the beach. 

FAQs About the Beaches in Puerto Rico

What is the prettiest beach in Puerto Rico?

The prettiest beaches in Puerto Rico include Playa Flamenco in Culebra, Mar Chiquita in Manatí, La Poza del Obispo in Arecibo, Playa Tortuga in Culebrita Island and Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo. These top beaches in Puerto Rico are away from resorts and city buildings, and highlight the natural beauty of Puerto Rico.

What side of Puerto Rico has the best beaches?

The north of Puerto Rico offers the best urban beaches like Isla Verde, Condado Beach, and Ocean Park Beach. Aguadilla, Rincón, and Cabo Rojo on the west coast and southwest coast offer the best beaches for surfing, whale watching, and sightseeing. Vieques Island, Culebra, and Culebrita all sport secluded and clear water beaches.

Where is the clearest water in Puerto Rico?

The beaches with the clearest waters in Puerto Rico include Tortuga Beach in Culebrita, Playa Pelícano in Caja de Muerto, Playa Caracas in Vieques, Cayo Aurora, Icacos Beach, Tortuga Beach in Culebra, and Desecheo. 

What is the most beautiful part of Puerto Rico?

The most beautiful destinations in Puerto Rico include Mosquito Bay in Vieques, Flamenco Beach in Culebra, Old San Juan in the capital city, Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo, El Yunque in Rio Grande, Rincon, Manatí and La Parguera in Lajas, among other destinations.

Is Puerto Rico Safe Right Now?

Puerto Rico is generally safe for travel, although tourists should take reasonable precautions to protect against petty theft. Tourists should also monitor the ongoing public health situation and follow all local safety recommendations.

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👉 Want More Local Tips? Check out my full article with tips for traveling Puerto Rico like a local!

And those are the 19 best beaches you need to know about before visiting Puerto Rico!

What beach caught your eye? Drop the name in the comments below!

Oh, and if you’re still thinking about what else to do in Puerto Rico, make sure to check out my complete guide of the 49 best things to do in Puerto Rico so you can fill the rest of your travel itinerary!

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