April 22, 2008

The Best Beaches of Puerto Rico?

Being an island, there are, of course, lots of beaches in Puerto Rico. Quality varies, but the geographical location is the greatest determining factor. North and east-side beaches touch the Atlantic. Most of these beaches are decent, but in general are nothing particularly special. The most outstanding include Luquillo, Loíza (so I've heard), and a few around the city of Fajardo. Also in Fajardo are ferries to Culebra and Vieques, both tiny islands known for the beautiful beaches. On the other hand, tourists will be disappointed with the beaches in San Juan--most are small, overcrowded, ugly, and even dangerous. There are some where swimming is prohibited because currents have caused various deaths. My suggestion is to head outside of the city if you want to find a nice one.

The west and south of the island touch the Caribbean Sea and thus are known for the better beaches. Anywhere from Mayagüez to Aguadilla have pleasant beaches, probably the best in the island. Of note is Rincón, not only an ex-pat hangout but a popular surfing spot as well.

I personally don't have much experience with beaches on the island--while this may be a surprise for some, Puerto Ricans don't go to the beach every day, or even at all. Each time I've been it's a special trip and I gather that it's the same for many other families. However, you've probably noticed that I do have a photo of the beach as a header for the blog. If you've ever wondered, it's a picture of the beach Seven Seas in Fajardo, which I visited a year or two ago. I would highly recommend this beach, since the water is slow, shallow, and crystal clear, and the beach in general is beautiful. It does, however, cost 3 dollars to park there (I don't know about entering in general, though... I'm pretty sure you could at least sneak in for free).

Anyways, for those who have spent more time on the beaches, which ones are your favorites? Any secret gems?


Carin said...

If you plan on surfing, make sure your travel insurance covers this activity. Some travel insurance carriers may consider this an extreme sport, which requires Adventure Travel insurance coverage in order to be covered in case of accident or injury. Make sure you understand what your policy covers; it's also wise to doublecheck with your agent about what type of travel insurance is best for your trip.

Petra H said...

I loved the beach by Cabo Rojo, Playa Sucia is beautiful, calm and no dangerous currents and has a great view over the lighthouse! We are planning to take my parents there in two weeks' time!

Ylsel said...

Puerto Ricans do go to the beach... A LOT! — where do you think we spent the holy week? or any other holiday?... I think is part of our lifestyle! :)

You can find us in: Dorado, Isabela, Rincon, Culebra, Vieques, Humacao, Cabo Rojo, Santa Isabel, Guánica (Playa Santa, Gilligan's Island), Lajas (Mata la Gata island/cay, Cayo Caracoles/Sea Shell Cay) etc.

I just think that the locals just want to be as far away as possible from the touristic areas and San Juan and keep some hidden treasures to themselves.

Speaking Boricua said...

Thanks for the advice, carin! I'm not a surfer so I had no idea.

Ylsel- I didn't mean to say that Puerto Ricans never go to the beach. It's just that many people have the misconception that residents of a tropical island live their whole lives on the beach and don't work. Little do they know that islanders do have responsibilities and that they have to work to make a living just as much as, if not more than, anyone else in the world.

Anonymous said...

ay dios mio.las mejores playas son cana gorda en guanica, gilligans island y boqueron.......ay me muero por estar ahi ahora mismo