The Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Sun, sand, and waves… This is what Puerto Rico is all about, and no trip to the island is complete without a couple beach adventures.

The Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

The island is home to a wide variety of beaches — from white sand to black sand — to suit every single type of traveler. Whether you’re staying on the main island or traveling to the smaller Culebra and Vieques islands, you’re sure to find the beach of your dreams among the top beaches in Puerto Rico.

Looking to relax? Head to one of the secluded beaches with few tourists. Hoping to see some wildlife? Visit one of the popular dive sites for some snorkeling or scuba diving. Want to get your adrenaline pumping? Visit one of the beaches surrounded by cliffs and dive right in!

There’s no shortage of stunning coastlines, crystal-clear waters, and underwater wonders to discover on the island. Check out our guide to the best beaches in Puerto Rico and start planning your paradise adventure today.

People relaxing on pool chairs on a resort
Beautiful tropical palm trees at popular touristic Condado beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Ultimate Insider's Guide to Bioluminescent Bays

If you’ve ever searched for pictures of Puerto Rico’s glowing water online, or watched the scene in “Life of Pi” when the boy dips his hand into the luminous sea beneath him, you can likely picture the glow-in-the-dark water that gives the bays their name.

The Best Beaches

A carefully curated collection of the best beaches you can find in Puerto rico

Isla Verde Puerto Rico Sunset
Isla Verde

Where it is: Isla Verde is one of the most popular San Juan beaches due to its proximity to some of the best hotels and resorts in the city. It’s located on the north coast of Puerto Rico in the municipality of Carolina, just minutes away from the San Juan Airport. For travelers looking for the all-inclusive resort experience, this is the perfect beach, located near restaurants, bars, casinos, and nightclubs.

What to do: This beautiful Caribbean beach features all the water sports you could want, from surfing and paddle boarding to banana boats and parasailing. Isla Verde is also close to cultural and historic attractions. It’s just a 15-minute drive away from Old San Juan, so you can relax on the sand in the morning and enjoy a history tour in the afternoon. It’s also a great place for foodies, with countless places to enjoy seafood and local cuisine. Whether you’re looking for luxury or staying on a budget, this beach has something for everyone.

How private is it? Not very. This beach is at the center of San Juan tourism, so don’t expect much privacy or seclusion. It is, however, an excellent place for people watching!

Playa-Carcas
Playa Caracas

Where it is: Playa Caracas is located in the Vieques National Wildlife Refuge, on the south side of Vieques, a smaller island off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico. It was previously known as Red Beach. This beach was occupied by the US Navy until 2003, preserving its stunning white-sand cove and crystal-clear water.

What to do: This is a family-friendly beach and a local favorite for its turquoise waters and soft coral sand. The gentle waves are perfect for boogie boarding, and the vast expanse of sand is great for sunbathing, having a picnic, or playing volleyball. The beach has cozy gazebos (but you have to get there early to claim one), but otherwise has no facilities, so be sure to bring trash bags and any other supplies you might need. When the water is calm, it’s a wonderful place to snorkel. The stunning scenery surrounded by lush tropical plants and dramatic cliffs also lends itself to amazing photos.

How private is it? This beach has gained popularity lately, so you’ll probably find a crowd, especially on the weekends.

Flamenco beach, Puerto Rico
Flamenco Beach

Where it is: Flamenco Beach is one of the most popular destinations on Culebra Island, perfect for a day trip from the main island. Flamenco is often ranked among the best beaches in the Caribbean and the world, due to its warm waters, soft sand, and tropical fish.

What to do: This is the perfect beach to relax on the sand, enjoy a leisurely swim, or snorkel and meet Godzilla, the large grouper who visits the beach every day. You can sometimes spot turtles as you swim on snorkel in the crystal-clear waters. The most iconic feature of the beach are the two Sherman tanks abandoned on what was previously a testing ground for the Navy. They’ve been there since 1975 and make for great photos. There are also great places to hike to nearby. You can enjoy a 30-minute walk to Resaca Beach, which is much more secluded as it can only be reached on foot.

How private is it? Because of its popularity as one of the most beautiful beaches, it’s often crowded during the holidays and summer, but the beach is large enough that you can enjoy your own space and not feel surrounded by people.

Punta Soldado Beach, Isla Culebra
Playa Punta Soldado

Where it is: Located on Culebra Island, Playa Punta Soldado is a great peaceful alternative if you think Flamenco Beach is a little too crowded. This pebbly beach is calm and secluded, with beautiful crystal-clear water and a rocky shore. If you’re visiting Culebra by boat or plane, you can head to this spot for a relaxing day on the beach. You can drive straight to the beach, so there’s no need to hike.

What to do: The calm waters of Punta Soldado are perfect for snorkeling and beginner scuba diving. The water is clear and full of colorful marine life. There are no facilities on this beach, so if you’re planning to spend a good amount of time here, make sure you bring water, food, and gear for any water activities you’re planning to enjoy. It’s a good idea to bring water shoes as you’ll have to walk over pebbles to get into the water. This beach has beautiful coral reefs, so please be careful and be sure not to touch or step on them. This is also an excellent area for beachcombing.

How private is it? Very! This beach doesn’t get a lot of traffic, so you can enjoy some peace and seclusion. If you’re looking for a quiet spot to relax, this is it!

pinones-beach
Piñones Beach

Where it is: Just 2 miles from San Juan, this quiet little beach is both conveniently located and peaceful. It’s located along Route 187 in Piñones on the northern coast of the island. Take a day trip just outside the city and enjoy a wonderful day in the sun!

What to do: If you’re looking for some action, you can rent a kayak and paddle around the lagoon and mangroves. There is a ton of wildlife to encounter as you enjoy the calm waters, which are also perfect for a swim. The nearby boardwalk is also a nice place for a walk or bike ride. But the best thing about Piñones is the food. Enjoy some bacalaítos, empanadillas, tostones, and other delicious fried snacks from local vendors.

How private is it? You’ll likely find some locals here enjoying a good time, but this beach is rarely crowded.

Condado Beach

Where it is: Condado Beach is located in San Juan, and you can access it through Ventana al Mar Park. Since it’s in the city, you can drive there and park on the street or a garage. This beach is often compared to Miami Beach due to its diverse crowd, including celebrities!

What to do: This is the perfect beach for resort-lovers, honeymooners, and families. It has all the facilities and accommodations you need for a relaxing, luxury beach day. With umbrellas and loungers available for rental (unless you’re staying at a resort, in which case they’re free), you can sit back and relax and order a drink from the waiters on site. Condado Beach has strong currents, so it’s not a great swimming spot for children or inexperienced swimmers. You can enjoy all sorts of water sports, taking advantage of the wind and current.

How private is it? Because of its location next to the resorts, this beach can get busy.

playuela
La Playuela (Playa Sucia)

Where it is: Located in Cabo Rojo on the southwestern coast of Puerto Rico, this half-moon-shaped beach has beautiful white sand and turquoise water; it’s a little slice of paradise. You can spot it from Cabo Rojo Lighthouse, and you’ll be tempted to go explore this local gem. From the lighthouse, there are trails that lead right to the beach. The hike is worth it for an unforgettable day on the beach of your dreams.

What to do: The landscape is so stunning that you’ll probably want to just sit back and soak it all in while you relax on the warm sand. There is plenty to explore on the trails around the beach, and you can find a quiet spot under the shade of a tree for a picnic (pack a lunch, because there are no facilities on the beach). The water is warm and often calm, although you might find more waves on some days.

How private is it? It depends on when you visit. You might find a crowd in the summer, but throughout the rest of the year, you can enjoy plenty of space to yourself.

Playa de Icacos, Puerto Rico
Cayo Icacos

Where it is: This little island is located off the coast of Fajardo, and you can reach it by boat from Las Croabas or on a private charter. When you picture a deserted island, you probably imagine something like this white-sand beach, with crystal-clear water (the clearest on the east coast of Puerto Rico), an abandoned pier, and a wonderful variety of wildlife.

What to do: You absolutely must snorkel in these gorgeous waters and encounter the tropical fish, coral reef, and manta rays. You can also enjoy a refreshing swim or paddle board in the warm sunshine. Many private charters to this island include a variety of activities for you to enjoy, or you can just lay out on the sand and enjoy your day in paradise. Just be sure to pack anything you need if you’re getting dropped off on a boat, or ask your tour operator what amenities they include, because there are no facilities on the island.

How private is it? While you can find some wonderful tours that will take you here, you won’t find a lot of crowds at this peaceful beach.

balneario-la-monserrate
La Monserrate (Playa Luquillo)

Where it is: Located in Luquillo on the northeast of Puerto Rico, La Monserrate is loved by locals and tourists alike. With clear waters, large palm trees, and plenty of convenient facilities, this is a popular spot for families or large groups looking for a fun day on the beach. This is a Blue Flag Beach, meaning it’s kept clean, safe, and eco-friendly.

What to do: The calm waters and low tides make it the perfect beach to swim and play in the sand with kids. There are designated picnic areas and camping grounds you can enjoy. There is a wide variety of food kiosks where you can enjoy fresh seafood, fried snacks, and topical cocktails. The beach is just a 15-minute drive from El Yunque National Forest, so it’s perfect to hit up after your rainforest adventures to relax and unwind.

How private is it? This is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, so you’ll rarely see it empty!

Boqueron Beach, Cabo Rojo PR
Boqueron Beach

Where it is: Located in Cabo Rojo, Boqueron Beach is part of the Boqueron National State Forest. This beach was once a hideaway for pirates (it’s even said they hid some treasure in the caves nearby!). It features sparkling waters and a pristine shore that stretches over a mile, and it’s designated as a Blue Flag Beach.

What to do: This beautiful beach is a paradise for divers and wildlife lovers. You can spot marine life as well as native birds protected by the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge. There are public facilities nearby, so you can enjoy a snack, sit in a gazebo, or try fresh oysters from a kiosk!

How private is it? If you visit during the week, you can expect to find it fairly deserted. On the weekends, there might be more of a crowd.