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11 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico in 2022

11 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico in 2022

Puerto Rico has some of the most beautiful beaches in all of the Caribbean and the world. The question isn’t whether you should visit a beach in Puerto Rico.

Instead, the daunting question is which of these fantastic beaches should you prioritize, and which can you bear to live without. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the 11 best beaches in Puerto Rico. Read on to learn why we love each one.

The 11 Best Beaches in Puerto Rico in 2022

Ready to hit the beach? Here’s our round up of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. 

1. Isla Caja De Muertos

Shore view of Isla Caja De Muertos, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico

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The ominously named Caja de Muertos, or Dead Man’s Chest, is a small uninhabited island paradise 4.8 miles from the southern coast of Puerto Rico.

The island does not have any restaurants, stores, or hotels but is a gem for nature lovers. Nature lovers will love Caja de Muertos for hiking, bird watching, snorkeling, scenic views, and secluded beaches.

In 1980, the island was designated a nature reserve. Since then, Caja de Muertos has been a haven for endangered turtles, birds, and sea life. 

2. Icacos

Aerial view of Icacos, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico

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Cayo Icacos, or Icacos Island, is another off-shore beach destination in Puerto Rico. It’s the largest island of the La Cordillera Nature Reserve and a short boat ride from the east coast town of Fajardo.

The island landscape is untouched by humans, with palm trees, endemic plants, seashells on soft sands, and crystal clear waters. Cayo Icacos houses a fantastic coral reef network and marine sea life.

Beach-goers and snorkelers at Cayo Icacos are known to spot unique island and marine life, such as dolphins, birds, schools of fish, and sea turtles. 

3. Condado Beach

Condado Beach in San Juan pictured with resorts against the blue skyline

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Condado Beach, popularly known as the “Miami Beach of Puerto Rico,” is a San Juan beach that stretches from the downtown core eastward. The beach is lined by a stretch of palm trees and high-rise buildings and is a popular spot for couples, families, and even celebrities. 

Condado Beach is a great place for sunbathing, lounging, or sightseeing. Being minutes away from downtown San Juan core, Condado is the perfect destination for relaxing after a long day of exploring the city. 

Unfortunately, visitors of Condado can’t swim or surf in the beach waters due to safety concerns. Condado beach is known for having powerful currents and tides. Even the strongest swimmers are recommended to stay out of the seas.

4. Crash Boat

Crash boat, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, pictured from an elevated view

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Located near the northwest town of Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, is the beach popularly known as Puerto Rico’s island party beach, Crash Boat Beach.

Crash Boat Beach is an excellent beach destination for adventure and excitement seekers. The beach offers swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, and even dancing pelicans. 

Crash Boat Beach is a fantastic location to soak up the local Puerto Rican culture. The beachside town, Aguadilla, has plenty of affordable restaurants featuring local Puerto Rican cuisine and many storefronts to explore. 

5. Domes Beach

Domes beach in Playa Rincon, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, pictured on a cloudy day

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Named after an old dome-shaped nuclear power plant that sits behind the beach, Domes Beach in Rincon is one of the most popular surfing destinations in Puerto Rico.

Although the beach has bouncy waves year-round, winter is still the best time to surf at Domes. Domes are also the home of the famous Corona Pro Surf Circuit, which attracts surfers from across the globe. 

Although Domes is mainly known for their surfing, the beach can be enjoyed by non-surfers.

Many visitors like to visit the Punta Higuero Lighthouse Park to soak in the history and scenic views. Domes Beach is also a great place to go humpback whale watching in the winter months while sipping drinks at a casual outdoor bar.

6. Flamenco Beach

Flamenco Beach on Isla Culebra, one of Puerto Rico's best beaches

Chad Zuber/Shutterstock

On the Culebra Islands, Flamenco Beach is often ranked as one of the best beaches on the planet. The beach is known for its shallow, waveless, crystal clear waters and unbelievably white sand.

Flamenco is a Blue Flag-certified beach and the best beach for swimming and diving in Puerto Rico. Flamenco Beach offers a romantic landscape with green rolling hills, lush green tropical vegetation, and vibrant tropical bird species surrounding the spacious white sandy beach.

Culebra Island does not have any large buildings or resorts, but visitors can book campsites if they wish to spend the night. 

7. Isla Verde

Gorgeous view from a resort room in Isla Verde, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico

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Isla Verde Beach is another one of Puerto Rico’s most popular beaches. It’s located right outside San Juan and has won awards for its soft, golden sands and bright blue waters.

The beach is divided into Pine Grove for surfers, Alambique for backpackers, and Balneario de Carolina for families with children.

Isla Verde Beach is a convenient beach destination for travelers who want to stay close to the San Juan International Airport. The beach has countless hotels and resorts nearby for tourist visits.

In addition, Isla Verde Beach is located fifteen minutes from the historic Old San Juan, which has many attractions and experiences for visitors to learn about Puerto Rico’s rich history and culture.

8. Luquillo

Guard house on Luquillo Beach, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico

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Luquillo Beach, also known as Balneario La Monserrate, is among the most popular Puerto Rican beaches on the island’s east coast. Luquillo is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country.

The beach stretches across 12 miles of Puerto Rican coastline and has areas of golden and white sands. Luquillo Beach is fantastic for long intimate walks on the beach and swimming.

The east coast waters of Luquillo are calmer, which makes it ideal for families with children. Luquillo beach also has lifeguards patrolling the area. Tourists looking to experience the culture can head to Kioskos de Luquillo, also known as the Luquillo Food Kiosks.

Located at the entrance of the Luquillo Beach, the food kiosks feature several traditional foods and drinks, as well as shops with artisanal crafts, souvenirs, and beachwear. 

9. Playa Sucia

Aerial view of Playa Sucio, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico

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Playa Sucia Beach, also known as La Playuela, is a beach located on the southwesternmost tip of Puerto Rico, near Cabo Rojo. The beach enjoys calmer waters than most west-side Puerto Rican beaches, thanks to the shape of the water.

As a result, the beach is safe for swimming and wading in shallow waters but can still be dangerous if you attempt to go deeper in. The beach is surrounded by complete wilderness, with no beach facilities, lifeguards, or restaurants nearby.

Even so, the beach has consistently been voted one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. The true allure of Playa Sucia is the beauty.

The waters and sands at Playa Sucia change hues as the day goes on. The water can vary from light turquoise to emerald green to cerulean depending on the time.

Depending on the sky, the sands change from sparkling white to pink. Playa Sucia has limestone cliffs, private beach coves, hidden caves, and scenic hiking trails. 

10. Sun Bay

Aerial view of Sun Bay Beach, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, with teal water and green vegetation on the other side on a semi-sunny day

NickSpinder/Shutterstock

The Sun Bay Beach, or Some Beach, is a crescent-shaped beach, located on Vieques Island, 8 miles south of the Puerto Rican mainland.

The beach is fully equipped with picnic areas, campgrounds, barbeque grills, food kiosks, lifeguards, and washrooms. Sun Bay makes a beautiful day trip. However, visitors spending the night are in for a majestic treat.

The southern waters of Vieques house a bioluminescent microorganism called Dinoflagellates, which light up the waters with an electric blue hue. However, these bioluminescent creatures are best seen during a new moon, so plan your trip accordingly.

11. Tortuga Beach

Tortuga Beach, also known as Turtle Beach, is located on a small island off the east coast of Culebra, called Culebrita. The beach gets its name from the herd of hawksbill and leatherback turtles who visit to nest and feed on the beach.

The beach doesn’t have amenities like washrooms and shopping or feed kiosks. However, it has white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, and hiking trails leading to tidal pools, a lighthouse, and other beaches on the island.

Things to Consider

Gorgeous view of Flamenco Beach, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, viewed through the trees

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Puerto Rico is an American Territory. If you are a US citizen or resident, you won’t need your passport to enter Puerto Rico. In addition, US currency is accepted everywhere in the country.

Even most American phone plans will work around Puerto Rico. That being said, even though Puerto Rico is an American Territory, it isn’t subject to the same laws as the United States.

For instance, in Puerto Rico, the legal drinking age is 18, not 21. This is because American territories are given the right to self-governance by Congress.

Being an American Territory, Puerto Rico does have some cultural similarities with the United States and some differences. Puerto Rico has a tipping culture, just like America.

In addition, both Spanish and English are official languages in Puerto Rico. On the other hand, a critical difference between the United States is that Puerto Rico uses metric units of measurement instead of the imperial system.

This means that distances are measured in kilometers instead of miles, and gas is sold in liters instead of gallons. Puerto Rico is classified as having a tropical marine climate. This means that it’s typically hot, humid, and sunny year-round.

In the coastal areas, the temperatures usually range between 76 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, with a consistent humidity of 80%. While Puerto Rico enjoys warm tropical weather, it also experiences tropical storms.

Puerto Rico is on the Hurricane Belt and experiences Hurricane season from July through to November. Even outside of the hurricane season, Puerto Rico does experience rain, although less so. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman walking on Isla Verde, one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico, in a pink bikini

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Still have questions? Keep on reading! 

When is the best time to visit Puerto?

The best time to visit Puerto Rico is from mid-April through to June. Puerto Rico tends to be very busy with tourists during the winter months.

Additionally, The summer months lie in hurricane season. Spring is the best time to visit Puerto Rico because crowds are low, and most days maintain a temperature in the mid-80s. 

Are there private beaches in Puerto Rico? 

By law, Puerto Rico doesn’t have privately owned beaches. Although not all beaches have easy access, all beaches are open to the public. 

Is it safe to travel to Puerto Rico? 

Puerto Rico is relatively safe for visitors. It’s one of the safest islands in the Caribbean and has a lower crime rate than many US cities. Crimes involving gun violence generally don’t affect tourists in Puerto Rico. 

Although violent crimes may not concern visitors, natural disasters can affect tourists.

During the summer months, Puerto Rico has a high risk of hurricanes. Some of these hurricanes can be pretty destructive. For instance, Hurricane Maria, which hit Puerto Rico in September 2017, was extremely dangerous. 

The Best Beaches in Puerto Rico: Final Thoughts

Puerto Rico has countless amazing beaches, all offering unique experiences. Your definition of the best beach in Puerto Rico will undoubtedly change, depending on whether you’re looking to relax on the beach or have a snorkeling or surfing adventure.

If you’re visiting Puerto Rico, you would ideally want to see several different beaches to experience Puerto Rico. However, if you could only visit one, The best beach to visit in Isla Verde. 

Isla Verde is one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico for a good reason. The beach has something to offer to everyone.

Adventure seekers can head to Pine Grove Beach for surfing and other water sports. Campers and backpackers can visit Alambique Beach for a calm relaxing stay. And families can enjoy the day at Balneario de Carolina.

Additionally, The location of Isla Verde is incredibly convenient. The beach has several excellent hotels and resorts close to the San Juan International Airport.

Thanks to its proximity to the historic old San Juan city, tourists can experience a culturally enriching experience and a relaxing beach vacation.