n. b. These rural beaches usually have car parking and charge about $5 a day for it.
• Playa Luquillo (aka Balneario La Monserrate)
30 miles (less than 50km) east of San Juan, Luquillo is a long Blue Flag beach with generally calm waters, backed by shady trees and bushes with plenty of useful kiosks behind the tree line.
It offers all the facilities you could wish for including showers, restrooms, cafés, camping, lifeguards, sun shades and sun lounger and is the best for families.
There are a number of watersports options such as kayaking, snorkeling, jet skis. It’s one hour’s drive east from San Juan, near the entrance to El Yunque forest. Open 8am to 6pm.
• Cabo Rojo
On Puerto Rico’s southwest side is for the best scenery as it has sensational sunsets and several terrific beaches, also along the Cabo has some great snorkelling spots:
• Playa Boqueron
This long soft sand beach lined with palm trees stocks all the usual facilities plus a kids play area, basketball court, lifeguard and accommodation in the shape of cabins for rent. St #101. For the peace and quiet, try some of secluded sandy coves along the stretch between Cabo Rojo and Ponce to the east, such as Las Paldas and La Jungla at Guanica.
• Playa Buyé
More picture postcard panoramas of bleached sand and dazzling seas, good for snorkeling.
• Playuela (Playa Sucia)
Located at the southern tip of Cabo Rojo, Playa Sucia is in a sheltered cove with white sand bordered by cliffs and lighthouse, making it one of the island’s prettiest.
• Crash Boat Beach
Near Aguadilla is a great beach for watersports including snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking and fishing. It has all the normal facilities but gets very busy at weekends. Far northwest of Puerto Rico island, near Aguadilla, end of Rte 458.
• Seven Seas Beach
Seven Seas in Fajardo offers lots of space, trees, clear Blue Flag waters, soft sand, and all the necessary facilities including lifeguards, security, BBQs and camping zones for $10 per night. Due to its narrow shoreline and the gentle waves here, this beach is an ideal for kids, too. It’s just on the other side of the peninsula from the big ferry port. Open 8. 30am – 5pm. Fajardo St # 987.
• Vega Baja Beach (aka Playa Puerto Nuevo)
This beach offers an unusual natural saltwater pool that works well for kids and non-swimmers. Apart from that the sand is fine and beige and the sea is protected by a breakwater so very calm. Facilities are limited to food kiosks and guards. Maybe! Vega Baja St #686, between San Juan and Arecibo.
Surfers should head to the northwest coast, especially Rincón, the hub of surfing, as well as Isabela and Aguadilla, as the area is Puerto Rico’s best serfing site. Nicknamed as “Caribbean Pipeline”, winter waves can reach up to 6m high. The best beaches for the surf are Pool’s, Sandy Beach, Antonio, Tres Palmas and Domes in Rincón.
The best time to go surfing there is winter months from November to April.