Puerto Rico has a pulsating Caribbean heart. But with something more. It has pristine beaches.

The tropical climate, the crystal clear sea and palm trees to enjoy the perfect holiday. But at the same time, in addition to the indisputable Spanish colonial heritage, the island today is part of the Commonwealth of the United States. This means that it has the infrastructure of a modern country, mixed with its traditional Latin American culture. The island is not particularly crowded except in the coastal region around its capital, San Juan. It is embellished with some magnificent beaches which are for mostly not too commercially exploited and which are easily accessible from the capital and its large hotels. 

Luquillo Beach is about fifty miles from the capital San Juan and looks like a big crescent-shaped bay bordered by palm trees, overlooking a lagoon that hides beautiful coral reefs. Playa de Ponce, on the south coast, is ideal for long swims and for regenerating in pleasant tranquillity. Surfers prefer Playa HigueroBoqueron Beach is especially popular with fishermen and divers who go in search of oysters. Find out with us what the 30 beaches not to be missed are.

  • Flamenco Beach Culebra
  • Playa Sucia
  • Loquillo Beach
  • Balneario Boqueron
  • Playa Jobos
  • Playa Montones
  • La Poza de las Mujeres
  • Crash Boat
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Isla Verde
  • Playa Escondida
  • Playa Santa
  • Playa La Guancha
  • Isla de Gilligan
  • Balneario La Monserrate
  • Balneario Pico de Piedra
  • Playa Guajataca
  • Playa Mar Chiquita
  • Puerto Mosquito
  • Balneario Seven Seas
  • Playa El Escambron
  • Playa La Esperanza
  • Spanish Wall Beach, California
  • Playa Villa Pesquera
  • Playa La Chiva
  • Balneario Cerro Gordo
  • Playa Ballena
  • Playa Higuero
  • Playa de Ponce
  • Playa Azul

Flamenco Beach Culebra

Flamenco Beach is the most popular beach in the area of Culebra Island, a small island about 27 kilometres off the east coast of Port Rico. The sand is white and it extends across the entire bay, the crystal clear waters sparkle. The shallow seabed and the reef guard a fascinating underwater world: amongst parrot fish and blue surgeon fish, snorkelling and diving in this paradise will be something unforgettable. You can quietly swim, sunbathe or relax, finding some shelter in the shade.

This paradise place, still little frequented, is bordered by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, a protected natural area, one of the oldest in the country, which holds many species of wildlife. There is one last feature of the beach; over the years it has become a real hallmark: there are two American tanks marked by time, weather and graffiti that can intrigue tourists who do not expect to find these war relics on the sandy arena. Nearby there are kiosks where you can take a break, enjoy fruit or trying a real Pina Colada.

Playa Sucia

Playa Sucia or La Playuela is just a short walk from the Cabo Rojo lighthouseIt's a paradise of crystal clear waters and white sand, and it's part of the Cabo Rojo Reserve.  It is a treasure that is not particularly known, and that comes alive only on the weekend. It is a special place not only for those who want to relax. A trail will take you to a vantage point and enjoy a beautiful view over the bay and the Caribbean Sea. Nearby you can discover the Cabo Rojo lighthouse.

The beach is surrounded by lush mangroves. Cabo Rojo Lighthouse is a historic place in Puerto Rico, built in 1882 by the Spaniards and still in operation. To get there you will need to take an unpaved road for about 15 minutes. This route will allow you to enjoy the Cabo Rojo Nature Reserve and its many mangroves, salt marshes and varied wildlife, especially the colourful birds, with the magical perspective you will have from a hill. Once you've climbed, you'll be struck by the beauty of the Caribbean Sea and the contrast between the Reserve, the lighthouse and the immense limestone cliff reaching the sea. 

Loquillo Beach

The city of Loquillo, a sparkling town, founded in 1797, is known as "the capital of the sun". And its beach can only be a marvel. Located on the northeast side of the island, Loquillo beach is one of the Puerto Rico's most popular and popular. It is also popular with residents and families: soft sand, clear water, but above all calm, make it in fact ideal for children. A majestic array of palm trees make it even more fascinating.  

The beach, which extends for over a kilometreis equipped with all kinds of services: lifeguards, restaurants, stalls, changing rooms, access for disabled and parking. Crowded on weekends, in the week it allows quieter walks under the palm trees and a swim along its characteristic coral reef. The long strip of Loquillo kiosks is particularly popular in the area. At least 60 food vendors will provide an unforgettable culinary adventure: The "path in taste" offers a varied menu, from traditional local cuisine to New York-style pizza, Peruvian, Italian, Mexican, and burgers. If you want to buy souvenirs, the best known are the santos, the figurines of the saints, Carnival masks and mundillo, a handmade lace.

Balneario Boqueron

Playa Boqueron in Puerto Rico is located on the south-west end and is one of the most renowned and well-known in all Puerto Rico. This is a beautiful beach of soft sand nearly 5 kilometres long, bordered by tall and striking palm trees and bathed in a beautiful turquoise sea, with the seabed sloping very gently out to sea. For the more sporty, there are equipped areas where you can play basketball or beach volleyball. The beach is very popular and frequented, offering kiosks where you can enjoy the local cuisine and all kinds of service in the nearby town of Boqueron. 

Playa Jobos

It is a beach located in the neighbourhood of the city of Isabela in the northwest of Puerto Rico. It is considered one of the best destinations for surfing due to the big waves in an area not too deep, but where there are currents, that are sometimes dangerous. Reason for which every year competitions are organised that attract athletes and enthusiasts. The beach is one of the most visited spots in the northwestern part of the island. The name, on the other hand, comes from an old and picturesque neighbourhood in the area (Jobos).

Although Playa Jobos is primarily a beach for sports, it's also a great place to sunbathe with parasols and lounge chairs that can be rented on site, to relax and celebrate. There are some bars and restaurants on the beach, where you can take a break, have a drink and watch the surfers handling their boards. Local dishes and drinks are served at a good price in the kiosks. Around the coast, however, it is possible to make walks in nature.

Playa Montones

Montones is a paradise for ocean lovers wishing to spend their time in the water. An enchanted beach, ideal for those who like to relax and look at the sea in its entirety: you will be faced with an explosion of colours, fresh, clear waters, warm sun and calm waves. A child-friendly place as natural pools, formed by the low tide, are perfect to allow them to play without taking risks. An intimate atmosphere is ideal for taking long walks or for enjoying the sun in peace. On the beach there is a restaurant that will allow you to get to know the typical dishes, and nearby there is also a hostel for those in need of cheap accommodation.  The beach is located near the small town of Isabela, located on the northwest coast of the island.

La Poza de las Mujeres

Its name (the women's pool) refers to the fact that in the years from 1600 to 1700, when Puerto Rico was a colony of Spain, high society women could bathe there. It remained a private place until 1900 when it became open to the general public. A beach set in rocks, where there are shallow natural pools, but also strong currents in the open sea. The beach is part of the “La Esperanza” Reserve, the largest of its kind in Manatì, northwest Puerto Rico. It is possible to take a hike through the mangroves until you reach an estuary with crystal clear waters or climb to the top of a karst hill and explore the remains of a small 19th century sugar farm that flourished thanks to the Rio Grande.

The visitor centre in Esperanza is part of a carefully restored historical site that preserves the only steam engine of its existing genre, fully restored so you can see it in operation. It hosts a science centre which deals with the protection, as well as coasts and natural beauty, andwildlife. Birds, bats and even crustaceans are kept under observation.

Crash Boat

Puerto Rico's Crashboat beach is located on the northwest coast of the island, near the village of Aguadilla and is renowned for beng the best for swimming and snorkelling on the western side of Puerto Rico. It is a beach well-protected from the winds, it is fringed by tall palm trees and lush vegetation and has a beautiful long and very wide coastline of soft sand. The sea has shallow water and crystal clear waters, ideal for children. The beach is often very crowded, especially by families, who like to camp in the shade of the many palm trees that dot the shoreline.

In the winter months, however, it becomes the perfect place for surfers. It is a picturesque beach with a pier and fishing boats. The beach is surrounded by some beautiful mountains offering glorious views of the pristine coastline and sunset on a clear day. There are several versions of how the beach took its unusual name of "Crashboat".

The first is that it is due to a particularly large boat that crashed into the concrete pier before turning south and getting stranded on the beach. Another explanation refers to the use of the area by the military during World War II, who built the pier to house the crash rescue boats squadron, simply called Crashboat: hence the final name.

Playa Tamarindo

Tamarindo Beach is located in the Guanica Forest. This beautiful beach has an extended coastline, the water is crystal clear with shades ranging from blue to green and the sand is white. It is considered one of the best spots to appreciate the beauty of the forests, but not only, since you can enjoy stunning views of the cliffs, Ensenada Bay and the coast. Since the beach is located along a Reserve, Playa Tamarindo manages to maintain its original beauty. There are no buildings, visitors are fully embraced by the colours, sounds, textures and the shapes of the dry forest. The east side of the beach, which you can reach by walking along a path, is the one favoured by families. There are some natural pools where you can see nice darting fish, while snorkelling. The area also offers some shady spots to enjoy a well-deserved rest. The ponds in the area are an important nesting site for the crested toad.

Isla Verde

Isla Verde is a beach located on the north coast of the island, close to the waterfront of the capital San Juan. It is a long and wide strip of fine sand surrounded by tall palm trees. The sea is clear and turquoise, ideal for long swims. It's one of the residents' favourite places for a picnic or just a trip out of the city. There are also hammocks for a nap or to look at the boats in the distance that fade into the horizon. A heavenly, picture-perfect corner, where you will be ecstatic with the colours, that of the water that fades from green to blue, the white of the sand, the lush green of palm trees. In the area there are kiosks where you can enjoy a juice or take a break.

Playa Escondida

Another jewel, located on the east coast of Puerto Rico, is Playa Escondida: Set in a bay, it is part of the Las Cabezas de San Juan Nature Reserve. Characterised by a calm and relaxing atmosphere, it is a beautiful destination for those who love snorkelling and diving: the seabed, in fact, is spectacular not only off shore, but also near the shore: the white beach is dotted with fascinating shells. The view is completed by a lush vegetation of white mangroves and a beautiful panorama of the mountain of El Yunque. As the name says it is a "hidden" beach, not only because you have to reach it on foot, but above all because it is intimate and reserved.

Playa Santa

When you hear about Area of Guanica, it's probably for its warm, dry weather, but the coastal city, famous for the forest and for its Reserve, is also well known for Playa Santa: A treat of blue water, a must-see location for enjoying sunsets. Calm sea, fine sand and lush nature: these are the main elements. On the beach there are restaurants where you can enjoy seafood specialities, or local specialities such as the very popularempanadillas (stuffed pasta dumplings) stuffed with beef, chicken or fresh fish. On weekends the area comes alive and seaside parties are often organised. On the beach there are local vendors who offer kayak and jet ski rental. 

Playa La Guancha

La Guancha is one of Ponce's most visited places, the third largest city on the island. The beach is a very busy place, ideal for sunbathing and relaxing. In front of the beach there is a play area with swings for children. For those who love a walk in front of the sea, there is the Paseo Tablado. There are fried food kiosks and typical dishes and tropical music; an atmosphere that maintains the idea of perpetual celebration. You can also climb the observation tower from which you will enjoy spectacular views. The area that most attracts the attention of the curious and tourists is the pier, because there are dozens of fish and pelicans that are waiting to be fed with the sardines you will find in the area.

Isla de Gilligan

Isla de Gilligan is a pretty mangrove island with crystal clear waters for romantics, nature lovers,snorkelling fans and is ideal for children. The beach is a treasure: the sand is white, the waters are shallow: the scenario is that of a gigantic natural pool with shoals of minnows swimming. The island is part of the Guanica Biosphere Reserve which measures about 4000 hectares. It's easily accessible by ferry and is the perfect place for snorkelling, swimming and sunbathing. For those who want to head a little further inland, to discover a beautiful dry, subtropical forest and unparalleled peace and quiet.

Balneario La Monserrate

This public beach is located near Loquillo. The waters are warm and quiet, perfect to swim and go exploring. The sand is fine, the vegetation lush: the landscape is a stimulus for taking long walks. As in most of the island's beaches, there are kiosks that sell local specialities (pinchos and empanadas) at low prices. For people who want to do some exercise, it is possible to snorkel or rent a kayak.

Balneario Pico de Piedra

We are talking about one of the most beautiful beaches in Aguada, the city on the northwest coast of the island. From here you will enjoy an excellent view of the island of Desecheo and you'll find the mouth of the Guayabo River that opens onto the ocean. In addition to facilities, kiosks, and a children’s area, there's also a big stage where shows by the most famous Puerto Rico and Caribbean artists are held. Beach festivals are already famous all over the island and are celebrated every June 24, the day of San Juan Bautista. for three days in a row with salsa music, merengues, itinerant kiosks and competitions.

Playa Guajataca

Playa Guajataca is another postcard you'd like to never stop looking at. A wonderful place, with clear water and bright colours for those who enjoy getting lost in long walks and being connected with the roaring waves of the Atlantic Ocean. The beach is part of the Rio Guajataca Park, which includes a river, a historic railway tunnel and a scenic path along the Atlantic coast. Nature is the protagonist, but there is no shortage of services and opportunities for having fun.

Playa Mar Chiquita

Two impressive coral formations They protect a small shallow cove and pools created by low tide, from the raging Atlantic, which sprays foam in unpredictable gusts.  Playa Mar Chiquita, located in Manati, contains rocks, wild atmosphere and a desire to admire the borderless scenario. The water is calm, but you have to be careful of the currents and the rocks. In the Southwest there's a cave that you can explore.

Puerto Mosquito

Puerto Mosquito's bioluminescent bay, on the island of Vieques, is a fascinating natural phenomenon that is so rare and absolutely spectacular. The waters of the bay light up a blue-green colour at every movement. Fish and other sea creatures seem to shine as they make their way through the waters. Kayaks and boats full of hypnotised tourists have mysterious contours in the blue-green glow and every spray of a paddle, or swirl of a hand, creates a magical luminous trail in the dark waters of the bay. The glow in these warm waters is caused by countless microscopic organisms known as dinoflagellates that light up to the slightest disturbance. The combination of temperature factors, nutrients, organic material and the exchange between the waters of the bay and that of the outer sea, give rise to the unique environment.

Balneario Seven Seas

Seven Seas is located in the city of Fajardo in the northeastern end of Puerto Rico: it is a small crescent-shaped beach, with soft sand and almond trees and palm trees creating an area sheltered from the sun. The water is warm and blue, and it's no coincidence that the beach has been awarded a "blue flag". The panorama is great, just look up to enjoy the sea and see a lighthouse in the distance. There is a coral reef that protects the beach: this is why the waters are calm family-friendly.

Playa El Escambron

Imagine clear, calm waters, protected by the reef, tall coconut palms, a perfect place for diving and snorkelling. If that’s not enough, Playa El Escambron offers panoramic views over old San Juan and the modern city. There's not only nature, but great food and a path along the water that leads to a historic site. In addition, there are facilities and green spaces to let the children play. The beach is located in Puerta de Tierra, a short walk from Old San Juan and Condado.

Playa La Esperanza

Playa la Esperanza in Manati, a town on the north coast of the island, is a beach regularly frequented by families and young people from nearby areas. It's a perfect place for anyone trying to connect with nature and tranquillity that the places offers. The water is crystal clear and calm as it's surrounded by limestone formations that protect it from the waves and that many take advantage of for climbing, fishing and even for diving.

Spanish Wall Beach

It is one of the beaches located in the small town of Rincon, in the western part of the island. The area is known for its overwhelming waves perfect for surfing. Here you can take lessons, admire the acrobatics of the professionals on their tables or enjoy an iced beer at the island's most famous outdoor surf bar. This beach is located north of the lighthouse and is very impressive. It's a beautiful and clean beach, the water is clear and crossed by currents. Along the way you'll find another wide, crystal clear beach: Sandy Beach.

Playa Villa Pesquera

Villa Pesquera, also known by the name of Villa Tranquila is a family beach in the small town of Isabela. Many people visit this place during the weekend to spend a day at the beach while enjoying the music that comes from nearby kiosks. This beach is ideal for snorkelling, swimming or just for getting some sunshine.  There is no shortage of those who rent kayaks or jet skis to take a ride a little further offshore. In addition to fun on the sand, this place is a recreational tourist complex. It also has colourful swings for children and a panoramic viewpoint which allows a spectacular view of its surroundings. There are grocery stores near the beach where you can enjoy tasty fried fish and fresh fish.

Playa La Chiva

La Chiva Beach, also called Blue Beach, is part of a national refuge on the island of Vieques. This nearly three-kilometre-long beach is formed by a bay and is ideal for long walks. The water is turquoise, the sand is white and soft. In the east you can snorkel and discover a diverse and sparkling world. It is an area where sea turtles nest.

Balneario Cerro Gordo

It is a beautiful beach of soft light sand, bordered by large, shady trees and bathed by a beautiful turquoise and crystal clear sea, with a sandy bottom. It is located on the northern coast of the island, just west of San Juan and in the area of Vega Alta. Ideal in the winter season for surfing, even for the less experienced, in summer it becomes an ideal place for sunbathing and bathing.

Playa Ballena

Punta Ballena Nature Reserve is a beautiful and rarely visited beach in the dry forest of Guanica. The water is crystal clear, the sand is white,mangroves abound. The beach is excellent for swimming and kayaking. Depending on the time of year the waters can be calm or treacherous and crossed by currents. The beach is excellent for swimming, snorkelling, surfing and kayaking. Nearby you can retreat and spend time in several restaurants available, specialising in local cuisine.

Playa Higuero

The beach is located on the north-western side of the island and is renowned amongst surfers from all over the world. Often also known by the name Little Malibu, the beach is sandy and lapped by a sea that guarantees waves throughout the year, thanks to the winds coming from the southeast.

Playa de Ponce

Playa de Ponce is located on the south coast of the island, not far from the village of the same name. It's an evocative beach characterised by a long, narrow sandy shoreline, edged by vegetation and trees and bathed by a beautiful turquoise, transparent and crystal clear sea. This beach has calmer waters than the ones in the north of the island and is ideal for swimmers. The beach offers some kiosks and the opportunity to practice water sports. It is never too crowded and enjoys a still wild charm.

Playa Azul

Playa Azul beach is situated on the northeast side of the island, about 50 kilometres east of San Juan. On days when Luquillo's renowned beach is too crowded, it's the ideal alternative just to the east. Here the sea is more exposed to the winds and there are strong currents, but the inlet is wide and the sand is soft.

Discover Puerto Rico with Costa Cruises

 

Puerto Rico is a fascinating and evocative destination, which offers visitors a wide range of unique experiences: thanks to its culture poised between the colonial past and the future which draws ever closer to the USA, its flavours and unique colours, of the Caribbean atmosphere, postcard beaches and unspoiled nature. A holidy on the island will be one of relaxation and nature, in the shade of palm trees or calm and crystal clear waters to swim in, with the opportunity to enjoy breathtaking views. For sports lovers there will be opportunities for hiking, for surfing or diving. A 360-degree experience that is worth grabbing at.

Depart with Costa Cruises