Go Snorkeling with a Local Guide at Crash Boat Beach
Aguadilla is a coastal municipality right at the northwest point of the island attracting tourists in the winter for its surfing beaches, scenic sunsets, and interesting places to explore on the west coast. Many locals and surfers in the know will argue that Aguadilla rivals the more known surfing town of Rincon. Aguadilla hosted the ISA World Championship in 1988.
Aguadilla Puerto Rico Travel Guide
Aguadilla is home to the Rafael Hernandez Airport, an international airport welcoming visitors seeking a beach vacation on the laid-back towns of the west coast, offering cheap daily flights to and from Orlando and NYC area airports. The airport is on the site of what used to be the U.S. military’s Ramey Air Force Base. Aguadilla is the most commercialized municipality in the northwest region with many local businesses, factories, a shopping mall, and one of the only two ice skating rings in the Caribbean. Aguadilla feels like many of the traditional towns in Puerto Rico, not overtaken by tourism.
Aguadilla’s gorgeous coastline can be easily missed by the distractions of congested Route 2. In order to find the enchantment of Aguadilla, one must wander through the narrow residential roads leading up to the coastline where beach lovers will find miles of beaches, with some secret spots worth being featured on a Pirates of the Caribbean scene. The best places to stay to enjoy Aguadilla are in the nearby town of Isabela.
Rincon gets most of the publicity and attention in magazines and publications, but locals and frequent visitors in the know, head to Aguadilla for less crowded beaches with excellent surfing, good snorkeling in summer months where you can encounter sea turtles, and go scuba diving on crystal clear waters not far from shore. Some beaches are known for their calm clear water, and some are known worldwide for their world-class surfing. You won’t find resorts and hotels dotted along the shoreline, decades ago the US government decided to build its Army base along Aguadilla’s gorgeous coastline, ironically keeping the coastline natural and uncrowded.
To enjoy the beaches of Aguadilla, a car rental is a must, once off the highway, visitors will be immersed in an authentic non-touristy town with gems to explore at the end of residential streets. Those that seek a more adventurous beach experience will enjoy the most scenic and breathtaking spots by taking a 20-minute hike to Survival Beach. For those that prefer a more cultural scene, there are various beaches popular among locals offering the best conditions for swimming where you’ll find great local food, and live music at beachfront locations.
Following are the Best Beaches in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Below, see photos with an introduction to the most popular beaches. In summary…
Have a Fun Beach Day at Crash Boat Beach – The most lively beach on the west coast
Don’t miss visiting the picturesque Crashboat Beach, the most popular beach in Aguadilla. From the pier, you can jump into crystal clear waters, a popular scuba diving spot. During the weekends, you’ll experience an authentic Puerto Rican beach atmosphere with families having fun under the sun. Crashboat is famous for the colorful fishermen’s boats parked right on the sand on the north side of the beach. During the winter months, surfing is good for all levels.
Top Rated Snorkeling Tours in Aguadilla & Nearby
Take a Hike to Cueva Survival & Tabletop
Cueva Survival is the most breathtaking beach location in Aguadilla and the most exciting beach hike in Puerto Rico. You’ll have to take a hike to get there, but the reward is worth the effort. Coming down from the hike you’ll first arrive at Tabletop Beach, one of the best surfing beaches in Aguadilla. Although these beaches are unsafe for swimming, the scenery is well worth the hike and deserves a full morning to enjoy all the beauty.
Take a Walk at Playa Punta Borinquen
For a romantic walk on the beach, head to Playa Punta Borinquen, a beautiful stretch of golden sand where you can listen to the surf and go searching for treasures in hidden caves when the tide is low and conditions are safe. You can continue walking south or hop back in your car and continue towards the “Lighthouse Ruins“, you may encounter a local photographer doing an engagement photo session since it is a very scenic spot, especially during sunset.
Surf the Waves or Lounge to Watch at Surfer’s Beach
Perfect explanatory name… Surfer’s Beach is popular among surfers for locals and tourists alike. The coastline is rugged, romantic, without crowds, and perfect for relaxing while watching surfers. The welcoming palm grove and parking spots immediately tell you… welcome to paradise.
Top Rated Surfing Lessons in Puerto Rico
Take Great Photos at Ruinas del Faro Ponderosa (Lighthouse Ruins)
Swim and Search for Seaglass at Rompeolas Beach
Rompeolas is a nice beach near the center of town, it is popular among families due to the easy access, free parking, nearby restaurants, and calm water. We divide the beach into north and south sides, each has its vibe. One side gets a lot of sea glass and we often spot artisans searching for special pieces on the sand to use for jewelry creations. From this beach you can take a break and walk down the malecon (oceanfront walkway), there are restaurants, and chinchorros (kiosks with low-cost traditional food) and drinks.
Go Surfing at Wildnerness Beach
Wildnerness Beach is a favorite during the winter months for surfers. There are a few sandy areas with some shady spots where you can park your lounge chair and watch the show. Be sure to drive a 4-wheel drive during heavy rain, the road to Wildnerness gets bumpy with some deep muddy spots. During the summer months, Wilderness gets nice and quiet, you can walk along the beach during low tide along the undeveloped shoreline.
Sunset & Seaglass at Playa Colon
If you’re in the area and love sea glass, Playa Colon is worth visiting and is a nice spot for watching the sunset. Around sunset, you’ll see locals come to the cement pier to do some fishing. This beach is not good for bathing, there are much nicer beaches nearby to enjoy, the water is not clear and may be contaminated after it rains since a river flows into the beach.
Gas Chambers Beach
Gas Chambers has two extreme personalities, and that’s exactly the reason why is so loved by locals and visitors. During the winter months, experienced surfers can ride World Class waves, during summer months, snorkelers can explore the rocky shores where fish play and hide.
Go Golfing at Punta Borinquen Golf & Country Club
With 18 holes with beautiful ocean views in each one, you’ll want to take your time in this challenging course, often referred to as the best value in Puerto Rico. The best time to play is in the morning, but if you’re a sunset lover, the afternoon is a magnificent time to play. The course is very open, no view is blocked, but the wind gusts make the course very challenging. Punta Borinquen Golf Course offers a driving range and practices green with reasonable fees. The best time to play is during the morning, it rarely gets crowded, and the atmosphere is very relaxed. The airport is next door, you’ll have planes flying over making it even more interesting during the game. Interesting facts: The course opened in 1940, built for the military of the Fort Ramey Base. President Dwight D. Eisenhower played at this course. The course was designed by Fred Garbin.
- Address: Golf Rd, Aguadilla, Puerto Rico 00603
- Phone: +1 787-890-2987
- For Hours, events, and more info: Visit their Facebook Page
Visit La Plaza (Square) – The Cultural Center of Aguadilla
Just like all municipalities in Puerto Rico, the town has the traditional square (plaza), where locals gather to chat with friends, attend cultural events, and simply relax and take a break from shopping in the small shops surrounding the plaza. Across the plaza is the Catholic church and Alcaldia (Mayor’s Office). Puerto Rican history buffs visit Plaza de Recreo to see the statue of Rafael Hernandez (1892-1965), born in Aguadilla, the famous composer of “La Isla Preciosa“, considered the second national anthem to Puerto Ricans.