2020 was a challenging year for all of us, one of the sacrifices we had to make was giving up travel, and that place we all long for every year… The Beach!! Puerto Rico may be a small island, but there’s no shortage of beaches to explore, with so many of them, you won’t find crowds so you’ll have plenty of social distancing in the sand and water while feeling the warmth of the island and joys of a tropical vacation. We know you want to make up for last year’s lack of beach time, so we’ve come up with a list of the top 15 beaches in Puerto Rico which you can easily explore in one week. To make the most of your time in Puerto Rico, we recommend you mix it up by booking a few fun catamaran tours to see the most popular beaches and renting a car to explore the rest of the beaches on your own.
Start planning your beach escape and let’s see the best beaches in Puerto Rico 2021
We don’t always agree with the “top beaches” lists we see online, but we certainly agree with Flamenco Beach ranking at the very top of the list. Flamenco Beach is simply the best, in every way… The landscape is worthy of a magazine cover, with lush green as a backdrop providing shade and trees perfect for hanging a hammock. The water… so clear, warm, like stained glass, and just the perfect salinity for a refreshing swim. The sand is light inviting your feet for a walk along the beach, its color ranges from white to ivory, you should see it first thing in the morning when it has been naturally raked by the night breeze erasing every from the previous day. Then… there’s the amazing snorkeling experiences you can have at Flamenco, colorful reef underneath, and the beautiful sea turtles that love Flamenco Beach as much as you will once you visit. We recommend you book a fun tour to Flamenco so you can focus on enjoying the experience and not worry about the details of getting there.
Top 3 Tours to Flamenco
Icacos Cay, one of the prettiest cays/islands in Puerto Rico and among the best-rated attractions/tours to do in Puerto Rico. A few hours on the beach at Icacos will give you the pleasures of experiencing a secluded island surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, you can swim, snorkel along with dolphins which frequently swim around Icacos. During optimal weather, the water is very clear, turquoise, and warm, and underneath… schools of friendly colorful fish. Various charters offer catamarans that leave from Fajardo and will arrange transportation from tourist areas.
Top 3 Tours to Icacos Cay
Playa Pelicano is located in Caja de Muertos, an island on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, part of the municipality of Ponce. The allure of Pelican Beach is the feeling of being away on a secluded island, there are no hotels or food kiosks and that’s part of the magic, being on a beach untouched by development. The water is perfect, warm, with shades of blue and green that change constantly with the rays of the sun. Sand is soft and white. Book a ferry ride from Ponce, you may purchase food, drinks and rent chairs and umbrellas for your comfort. If you can pull yourself away from the beach, go for a hike to the lighthouse, there’s a great reward at the top.
Top Tour to Caja de Muertos Island
Best beach for landscape and views, its calm clear water, facilities, food, authentic island feel.
Balneario La Monserrate best known as “Luquillo Beach” in English & “Playa Luquillo” in Spanish… is the best Balneario (bathing beach managed by the government). The water is calm, from the beach you can admire views of El Yunque Rainforest, along the shore, thousands of tall palm trees dancing to the breeze. There are food kiosks steps from the beach and nearby a long strip of restaurants where you can try traditional Puerto Rican food at great prices.
Top 3 Tours to Luquillo Beach
Best beach for getting away from the busier beaches in the San Juan tourist area, clarity of the water, surfing during winter months, snorkeling during summer months, facilities, quality of water, many shaded areas under palm trees, accessibility, on-site restaurants, within walking distance of Old San Juan and Condado, two beaches on the beach park, historic attraction onsite.
Popular Tours to Escambron Beach - San Juan
Alambique Beach, generally known as Isla Verde Beach. Alambique is in the town of Carolina (home to SJU Airport), just 10 minutes from the capital city of San Juan. This beach is the best in the city/metro area, dotted with hotels and resorts, beachside dining, and watersports, and nightlife. Isla Verde is just a short 5-10 minute drive from the airport making it the most convenient beach destination for a quick city beach getaway.
Top 3 Activities / Tours - Isla Verde Beach
Crashboat Beach is like the ultimate all-inclusive Puerto Rican beach for fun on the water and a cultural experience for visitors. Crashboat took a huge hit with Hurricane Maria, but it has made a strong comeback with a new beachfront restaurant and great live music every weekend starting at sunset.
Crash Boat Beach is really picturesque, with colorful boats adorning the golden sand, you’ll see fishermen coming in the late afternoon with the catch of the day. Crash Boat is very interesting in the wintertime, while most surfing beaches are not safe for swimming, there is a calm side for swimming and an active side for surfing, making this beach a favorite for families and surfers. Bring your snorkel gear, when the water is calm the snorkeling is great around the pier teeming with colorful fish. Crash Boat is also very popular for scuba divers. Ohhh… and those sunsets!!!
Top 3 Tours to Crashboat Beach
Best beach for: its scenic views, nearby eco-attractions, and eco-activities right near the beach.
A visit here is an all-day adventure with nearby attractions and natural activities that include Los Morrillos lighthouse, hiking trails, salt flats, bird sanctuary, offshore fishing, and an observation tower.
Top Tours to Playa Sucia / La Playuela & West Coast
Best beach for its crystal clear water, calm water for swimming, floating, and snorkeling with children.
Like a giant natural pool with the clearest water on the entire west and southern coast of Puerto Rico. Lovely place to take the whole family, where even toddlers can play safely on the water and learn to snorkel. You may kayak to the mangrove island or take a ferry over from a private restaurant. Stay at the Copamarina Beach Resort, they offer daily trips at the guest’s convenience.
Top 3 Tours to Gilligan's Island - Guanica
Best beach for surfing (winter months), great snorkeling (summer months).
Steps Beach, part of the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve boasts a healthy coral reef with abundant sea life including sea turtles and a healthy elkhorn garden. The vibe is relaxed, there’s a food truck at the beach, easy access to the beach, and parking.
Top 3 Tours to Steps Beach
Best beach for scenery, relaxed local island vibe, unique landscape, easy access.
Mar Chiquita is one of the most beloved beaches on the north coast by locals yet it remains nice and uncrowded during weekdays from September – mid-May. During the summer months when the water is calm, it is a good spot for snorkeling in shallow waters.
Top Tours to Mar Chiquita Beach
Best beach for snorkeling with sea turtles, snorkeling with children, kayaking adventure, easy road access, gorgeous natural landscape.
Top 3 Tours to Tamarindo Grande Beach
Best beach for: everything… snorkeling, relaxation, swimming in crystal clear water, seeing every shade of blue imaginable, falling in love with the Caribbean and each other all over again. Playa La Chiva aka Blue Beach is simply amazing and just about anyone that visits Vieques puts La Chiva at the top of their list…
Top 3 Tours to Vieques
In Dorado, you’ll find the most beautiful and pristine beach on the north coast, located inside the luxurious Dorado Beach, a Ritz Carlton Reserve is for the enjoyment of guests. From this location, you’ll have easy access to Old San Juan attractions, world-class natural attractions, and more beaches along the north.
Best beach for: surfing year-round, experiencing authentic casual island vibe, beachfront casual dining.
Jobos is the most popular beach in Isabela, among the top beaches for surfing all year round. This is not your typical touristy beach, this is a beach loved by locals and residents of nearby towns who come here to have a good time. During the surfing season, you’ll find a good mix of surfers coming from the states happily mingling with friendly locals. This is a great beach to surf, get a tan, do a little snorkeling, and make new friends.