Puerto RicoPuerto Rico Things to Do ⎮Best Beaches in Puerto Rico 

Puerto Rico Beaches 2022 - Best Beaches

Dreaming of a Caribbean Beach escape with fantastic beaches? Allow us to tell you why Puerto Rico is a wonderful choice.

One of the top reasons to come to Puerto Rico is the diversity of beaches, from romantic quiet beaches with natural beauty free of development, vibrant city beaches with watersports and lively scenes, dreamy natural pools, to world-class surfing beaches… of course those dreamy gorgeous blues and emerald tones.  Unlike many Caribbean destinations where many of the beaches are closed off to visitors by resort property boundaries, most of the coastline of Puerto Rico is free and open to be explored.

How do we come up with the list of best beaches in Puerto Rico?

Proudly Presenting the Most Updated Puerto Rico Beach Guide

We know how valuable vacation is to you, to keep up with our reputation and trust from our readers, we spent weeks exploring the coastline of Puerto Rico in order to bring you the most updated 2022 beach guide.  Every year, we re-discover the coastline, we’ve been writing about the island’s beaches since 2004.

We have a new list for 2022, most of the beaches on the list of previous years stayed, we are happy to include one new beach relatively unknown to tourists on our 2022’s list, locals have done a great job cleaning and beautifying the area earning the spot.  The coastline does change, and so do maintenance and services, making a difference in the experience of the visitor.  We encourage you to spend a little extra time reading through our beach guide, we spent a lot of time putting it together to help you plan the best experience in Puerto Rico.

1. Flamenco Beach – Culebra

The Most Beautiful Beach in Puerto Rico & Consistently Ranked Among the Best in the World

Best beach for landscape, scenery, water clarity and quality, sand color and texture, cleanliness, facilities, family friendliness, easy access, camping facilities, and inexpensive traditional food.

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 is located in Culebra, one of the islands of Puerto Rico.  Flamenco Beach is simply the best, in every way… The landscape is worthy of a magazine cover, with a lush green landscape as a backdrop.  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 step from visitors the previous day.  Then… there are the amazing snorkeling experiences you can have at Flamenco, the colorful reef underneath, and the beautiful sea turtles that love Flamenco Beach as much as you will once you visit.

Top Rated Catamaran tours to Flamenco Beach

2. Beach at Cayo Icacos (Icacos Cay)

Icacos Cay - Best Beaches in Puerto Rico 2022

Best beach for clarity of the water, seclusion, snorkeling, fun boat day trip for those staying in the San Juan / Metro and east coast regions.

Cayo Icacos / Icacos Cay, one of the prettiest cays in Puerto Rico, a very popular beach day trip with top-rated fun catamaran tours as well as sailing and private charters.  Icacos is part of Cordillera Keys Nature Reserve (Reserva Natural los Cayos de la Cordillera).  A few hours on the beach at Icacos will give you the pleasures of a secluded island surrounded by the Caribbean Sea.  Is likely you’ll be swimming along with friendly dolphins that frequently swim around Icacos.  During optimal weather, the water is very clear and turquoise, tours typically make a stop at a snorkeling spot with colorful schools of fish.

Getting to Icacos Cay:  There is no ferry service to Icacos, but there are plenty of tours offering great day trips to the island, Icacos is among the most booked tours, so book as soon as possible to secure your date of preference.  See below for top-rated tours.

Top Rated Tours to Cayo Icacos aka Icacos Island

3. Playa Sucia / La Playuela – Cabo Rojo, PR

Best beach for: its scenic views, nearby eco-attractions, and eco-activities right near the beach.

Cabo Rojo has many beaches, but if you’re traveling around the island and only have a day for a beach day trip, head to La Playuela, best known as Playa Sucia.  Visiting La Playuela gives you much more than a great beach day, bring a good pair of sneakers and plenty of storage with your camera, you’ll be enjoying some of the most scenic sights in Puerto Rico.   From your beach chair, you can enjoy views of limestone cliffs and the elegant Los Morrillos Lighthouse.  Just a few steps from the beach, you can hike to a trail along the edge of the cliffs which will feel as if you’re standing at the planet’s edge.  Playa Sucia is inside a wildlife nature reserve with salt flats (informally referred as pink beach), an informative welcome center, a bird sanctuary, a scenic walking trail along the nature reserve, and an observation tower.

4. Balneario Escambron – San Juan

Best beach for getting away from the busier beaches in the San Juan tourist area, the best snorkeling in the capital city, clarity of the water, water activities, and accessibility.  Escambron Beach offers the most complete beach experience in San Juan, offering two unique beaches within the park.  Clear waters, tall coconut palm trees, but in addition you’re walking into a park packed with a scuba diving site, great snorkeling sites where many tours take place, scenic views of Old San Juan and the modern city, a walking trail along the water leading to a historic site, facilities, and plenty of sand and green spaces for children to play.  If and when you’ve had enough beach time you can walk across to the Luis Munoz Marin Park and continue down the scenic Paseo Puerta de Tierra with sweeping views of the Atlantic and Castillo San Cristobal.   Keep walking and you’ll end up in Old San Juan where you can enjoy UNESCO sites, and a colorful cultural experience the whole family will enjoy.

Top Rated Escambron Beach Tours - San Juan

5. Gilligan’s Island – Guanica, Puerto Rico

Best beach…  the clearest water on the southwest coast, perfectly calm and shallow for swimming, floating, and snorkeling with children.  A very romantic spot for couples for its intimate spots along the edge of the mangrove island.

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 toddlers can play safely on the water and learn to snorkel.  You may take a private ferry/water taxi from a nearby restaurant.

Top Rated Tours to Gilligan's Island & Nearby Attractions

6. Tamarindo Grande Beach – Offshore Island of Culebra

Tamarindo Grande Beach - Culebra - Best Beaches in Puerto Rico

Best beach for snorkeling with turtles, scenic landscape without crowds, clear water, beautiful beach cobbles along the shore.

This is one special beach, where you can almost always find sea turtles swimming and playing over glass beds at the bottom of Tamarindo Grande.  This beach is the best place in Culebra to safely swim and watch sea turtles.  Tamarindo Grande is a photographer’s dream… with views of Cayo Luis Peña and golden sand adorned by smooth beach cobbles… naturally landscaped as nature intended.  This beach is a turtle nesting site, so please walk with care along the beach and do not disturb any nests you may find.  If you’re lucky to visit and swim with them, please do not touch them or disturb them.  Playa Tamarindo Grande is not far from Flamenco Beach on the sleepy offshore island of Culebra, so be sure to include it on your itinerary if you head to Culebra for a day trip.

7. Bahia de la Chiva – Vieques

Best beach for snorkeling, relaxation, clear water, with just about every shade of blue .. like a painting.

Playa La Chiva previously nicknamed Blue Beach is simply amazing.  If you’re only visiting for a day, we recommend you head to La Chiva, your eyes will wander through endless contrasting shades of blue, unlike any other beach on the island of Vieques.  Below the surface, you can explore a colorful world with diverse sea life and healthy coral so be sure to bring your snorkel gear, snorkeling is amazing for all ages and levels, one of the best snorkeling beaches on the island of Vieques and under the Puerto Rican flag.

+ Bahia de La Chiva

La Chiva is very long, giving romantics and serenity seekers their very own spot.  As you drive up, you’ll see numbered spots, is fun to stop at all of them and find your favorite.  If you manage to leave La Chiva, just keep driving to find your special beach cove along the wildlife reserve.  There’s plenty of sand and space to claim for the day so you can experience the feeling of having your own piece of paradise.

  • Getting to Bahia de la Chiva – Enter through the Vieques Wildlife Refuge (south) gate and head straight, follow signs, you’ll love the drive.  No need to book a tour, this beach is best enjoyed by exploring on your own.
  • Facilities: None
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Parking: Free off-street parking

+ Blue Beach / Bahia de la Chiva on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico

8. Tortuga Beach – Culebra

Tortuga Beach is located in Culebrita, part of the archipelago of Culebra, is among one of the most gorgeous beaches of Puerto Rico.   The colors of the water are mesmerizing and so incredibly clear.  The best time to go is during the winter and spring months on weekdays.   During the summer month weekends and holiday weeks, Tortuga Beach gets uncomfortably crowded with boats and we don’t recommend it if you are seeking calm.

Top Rated Culebrita Tours

9. Balneario de Boqueron (Boqueron Beach) – Cabo Rojo, PR

Best Beach for… calm baby blue clear waters, amazing sunsets, nearby authentic cultural experiences in Poblado de Boqueron.

Ask any local about the best beaches in Puerto Rico, undoubtedly they’ll mention Boqueron Beach, during Easter and major holidays, it is the favorite beach and destination and you’ll have a hard time finding some room on the sand, the rest of the year is nice and relaxed.  for summertime beach fun.  This blue and turquoise water beach is framed by a grove of tall coconut palm trees, with ivory-colored sand.  Boqueron Beach is located in the Poblado de Boqueron, a quaint colorful fishing village popular among locals that flock on weekends from all over the island to eat fresh oysters, and clams are served fresh every night, and eat traditional delicious fritters at local / non-touristy trap prices and mingle with friends.

10. Cayo Caracoles – Lajas, Puerto Rico

Best beach for its shallow crystal clear water, natural feeling of escape with the added experience of the bioluminescent bay nearby.

Caracoles is a beloved stop for sailors, boaters, and kayakers known for its crystalline emerald green water.   You may rent a small boat to get there, take a water taxi or book a private tour boat that plans a wonderful La Parguera experience which typically includes the magical bioluminescent bay.

Being in Caracoles is a very different experience since in you’re in the open water away from the shore surrounded by a number of small keys, where the only colors you see are many shades of blue on the water, the sky above, and the green of the mangrove islands.   On a weekday, it is a peaceful ambiance, during the summer, Caracoles turns into party central from all the boaters playing loud music can drinking and dancing on the boats.

Caracoles is a mangrove island with no beach (sand) or land. to sit down and lounge, you’re in the water the entire time.

Top Rated Tours to Caracoles & La Parguera Bioluminescent Bay

11. Playa Crash Boat Beach – Aguadilla, PR

Crash Boat (Crashboat) is great for visitors who wish to experience a laid-back authentic Puerto Rican beach offering fun on the water, culture, and music.   Crash Boat 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!!!

12. Mar Chiquita – Manati

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 to mid May.  During the summer months when the water is calm, it is a good spot for snorkeling in shallow waters.  During the winter months, the water is more playful and more care should be taken when swimming.

Top Rated Tours to Mar Chiquita Beach & Nearby Attractions

13. Isla Verde Beach – Carolina, Puerto Rico

Best beach for the variety of hotels on the beach, clean sand, playful waves great for learning to surf, beachfront dining, and many restaurants within walking distance, water sports.

What is known as Isla Verde Beach is actually three beaches, each with its own vibe and allure.  Isla Verde Beach is located about a 7-minute drive from the airport and 15 minutes from the capital city of San Juan.  The water is better for swimming than popular Condado Beach yet still close enough to Old San Juan so visitors can enjoy the historic wonders and cultural excitement of Old San Juan.

Top-Rated Beach Tours in Isla Verde Beach & Nearby

14. Luquillo Beach / Balneario La Monserrate – Luquillo, Puerto Rico

Best beach near San Juan for landscape and views, its calm clear water, facilities, cultural food experience.

Balneario La Monserrate best known as “Luquillo Beach” & “Playa Luquillo”… is the most popular Balneario (bathing beach managed by the government) visited by tourists.  The water is calm, the beach is wide and the sand doesn’t sink making it really enjoyable and easy to take a walk along the entire beach.  From the beach, you can admire views of El Yunque Rainforest, the beach is framed by tall coconut palm trees that dance to the sea breeze.  One of the reasons Luquillo Beach is so popular is the food; just steps from the beach you can enjoy delicious Piña Coladas served right on the pineapple, delight in traditional frituras (traditional Puerto Rican fritters) and just outside of the beach park you can have a gastronomic cultural experience at the Luquillo Kiosks at non-tourist prices since locals go there daily.  While at the beach, listen for a bell coming from the ice cream cart,  be sure to scream for ice cream by saying “Quiero helado”!  He offers coconut, pineapple, passion fruit, mixed and maybe other tropical flavors.

Top Rated Tours to Luquillo Beach & El Yunque National Rainforest

15. Jobos Beach – Isabela, Puerto Rico

Best beach for surfing year-round, great beach to learn to surf, experiencing authentic casual island vibe, and beachfront casual dining.

Jobos is synonymous with the words summer, surfing, and good times with friends in Puerto Rico.  Jobos is among the top beaches for surfing all year round.   Surfers from all over the world head to Isabela and Rincon over the winter months to enjoy the waves.  During the surfing season, you’ll find a good mix of surfers coming from the United States happily mingling with friendly locals.  This is a great beach to surf, get a tan, do a little snorkeling, and make new friends.

The water is clear, with deep turquoise and emerald tones and a small protected area for those that just want to refresh in the water, watch surfers, and take in the scene.

Visitors that wish to immerse themselves in the beach culture of locals, really enjoy spending a day at this beach.  Puerto Ricans bring food, radios, and lots of laughter, so be ready to enjoy a lively family-friendly scene on weekends and summertime.  During the week the scene is more mellow and relaxed.

16. Playa Sardinera – Hatillo, Puerto Rico

Best beach for… solitude, its natural pools, and playful pelicans…

This is the first time this beach is featured on any travel guide and we are so happy to share it.  This is not a touristy beach, the crowd here is local, and it remains nice and quiet.  We are confident it will begin to see more visitors after happy beachgoers like you spread the word.  Playa Sardinera is like a bigger version of Pozo de Teodoro in Isabela, composed of one big natural pool and off to the right (looking east), a very long and narrow natural pool protected by a natural wall where pelicans love to play… perfect for those that want to feel more seclusion and have toddlers since the water is very shallow and clear.

17. Playa Negra / Black Sand Beach – Vieques

Playa Negra, is the most unique beach in Vieques with a beautifully rugged landscape.  This is not a swimming beach, water can get rough, but the experience begins on the way there.  You’ll have to take an easy hike through a dry river bed surrounded by lush landscape leading to black sand that sparkles with the sun.  The pictures you’ll take on this beach will be moved to your favorite vacation photo folder for sure.

  • Getting to Playa Negra – No need to book a tour, this beach is best enjoyed by exploring on your own.
  • Facilities: None
  • Lifeguards: No
  • Parking: Free off-street parking

18. Playa El Combate – Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Best beach for its calm swimming waters, natural setting, hiking seaside trail, and local beachside restaurants.

Combate Beach is a favorite among locals for its family-friendly water and inexpensive traditional food nearby with fresh fish served daily.   The atmosphere is very quiet during weekdays and more lively during weekends when families flock to the beach.   During the summer months, Combate Beach gets quite busy with beachgoers and boats.  There is a roped-off swimming area for safe swimming.

You can visit this beach after visiting Los Morrillos Lighthouse and la Playuela or head over to Boqueron to visit the quaint colorful village and dine.

19. Steps Beach / Tres Palmas Marine Reserve – Rincon, PR

Best beach for a romantic walk and hidden spots to relax, watch and listen to the surf.  Challenging surfing during winter months, great snorkeling from late spring till early fall, best during the 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 Rated Scuba Diving & Snorkeling Tours in Rincon

20. Domes Beach – Rincon, Puerto Rico

Best beach for great surfing all year round, family-friendly, easy access, golden sunsets, and great for lounging to watch surfers.

Whether you surf or love to watch, Domes Beach is a great beach to visit in Rincon.  Bring your board and ride the waves or bring your lounge chair to enjoy the show.  Beach access is easy and there’s plenty of parking.  Domes Beach is a great point of interest, after soaking the sun, head next door to Rincon Lighthouse Park for great views, whale watching during winter months, and food.  If you love sunsets, be sure to stay awhile, is worth the wait every day of the year.  While at Domes, you can quickly visit Spanish Wall by taking a short hike along a dirt trail north of Domes.

Top Rated Surfing Lessons in Puerto Rico

21. Playita del Condado – San Juan

Best beach for: clear, turquoise calm water safe for swimming, family/kid-friendly, snorkeling.

La Playita del Condado, just as the name describes (Small Beach of Condado), is the smallest beach in San Juan tucked in the corner of Dos Hermanos Bridge which connects Condado and the entrance to Old San Juan crossing the Condado Lagoon.  For visitors and cruisers that have little time to spend at the beach, this may be the best option in San Juan due to its convenient location, services, tours available, and nearby attractions you can visit through the scenic bike route. The waters at Playita del Condado range from clear to turquoise to deeper blues where is safe to swim and snorkel.  From the beach, you can enjoy views of the modern city and one of the fortifications sitting on the sea.  In contrast with Condado Beach which is best for lounging, you can safely swim at La Playita del Condado.  There are a few trees offering shade, lounge and umbrella rentals to relax, restaurants nearby along Ashford Drive and the hotels nearby as well as drink stands offering delicious Piña Coladas.  From La Playita. you can enjoy wonderful activities right at this beach and next door at Laguna del Condado (Condado Lagoon).  From this beach, you can take a break, rent a bike and ride to Old San Juan.

22. Survival Beach – Aguadilla

Best Beaches in Puerto Rico - Survival Beach - Aguadilla

Best beach for best beach hike with scenic postcard-perfect pictures reward. 

As a bonus, we added Survival Beach because the scenery is spectacular, there’s no other beach in Puerto Rico that resembles its landscape.   This beach is NOT for swimming, and it requires a hike to get there that’s a bit challenging for the average person but totally worth the effort.  You get three gorgeous beaches on your way there, your hike begins at Surfer’s Beach, you’ll first arrive at Tabletop after the main hike and finally arrive at Survival where you’ll take the best vacation photos. 

Map of Best Beaches in Puerto Rico 2022

Beautify your Pinterest Board with Puerto Rico

Best Beaches in Past Years

Puerto Rico

2021

2020

2019

It’s been two years since Hurricane Maria, and so many things have changed, including our beaches.  We’ve received many letters from kind visitors wishing to support the island with their visit, this Best Beaches in Puerto Rico article was created with those visitors in mind.

2018 – Best Beaches in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria