The most popular beach in Aguadilla and one of the favorites on the west coast for residents of Puerto Rico. There’s a little bit of everything at Crash Boat, swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing pier, great sunsets, dancing pelicans, cheap local food, and plenty of parking. During the winter months, the west end of the beach becomes a playground for surfers. Beach volleyball is a popular pastime for young locals during sunset. Crash Boat Beach is one of the best beaches to experience the authentic local Puerto Rican experience, simple, relaxed, friendly, and always fun.
The beach was probably named Crash Boat after all the colorful fishermen boats that “crash” on the shores of the beach. If you love photography, Crash boat is a great spot at sunset.
The Water at Crash Boat Beach
The water is beautiful, with various shades from crystal clear, baby blue to cerulean blue tones. There are some spots best for swimming where the water is calmer, if you’re visiting for the first time, feel free to ask a local, swim where you see families with children, or be sure to get in the water before your children to check out the depth and conditions.
The cool thing about Crash Boat is that in one location you get 3 different beaches, each appealing to a specific group, one of the reasons this beach is so popular among locals.
The south end of Crash Boat typically has fewer crowds, you tend to see more people just chilling with a book and enjoying a good show from surfers during the winter months.
At the pier, children and teens make unforgettable memories jumping off the pier and practicing the perfect or peculiar diving form. The pier is also a beloved spot for local fishermen, you seem them mostly early in the morning or near sunset. Jumping in the water is generally safe during summer months until the surfing season in the winter months begins. Snorkeling is great at the pier (when weather conditions permit, and during summer months).
Right at the center of Crash Boat is where most families hang out, the water is calmer, food kiosks are steps away.
Right at the north end of Crash Boat, the water gets really shallow and clear during the summer months along the rocks, it is a great place to swim and do a little snorkeling. If you keep swimming along the rocks you’ll find hidden caves along the boulders. During winter months, this spot is loved by surfers, known as Gas Chambers.
Please keep in mind that there are no lifeguards at Crash Boat Beach, you swim at your own risk. Please pay attention to your children at ALL times.
Water Safety at Crash Boat Beach
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Along the pier, what looks like calm swimming water can become a dangerous scene depending on the current and weather conditions. The undercurrents can become like a whirlpool in some areas, making it very difficult for an average swimmer to get out safely.
Water Quality: During rain season, the water can become cloudy and unsafe to use from bacteria coming down from the river/stream that ends at Crash Boat. Please visit the following link, the site posts updates on the monitoring of the water quality, the site lists beaches on the first table that DO NOT MEET the criteria for safe use. Junta de Calidad Ambiental de Puerto Rico.
Food at Crash Boat Beach
For decades there were simple food cafeterias loved by locals, the buildings were destroyed by Hurricane Maria. In July, Cocoloba opened serving a nice menu with fresh fish, traditional Puerto Rican appetizers, and a bar. Don’t miss a refreshing drink of cold coconut water served right from the coconut. Most of the time, there is an ice cream vendor with delicious natural fruit flavors. For a more formal dining atmosphere, there are plenty of restaurants a short drive from Crash Boat Beach.
Map - Crash Boat Beach - Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Gallery - Crash Boat Beach Before Hurricane MariaAguadilla, Puerto Rico
Gallery - Crash Boat After Hurricane MariaAguadilla, Puerto Rico
Many islanders considered Crash Boat to be one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico. Although it gets many points for being family-friendly and offering things many islanders love, we didn’t place it on our “Best Beaches in Puerto Rico” list for the past years due to maintenance issues. Prior to Maria we always rated it about a 6 out of 10 due to poor maintenance and attention to details by the municipality. After Hurricane Maria, we actually placed Crash Boat Beach on our “Top 10 Beaches in Puerto Rico After Hurricane Maria”…because many locals and visitors wish to see the effects of the hurricane and this beach is sadly one of the best to see the devastation of buildings and how it changed the shoreline. Ironically Hurricane Maria may end up being a blessing for Crash Boat, mobilizing the municipality and local businesses to give the beach and facilities the attention it desperately needed.
Written after Maria, kept on this article as a reminder of its past.
Should you visit Crash Boat after Hurricane Maria? Although there are buildings and structures destroyed along the beach, you may still enjoy a visit to Crash Boat. The beach is actually prettier after Hurricane Maria, the currents pushed a brand new carpet of sand over the beach that’s lighter, the water is clearer than ever. Your purchases of food, souvenirs, etc., will certainly help local businesses bounce back from the economic losses caused by the hurricane. Any time you visit an affected area, you’re doing something good for Puerto Rico. Travelers that don’t sweat the small stuff and wish to experience a more local scene, will likely have a wonderful time. A good alternative to Crash Boat is Rompeolas Beach.