By official count, there are more than 240 beaches spread across the tropical islands of Puerto Rico. But the locals will tell you there are many more—and some are among the most enchanting in all of the Caribbean. From long sandy strips of pure natural beauty to a high-rise fringed oceanfront that beckons cruise ships, you’ll find a beach to your liking in Puerto Rico. And you won’t even need a passport to get to them. Here are the 10 best Puerto Rico beaches, whatever your taste.
The Best Puerto Rico Beaches
Playa Flamenco, on the eastern island of Culebra, is long and its waters are clear. It’s also host to the most striking collection of “found art” in all of Puerto Rico: graffiti-embellished ’50s-era army tanks rusting at the surf’s edge, a throwback to the days when Culebra was a Navy bombing range.
Playa Condado, the Waikiki Beach of San Juan, is an iconic high-rise fringed urban playscape that largely defines the cruise-brochure image of San Juan.
Rincon, on the southwest coast, is renowned for its surfing, particularly during the winter.
Near the entrance to El Yunque National Forest, Luquillo is also known for the row of several dozen food kiosks with all kinds of awesome fried treats, or frituras, from seafood to plaintains.
Tamarindo Beach on Culebra is slightly less visited, and is known for great snorkeling and for sea turtles.
Carlos Rosario on Culebra is a little-developed but increasingly popular beach with a reputation for incredible snorkeling.
La Chiva, also known as Blue Beach, is a highly recommended beach on Vieques. A former Navy bombing range that’s now re-emerging with serious tourist cred, Vieques has a laid-back vibe. Many of its beaches are still known by color, from the era when Navy jet pilots needed a simple way to keep them straight.
Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo (southern Puerto Rico) translates to “dirty beach,” but this stunning stretch of sand is increasingly heralded as a little-known gem.
Boqueron Beach, in Cabo Rojo, is an untouristed, family-friendly gem.
Guanica, a town in the southwest, offers a wide choice of relatively quiet Caribbean beaches lapped by the Caribbean sea.