Puerto Rico beaches, so cool!

Puerto Rico Beaches

Beaches represent one of the most important natural resources in Puerto Rico.

The Puerto Rico beaches serve as protective barriers against ocean waves for the fertile inland lowlands, and also provide premium space for recreation and tourism.

Active beaches are more typically for the younger crowd, families with children, or those who enjoy an array of water & beach activities. The following, though comfortable for relaxing, may be considered active beaches:

Cana Gorda: Located on the southwest coast of Puerto Rico between Ponce and Mayagüez, Guánica is a town where life is intrinsically tied to the sea. Many islanders have summer homes in the area, and it is one of the few places where houseboats are a common sight. Guánica’s Caña Gorda Public Beach is a favorite among local families and visitors for its tranquil emerald waters and broad white coral beachfront.

You can hike along the coast and discover a beach of your own, or take a side trip to the nearby Guánica Forest Reserve, a 1,570-acre treasure grove for bird watchers – with, of course, a few wonderful secluded beaches.

The sea around Guánica is dotted with tiny cays, many of them unnamed and none inhabited, except by rare species of plants and birds. The small islet called Gilligan’s Island is a snorkeler’s dream, surrounded by crystal clear shallow waters brimming with sea life.

Guánica Bay, long thought to be the landing place of Christopher Columbus, is an attractive harbor with a narrow entrance wedged between high, rocky promontories. It is also where American General Nelson Miles landed in 1898 during the Spanish American War.

Farther west, you can drive up to Ensenada, where you’ll find the remnants of the magnificent Guánica Sugar Cane Central, once the largest sugar mill in Puerto Rico. How to Get There

From San Juan, take Highway 52 to Ponce, go west on Road 2 and south on Route 116 to Guánica. Follow Route 333 to Caña Gorda. Learn more about Cana Gorda Rincon Bay

Puerto Rico Beaches Rincón, which means “corner” in Spanish, indeed occupies a remote corner at the westernmost tip of the island. Its privileged position guarantees you a perfect place from which to view the glorious tropical sunsets as they splash over the broad canvas of the sea.

Rincón was the site of the World Surfing Championships in 1968, and since then has gained a reputation as the surfing capital of the Caribbean. A generation of international surfers has challenged the fast and furious offshore waves; so many have settled in the village that it has developed an expatriate subculture.

Rincón straddles the rough Atlantic and the gentle Caribbean, so its six beaches provide the best of both worlds. The town’s public beach is especially popular among families who enjoy its calm and clear blue waters, and the convenience of parking spaces, rest rooms and food stands. In the unlikely case that you tire of swimming, snorkeling or sunning here, the area is perfect for collecting seashells and sea glass.

The proximity to the Mona Passage, the winter highway for migrating humpback whales, makes Rincón an ideal place for whale watching. How to Get There

From LMM International Airport take Road 26 (Baldorioty de Castro Ave.) towards San Juan. Take exit Bayamón/Arecibo via Minillas Tunnel. Continue towards Arecibo on toll Road 22. From Arecibo take Highway 2 towards Rincón, taking the second exit at Road 115. Learn more about Rincon Bay Crashboat

The Mediterranean style town of Aguadilla is situated on the northwest coast of Puerto Rico, where the nearby mountains afford good vantage points for viewing the majestic shoreline below or watching the sun disappear into the sea.

The waters closest to the town are usually too rough for safe swimming, but Crashboat Beach is on every dedicated beach enthusiast’s must-see list. It is certainly worth navigating the narrow, winding, tree-lined access road to be able to walk along the beach’s shell-covered sands and gaze at the roaring sea.

Unless you are a strong swimmer or an avid bodysurfer, you may prefer to enjoy the calmer waters a few miles away. Waves at Crashboat can be unpredictably large and break quite near the shore. An abandoned cement pier is said to give the beach its name, since the heavy surf damaged many of the fishing boats that were tied to it.

Plenty of palm trees and other coastal vegetation line the dramatic beach and provide shelter from the sun’s rays – and a place to take in the wonder of nature at its challenging best. How to Get There

From San Juan take Highway 22, connect to Road 2 and continue to the exit to Road 107.

Imagine living in a large city and having a beautiful beach as your back yard. That is exactly what the million or so residents of San Juan enjoy every day. There’s no need to go far to enjoy a beautiful tropical day at the beach.

Isla Verde Beach is actually a series of beaches stretching for miles in front of luxury resorts and posh high-rise residential apartments, restaurants and private clubs, guesthouses and private homes, parks, and even a cemetery!

A tranquil place during the week, Isla Verde really comes alive on weekends. Beach lovers stream in from everywhere to get some sun, splash in the sea, party with family and friends, play beach volleyball, or walk along the sandy shores. There is no shortage of places to eat or drink. Many hotels and restaurants have bars and casual restaurants adjacent to the beach.

While most visitors soak up the sun reading, napping, or taking a lazy stroll in the surf line, the more adventurous go parasailing, bodysurfing, water skiing and jet skiing, or participate in many of the other water sports offered by the hotels and seaside shops.

Depending on the hour of the day and the day of the week, Isla Verde can be anything from a solitary stretch of glistening sand to a Coney Island crowd of happy sun worshippers, but it is always a delight. How to Get There

From LMM International Airport take Road 26, turn right on 187, then left on Road 37. Learn more about Isla Verde Shacks

Puerto Rico BeachesThe long stretch of Atlantic coast from Arecibo in the northwest to Rincón, the town at the westernmost tip of the island where the Atlantic meets the Caribbean, is home to an incredible variety of beaches. About halfway between these two points are the spectacular white sand dunes of Isabela.

Among the favorite beaches in Isabela is Shacks. It has an international reputation as one of the premier windsurfing spots in the world and is often compared with Maui. Despite its worldwide reputation, Shacks is never crowded.

With trade winds streaming along at a constant 15 to 18 knots during the winter months, Shacks provides an ideal setting for windsurfing, wave jumping and kite surfing. During the rest of the year, you can stroll among the sea grapes in search of the perfect seashell, or simply bask in the warm, tropical sun. Most visitors also include a stop at Jobos Beach, a couple of miles down the road, where the snorkeling and SCUBA diving are excellent. How to Get There

From LMM International Airport take Road 26 (Baldorioty de Castro Ave.) towards San Juan. Take exit Bayamón/ Arecibo via the Minillas Tunnel. Continue towards Arecibo on toll Road 22. From Arecibo take Highway 2 towards Isabela, taking exit 110. At the first blinking streetlight turn left towards Road 4466 and continue straight to the end of the road.

In order to obtain the Blue Flag distinction, a beach has to comply with a set of very strict standards in terms of water quality, safety and services, environmental education and information environmental management. A beach can be eligible for Blue Flag beach status if it meets the following criteria:

It is an official designated bathing area The name and extent of beach follow the official national recognitions The beach is clearly marked or naturally demarcated It has the necessary facilities and standards to comply with the Blue Flag criteria A responsible person in the local authority (or national authority, where there is no local authority) must be appointed to deal with the relations to the Blue Flag campaign It must be accessible for unannounced inspection by FEE

Beaches originate from the accumulation of sediments or loose particles on the shores of seas, lakes or rivers. Puerto Rico has 1,200 bodies of water and its largest river is the Grande de Arecibo which flows to the northern coast.

Blue Flag Beaches are continually monitored for water and land environmental safety issues. They include the following beaches:

El Escambron, San Juan La Monserrate, Luquillo Balneario de Carolina, Carolina Punta Salinas, Toa Baja

Isla Verde

Imagine living in a large city and having a beautiful beach as your back yard. That is exactly what the million or so residents of San Juan enjoy every day. There’s no need to go far to enjoy a beautiful tropical day at the beach.

Isla Verde Beach is actually a series of beaches stretching for miles in front of luxury resorts and posh high-rise residential apartments, restaurants and private clubs, guesthouses and private homes, parks, and even a cemetery!

A tranquil place during the week, Isla Verde really comes alive on weekends. Beach lovers stream in from everywhere to get some sun, splash in the sea, party with family and friends, play beach volleyball, or walk along the sandy shores. There is no shortage of places to eat or drink. Many hotels and restaurants have bars and casual restaurants adjacent to the beach.

While most visitors soak up the sun reading, napping, or taking a lazy stroll in the surf line, the more adventurous go parasailing, bodysurfing, water skiing and jet skiing, or participate in many of the other water sports offered by the hotels and seaside shops.

Depending on the hour of the day and the day of the week, Isla Verde can be anything from a solitary stretch of glistening sand to a Coney Island crowd of happy sun worshippers, but it is always a delight.

From LMM International Airport take Road 26, turn right on 187, then left on Road 37. Learn more about Isla Verde Luquillo

For generations families have made the trek from San Juan and all over the eastern region for a day at Luquillo Beach. A vacation in Puerto Rico was considered incomplete without a visit to this well-loved place on the coast. The view from the beach is spectacular: a long gold crescent of sand lined by countless coconut palms, with the misty mountains of the rainforest towering in the distance.

Today Luquillo remains one of the island’s most popular beaches, and with good reason. Offshore reefs keep the waters calm, so families can relax knowing that lifeguards are on duty and that rough surf and deep waters are far, far away. Ample parking, changing and rest rooms, and souvenir and food stands are nearby. Boat access, rentals, windsurfing and camping areas are available.

Among the facilities is the “Sea Without Barriers” program, staffed by professionals who help visitors in wheelchairs join their family and friends for a dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another attraction is the array of brightly colored kiosks near the entrance to the public beach. From simple shacks to fancy mini-restaurants, each booth serves everything from ice-cold beer and refreshments and hand made coconut candies to traditional seafood fritters and full scale meals. Each also seems to prefer its own exuberant tropical music!

Luquillo Beach is a natural – and national – treasure.

From LMM International Airport take Road 26. Exit at Road 3 and continue straight to Luquillo Beach.

Of all the truly gorgeous beaches on the island of Culebra, nine miles off the main island’s eastern coast, Flamenco leads the pack. This island municipality is a paradise of beaches so perfect they are almost impossible to believe.

The crowning jewel is Flamenco Beach, recently named one of the Best Beaches in America and Best Escape Beach by the Travel Channel. A magnificent mile or so of pure white coral sand framed by Culebra’s arid, sun-toasted hills, it is protected as a Marine Wildlife Reserve by the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources. Here, you can escape from the crowds, jet skis and motorized sea vessels found on many of the major beaches on the main island of Puerto Rico.

Flamenco is only one of many unspoiled, pristine beaches on Culebra where you can enjoy blissful solitude as you swim in the blue green waters or explore some of the most stunning coral reef formations in the Caribbean.

Until 1975 Culebra was used for naval military exercises. Abandoned tanks and other military relics dot the area west of Flamenco Beach. If you tire of taking perfect beach scenes, you’ll find interesting photographic material among the remnants of naval machinery.

Lodging choices on Culebra include a campground and several small inns in the town of Dewey. You can make the long hike to Flamenco Beach, take a p�blico (public car) from town, or arrive by small boat. However you arrive, you will have discovered a piece of paradise.

From the International Airport take Road 26 and exit on Road 3 to Fajardo. Turn left on Road 194 and go southeast for 2.1 miles. Turn left on Road 195, then bear left at Fajardo Dock. Take the ferry to Culebra. You may also take a flight from San Juan or Fajardo. To get to Fernando Luis Ribas Dominicci Airport (Isla Grande) from Old San Juan take Road 26 towards Carolina and take exit to Road 1. Right after the Marina (Club Na�tico de San Juan) make a right at Lindbergh St. to get to Diego Jimenez Torres Airport (Fajardo) from San Juan take Road 26 and exit on Road 3 to Fajardo. Once in Fajardo take exit Road 976 and follow the signs.

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