With more than 400km of coastline, Puerto Rico offers a great choice of balnearios (or public beaches) that charge a small fee for facilities such as parking, toilets, showers and lifeguards.
All beaches in Puerto Rico are public, and typically host food and drink concession stands and occasionally seafood restaurants.
The best beaches in Puerto Rico, include the following…
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Relax on the pale golden sands of this 600m-long beach that shelves into calm, reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming.
The wide beach is flanked by a string of hotels and apartment blocks.
Nearby Ashford Drive offers a selection of cafes and restaurants. Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, toilets, showers and lifeguards.
The best section of the beach sits in front of the 21-storey San Juan Marriot Resort and Stellaris Casino, where you can enjoy a range of creature comforts.
Sunbathe on the soft sand and enjoy jazz concerts at the beachfront park of Gran Ventana al Mar.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe on this 1.6km-long golden-sand beach that sits between an upmarket residential neighbourhood and reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming and kite surfing.
Lined with palm and sea grape trees, this wide beach attracts the young and beautiful, especially at the weekends. Meet friendly locals and grab a bite to eat or a cold drink at one of the beachfront bar/restaurants housed in low-rise guesthouses.
There are no public facilities at this beach, however toilets can be found at the beachside park at the eastern end of the beach and at nearby water sport equipment clubhouses, where you can also hire sea kayaks and windsurfing boards.
Playa de Ocean Park is just east of Playa Condado.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Dip your toes into the pale golden sands of this 60m-wide palm-fringed beach that shelves into tranquil reef-protected waters offering perfect swimming conditions.
Go swimming in the calm waters, sunbathe on the golden sands and people-watch the ‘jet set’ who frequent the two luxurious beachfront hotels – the Intercontinental San Juan Resort at the beach’s western end and the El San Juan Resort and Casino at the eastern end. Visit for a day or stay longer.
Facilities on this 2.5km-long beach include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, changing rooms, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, picnic tables and barbecue grills. Water sports include kayaking, sailing catamarans and jet skiing.
The nearby Isla Verde Avenue is lined with a choice of bars and restaurants.
Playa de Carolina is east of Playa de Ocean Park.
(San Juan, Isla Verde) – Sunbathe anywhere on this gorgeous crescent of pale golden sand that stretches for 2.5km between the Ritz-Carlton and the Marriott Courtyard at the eastern end of Isla Verde, adjacent to the international airport.
Swim in the sheltered reef-protected waters around the Ritz-Carlton, go boogie boarding and body surfing at the eastern end of the beach or relax beneath shady palm trees.
There are no public facilities here, however both hotels offer a range of facilities that includes bars, restaurants and restrooms, as well as umbrellas and sun loungers for hire. Water sports include kayaking and sail boating.
(San Juan) – Relax on the golden sands of this 300m-long beach that curves around a small reef-protected cove offering good snorkelling in calm waters.
Unwind beneath the beachfront palm trees or stroll around the nearby park that sits at the eastern end of Puerta de Tierra.
Facilities include umbrellas and sun loungers for hire, changing rooms, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, picnic tables and nearby restaurants.
Playa El Escambron is located on Puerta de Tierra, to the west of Playa Condado.
(East Coast) – Pick your own spot to sunbathe, stroll and swim on this 3.5km-long golden-sand beach that shelves into the clear waters of a reef-protected bay.
Luquillo (also known as La Monserrate) is popular with local families and offers a range of facilities including changing areas, lockers, showers, toilets, lifeguards, food concession stands and shaded picnic areas. Water sports equipment for hire includes kayaks and jet skis.
The beach is unique in that it offers the amenity known as Mar Sin Barreras (Sea without Barriers) – special wheelchairs with balloon tires that make strolling the beach with your loved one a breeze!
Visit for the day or stay longer at the luxury all-suite Gran Melia Puerto Rico.
Playa de Luquillo is around 48km east of San Juan near the town of Fajardo.
(East Coast) – Dip your toes into the soft golden sand of this 4km-long tree-lined beach that stretches along the undeveloped shoreline between Fajardo and Luquillo.
Swim in the crystal clear waters and snorkel alongside offshore rocks at the eastern end of the beach.
Playa El Convento Beach is a pleasant 3.2km walk from nearby Seven Seas Beach.
(East Coast) – Unwind on the soft white sands of this kilometre-long, narrow palm-fringed beach that fringes a sheltered bay overlooking the Reserva Natural Las Cabezas de San Juan.
Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers and picnic tables.
The calm gin-clear waters are perfect for swimming and the offshore reefs are ideal for diving and snorkelling. Visit for the day or stay at the nearby Fajardo Inn.
Playa de Seven Seas is east of Playa de Luquillo, near Fajardo.
(East Coast) – Choose from several pristine, palm-fringed white-sand beaches that edge this hilly island just off the coast of Puerto Rico.
Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the luxurious El Conquistador Resort, which also operates the main resort in Fajardo.
The resort provides facilities such as umbrellas and sun loungers, as well as a range of water sports action including a water park with several slides and numerous pools.
(South Coast) – Located a few miles off the coast, this island has the best beaches in the Ponce area, and is probably the second-best area in southern Puerto Rico for snorkelling (second only to La Parguera).
(Northwest Coast) – Unwind on the golden sands of this 700m-long beach that curves around a dune-covered rocky spit with sheltered waters perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
Go kite boarding, wind surfing and surfing the offshore coral heads.
Facilities on this palm-fringed beach include changing rooms, toilets, showers and several beachfront restaurants.
Jobos Beach is located near the town of Isabela.
(Northwest Coast) – Pick your spot to sunbathe on the golden sands of this 700m-long beach that lies on an uninterrupted strip of beachfront along Puerto Rico’s northwestern coastline.
Shacks Beach is best known for its good kite and windsurfing conditions. This area is also good for snorkelling the calm waters between the surf-pounded reef and the beach.
Facilities include toilets, showers and food concession kiosks.
Shacks Beach is located near the town of Isabela.
(Northwest Coast) – For the best winter surfing in Puerto Rico, head to this stretch of unspoiled beaches – Puntas, Domes, Little Malibu, Tres Palmas and Steps – along the northwest coast.
Generally rated as one of the world’s best surfing spots, Rincón is the centre of the island’s surf scene, which then extends to neighbouring Isabela and Aguadilla. In winter you can often catch waves up to 6m.
Facilities on most beaches include changing rooms, toilets, showers, lifeguards and food and drink kiosks. Visit for a day or stay longer at the elegant Horned Dorset Primavera, rated as one of the most exclusive hotels in Puerto Rico.
(Northwest Coast) – Unwind on this picturesque, 600m-long palm-fringed beach that stretches either side of a long jetty.
Sunbathe on the soft golden sand near colourful beached fishing boats, swim in the clear sheltered waters at the southern end of the beach and snorkel rocks at the northern end.
Facilities include toilets, showers and shady picnic huts. Local restaurants serve up freshly caught seafood. The waters here are perfect for kayaking, windsurfing and diving in summer.
Surfing is best in winter, from November through April.
This attractive beach is located near Aguadilla and is named after rescue boats used when the US Ramey Air Force Base was in operation.
(Southwest Coast) _ Unwind on the off-white sands of this 5km-long palm-fringed beach that faces a wide sheltered bay with tranquil waters that are perfect for families with children.
Facilities include changing rooms, lockers, toilets, showers, picnic tables, barbecue pits, lifeguards and a café for food and drinks.
The village of Boqueron offers open-air seafood restaurants. Come for a day or stay longer at the pink-walled beachfront Parador Boquemar or the Aquarius Boquerón Beach Resort.
(Culebra) – Choose your own spot to sunbathe and swim on this idyllic white-sand beach that stretches for 1.3km around a half moon-shaped bay.
Surrounded by rolling green hills and bordered by the Culebra National Wildlife Refuge, Playa Flamenco gently shelves into reef-protected waters that are perfect for swimming and snorkelling at the rocky outcrops above parrotfish, blue tang and wrasse.
This uncrowded beach is edged by scenic walking trails and fringed by sand dunes covered in native vegetation and occasional sea grape and palm trees. Surf usually pounds the offshore reef at the western end of the beach.
Flamenco is the only beach on Culebra with facilities such as shade huts, toilets, showers and food kiosks selling snacks and cold drinks.
Consistently ranked as one of the world’s best beaches, Playa Flamenco is located on Culebra’s west shore and is easily accessible by a thrice-daily ferry service from Fajardo.
Stay longer at the Tamarindo Estates, which faces a white-sand beach and is the perfect base for exploring this small island.
(Vieques) – Unwind on the soft white sand of this 1.6km-long palm-fringed beach that edges a crescent-shaped bay with calm turquoise waters perfect for swimming. Facilities include changing rooms, toilets, showers, picnic tables and food kiosks.
Playa Sun Bay lies on the south coast of Vieques Island, just east of Esperanza. Visit on a day trip or stay longer at the highly rated Inn on the Blue Horizon, a stylish hotel located near Esperanza.
Once used by the US military for target practice (until 2003), the island is fringed with gorgeous pristine beaches just waiting to be discovered on foot or by boat.
(Vieques) – Discover the soft white sands of this gorgeous 300m-long beach that lies just over the hill from Playa Sun Bay.
Fringed by shady sea grape trees and edging a long inlet framed by bush-covered cliffs, Playa Media Luna faces calm and shallow protected waters that are perfect for small children.
Rocks nearby offer good snorkelling. Take food and drinks, as there are no facilities.
Latest update: Best Beaches in Puerto Rico: 7 May, 2022