Puerto Rico is the perfect destination for those who love spending a day at the beach only to return to the comforts of city life at night. It’s possible to drive across the length of the island in just a few hours and do a complete circle around it in under a day, so there’s no excuse for not checking out all the best spots. Here are the beautiful beaches on and around Puerto Rico you simply can’t miss.
Flamenco Beach, Culebra
The Discovery Channel named Flamenco Beach not only the best beach in all of Puerto Rico, but also the second-best beach in the entire world. That’s because this stunning gem houses some of the clearest waters in the world, making for some pretty amazing snorkeling; also the sand is so white it’s nearly blinding. Though Culebra has it’s own small airport from the mainland, the 90-minute boat ride is too beautiful to pass up. Once you arrive be sure to walk around the shoreline to spot leftover American tanks left lying in the sand.
Icacos Island, Fajardo
Puerto Rico is jam packed full of locals and tourists, so it’s refreshing to be able to find something of a deserted island just off its shores. Icacos Island certainly fits the bill. You’ll have to catch a boat in Las Croabas to get here, but once you do you’ll find a striking stretch of sand and trees straight out of Castaway. The surf here is calm and perfect for snorkeling for the abundance of fish and rays but you’ll have to bring your own gear; the island has no amenities at all.
La Playuela, Cabo Rojo
This scenic nature reserve, nicknamed Playa Sucia, is often considered the most scenic mainland beach in Puerto Rico. It’s ideal for hiking and contains some breathtaking views from both the shores and surrounding cliffs, but you’ll need to make it early in the morning if you want to find a spot to park. It’s certainly one of the cleanest beaches on the island and it’s the perfect place to set up a picnic under one of the many mangrove trees dotting the shore.
Sandy Beach, Rincon
If you’re looking for a beach with a little more than just sand and water, this beach has you covered. Sandy Beach’s most favored attraction, Tamboo Beach Bar, is routinely voted as one of the best beach bars in the entire world, so you know the drinks here are amazing. The views from the deck are remarkable and if you’re lucky enough to visit at the beginning of the year you could be treated to scores of humpback whales navigating the shores looking for a little lovin’.
Caracas Beach, Vieques
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of Caracas Beach; it’s been the background of some popular photo shoots in Victoria’s Secret as well as one of the primary images on Puerto Rico’s tourism websites and postcards. It’s very literally picturesque. The waters here are calm enough for a little family fun time in the ocean and it’s a popular spot for picnics and beach volleyball. You can’t go wrong visiting this wonderful spot.
Piñones Beach, Carolina
Just two hours outside of San Juan lies a bit of a hidden gem in Piñones Beach. This quaint little village of Carolina is one of the best places to head for a relaxing, authentic day on the island. The wealth of food stalls running over with delicious tostones and pastelillos along the boardwalk will help fill your stomach after a day spent enjoying the rich mangrove forests and beautiful shoreline. It’s cozy, affordable and undeniably Puerto Rican.