Nine of Puerto Rico’s Finest Beaches

Nine of Puerto Rico’s Finest Beaches

We’ve skipped along the coast of Puerto Rico, dipping our toes in gin-clear waters, surfing lesser-known coves and exploring hidden caves to bring you the most beautiful beaches the island has to offer.

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Rico – or Borinquen, as the locals call it – is known for
its dramatic, sun-baked landscape. A destination where pockets of
vivid turquoise water, tumbling dunes and craggy, wrinkled cliffs
act as a backdrop to intensely rustic villages. The magic of this
fiercely vibrant island isn’t just traced through the kindness of
its people, but also through the free-spirited communities that
continue to celebrate centuries-old traditions and honour their
culture-rich heritage.

While a contagious and hugely hypnotic charm can be found
dancing through its colourful streets, it is the sprawling
stretches of powder-white sand that offer a slower taste of
Caribbean living. Compromising some 600km of untouched coastline,
Puerto Rico is hardly short of secluded coves.
We’ve just returned from the ultimate beach-hopping extravaganza
with a pretty impressive list (if we do say so ourselves) of the
island’s most beautiful and, in some cases, underrated beaches.
Sound like your sort of adventure? Join us as we snorkel through
reefs, surf across whopping waves and lounge between sky-high palm

Top surf spots and boho beach shacks: nine beautiful beaches in
Puerto Rico

A man sits on a wall beside a Puerto Rican beach

A sandy cresent on the island, left, and a beach views. |
Photo credit: Jacob Elwood

Dogman’s Beach

Best for: morning surf

You’ve probably heard of Puerto Rico’s big-ticket surf scenes at
Tres Palmas and María’s Beach, but venture slightly further north
along Rinćon’s coast and you’ll reach the blissfully quiet sands of
Dogman’s Beach. It’s not often that you find a spot that guarantees
stellar year-round surf conditions, but this rare and reasonably
exposed reef break promises double-height waves to tackle
throughout every season. Head down mid-morning, that way you can
reward yourself with a well-deserved feast at no-frills The Beach

Los Almendros Beach

Best for: snorkelling

A firm local favourite, Los Almendros Beach in Membrillo, Camuy,
feels more akin to someone’s private garden than a public beach
thanks to its shoreline backed by a cluster of colourful villas. On
a good weather day – and by that we mean when wind conditions
settle – you will spot a handful of water babies whipping out a
snorkel. Join them and spend an afternoon paddling past colourful
reefs and magical marine life – be sure to keep your eyes peeled
for the turtles. You will find us, however, resembling something of
a starfish, buried beneath our summer reading list while soaking up
the distant crashes of the white-capped waves.

La Playuela

Best for: panoramic views

Not so long ago, La Playuela was nicknamed ‘Playa Suica’ which
literally translates as ‘Dirty Beach”, though it’s far from it.
Rather, being home to a rock-strewn track road, limestone cliffs
and the Corozo salt flats, the beach long deterred visitors looking
for a quick dose of sun. But, we’d argue that’s what makes the bay
that little bit more special. Crawl and climb to the turquoise
waters, or opt to scale the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse. There, you will
be rewarded with 360-degree vistas across the Caribbean Sea.

Crash Boat beach in Puerto Rico
A beach near Rincon, Puerto Rico

Crash Boat Beach, left, and a sandy stretch near Rincón. |
Photo credit: Jacob Elwood

Survival Beach

Best for: keen hikers

Located in Aguadilla, this secluded shoreline isn’t the sort of
place you’d go to for a long, lazy afternoon. Instead, lace up your
hiking boots and prepare to trek through dense woodland before
arriving at a surreal collection of ruggedly beautiful rock
formations. Check out tidal times before your visit, that way
you’ll have the chance to stroll between and summit the bluffs. You
don’t need us to tell you how quickly swirls can form, but we
suggest saving your goggles for stiller waters since this spot is
prone to some pretty rapid currents. Insider tip: horseback riding
adventures take place along Survival Beach, should you wish to take
the scenic route and enjoy the same visual splendour, minus the
heart-racing hike.

Crash Boat Beach

Best for: party people

Okay, okay this place is hardly lesser-known, but have you
really been to Puerto Rico without dancing from dusk till dawn at
Crash Boat Beach? The short answer is no, of course. Hailed as the
island’s party beach, thanks to its edgy foodie kiosks and boho
beach bars, this patch of paradise is a spot best enjoyed with your
gang. Swerve the swamped waters and swing by for a sunset splash,
that way you can spend at least an hour diving off the pier before
rewarding yourself with a piña colada from nextdoor Cocoloba Beach Bar. Hungry? Even better, there’s an
extra-large plate of tacos with your name scribbled all over

Playa Escondida

Best for: shaded beach days

Google will quickly tell you that Playa Escondida means ‘Hidden
Beach’, so we’d prefer you to keep this one to yourselves, please.
Situated in the old town of Fajardo, this postcard-worthy setting
is only accessible by foot. Start at Seven Seas Beach before
wandering through a jungle of overgrown kapok and cotton trees.
Despite the wild scenery, the route shouldn’t require much
expertise; it is, however, worth noting that the waters here are
known to hold some of the strongest and most vicious rip tides –
swim sensibly, or opt for a shaded spot beneath the trees.

Domes Beach, Puerto Rico

Sunset over the Puerto Rico waves, left, and the shoreline
of Domes Beach. | Photo credit: Jacob Elwood

Playa Las Picúas

Best for: city dwellers

It would be rude not to visit a beach within driving distance
from the gritty and glamorous capital city. OK, it’s 40 minutes
from San Juan, but the journey is worth it to find a quieter
alternative to that of Condado and Atlantic beaches. The beauty of
this place is that there isn’t a huge amount to do other than kick
back and gaze toward skies as wide as the ocean – we’re not
complaining. For an airy, art-filled space, make Dada Jaja your
crashpad – think abstract artworks, brushed concrete ceilings and
earth-tone furnishings.

Indicators Beach

Best for: thrill-seeking surfers

Calling all professional surfers: we’ve found Puerto Rico’s top
spot for proper surfing. Grab your board, lather on the factor 50
and make waves to this soft-sand beauty. Slap bang in the heart of
Rinćon, Indicators Beach packs in a slew of exposed rocks, making
for an endless army of set waves. Not ready to tackle that rip
current? Head over to Rinćon Lighthouse, where the enormous
elevated structure will allow you to better analyse the

Domes Beach

Best for: sundowners

Hosting the Corona Pro Surf Competition, Domes Beach has long
served as a hangout for laid-back locals. First gaining attention
in the 60s when its nuclear power station was in threat of being
torn down, the blue-coloured dome has marked the beach as something
of a landmark for the surrounding community. Rest assured, there is
no active radiation so you can swim or surf to your heart’s
content. Our favourite time to visit is just after 8pm, when the
sky turns a piercing shade of blood-orange.

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