Best Beaches for Relaxing in Puerto Rico
Let the soft waves of the Caribbean wash your worries away.
There are many reasons to love Puerto Rico: the fascinating culture, the friendly people, the exquisite food, and the island’s mesmerizing scenery. Spanning nearly 300 miles of coastline, there are more than two hundred beaches of various sizes, sand colors, and wave breaks to choose from. From stretches of white sand with soft waves perfect for families to more secluded coves for those looking for a romantic escape, there is a picturesque strip of shoreline for everyone to enjoy.
Please leave only footprints! Most of these locations are secluded, pristine beaches where you won’t find restrooms, food kiosks, or other facilities. Please be mindful and help keep these natural places clean by bringing trash bags and packing out everything you brought.
Here’s a list of the top beaches to relax in Puerto Rico:
La Poza del Obispo
The town of Arecibo, right next to the old lighthouse, is a place that forces you to disconnect from everyday life and engage with your surroundings. La Poza del Obispo beach may be small in size, but limestone rocks prevent the tide from rising, creating a natural pool of calm water. This gorgeous beach is ideal for families to spend the day having fun with the kids on the golden sand and clear waters.
Keep in mind that while there is a spacious parking lot, there are no businesses around, so you will have to bring your supplies for a day of sunbathing and swimming.
This quiet, off-the-beaten-path beach is in Aguadilla, a town along Puerto Rico’s dreamy northwest coast. The first thing you’ll notice about this secluded location is the impressive white karst walls that make up its distinctive landscape. Besides adding to the beautiful postcard-ready setting, these “cave-like” hollow spaces double as shelter from the sun. You can also hang up a hammock between palm trees or throw a towel on the sand to enjoy the tropical breeze.
There is varied and active marine life beneath the water, so it is recommended to bring snorkel gear with you to observe turtles, fish, and more. The beach becomes a haven for surfers during the winter, so it is best to visit between May and August when the waters are calmest.
Situated in the northern town of Isabela, this beach is locally known as "Cueva de las Golondrinas" (and which is different than the Cueva de las Golondrinas in Manatí). There are no facilities on the beach, so you will have to bring everything you need for a beach day. The lush vegetation covering the cliffs contrasts with the turquoise waves that crash on the shore, providing a serene setting for unwinding.
Although there is not much shade, you can find shelter from the sun along with the hollow entrances in the cliff or under a palm tree. There is a large cave on the west side of the beach, perfect for private walks and #NoFilterNeeded photo ops. Playa Pastillo is the kind of spot to bring a beach chair and a book, or a towel to sunbathe, but it is not recommended for swimming. It is most accessible during the summer when the northern tides are at their lowest.
Popular, yet never crowded, you can find Playa Caracas (formerly Red Beach) on the island of Vieques. It is one of the beaches with easy access inside the National Wildlife refuge in Vieques and it boasts some of the most astonishing scenery on the island, with dramatic rock formations carpeted by lush vegetation.
The diamond-dust soft sand blends in harmony with the intense turquoise waters where you can do a little boogie boarding, swim, or simply float. There are lifeguards on duty, making Caracas ideal for families with children. There are a few gazebos around the beach, and although there are no bathrooms on-site, you can visit the ones at the entrance of the refuge.
Isla Caja de Muertos
Although the beaches’ proper name is Playa Pelícano, it is known as Caja de Muertos, which is the name of the nature reserve where it is located. Dubbed as one of the Top Enchanting Attractions in Puerto Rico, the sanctuary is home to a diversity of fauna and flora you can spend the day relishing in. Besides making the most of a tranquil day at the beach, you can also hike to the island’s lighthouse and do some birdwatching while you’re there.
This protected beach has the most crystalline waters in the south of Puerto Rico and serves as a gateway to reconnect with nature and recharge your soul. Caja de Muertos can only be reached by boat.
Commonly known as Playa Sucia, this beach is one of Cabo Rojo’s most popular beaches. The breathtaking views of the lighthouse and the surrounding cliffs complement the sounds of the gentle waves crashing on the shore. As part of Cabo Rojo’s nature reserve, you’ll find striking landscapes and plenty of sand to lay down.
If all you want to do is some beach bumming or work on your suntan this is the place for you. La Playuela is just steps away from Los Morrillos lighthouse, where you can finish off your day with a spectacular sunset photoshoot to show your friends and family back home.