Puerto Rico is famous for its beaches. Soak up the sun, ride the waves, explore underwater life, and discover some of the Caribbean’s best beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city.
Puerto Rico is a self governing island situated in the north eastern Caribbean sea, with its northern shore facing the Atlantic Ocean. Compared to its neighbours, Puerto Rico is one fifth as large as the Dominican Republic, slightly smaller than Jamaica and only one third the size of Haiti. Puerto Rico has a diverse culture comprising of Spanish, U.S and Afro Caribbean culture. The country is said to be generally advanced by Latin American standards. This is partly because of its ties with the U.S, although that relationship has now become politically controversial.
San Juan sports great beaches for visitors to refresh themselves like Condado Beach, Escambron Beach, and Isla Verde Beach.
The top beaches in San Juan
Now, here is a brief look at some of the beaches that are considered the best in San Juan.
- Escambron Beach- This beach is perfect for swimming and snorkelling. It is at the entrance of San Juan and has two sides. One is great for swimming and the other for snorkelling and scuba diving. You may even catch a glimpse of sea turtles! The beach is one of the local’s favorites for its nice tide and dozens of palm trees to get shade. Escambron Beach also sports facilities like bathrooms and showers.
- Condado Beach- This beach is in the Condado hotel district. It has free street parking and affordable private parking for about $9 to $12. There are endless food options, and you can rent umbrellas, beach chairs, and water sports equipment. This popular San Juan beach is great to spend the day beach bumming, but it lacks public shower facilities, bathrooms, and lifeguards.
- Ocean Park Beach- This beach is less crowded than Condado Beach and has fine sand. It has free parking across the street Barbosa park. Ocean Park Beach is an urban Miami Beach waterfront style that is close to Condado Beach. It has a vast area that is perfect for sunbathing and is easy to walk on thanks to the fine sand. There are a few showers facilities along the beach and you can also find chair rental spots. You will see lots of people windsurfing since this beach is quite windy.
- Playa Pena- This beach is said to have some of the most scenic views in San Juan. It has free parking across the street close to the Capitol. Here, you can dip your feet in the water and admire the gorgeous views. Make sure you stick to the shore, however, as the beach tends to have really strong rip currents.
- Condado Lagoon- This beach is home to manatees. It is the perfect place for kayaking and paddle boarding. It has free parking across the street. Not many people choose to swim here. Some opt to dip their feet in on the side of the lagoon that connects with Miramar.
- Alambique Beach- This is a beach resort area in Carolina. It has plenty of great places to eat. It forms part of Isla Verde Beach. Make sure to use sunblock or rent an umbrella, as the sun is strong and there are not many places that provide shade.
Most beaches in San Juan can be reached by walking a short distance. An example of such a beach is Escambron Beach. Other beaches require that you drive a short distance. Knowing this will help you plan your journey. If your interests are water sports, make sure you check which beaches are convenient for that. If you want to just lounge around, there are beaches that are great for that too, so just be sure to check.
Activities to enjoy at the beach
There are a number of various activities that you can do at the glistening beaches of San Juan. Some of these activities are kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, surfing, stand-up paddle boarding or lounging bout.
Some beaches will allow you to rent equipment for the various water related sports you intend to participate in. Others do not have the facilities for renting and so you will need to bring them along with you.
Make sure you take sun screen along with you as the sun’s rays can be quite harsh. If you are planning to lounge around or have a picnic, make sure you bring snacks, drinks, water to keep you hydrated, chairs and picnic cloths as some of the beaches do not have enough of these.
In addition to this, you can stay safe by keeping close to the shores, especially on high tide days or days with lots of winds. This will help prevent any unfortunate accidents.
Beachside dining and entertainment in San Juan
Here is a list of a few beachside dining and entertainment options in San Juan you can choose.
- ARYA Rooftop- Arya is located on the rooftop of the O:LV Hotel in Condado. You can expect a spectacular view of the Condado Lagoon and the city. You can enjoy its dynamic outdoor and indoor seating options at any time of day. In the morning, you can relax with breakfast in a quiet environment. In the evening, you can savor a magical sunset with some of Arya’s signature drinks. Their open hours are Monday: 8am-9pm; Tues-Fri: 8am-11pm; Saturday: 9am-11pm; Sunday: 9am-9pm.
- Ola Oceanfront Bistro- This restaurant is located at 1055 Avenue. Ashford, San Juan. Ola Ocean Front Bistro is located in the Condado Vanderbilt Hotel. The restaurant offers breakfast, brunch and lunch made with the best local products to highlight the authentic Puerto Rican flavours. They are open Monday to Sundat from 7am to 11pm.
- Numero Uno Beach House- This is located at Calle Santa Ana in San Juan. It is ideal for relaxing with the sound of the ocean in the background. Their open hours are Sun-Thurs from 8am-9pm; Fri-Sat from 8am-10pm.
- Ladi’s Restaurant- This restaurant can be found at Avenida Luis Munoz Rivera in San Juan. It is a secluded restaurant that offers a relaxed atmosphere and the best views of San Juan Bay. The restaurant also hosts shows with live music that’s ideal to enjoy by the sea. Their open hours are Sun-Thurs from 11am-10 pm; Friday and Saturday from 11am-12pm.
Other attractions and activities in San Juan
There are so many other attractions and activities available for you to do in San Juan.
You can go shopping in the malls, you can explore the beautiful architecture of Old San Juan, you can visit the bio bays, or you can even go on a tour at the famous Casa Bacardi.
The beach experience in San Juan is amazing, and there are a variety of options for you to choose from. Discover the beauty and culture of Puerto Rico through its beaches.