Puerto Rico Beaches
Isla Verde Beach
Called “Hobby Beach” by the locals, Isla Verde Beach is actually a series of beaches that stretch for miles in front of luxury resorts and posh high-rise residential apartments, restaurants and private clubs, guesthouses and private homes, and parks. This is the beach “to see and be seen.” In addition to the usual beach activities—sunbathing, volleyball, picnicking, etc.–the more adventurous go parasailing, bodysurfing, water skiing, jet skiing, kite sailing (a combination of windsurfing and skiing), or participate in many of the other water sports offered by the numerous beachfront hotels and seaside shops.
From San Juan take Road 26, then a right on 187, then a left on Road 37
When most Puerto Ricans and experienced visitors think of a day at the beach, most likely it is Luquillo Beach. For generations families have made the trek from San Juan and all over the eastern region for a day at the sea. A vacation in Puerto Rico was considered incomplete without a visit to Luquillo. Today, Luquillo remains one of the island’s most popular beaches – and with good reason. Offshore reefs keep the waters calm. Families can relax knowing that lifeguards are on duty and the rough surf and deep waters are far, far away. Ample parking, changing and rest rooms, and souvenir and food stands are nearby. Boat access, rentals, windsurfing and camping areas are available. Among its facilities is a “Sea Without Barriers” program, staffed by professionals who help visitors in wheelchairs join their family and friends for a dip in the warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Part of the charm of Luquillo is its proximity to El Yunque Tropical Rainforest. The view from the sea is spectacular: an internationally famous long gold crescent of sand lined by countless coconut palms with the misty mountains of the rainforest towering overhead.
From San Juan take Road 26. Then get off on Road 3, which will take you straight to Luquillo Beach.
One of Puerto Rico’s natural treasures is a mangrove-lover’s paradise and it’s just 20 minutes from San Juan. On your way you’ll pass a long stretch of public beach, a small marina and a clutter of seafood shacks and coconut stands at Boca de Cangrejos. You will probably see surfers riding the waves at Aviones, a beach named for the stream of aircraft heading in and out of nearby Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport. Piñones means pines, and you will see plenty of these, too. You will quickly reach the Piñones Natural Reserve with its boardwalk through the forest, wild stretches of beach with fine views of the San Juan skyline, a maze of mangroves, a small bioluminescent bay, dramatic sand dunes and exotic wildlife. If you continue east you will reach Valcia Talega Beach and its strange landscape of twisted rocks dotted with palm trees, the perfect place to end your Piñones adventure.
From San Juan take Road 26 towards Carolina, then take Road 187 which will lead directly to Piñones Natural Reserve.