Any nation or island in the Caribbean can make a claim to having some of the best beaches in the world, but at Tripio, we can confirm that Puerto Rico is able to back it up. Hey, it isn’t called the “Enchanted Island” for nothing. There’s really something for everyone who travels here, and that’s especially true for beach bums.
Whether you’re looking for adventure atop a surfboard or under the tide, a quiet vacation retreat to catch some rays, or you just want to feel the sand between your toes after a long day of exploring the island, there’s a beach for everyone in Puerto Rico. Here’s just a sampling of the different kinds of beaches you can find on the Enchanted Island…and don’t forget to use the Tripio App to confirm any details about these spots should you choose to visit!
Named after the concrete stairs sitting atop the sand, Steps Beach looks like your typical vacation beach at first glance. After all, when the tide is low, it’s a great place to take in the Caribbean horizon. There’s also plenty of paths for romantic, sunset walks with that special someone (or by yourself).
When the tide is high however, especially during the winter months, Steps Beach becomes a surfer’s paradise. Waves can reach up to 25 feet high (taller than the average two-story home) during and beyond the reef break one mile from shore, meaning any would-be surfer needs to be in good physical condition to conquer them. The only tide in the world harder to conquer is the Crimson Tide football team from the University of Alabama…and even that might be debatable.
In the summer months, the massive waves ebb enough to allow for snorkeling. In the morning, when the water is the most clear, Steps Beach becomes one of the best snorkeling spots in Puerto Rico to travel to, offering a colorful window into the elkhorn coral communities beneath the waves. You could meet bottlenose dolphins, parrot fish, yellowtail, hawksbill turtles, and shiny lobsters.
No matter what you look for in an adventure, Steps Beach has got you covered.
Maybe you don’t want to travel too far for the optimal beach experience. Maybe you want to go where you can meet new people, or try out some new food, or even learn something new!
Condado Beach is one of the more popular beach destinations in San Juan, attracting a diverse crowd from families to celebrities. Resorts such as La Concha and Condado Vanderbilt are located at the center of the beach’s action, offering beachgoers a potential glimpse of the celebrities that often stay there. A variety of outdoor bars and cafes also line the beach, featuring everything from authentic Puerto Rican cuisine to standard American fare. The city of San Juan is mere steps away, and it’s only a short taxi or bike ride to historic Old San Juan as well.
While the waters here are a bit dangerous due to strong undercurrents, and not good for swimming or most water activities, nearby Playita del Condado offers calmer waters. Make sure to check out the Tripio app for more details about parking.
Okay, maybe Condada is a little too social. Maybe you really want to get away from it all.
Playa Sucia literally translates to “dirty beach,” but don’t let the name fool you — this beautiful expanse of sand offers spectacular views of the Caribbean, free from the interference of hotel towers, restaurants, and people trying to sell you shaved ice. The water is calm and perfect for swimming, and that turquoise color will give you life.
It’s a bit on the wild side, with wild animals, a rough drive in, and some uneven cliffs, but if you’re looking to get off the grid and go somewhere truly special, Playa Sucia is it.
If you’re looking for a bit of history or adventure, there’s also the Cabo Rojo Lighthouse to check out! It’s a Spanish colonial-style structure with a panoramic view of the surrounding Caribbean – perfect for a beach goer or history buff’s bucket list.
Alright, you’ve seen the best beaches for each kind of beachgoer, but maybe you’re more of a general beach bum. Like, you don’t discriminate; you just want a good vacation spot to catch some rays, and swim, and get some mofongo.
Flamenco Beach will knock the ball out of the park, catch it, run it back, and hit it again. It’s not just one of the best beaches in Puerto Rico; it’s one of the best in the entire world. Located on the island of Culebra, 20 miles from the Puerto Rican coast, this beach is straight out of a postcard. Carpet-like white sands and pristine, turquoise waters make this an Instagram-worthy stop for any Puerto Rican traveler.
The tranquil water is perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and virtually anything you’d like to do on the water. Kiosks lining the beach serve delicious and authentic Puerto Rican food. There are several trails for viewing the sunset, or even viewing a little history in the form of the old M4 Sherman tanks left here by the U.S Navy.
Trust us here at Tripio; this beach is absolutely worth the short boat ride over. It’s a real bucket list item.
Use Tripio for your Custom Beach Itinerary
Don’t feel limited to the beaches mentioned above. The outlines of Puerto Rico are made up of the world’s most beautiful, unique, and exciting beaches and coastlines in the world. You can use the Tripio app to build a custom itinerary of beaches worth visiting.
Using the app, select the plus icon at the bottom of the screen titled “Create.” This will take you to the trip creator, which can create custom top 10 lists and an itinerary in under 60 seconds! Most of the beaches listed in the app are under the Easy Adventure category; make sure to give it a 5 for trip importance, to ensure your custom top 10 has a focus on beaches. To really round out your top 10, consider adding Moderate Adventure for more adventurous beaches and Good Eats for when you get hungry!
-Joshua Faulks, Tripio Guru
Download the free Tripio app on iOS and Android!