The Top 5 Puerto Rico Beaches

Puerto Rico Beaches

Some are known for their views, some for their surfing, some for their swimming, and some for their seclusion; either way, Puerto Rico's best beaches all have a calling card. While there are dozens of hangouts on miles of sandy shore among the country's islands, here are our favorites -- the top five beaches in Puerto Rico.

Best Puerto Rico Beaches: Flamenco

Located on the Spanish Virgin Island of Culebra, Flamenco is a regular on critics' short-lists for the most beautiful beach in the world. The water here is calm and blue, the sand hot and white, and the horizon framed by bright verdant hills. A great place to swim, snorkel, and bring the kids, this Puerto Rico beach has full facilities, shops, and even some campground space should you want to take a day and soak one of up Puerto Rico's most celebrated beaches.
Best Puerto Rico Beaches: Ballenas

Nature-lovers will want to set aside time for a visit to Ballenas Beach in Guánica. Part of the Ballenas Biosphere Reserve, Ballenas Beach is a secluded wonder where sea turtles nest, endangered birds alight, and manatees play offshore. This Puerto Rico beach is largely unsupervised, so you might feel a little like you have an island unto yourself. Come prepared, however: there are no facilities of any kind on Ballenas, and that includes drinkable water.

Best Puerto Rico Beaches: Caña Gorda

Not far from Ballenas, but a more developed Puerto Rico beach, is the Caña Gorda beach. A favorite spot among locals, this is the best beach to go to get a taste of true Puerto Rican R&R. A busy afternoon will greet you with the smells of fresh barbecue and the sounds of unhurried laughter. Caña Gorda is also a prime spot for bird-watchers, as the nearby nature reserve attracts many of the 40 unique species to which the island is home.

Best Puerto Rico Beaches: Luquillo

30 miles east of San Juan, Luquillo has it all: great views, modern, family-friendly amenities (easily accessible picnic areas, shops, changing rooms and showers, etc.), and gentle waters tempered by the presence of a large coral reef that inhibits rough Caribbean waters. Without careful cultivation, popular beaches can quickly become overcrowded and tacky; Luquillo is that rare gem that manages to balance function and beauty without losing any of its natural charms in the process. Bring the whole family.

Best Puerto Rico Beaches: Playa Higüero

Winter in Rincon (Nov. to April) is surf season, and there's no better place to catch a wave than Playa Higüero. "Little Malibu" is cited among the best surf spots in the Caribbean, and has even hosted a World Surfing Championship or two in its time. Even if you don't surf, watching the athletes bend and twist in the waves at this Puerto Rico beach is an afternoon of free entertainment you'll not want to miss.

Photo by blucolt on Flickr
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