6 Great Beaches on Puerto Rico’s East Coast

Puerto Rico is a perfect Caribbean Island for everyone. There are so many things to do, whether you’re an eco-tourist looking to hike in the rainforest, or a sun worshiper looking for long days at the beach or an urbanite look for sophisticated restaurants, galleries and nightlife. We’ve compiled some of our guest favorite day trip on Puerto Rico from when they visited the beautiful island.

East Coast – Things to Do in Puerto Rico: Beaches

The east coast of Puerto Rico is both quiet and uncrowded. In this tropical paradise, you can go from mountains to the sea in just minutes. So, you don’t have to travel far from any of our Puerto Rico Vacation Home rentals to experience remarkable natural beaches and have a new adventure.

Day Trip 1: For Breathtaking Views, Drive to Tuna Point Beach

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The quiet, natural beach at Punta Tuna is reached by an amazing drive over a mountain range that borders the Caribbean sea.

A wonderful natural spot, the beach has soft sand, a mild surf and good swimming. It offers a lovely view of the Punta Tuna fishing village and lighthouse perched above the beach on a monumental rocky cliff. Walk away from the lighthouse about 100 yards down the beach to get wonderful vistas of an unspoiled tropical valley. It is a quiet, uncrowded beach surrounded by mountains. We have never seen a dozen people on it! It’s a great spot to picnic (no services), bring a cooler. This is one of our favorites!

A Picturesque Natural Spot
Drive Time:
 About 45 Minutes
Directions: Take Route 53 South to route 901 (Scenic Drive following a mountainous seaside route). When R-53 ends, turn right at the traffic light, left at the next light and left at the stop sign. You’re now on 901. After the beach town of Maunabo, turn left onto route 760 at signs for “Los Bohios” restaurant.

Getting There:
When you visit Punta Tuna, you get a spectacular mountain drive overlooking the Caribbean in the bargain. After Yabucoa, you’ll begin to wind up a mountain side. Drive slowly, enjoy the view and let locals pass. Look for the restaurant El Nuevo Horizonte and pull off to the left for a spectacular view near the summit. Continue on winding down to Maunabo, where a public parking area gives access to Larga Beach, which runs along the coast to Punta Tuna Lighthouse. Travel through Maunabo, pass a baseball field on the right, then look left for Route 760 and a restaurant sign “Los Bohios.” When you reach the Los Bohios restaurant, turn right down a short steep hill to the parking area in the palms.

Day Trip 2:  Seven Seas Beach

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Calm waters and soft sand abound at Fajardo’s public beach Seven Seas.

At Seven Seas Beach, you’ll find crystal clear water in a quiet cove. This beach offers views of the lighthouse and nature preserve. You’ll find picnic tables, toilet facilities, outdoor freshwater showers, and a long protected beach area. The swimming area is roped off and there may be a lifeguard. There will be no surf. A great place for kid

A Quick Expressway Trip or Meander the Coastline
Drive Time: Expressway 30 Minutes
Directions: Route 53 Expressway North, or Route 3 Along The Coast

Getting There:
Take a quick run up to Fajardo on Route 53 or travel the coast through little towns. The choice is yours! If you follow the coast, Naguabo on the sea (Playa Hucares), offers a harbor walk along bustling bars and restaurants. Further north, you’ll find Puerto del Ray Marina, where you’ll find sailboats to charter and scuba diving services. Fajardo is also an excellent place to find boat charters, as well as the ferry to Culebra and Vieques. If you go by expressway, you’ll get excellent views of the rain forest and shorten your drive.

To take the expressway, take Route 3 north, turn right at R-906, take the north bound ramp for R-53. Pay $.35 toll and follow signs for Fajardo. After the third toll gate ($0.35) you will come to a traffic light and an exit right for Route 194. Follow it over a bridge and straight through the next intersetion. Pass a new Municipal Complex and stay left. Pass a traffic light and a Burger King. Pass a Marina area go up a hill and then pass an entrance for El Conquistador Resort on the right. When you reach a fork, go left and find the entrance to the beach a short distance ahead on the left, There is usually $3.00 parking fee for this beach parking area. If you continue on you will come to the entrance for the Las Cabezas lighthouse and nature reserve.

Day Trip 3: Luquillo Beach

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Luquillo Beach is a popular beach with a boardwalk shops and restaurants and calm waters.

One of the most famous beaches in Puerto Rico; it is the subject of many post cards. This is large well-run public beach. Parking is paid and fenced off. It has souvenir shops, snack bars, bathhouses and a water safety staff on patrol. Unlikely to have surf, the large flat beach offers a gentle swimming, long walks and great views of the rain forest peaks. The parking area and beach are closed in the evenings. It reminds us of an American state park. You’ll find both natives and many tourists enjoying the sun at Luquillo.

A Lively Post Card Beach
Drive Time: Expressway 45 Minutes
Directions: Route 53 Expressway North to Route 3

Getting There:
Take Expressway Route 53 to Fajardo, where it becomes Route 3. Continue past Fajardo 7 Miles. Look for a well marked exit ramp to the entrance of a very nice public park. A small parking fee is charged.

Day Trip 4: Palmas Del Mar

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Palmas Del Mar has beautiful beaches, golf course, horseback riding, marina, restaurant and shops.

Go to Look or Play!
Drive Time: Route 906 –7 minutes
Directions: Route 3 North, R-906 to Palmas del Mar Gate

Getting There:
Just 7 minutes from the house is Palmas del Mar, one of the most renowned resorts in the Caribbean. Anyone can enter the resort and use its facilities in a variety of ways. The resort offers 36 holes of golf, a fabulous palm tree lined ocean beach, a Casino, a dozen restaurants, and a scuba diving center at the marina. At the gate, just tell the guard you want to go to the commercial area. He will direct you to where you can park. From there you can walk throughout the resort, visit the Casino, or dine at the restaurants. Before you park, you may want to motor slowly around to view the exquisite architecture and beautiful living areas. Take your camera, there will be plenty of photos worth taking at Palmas! The Marina offers boat charters and scuba services. To use the beach, tell the guard and he will arrange for parking and a ride to the beach.

Day Trip 5: Flamenco Beach

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Culebra’s Flamenco Beach is world-renowned for its white sands, blue water and crescent shape.

Arguably the most beautiful beach in Puerto Rico, and been on the top 10 list for best beaches in the world. Flamenco Beach offers superb snorkeling, calm swimming, wonderful surf…all on the same beach. A 1.5 mile crescent, Flamenco Beach will be uncrowded, offers wonderful views of the surrounding hills, and great walking. The water will be clear enough to see down 20-30 feet and snorklers will view over a hundred species of fish. If Flamenco is too agitated for clear snorkeling, you can hike mile or so through the nature preserve (a well marked trail begins in the parking lot…bring good shoes) and you can swim over the reef at Carlos Rosario Beach, another world class snorkeling area.

A Natural Wonder
Drive Time:
 Expressway: 30 Minutes, Ferry Voyage: 1.5 Hours
Directions: To take the expressway, take Route 3 north, turn right at R-906, take the north bound ramp for R-53. Pay $.35 toll and follow signs for Fajardo. After the third toll gate ($0.35) you will come to a traffic light and an exit right for Route 194. Follow it over a bridge and straight through the next intersetion. Pass a new Municipal Complex and stay left. Turn right after an electric power plant and before Burger King onto R-195. Follow this road until it reaches at the harbor. Park in either gated paid parking area, when you see the harbor in front of you.

Getting There:
Arrive for the Ferry one hour early. Depending on the day, it may be hard to get a ticket. (If you miss it you can fly, from Fajardo Airport. The flight is an adventure worth the price (about $20 one way), and you can come back by ferry for $2.) Remember boats also go to Vieques. Be sure to get on the Culebra boat. After you land, find ‘publicos’ or taxis. They leave from the dock square regularly. There, are shops in town, but no services on the beach except bathhouses and toilets. At times, food vendors set up tents at the beach parking area. But it is risky to depend on them being there. Best to bring a full cooler with drinks and some lunch.

Day Trip 6: Vieques Island

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Sun Bay on Vieques Island has beautiful soft sand and bluest of water, also an easy walk to the fun town of Esperanza for lunch or drinks.

Vieques island has wonderful beaches. Perhaps the most popular is Sun Bay, about a mile from the town of Esperanza. (It can be reached from the dock by cab. Make it clear when the cab driver should return so that you can make your return Ferry!) This beach is a broad crescent with good walking and many spots to swim with light to no surf. Some services, including changing houses and bathrooms, may be available. You can walk about a mile along the beach (to the right when facing the water) and around a point to reach the little town of Esperaza, where you will find restaurants and shops overlooking the sea. Other nice beaches to visit include: Red Beach, Blue Beach and Green Beach, all former military base beaches. They can be reached by cab or by renting a car. These beaches are very natural and will have no services. Bring your lunch! Renting a car in advance (last minute rentals are often not available) and touring several beaches, while stoping for lunch in Esperaza or Isabel Segunda, makes an interesting day of varied swimming and sightseeing.

In our view Esperanza beach is not nice enough to spend the day swimming, although some snorkeling is done over the rocks found at the right end of the walkway. If you cab to Esperaza, it is feasable to walk to Sun Bay for better swimming following the shore line to the left.

Gorgeous Natural Sand Beach within Walking Distance to a Fun Town for Lunch or Drinks
Drive Time:
 Expressway: 30 Minutes, Ferry Voyage: 1.5 Hours
Directions: To take the expressway, take Route 3 north, turn right at R-906, take the north bound ramp for R-53. Pay $.35 toll and follow signs for Fajardo. After the third toll gate ($0.35) you will come to a traffic light and an exit right for Route 194. Follow it over a bridge and straight through the next intersetion. Pass a new Municipal Complex and stay left. Turn right after an electric power plant and before Burger King onto R-195. Follow this road until it reaches at the harbor. Park in either gated paid parking area, when you see the harbor in front of you.

Getting There:
Remember boats also go to Culebra. Be sure to get on the Vieques boat. The ferry lands in the town of Isabela Segunda. It is a good size town and may be worth some exploring on foot. If you do, the Fort Conde Mirasol Museum traces the history of the island. There are also a number of restaurants and shops.

 

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