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Guide to Best Beaches in San Juan Puerto Rico, Hotels & Resorts on the Beach

San Juan, Puerto Rico…  All The Excitement of a Vibrant City with the Allure of Tropical Beaches… The Birthplace of the Piña Colada

Award Winning Tour

If you’re longing for a beach escape with vibrant city life, San Juan has it down to perfection.  Unlike most cities, you will find the beaches of San Juan to be relaxed and uncrowded on weekdays. Enjoy miles of beaches with plenty of room to relax on the sand.  Whether you like a trendy Miami-style beach or a more casual scene, or you wish to snorkel or scuba dive, you can find a beach in San Juan to meet your needs.

The capital city of Puerto Rico is the most accessible and affordable beach city vacation in the Caribbean.  In just a 3.5-hour flight from many cities in the US, you can find yourself laying under a palm tree enjoying the pleasures of a Caribbean island, and enjoying an amazing drink where the Piña Colada was invented.  Be sure to leave time to visit the best beaches around Puerto Rico easily explored by renting a car.

A list of frequently asked questions is included at the end of the list.

Escambron Beach – The Best & Most Beautiful Beach in San Juan

Two Beaches, Historic Site, Great Snorkeling & Scuba Diving Site

Best Beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico - Balneario Escambron

The best public beach in the capital city of San Juan is located in Puerta de Tierra, right between Old San Juan & Condado.  Here at Escambron, you can enjoy swimming waters on two distinct beaches, go snorkeling and scuba diving, a historic site, and have sweeping views of Condado and Old San Juan.  Escambron Beach is managed by the municipality, the only beach with facilities.  

There are two beaches inside Escambron, the first is the most popular, it is wide with a protected swimming area by a coral wall.   The other beach has calmer water and is popular for snorkeling and scuba divers where sea turtles are often spotted.  This beach is also home to the fortification of Bateria El Escambron, from where you can enjoy sweeping views of the city and the coastline of the Condado Tourist District.

Top Rated Snorkeling Tours - Escambron Beach - San Juan

Condado Beach

Best Beach with Resorts

Best Beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Enter Condado Beach where sand, sun, water, and trendy beachfront resorts come together in Miami Beach style.  For those that love lounging, watching, and listening to the sound of the waves, with beachside resort services Condado Beach is a good choice.  Condado Beach is centrally located within walking distance of many restaurants, shopping, and casinos.  If you wish to swim at the beach, you may walk to Playita del Condado where the water is calm, or Condado Lagoon where you can go paddleboarding, kayaking, and other water activities.

Best Beachfront Resorts in Condado - San Juan, PR

+ Top Rated Tours in Condado

Isla Verde Beach

Three Beaches, Three Great City Beach Experiences

Best beaches in San Juan Puerto Rico 2022 - Isla Verde

Fun Beach Tour near San Juan

Although not officially part of the capital city of San Juan, a quick 15 minutes drive east, you can enjoy Isla Verde Beach, a recently acclaimed best city beach in the Caribbean and under the US Flag.  This lively and beautiful beach is popular for water sports, safe for swimming, and a favorite place to learn how to surf for families with children.  What is often referred to as Isla Verde Beach is actually three beaches, each with distinct traits.

You can get to Isla Verde with a quick and inexpensive taxi ride from San Juan.  When you’re hungry, there are plenty of restaurants and cafés to choose from within walking distance of the beach.  If you don’t find a hotel that suits your needs in San Juan, Isla Verde Beach offers a nice selection of beachfront hotels, resorts, and small inns.  Isla Verde is just 5 minute drive from the SJU Airport.

Best Places to Stay on Isla Verde Beach

Laguna del Condado (Condado Lagoon)

Best Water for Kayaking & Paddleboarding (SUP)

Laguna del Condado - Beaches - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Those that prefer to find quiet and relaxing water activities head to Laguna del Condado, commonly known as the Condado Lagoon.  Right in between Condado and the highway, protected from the traffic noise by a line of almond and mangrove trees you can glide on clear blue waters where manatees, sea turtles, and other friendly beautiful creatures call home.  Laguna del Condado offers the most popular and top-rated kayaking tours by day and night in the San Juan / Metro area.  If you enjoy the sport of SUP, be sure to book a session or rent a board to do on your own. On the southwest corner of Laguna del Condado is a small beach that’s never crowded.  You can walk from Condado across the bridge to reach it.  

Top Rated Tours in Laguna del Condado

Ocean Park Beach

Laid Back Beach with Budget-Friendly Inns

San Juan Puerto Rico Beaches - Ocean Park

A popular beach for both locals and visitors with a more laid-back vibe and fewer crowds than nearby Isla Verde and Condado beach.  The mile-long beach is wide, the sand is soft and ivory white.  Ocean Park is a perfect mix of relaxation and fun on the sand and waves.  Visitors can relax under intimate romantic spots shaded by palm and seagrape trees.  If you wish to stay active, join locals on a game of beach or tennis volleyball or come early morning for a relaxed walk or jog.  Don’t miss our photo tour of Ocean Park complete with the best beach access points and visitor’s tips.

Top Rated Places to Stay in Ocean Park - San Juan, PR

La Playita del Condado

Best Beach for Families, Swimming & Location

Beaches in San Juan Puerto Rico - Best of 2022

This beach may be small, but it has some pretty fantastic qualities.   The water is pretty with aquamarine blues and calm for swimming and snorkeling.   Access is very convenient, you may park across the street in the parking garage and within walking distance from many hotels along Ashford Avenue.  The views of the fort and modern city add interest while lounging on the beach.  There are many restaurants within walking distance of the beach.  Umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for rent.  La Playita del Condado is a great beach option for cruisers who want beach time nearby, the closest beach to the cruise ports.  If you’re traveling with small children, you may want to visit this beach, protected by a rock wall keeping the waters calm under normal weather conditions.  Stay at the hotel next door to enjoy it just a few steps away.

Top Snorkeling Tour Near Playita del Condado & Family Friendly Lessons

Bahia de San Juan “San Juan Bay”

Most Scenic Experience on the Water

San Juan Bay / Bahia de San Juan - San Juan, Puerto Rico

Bahia de San Juan is not a beach but a very special body of water certainly deserving of a spot on your list of things to do.  The San Juan Bay offers visitors one of the most scenic and romantic experiences, not to be missed by sunset lovers.  

Return home with travel bragging rights for experiencing a sunset sailing tour by SailPR, which proudly earned a spot on the coveted Traveler's Choice Best of the Best by TripAdvisor for Best Sailing in the World ... #20 in 2022 & #7 in 2021

Top Rated Sailing Charters - San Juan Bay

La Posita de Piñones (Posita Beach)

Best Beach Away from Crowds with Clear Shallow Waters

Best Beaches near San Juan Puerto Rico

Distance from San Juan: 30 minutes

This beach is a nice getaway offering a more natural setting with few crowds during the week but not too far from the city.  What makes this beach special is what you find on the beaches along the north coast of Puerto Rico, although facing the Atlantic, a natural coral wall runs along the beach, creating a natural pool with shallow and very clear water.  Families with children will enjoy this beach, the depth of the water rarely goes above the waist.  For some added fun, you can watch planes fly above since the airport is just minutes away.

Fun Tours to Piñones Beach & Nearby

Playa Peña Beach

Best Beach for a Romantic Walk

Beaches of San Juan Puerto Rico

A secret surprise because not many people get to visit or know about this little gem right across from the Capitol Building, just past the San Cristobal Fortress.  Once here, you’ll forget you’re in a major city, you may be sharing this beach with a few other couples.  During low tide this beach is nice for watching and listening to the waves, taking a dip, and getting a great tan. Don’t miss taking a walk down to the fort ruins.

Frequently Asked Questions about Beaches

San Juan, Puerto Rico

What is the most beautiful beach in San Juan Puerto Rico?

That is a question that’s very difficult to answer, what may appeal to most people, may not be your favorite type of beach.  Overall, the best and most beautiful beach in San Juan is Balneario El Escambron, offering two beaches with distinct personalities where you can snorkel, swim, scuba dive safely and take a romantic walk along the beach and tidal pools without crowds.  

We invite you to stay on this page a little longer and please take a look at all the beaches, each with a unique ambiance, vibe and scenery.  We believe you’ll find YOUR own favorite beach. 

Which beach is better? Condado Beach or Isla Verde Beach?

Condado Beach is not safe for swimming but great for lounging, located in a more attractive and upscale tourist district with more luxurious beachfront resorts and a great variety of restaurants and shops. Within walking distance, there are nicer beaches to swim, go paddle boarding, snorkel, and scuba dive. Isla Verde Beach is a very long beach with watersports including surfing, safer water for swimming, with two upscale beachfront resorts, however, you’ll need to transportation to see major attractions in San Juan. 

Can you swim in the ocean in San Juan?

The best beaches for swimming are Playita del Condado, Escambron Beach, Pine Grove Beach in Isla Verde.

Please do not swim at Condado Beach, and never leave your children unattended, very dangerous water but great for lounging.

What is the closest beach to Old San Juan?

The closest beaches to Old San Juan are the following: 

Beaches where you can walk from Old San Juan

Walking times are departing from Plaza de Colon in Fortaleza Street. 

    • Playa Peña – 9 minute walk
    • Escambron Beach – 30 minute walk via the scenic walkway of Paseo Puerta de Tierra

More beaches near Old San Juan

  • Playita del Condado – 6 minute drive
  • Condado Beach – 7 minute drive

Does San Juan have good beaches?

Well we certainly believe so, we walked them, we enjoy them all year long and so do thousands of repeat visitors that come year after year.  San Juan is a vibrant and bustling city yet our beaches are nice and relaxed even in high season.  There are many beaches to choose from and just about every type of traveler will find a favorite one.  San Juan offers beaches with calm water safe for swimming, you can snorkel and scuba dive, there are beaches great for water sports, trendy city beach for lounging and being pampered by resort staff, a beach for a romantic walk where you can search for sea glass and visit a ruin, and even paddleboard and kayak in a lagoon that’s a manatee reserve.  On top of the nice selection of beaches in San Juan, nearby you can enjoy the beaches of Isla Verde just 15 minutes from San Juan, Luquillo Beach, and of course rent a car to explore the best beaches of Puerto Rico.  Puerto Rico is small, so no place is too far from San Juan,  most of the best beaches can be enjoyed as a day trip. 

Which beach has the clearest water in San Juan Puerto Rico?

Map of Best Beaches in San Juan...

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