Puerto Rico Beaches
Beaches in San Juan, Luquillo,
San Juan: Isla Verde is Puerto Rico's most famous beach, the one with all the skyscraper hotels bordering it. Actually an extended series of several beaches that carry the same name, Isla Verde is often quiet during the week. On weekends the locals turn out in number and the sands become much livelier, more crowded. Parasailing, body surfing, water skiing and jet skiing are available in many places.
Besides all the major chain hotels, you'll find many restaurants and bars, including the usual fast food outlets, though you might have to cross the street to reach some of them.
Directions: From the International Airport, take Road 26, turn right on 187, then left on Road 37.
Luquillo: This long golden beach east of San Juan is lined with numerous palms just the way tropical beaches are supposed to be but so rarely are. The inland backdrop of rainforest and mountains are equally impressive. Understandably, this is another very popular beach because of its proximity to San Juan and can be very crowded on weekends.
The facilities here are well developed: changing and rest rooms with brightly colored kiosks near the entrance offering drinks, hand-made coconut candies, seafood fritters and even full-course meals.
The beach also has a remarkable “Sea Without Barriers” program where local volunteers help wheelchair-bound visitors take a dip in the usually calm waters protected by offshore reefs.
Directions: From the international airport take Road 26. Exit at Road 3 and continue straight to Luquillo Beach.
Fajardo: The white sands of Seven Seas are located near this town in the northeast part of the island. Offshore reefs blunt the ocean waves and the shallow waters are popular for snorkeling. At the same time, the steady trade winds make this a good spot for windsurfing and sailing.
Directions: From the International Airport, take Road 26; exit at Road 3 towards Fajardo. Turn left on Road 194 and go SE for 2.1 miles. Turn left onto Road 195. Take a quick left onto Road 987 and continue straight ahead.
Humacao: Punta Santiago on the southeast coast has public bath facilities with numerous kiosks and restaurants specializing in seafood, including shark nuggets and arroz con jueyes, rice mixed with chunks of land crab.
One of the unusual attractions is a boat ride to Santiago Island, an offshore island inhabited by rhesus monkeys. The boat doesn't land but you can usually get a good view of the monkeys, anyway.
Directions: From the international airport, take Road 26 and exit onto Road 3. Road 3 takes you straight to Punta Santiago.
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