5 beaches near San Juan: Where to go for sun, sand, and surf

Published by: BouncePosted Updated
Beaches near San Juan, Puerto Rico

The capital of the United States territory of Puerto Rico, San Juan is the gateway to this Caribbean island for millions of people every year. Whether you arrive via the airport on a flight from Miami or come onboard a cruise ship, San Juan is the perfect place to begin your exploration of the island. It's where you'll find many of the top cultural attractions and best restaurants Puerto Rico has to offer, and old San Juan is also the perfect place to dive into the history of this island paradise.

Plus, Puerto Rico's status as an island means it is blessed with dozens of beautiful beaches.

Some of the best beaches in all of Puerto Rico are within a short distance of the city. San Juan beaches can offer you everything from a lively public beach with lots of amenities to exclusive beachfront resorts where you can enjoy the beautiful scenery in tranquility — for a price. But whatever kind of beach you're looking for, you won't have to travel far from San Juan to find it.

Before you head out to enjoy the seaside, though, don't forget to drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in San Juan. Traveling light will make it much easier to enjoy the beautiful coastline wherever you choose to go on the island.

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Ocean Park Beach near San Juan

Ocean Park Beach

This popular beach is one of the most visited of all Puerto Rico beaches, thanks in part to its proximity to the city. Located in the Greater San Juan area, Ocean Park Beach offers a mile-long beach of golden sand and is a great place to enjoy the beach while staying close to the city.

Travel distance from San Juan

Ocean Park Beach lies in a suburb of the city itself, so you'll have no problem getting here by car or by public transit. It's around a 15-minute drive from downtown San Juan, or you can take the bus for a similar journey time.

Activity recommendations

Parque Dr. José Celso Barbosa: Located just behind the beach itself, this urban park is a great place to relax or to burn off some energy. The park offers tennis and basketball courts along with green lawns that make great places to spread out and enjoy a picnic. With shady trees offering some relief from the summer heat, it's a relaxing place to explore between visits to the beach itself.

Beach volleyball: Ocean Park Beach is equipped with beach volleyball courts where you can play a game with friends or join in a pickup game and meet new people. The relaxed vibe of this beach gives it a friendly atmosphere, so don't be afraid to play with strangers and burn off some energy in this beautiful location.

Kitesurfing: On a windy day, this is easily one of the best beaches near San Juan for flying a kite or for windsurfing. The beautiful beach becomes a haven for kite surfing when the weather cooperates, and you can rent equipment in town or even take a class to practice this exciting sport for yourself. Ocean Park Beach is the perfect place to try something new, so give this adrenaline-inducing sport a go while you're here.

Surfing beaches near San Juan

Pine Grove Beach

The location of Pine Grove Beach right next to Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport might not seem too promising at first glance, but it does mean you have a great place to enjoy the natural scenery of Puerto Rico the minute you step off a flight from Orlando Airport or wherever else you've arrived from. But you don't have to arrive via the airport to visit what is one of the best beaches in the area. Located right next to Isla Verde Beach, Pine Grove Beach provides a great place to engage in fun water sports or enjoy the sand and surf.

Travel distance from San Juan

Located just to the east of the city, you can reach Pine Grove Beach with a drive of 10 to 15 minutes. The beach is also within walking distance of the airport, so it's easy to take a taxi or airport shuttle here.

Activity recommendations

Surfing: Pine Grove Beach is widely known as one of the best beaches for surfing in all of Puerto Rico. The public beach here is washed by reliable waves that make it the perfect place to practice your skills. There are also several surf schools in the area, so don't worry if you've never tried surfing before. This may be the perfect place to do it.

Jet skiing: Pine Grove is also home to a couple of businesses that will rent you jet skis so you can explore the water. These powerful watercraft are fairly easy to master, but qualified instructors can help you perfect your skills before you head out to explore. Bouncing over the waves of San Juan Bay at this popular beach is an experience you aren't likely to forget, so take the opportunity while you're here to enjoy one of the most fun beaches in San Juan in one of the most exciting ways possible.

Dining: Pine Grove is also famous as the location of one of the glitziest hotels in San Juan, the Ritz-Carlton. You don't need to be a guest of the hotel to take advantage of the incredible restaurant here, and while it's expensive, it's guaranteed to be a memorable way to cap off your day on the beach. However, you might want to change out of your swimsuit before visiting this luxury location. If you have your bags safely stored in a Bounce luggage storage near the beach, that won't be a problem.

Island beaches near San Juan

Isla Verde Beach

Right next to Pine Grove Beach, Isla Verde public beach is every bit as beautiful and popular as its neighbor. This beach recalls Miami Beach, with its built-up condo towers rising along the promenade behind the sand. A great place for swimming thanks to its calm waters, this is one of the best beaches in San Juan if you want to be able to enjoy great amenities at the same time as enjoying the natural splendor of the area.

Travel distance from San Juan

It's just 15 minutes from downtown San Juan to Isla Verde Beach. This is just one of the great beaches in the Carolina neighborhood, so it's easy to add this to a day of exploring nearby locations.

Activity recommendations

Snorkeling and scuba diving: The clear, calm waters of Isla Verde make it one of the island's top destinations for snorkeling and scuba diving. You'll find plenty of incredible marine wildlife to encounter here, and it's easy to rent equipment from any of the nearby businesses. You can even get your diving certification here or take a tour with a knowledgeable guide who can take you to the best spots and help you to explore safely.

Parasailing: The built-up nature of Isla Verde Beach means it isn't a great place to try and spend some time alone, but it is a fantastic place for outdoor activities. Parasailing is another popular way to have some fun here, and gliding above Isla Verde will give you incredible views of the city and some of the pristine beaches along the coast. There are several companies in the area that can take you out for a ride, so don't miss out on this fun activity while you're here.

Beach clubs: Traveling light is always a good idea, and it's easy to do at Isla Verde Beach. There are several beach clubs here where you can rent a sun lounger and umbrella for not a huge amount of money and really enjoy your day at the beach. Leave the bags behind and bring nothing more than your swimsuit and some sunscreen, and you can stretch out on the beach all day and enjoy a great selection of drinks and snacks on this popular beach.

Condado Beach near San Juan

Condado Beach

Located in the heart of the Condado district, one of the best places to stay in San Juan, Condado Beach is almost always busy thanks to the presence of so many beachfront resorts nearby. But that just means it's a fun place to explore. This well-equipped beach has everything you need for a fun day out and is one of the best beaches in San Juan to visit if you just want an easy beach day without traveling far from your hotel.

Travel distance from San Juan

Only a couple of miles from downtown San Juan, this is one of the closest beaches to the city. You can reach it with a drive of just 10 minutes or a bus ride of about the same amount of time. Technically, this beach is even within walking distance of the city center, taking around an hour to reach on foot. A better option might be to rent a bike to get here a little quicker.

Activity recommendations

Food: Since Condado Beach has so many resorts and hotels, it's one of the best beaches in San Juan for food. You'll find an almost endless choice of restaurants in the hotels and resorts here, serving up fresh seafood, traditional Puerto Rican cuisine, Mexican specialties, American food, and just about everything else. Additionally, local food trucks often stop here in the summer so you can try some of the most exciting local cuisine from the chefs of San Juan.

Beach clubs: The resorts here also provide great places to hang out for the day, and you don't necessarily need to be staying at them to enjoy their amenities. Check out some of the beach clubs in Condado Beach, where you can rent a lounger and umbrella for the day and get access to a bathroom, changing rooms, and sometimes bars and restaurants, too. It's a great way to make your time on one of the best beaches in San Juan more enjoyable.

Nightlife: The urban location of this beach makes it one of the best Puerto Rico beaches for nightlife. Once the sun goes down, the beach clubs transform into party venues, and you can dance the night away on the soft sand as you mix with locals and travelers alike on this beautiful beach.

La Playita del Condado

La Playita del Condado

Located right next to Condado Beach, this small beach is almost the opposite of its neighbor. Lacking the amenities of Condado Beach, La Playita del Condado is instead a great place to relax, swim, and enjoy a more natural environment.

Travel distance from San Juan

You can reach La Playita with a short drive, bus ride, or even by biking or walking.

Activity recommendations

Swimming: Condado Beach often has strong currents, which is why local families in the know prefer to come here instead. This protected beach forms a kind of natural pool where rock formations break up the waves before they reach the sand, so it's a perfect place for kids and for novice swimmers.

Sunbathing: You won't find much in the way of amenities here, but that's part of the charm of this urban beach. Stretch out on the warm sand and enjoy the views of Condado Lagoon and the San Juan Bay beyond it, and you'll feel your stresses melting away under the tropical sun.

Best beaches near San Juan

Conclusion

San Juan is absolutely surrounded by incredible beaches on the Caribbean Sea. Along with classic destinations like Ocean Park and Isla Verde, the city offers other beautiful locations like El Alambique Beach and Balneario de Carolina. Plus, if you're willing to travel a little further, the beaches of Puerto Rico make the perfect destinations for weekend trips from San Juan.

Still, you don't need to leave the city to enjoy a great beach. From the moment you arrive at San Juan Airport, you can experience some exceptional beaches for yourself. Plus, these beaches offer free things to do if you're visiting San Juan on a budget.

Drop off your bags and visit some of these nearby Puerto Rico beaches to enjoy the more natural side of San Juan. And don't forget to leave your bags behind in a Bounce luggage storage to make your beach day more enjoyable.

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