Luquillo: Something for Everyone in the Town of Luquillo

Luquillo, Puerto Rico (Plan the Perfect Trip)

Spend a day (or longer) in beautiful Luquillo, Puerto Rico!

From relaxing on one of the many Luquillo beaches to hiking in El Yunque, you’ll find so much to do in this picturesque beachside getaway … and this fun guide covers it all!

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Are you dreaming of a tropical vacay with beautiful beaches and gorgeous sunsets? Then, plan an escape to Luquillo, Puerto Rico!

This pretty little town on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico has it all … wide beaches with towering palm trees, all the must have amenities, and even a nearby rainforest.

Head there for a day or stick around a little longer. Either way, you will be charmed by beautiful Luquillo!

About Luquillo

If you’re looking for fun Puerto Rico day trips, Luquillo is the perfect choice!

Located on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico (just a short drive from San Juan and Fajardo), Luquillo is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and El Yunque National Forest. This charming seaside city was founded in 1787 and is home to about 20,000 people. It was named after the Taíno leader Loquillo, and it’s known as La Capital del Sol or sun capital of Puerto Rico.

If you love the beach, this small town has everything you could possibly want: multiple beaches worth visiting, palm trees galore, breathtaking sunsets, great food, and soothing ocean waves … but that’s not all there is to do there!

Things to Do in Luquillo

This charming oceanside town has something for everyone!

From beaches to hiking to food, you won’t have any problem finding things to do in Luquillo. Our visit only lasted a few hours, but I’d plan on spending a day (or more) if you want to see everything.

Hit the Beach

Of course, the main reason many people visit Luquillo is it’s gorgeous beaches! Luquillo has miles of beaches, and you can walk from one beach to the next. Some are better for swimming and others are preferred by surfers and sea turtles.

After hiking in El Yunque, we arrived at Balneario Monserrate in the late afternoon … and it was closed. No worries, we parked behind the popular kiosks at Luquillo Beach instead.

Luquillo Beach and Balneario Monserrate are located right next door to each other and form a cresent shaped shoreline … it’s beautiful!

Balneario Monserrate is one of the most popular beaches in Luquillo and for good reason. It’s clean, has calm waters, and there are bathrooms and other public facilities to make your trip more pleasant. Monserrate has also been designated a Blue Flag Beach, an indication of high environmental and quality standards.

This beach gets crowded on weekend, but it was mostly empty on our weekday visit apart from a few groups and families. Perfect for a relaxing stroll!

You’ll have choice of beaches in Luquillo, from popular Monserrate to the remote La Selva (scroll to the end for a description of the others). If you planning on spending more than a day, why not hit them all?

There weren’t a ton of shells on Luquillo Beach or Balneario Monserrate, but you may find a find a few treasures if you keep your eyes peeled. You’ll usually have the best luck finding shells after a storm.

Ever since I found a heart-shaped rock at NYC’s Rockaway Beach, I’ve loved searching them out. I didn’t find a rock here, but I did find a piece of heart-shaped coral that had washed ashore.

And is that a shark tooth? From what I can tell, shark teeth are not commonly found in Puerto Rico, but it sure looks like it! I spotted a few others, too … I’m guessing it’s a piece of coral.

Catch a Sunset

You can’t visit Luquillo Beach without viewing at least one sunset. It was the highlight of our day in Luquillo!

We timed our beach trip to coincide with the sunset, and it was simply stunning. After a rainy day (we got drenched in El Yunque), I was worried that it would be too cloudy to see the sun setting.

The sky over the beach was clear though, and the clouds over El Yunque provided the perfect backdrop to the setting sun.

As we walked, the sun set over the crescent shaped beach, saturating the sky with vibrant blues, purples, and golds.

The palm trees and other plants looked gorgeous as the sun set. And we had the beach mostly to ourselves.

Don’t leave this pretty little seaside town without enjoying at least one sunset. It should be on every Luquillo bucket list, as far as I’m concerned!

I took way too many photos … as per usual! It was just so stunning. You can find sunrise and sunset times in Luquillo here.

Grab a Bite (or a Souvenir) at the Kioskos

One of the coolest things you’ll find in Luquillo are the kioskos.

This colorful strip is located just off the highway and has free parking for Luquillo Beach directly behind it. You’ll find about 60 businesses here, with a few souvenir shops and many restaurants.

Each shop or restaurant sets its own hours. Stop by the open air kiosks to pick up beach supplies or to enjoy a delicious meal. There’s a huge range of food options, ranging from Puerto Rican cuisine to pizza and everything in between.

Gambling is legal in Puerto Rico, and we even spotted one restaurant with a few casino machines!

Photo by iferneinez

Visit El Yunque Rainforest

You can’t visit this pretty oceanside town without stopping by El Yunque, the only tropical rainforest in the U. S. National Forest system.

This lush, beautiful rainforest will take your breath away, and it’s possible to visit the beach and the forest in one day. I’d recommend spending the morning hiking, swimming, and taking in the jaw dropping views at El Yunque, then hit Luquillo Beach in the afternoon.

El Yunque National Forest sustained a lot of damage during Hurricane Maria, but it’s open and definitely worth a trip! Check out my guide to El Yunque for lots of trip planning tips.

Other Things to Do

Of course, relaxing on the beach, eating at the kiosks, and hiking in El Yunque aren’t the only things to Luquillo.

There are plenty of other outdoor activities in Luquillo, and it’s possible to rent everything from bikes to paddleboards. ATV and zipline adventures  also await you.

Take a break from the beach to visit Luquillo’s town square, too. It’s home to a bi-monthy farmers market, a number of annual festivals, and you’ll find many local businesses nearby. The San José Iglesia Catolica is also located just off the plaza, and it’s beautiful hand-carved altar is worth checking out.

Up for something more adventurous? Head to Las Paylas (or Pailas) to explore a river waterfall with four natural water slides. Here you can slide over the rocks landing in natural pools.

It’s popular with the locals and definitely on my bucket list for my next visit to Luquillo!

Tips for Planning Your Visit

I hope you enjoyed reading about this beautiful beach town! Here are some tips to help plan your trip:

Getting There

Luquillo is a small city located on the northeast coast of Puerto Rico. It’s about a 35 minute drive from San Juan or 15 minutes from Fajardo. From San Juan (Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport) follow these directions. Traveling from Farjardo? Follow these driving directions.

Don’t have a car? You can still spend a day at the beach with this round trip transportation package!


You will find some of the best beaches in Puerto Rico here! Just keep in mind that most beaches do not have lifeguards, and you’re entering the water at your own risk.

  • Mameyes Beach — This beach is located east of the Rio Mar Resort. The Mameyes River empties into the ocean here, so you’ll may come across lots of shells, glass, and other finds.
  • Playa Fortuna — You’ll find this beach right of PR 3 on Route 193. It’s popular with locals.
  • Luquillo Beach — This beach is located off PR 3. There is free parking right behind the kiosks. We parked here and walked this beach and Balneario Monserrate on our trip.
  • Balneario Monserrate — You’ll find this beach (the most popular beach in Luquillo) off PR 3, just south of the food kiosks. There are lots of facilities here, including bathrooms. It’s open Wednesday through Sunday, and there is a charge for parking (gates closes at 5:00 PM). We visited this beach and Luquillo Beach on our trip.
  • Playa Azul — A wide sand beach located east of Balneario Monserrate. No public facilities, but one of the best beaches in Luquillo.
  • Playa La Pared — Located in downtown Luquillo, this beach is popular with surfers.
  • La Selva Beach — If you’re up for a long walk from Playa La Pared (about 40 minutes), consider heading to La Selva. The waters are rough, but you may spot some leatherback turtles (do not disturb them or their nest) and surfers here.


You can rent everything from bikes to paddleboards to jet skis at this beach. Look for rentals near Playa La Pared.


This beachside town may be small, but the food options are plenty when you visit the Luquillo Kiosks (or Kioskos in Spanish). You’ll find about 60 kiosks right off the highway with everything from souvenir stands to bars and restaurants. We even spotted a few gambling machines. Each business sets its own hours, and you’ll find a wide range of food here from traditional Puerto Rican meals to burgers and pizza to Peruvian. Something for everyone!

El Yunque

You can’t visit Luquillo without heading to nearby El Yunque Rainforest. Read my guide to El Yunque before you go for lots of tips.

Where to Stay

There are a number of inns and hotels located in or near Luquillo. Visit TripAdvisor to check out your options (the reviews are so helpful!). Airbnb is also a good option if you want to stay nearby. If you are planning to stay in San Juan, I’d recommend the InterContinental. We’ve stayed there multiple times, and it’s located right on Isla Verde Beach. The budget-friendly Holiday Inn Express is another excellent option in popular Condado.

Practicing my most basic b pose on the beach in Luquillo. 😉

More Things to Do in Puerto Rico

There are so many amazing things to do in Puerto Rico! Here are some other ideas to keep you busy:

  • See all the sites in San Juan. Puerto Rico’s capital city has so much to offer! Check out my San Juan Guide for over 2o awesome things to do there.
  • Explore colorful, historic Old San Juan. Here are 10 Things to Do in Old San Juan that you don’t want to miss.
  • Experience Puerto Rico’s vibrant art scene. Spend an afternoon at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico … don’t leave without visiting the sculpture garden!
  • Get artsy! A visit to Santurce, Puerto Rico is a must on any trip to San Juan, especially if you love street art, museums, and good food.
  • Hit another beach. You are in Puerto Rico after all! One of my faves is Isla Verde Beach in Carolina.
  • Learn about Puerto Rico’s colonial history. One of the best places to learn about the island is at the Historic Forts of Old San Juan.


 Luquillo, Puerto Rico

The municipality of Luquillo is known as the «City of Eternal Summer,» the «Sunshine Capital» and the «Puerto Rico Riviera.» The nicknames for residents are «the tourists» and «the coconut eaters.» The population of Luquillo is 19,817 (2000 Census). The residents are called luquillenses. The municipality is divided into the sectors of Mameyes, Pueblo, Mata de Plátano, Pitahaya, Juan Martín and Sabana.

The main economic activities are manufacturing, tourism, livestock and agriculture. Factories producing articles of clothing, electrical equipment, industrial machinery, and metal and leather products do business in Luquillo. The construction industry has also developed notably in this coastal municipality.


Luquillo is located in the northeast of the island. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on the south and the east by Fajardo and on the west by Río Grande. It covers 67 square kilometers (26 square miles) in area.

The municipality is part of the northern coastal plains region. It is a very fertile alluvial plain. Although the majority of the territory is flat, there are some lower elevation mountains in the south and southeast that are part of the Luquillo Range and rise to about 500 meters (1,640 feet) above sea level. Along the coast, between the sectors of Juan Martín de Luquillo and Quebrada Fajardo of Fajardo, are the Barros and Zalduondo peaks. These do not surpass 227 meters (748 feet) in elevation.

The Caribbean National Forest, also known as El Yunque, forms part of the mountainous zone of the Luquillo Range. It is 11,330 hectares (28,000 acres) in size and lies in the municipalities of Luquillo, Río Grande, Naguabo, Fajardo, Ceiba, Canóvanas and Las Piedras. The highest point in the forest is El Toro or Guzmán Arriba peak, which rises 1,074 meters (3,523 feet) above sea level. The forest was declared a reserve in 1876 by the Spanish government.

Rivers in Luquillo include the Mameyes; Sabana and its tributaries, the Pitahaya, Cristal and Camándulas; Juan Martín; and the Mata de Plátano stream. The Sabana and Juan Martín rivers originate in Luquillo and measure approximately 12.6 kilometers (7.6 miles) and 5.7 kilometers (3.4 miles) respectively. The Mameyes River originates in Río Grande.

The municipality is also known for the beautiful Luquillo Beach and the Embarcadero and La Bandera points. It also has 20 hectares of mangroves, both swamps and rivers. Additionally, almost double that amount of mangroves are located in the mouth of the Mameyes River, between Río Grande and Luquillo. Gold and other associated minerals have been found in Luquillo, along with a limited quantity of copper.

The first settlement in Luquillo dates to the early 16th century. A group of Spanish settlers, led by Cristóbal Guzmán, from the Caparra Ranch (1509), created a hamlet in a valley near the Mameyes River and erected a chapel devoted to San José Obrero. Between 1511 and 1514, this area, as well as the adjacent areas ofHumacao, Fajardo and Loiza, among others, suffered multiple attacks by the indigenous people against the Spanish settlements established to exploit deposits of gold.

There is more than one version of the origin of the name of the municipality. Some historians say that the name Luquillo comes from the Taino word Lucuo or Loukuo, a Taino god. According to another version, Luquillo originated from an alteration of Yukiyú or Yocahú, the beneficent god that dwelled in the Luquillo Mountains. Also, during the early years of the 16th century, an indigenous chief named Loquillo lived in the region, where he led guerrillas against the Spanish. Some argue that his name was made to sound more like Spanish.

It was not until 1775 that efforts began to found a town. Fray Iñigo Abbad described this region in 1776 «as covered with eminent cedar, mahogany, coral tree, dragon tree, palms, ceiba and other trees with excellent wood.» He added that livestock and mules were raised there, and there were plantations of coffee, cotton, plantains, sugar cane, beans, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and other vegetables and fruits. Luquillo was founded in 1797, the year it attained the necessary requirements for founding a town. The population was divided into the sectors of Pitahaya, Juan Martín, Sabana and Mata de Plátano; it was part of the district of Humacao.

By 1847, Luquillo had one street and 41 residences. During the second half of the 19th century, sugar cane was grown in the fields. Among the cane plantations of the era were La Margarita, La Unión, San Miguel, La Monserrate, La Fortuna and La Carmelita, some of which later became central sugar mills. In 1878, three new sectors were created: Mameyes I, Mameyes II and Hato Viejo. Mameyes II was annexed to Río Grande in 1897.

The municipality of Luquillo was annexed to other municipalities with the change of sovereignty in 1898 and its territory was divided. The sectors of Juan Martín, Pitahaya and Sabana were annexed to Fajardo, and Hato Viejo, Mameyes I and Mata de Plátano were annexed to Río Grande. In 1914, the Puerto Rico Legislature approved a law restoring Luquillo with the same sectors it had in 1897, except for Hato Viejo, which disappeared in 1910, and Mameyes II, which remained part of Río Grande.

In 1940, the economy relied mainly on sugar cane and fruit. Some of the residents made their living by fishing. In the decade of the 1970s, 400 cuerdas (389 acres) of land was dedicated to sugar cane and produced 13,500 tons of cane per year. The cane was pressed in the Fajardo Central Sugar Mill. There were also 21 fruit orchards. Plantains, tomatoes, cucumbers and other fruits were also grown on the fertile plains. At that time there were 12 cattle farms with a total of 1,800 head of cattle, producing 16,000 liters of milk per day.

By the late 20th century, there were nine factories operating in Luquillo that employed 835 workers. They produced fuses and other electric devices, parts for calculators, uniforms, women’s underwear, gloves, and other products.

The municipality is known for tourism, because of its beaches and because it is part of the region of El Yunque.


The flag  consists of three horizontal bands. The upper and lower bands are twice as wide as the central band. The blue band represents the sky and the sea; the yellow represents the sand of its beaches; the green, the vegetation of its mountains. In the center is the coat of arms, surrounded by two coconut palm leaves crossed at the bottom.

Coat of Arms
The coat of arms  has a field of gold with a ridge of three mountains above the midpoint, accompanied by part of a bay with waves of silver and blue. The blue part above contains three iris flowers with leaves. At the top is a crowned wall of gold with three towers, outlined in green. Two coconut palms flank the seal and cross at the bottom. The mountains allude to the Luquillo Range, and the inlet on the field of gold -with the mountains behind it -represents Luquillo Beach. The iris branches symbolize the patron saint San José, who is popular in the town and municipality. The crowned wall is the sign of the municipalities. The coconut palms that surround the seal represent Luquillo Beach.

Places of Interest

Luquillo Public Beach
La Pared Beach
La Bandera Beach
La Monserrate Beach
Las Pailas Beach
Mameyes Beach
Chief Luquillo Monument
Peace Plaza
Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón Plaza
Joaquín Robles baseball park
Ocean View Boulevard
Luquillo Range

Illustrious Citizens

Rosendo Matienzo Cintrón – Lawyer, politician, orator, philosopher and essayist. He was a pro-independence leader and a founder of the Union Party of Puerto Rico. In 1912, he founded the first pro-independence political party in Puerto Rico, the Independence Party.

Benigno Fernández García – Lawyer and politician born in Luquillo and an adopted son of Cayey, where he lived from 1911 on. He was a member of the Puerto Rico Union Party, the Puerto Rican Alliance Party and the Liberal Party, which he represented as a delegate in the House of Representatives, a mayor, and resident commissioner, respectively. He was the attorney general for Puerto Rico and was named secretary of labor by Governor Tugwell.

Tomás Batista Encarnación –Sculptor and painter. Winner of awards from the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and the Guggenheim Foundation (1962), he studied in Puerto Rico under the direction of the Spanish artist Compostela. He has created sculptures and busts of distinguished Puerto Ricans, as well as the Monument to the Puerto Rican Jíbaro. He has been director of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture’s Sculpture and Restoration Workshop and the School of Plastic Arts. In 1992, to celebrate the 500th anniversary of the discovery of the Americas and Puerto Rico, the Puerto Rican Fifth Centenary Committee commissioned him to create a monument to the indigenous chief Loquillo. He is the creator of some of the most important sculptures of Puerto Rico.

Carmelo Román – Educator, painter and writer.

Zoilo López – Painter and muralist.

Camilo Valle Matienzo – Musician and educator.

Eugenio Fernández García – Politician and prominent physician. He was a senior professor in the Philosophy Department of the University of Puerto Rico, president of the Puerto Rico Medical Association (1923-1927), representative for the Puerto Rican Alliance Party (1928) and founder and director of a clinic for the treatment of tuberculosis in San Juan, which was named for him. Beginning in 1923, he edited El libro de Puerto Rico, a volume of biographies and historical information about Puerto Rico.


San José Patron Saint Festival- March
Coconut Festival- September
Traditional Cooking Festival- December


Text taken from enciclopediapr. org


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Best 10 Luquillo Puerto Rico Hotels (From €81)


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Review score

Excellent: 9+
Very good: 8+
Good: 7+
Fairly good: 6+

Our recommendations
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Yunque Mar Beach Hotel

4 stars

Hotel in Luquillo

Located on Puerto Rico’s northeast coast, Yunque Mar Hotel is in the small beach town of Luquillo, just a 45-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.
You could fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing with or without your windows open. The room was a great size, with plenty of hot water and a great air conditioner! They also provided free coffee in the mornings which was an awesome bonus. Very quiet no noise issues and the staff were extremely kind & helpful. The parking lot was full one of the nights we pulled in but they had an overflow lot which was really nice instead of having to park on the street.



Very good

890 reviews

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€ 95

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Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn

4 stars

Hotel in Luquillo

This hotel features a roof-top terrace with ocean views and free WiFi. The air-conditioned rooms at this tropical property come with a cable TV, desk and private bathroom with a shower and toilet.



Very good

321 reviews

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Playa Azul II 302


Playa Azul II 302 is located in Luquillo. It features an outdoor pool, basketball court and tennis court. It offers free Wi-Fi and on-site parking.
Everything everything…we doing it again…and the security all especially the older man forgot his name..he is awesome…explaining..and everything…thank you so much…. We love it❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️




60 reviews

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Casa Coral


Hostel Casa Coral is located in Luquillo, 2. 7 km from Playa Fortuna. This property offers a shared lounge, free private parking, a garden and a terrace.
I arrived and luna was very helpful in getting checked in. There was free drinks and snacks available and it was in walking distance to everything. One of the staff members even washed my clothes.




307 reviews

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Luquillo Beach Vacation


Luquillo Beach Vacation is located in Luquillo, 1.9 km from Playa Fortuna. It offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and a garden.
We had to ring the owner to get the code to unlock the gate. Not the easiest gate to open and would have preferred to have been sent the code via email rather than have to call.



Very good

108 reviews

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Luquillo Beach Getaway



Playa Fortuna Beach is 1.9 km from Luquillo Beach Getaway. It offers a restaurant, a garden and air-conditioned rooms with a balcony and free Wi-Fi.
Location was perfect. Close to the beach, kaseko’s, supermarket, and restaurants.



Very good

46 reviews

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Ocean Front Apartment


Ocean Front Apartment is a self-catering accommodation located in Luquillo. It offers a balcony. Free private parking is available on site.
location brilliant, great apartment!




66 reviews

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My beach apartment


Featuring air-conditioned accommodation with a patio, My beach apartment is located in Luquillo. It offers a private pool, a garden, BBQ facilities, free Wi-Fi and free private parking.
Our host was so kind. We asked for an extra cooking pot and immediately four new ones arrived! That is terrific service! Also, it was exceptionally clean.




92 reviews

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Luquillo Beach Hostel


Featuring a terrace and mountain views, Luquillo Beach Hostel is located in Luquillo, 2.6 km from Playa Fortuna. The hostel overlooks the city. Barbecue facilities are available.
I liked the simple room with refrigerator and restroom. I liked the spare bed in the front room where we laid out our luggage. I liked the fan on the wall in front room to help dry swim suits and towels.




70 reviews

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Heart of Luquillo



Heart of Luquillo has sea views, free WiFi and free private parking, set in Luquillo, 2.5 km from Playa. The Rio Grande area of ​​the city of Rio Grande.
clean, quiet, and its ocean front!! nearby food kiosks offer good food and drinks!! i enjoy cooking so famcoop grocery store that is only 6 mins away is very convenient! i highly recommend this gem!



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99 reviews

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See all 15 hotels in Luquillo

Weather in Lukillo Today is an accurate weather forecast for Lukillo for tomorrow, now (Puerto Rico)

  • The whole world
  • Puerto rico
  • Lukillo
+26 ° C


759 mmHg Art.
3.1 m/s, N-E
  • Sunrise: 06:39 Sunset: 17:45
  • hours: 61 hours
  • Moon phase: waxing moon
  • More details

Updated less than 1 hour ago

YesterdayHourlyWeek14-day weatherMonthBiomet. ..

Daily forecast

Today is December 3rd, the weather is +27°C. Clear, light wind, northeast 3.8 m/s. Atmospheric pressure 760 mm Hg. Art. Relative air humidity 66%. Read more
Tomorrow night the air temperature will drop to +24°C, the wind will change to northwest 3.0 m/s. The pressure will drop and will be 759 mm Hg. Art. The temperature during the day will not rise above +26°C, and at night on December 05 it will not fall below +24°C. The wind will be northwest within 3.5 m/s. Hide

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    Day and night temperatures in Luquillo

    Interactive graph of temperature change in Luquillo for the period from 03 to 09 December.

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