Best beaches near san juan: The 5 Best Beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The 5 Best Beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico

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Once upon a time, roughly 5 centuries ago, San Juan, Puerto Rico was an impenetrable, literal fortress of a city protected by otherworldly beaches.

Today, aside from being the capital of Puerto Rico and one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, San Juan is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on this side of the atlas.

If you’re American, you can even pack for the beach without packing your passport!

Here are the top 5 beaches in Puerto Rico.

Navigate to where you want to go:

Private vs. Public Beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Every beach on this list is a public beach.

This means they are for everyone to use. The fancy umbrellas and cabanas that you see, however, come at a cost (usually charged by a nearby hotel or resort).

Public beaches, with lifeguards and other facilities, are called Balnearios and usually charge for parking plus the use of amenities.

Isla Verde | the Crowd Pleaser

Isla Verde, which translates to “Green Island,” a resort strip known for its white-sand beaches and wildlife.

This is San Juan’s longest beach, swimmable in most spots, and with calm, clear waters and every amenity you need.

Isla Verde has some of the Best Amenities

  • Local food spots. Lupi’s Mexican Cantina for delicious food and margaritas or Fela’s Vegetarian for inexpensive and authentic dishes.
  • Showers, so you can actually remove the sand from your suit before you go eat or hop in a vehicle.
  • Beach chairs, towels, and umbrellas are easy to rent from the luxury hotels that share the beachfront.

Isla Verde is in the first spot on this list because it has something for everyone.

The beach itself is divided into 3 smaller sections:

  1. Pine Grove, a local favorite and best for surfing.
  2. Alambique, is a relaxed area, good for palm tree worshipping, sunbathing, and water sports.
  3. Balneario de Carolina is the best spot for kids and non-swimmers- this area has lifeguards.

Fun fact:

While Isla Verde does share a coastline with 2 of San Juan’s most popular beaches, Ocean Park and Condado, it’s not actually in San Juan- it’s technically located in Carolina.


Yes, there is free parking on the street, but it goes so fast that unless you arrive there super early, I wouldn’t plan on finding a spot.

Instead, I recommend footing (pun intended) the parking fee at one of the nearby luxury hotels.

Condado Beach | the most Luxe Beach

Packed with high-end fashion shops, casinos, fine dining, and high-rise condos, Condado is one of San Juan’s most desirable neighborhoods.

It makes sense then, that Condado Beach is one of the most popular and crowded beaches in San Juan.

Swimmers Beware

Condado Beach has strong currents, especially near the San Juan Marriott. 

Nearby, you can enjoy Playita del Condado, a smaller, calmer, beach much better suited for light swimming and snorkeling.

Pro Tip

The famous Ashford Avenue is one of the most expensive in the world, known to be frequented by celebrities and billionaires. Ashford Avenue is located right on the waterfront and is basically one big photo opp.


There is a parking garage right across from the (absolutely gorgeous!) La Ventana al Mar Park for a daily rate of around $6-10.

Atlantic Beach | the Most LGBTQ+ Friendly option

Puerto Rico in general is an ally- same-sex marriage has been legal there since 2015.

Gay Sunday

Gay Sunday is when Atlantic Beach dedicates itself to the LGBTQ community, and the upscale beachfront businesses offer specials and deck themselves in rainbows.

Atlantic Beach also has a nearby bike rental shop and a wealth of other tourist attractions, including the hauntingly beautiful San Juan Cathedral and the historic Governor’s residence, La Fortaleza – Palacio de Santa Catalina.


I suggest the paid parking at one of the nearby resorts- like with most other popular beaches of San Juan, there is free parking but scoring a spot is a gamble.

Ocean Park | For low key vibes

Ocean Park has only started gaining popularity in recent years. 

Even during tourist season, you won’t feel as overcrowded as Condado or Atlantic Beaches, especially on the east side of the beach.

This beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side, meaning aquamarine water and light, soft golden sand. On the weekends you’ll find street vendors selling delicious food, Piraguas (shaved ice), and homemade ice cream.

The west side of Ocean Park is known by the locals as “El Ultimo Trolley” (The Last Trolley) because this used to be the last place the trolley would stop.

El Ultimo tends to have more shade and slightly softer sand than the Atlantic side.

Pro Tip:

At the far end of the El Ultimo Trolley, where the palm and almond trees gather, is the best spot to watch the sunset.


El Ultimo Trolley has the most convenient parking and access to the beach, but the spots will fill up on the weekend.

El Escambrón | Best for Snorkeling without a tour

Escambrón beach has several rock formations that protect it from the rough waves of the Atlantic, making it perfect for snorkeling.

The waters here (like the rest of Puerto Rico) are high visibility and since the beach is frequented by snorkelers that the fish that live in the area aren’t as freighted away by people.

If you plan to take underwater photos, this is the spot you want to do it.

Pro Tip

It’s super easy to rent snorkel gear or even a tour from nearby Scuba Dogs or you can bring your own- I love this durable, inexpensive set from Amazon.


Another great thing about this beach is that it’s walking distance from Old San Juan, so if you happen to be staying close by you can skip the parking wars.

Yes, there is a free parking lot, but spots go fast.

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Courtney Lux

The Best Beaches in San Juan, PR

As an island, it’s no surprise that Puerto Rico has many beautiful beaches. Near the capital city, San Juan, the same holds true. All the beaches near San Juan, Puerto Rico, are downright gorgeous! With so many to choose from, there is something for everyone! So stay tuned for the best beaches in San Juan, PR!

Planning to visit San Juan, PR, or maybe even move here? If so, it’s a good bet you want to know more about these gorgeous beaches keep reading. Southern Self Storage has put together the most beautiful, inviting, and relaxing beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico, below! It’s all the information you need to make your time in San Juan, Puerto Rico, a sandy and sun-filled success!

Playita del Condado – The Finest Snorkeling in San Juan, PR

You’ll definitely want your snorkel, mask, and fins handy when you visit Playita del Condado! The water here is incredibly clear, and the visibility spectacular. Plus, there are plenty of trees near the shore to provide some much-needed shade. As for waves, they’re few and far between, leaving the water tranquil and still. The beach itself is small and, usually, has smaller crowds also. That being said, on weekends, it’s best to arrive early.

TIP: They don’t rent snorkeling gear near the beach, so you’ll need to bring your own.

Escambron Beach – The Top Beach for Surfing

Surfers come from around the world to enjoy San Juan’s fantastic waves. One of the best beaches to surf up a storm at is Escambron Beach. This beach is known for its superb swells. Also, the reef breaks here are excellent. For folks who like to explore, there’s a 17th-century Spanish fort nearby too. Some consider Escambron Beach one of the finest near San Juan, so it’s also super popular. If you love surfing, don’t miss these other great locations for surfing in Puerto Rico!

Tip: You should get to the beach as early as possible on weekends for the best spot.

Balneario de Carolina – The Best Blue Flag Beach in San Juan, PR

In Puerto Rico, a Blue Flag beach is a beach that’s meticulously cared for and immaculately kept. Typically, it’s also a beach with calmer waters and picnic areas for families. Balneario de Carolina Is the only Blue Flag beach near San Juan and thus very popular. There’s not a hint of basura (trash), unlike some beaches here. For those who love their beaches pristine and serene, it’s a great choice.

El Alambique Beach – A San Juan Snorkeling Hotspot

The turquoise Caribbean waters surrounding Puerto Rico are rich with amazing wildlife. However, the water is too rough to snorkel at several other San Juan beaches. El Alambique Beach, however, offers enough wind protection to keep the water sufficiently calm. That makes it one of the best beaches near San Juan, PR for snorkeling!

Tip: Hungry after seeing all sorts of beautiful sea creatures in the wild? If so, see them on your plate at Alambique Beach Lounge! It’s a fantastic way to end your day, and the sunsets are spectacular!

Hobie Beach – Calm and Relaxing

All the beaches near San Juan, Puerto Rico, are enjoyable and relaxing. However, you’ll find large crowds at most of them, something you might not want on your beach day. If beautiful sand and warm waters without the crowds are more your style, Hobie Beach is perfect! It’s just east of San Juan in Carolina but feels like a world away. Like most San Juan beaches, there are beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. (Highly recommended for sun protection.) Also, this is one of the best beaches to experience Noche de San Juan, Puerto Rico’s big celebration.

Tip: During Noche de San Juan, we recommend you arrive early. That way, you can stake out a good spot on the beach.

Playa Isla Verde – Ready for Fun

You don’t need a lot of stuff to enjoy a day on the beach in San Juan. A towel, some sunscreen, and your nicest bathing suit should suffice. However, at Playa Isla Verde, there are all sorts of fun toys to rent. Jet skis and fly boards can make any day more exciting. In addition, there are beach chairs and umbrellas for rent at several locations, plus bodegas selling beer and snacks. Also, several nets are set up for an invigorating game of beach volleyball! These things make Playa de Isla Verde one of the most popular beaches in San Juan.

Atlantic Beach is easily the most popular of San Juan’s beaches. That’s likely due to the many hotels, restaurants, and attractions here. It’s a popular rainbow beach and has the usual beach chair and umbrella rentals. The beach is also wide, with hard-packed sand most of the day. That makes it perfect for beach biking, and several bike rentals are nearby.

Condado Beach – San Juan’s Version of Miami Beach

If you’ve ever been to Miami, you might feel like you’ve gone back when lounging on Condado Beach! You’ll see the occasional celebrity and plenty of honeymooners enjoying the sun. Many families with children come to Condado Beach, too, for the turquoise waters and fine, tan-colored sand. As in Miami, this is a great beach for sitting back and watching people stroll by. That makes Condado Beach one of the finest beaches in San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Tip: We highly recommend you rent a sun lounger and an umbrella. That way, you’ll get some protection from the intense sun.

The Best Beaches in San Juan, PR Brought to You by Southern Self Storage

As we’ve seen, there are some spectacular beaches in and around San Juan, Puerto Rico! Whether for surfing, snorkeling, or making sandcastles, you’re bound to find one you love!

Moving to Puerto Rico sometime soon? If so, Southern Self Storage has 4 safe, clean self-storage locations in San Juan. We see new arrivals to San Juan every day. Some are moving here to retire, others for business. All need secure self-storage in San Juan, PR, which they get from us!

You can chat with us online for questions about renting a storage unit in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Even better, drop by one of our San Juan self-storage locations and meet the onsite manager. They can answer your questions and help you decide which storage units in San Juan are best for your needs.

From everyone here at Southern Self Storage, we hope you thoroughly enjoy all the beautiful beaches near San Juan, PR! If you’ve just arrived and plan to stay, welcome to your new home! Once you’re settled in, we guarantee you’ll love the lifestyle in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico!

Check out more of what the Southern blog has to offer!

The 10 best hotels near

Playa Grande Beach in Rio San Juan, Dominican Republic

Star Ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review score

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

Our recommendations
Lowest price at the beginning
Number of stars and price
Rating + number of reviews

hacienda del mar


Rio San Juan (4.7 miles from Playa Grande)

Hacienda del mar is located in Río San Juan. It offers free Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a restaurant and access to a garden with an outdoor pool.




9 reviews

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Domaine Vista Linda La casita del Loma Vista Mar

Rio San Juan (7.2 miles from Playa Grande)

Domaine Vista Linda La casita del Loma is located in Rio San Juan. Features a bar, shared lounge, garden and free WiFi. The windows overlook the garden.




88 reviews

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per night

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Relax On The Caribbean

Rio San Juan (4. 8 miles from Playa Grande)

Offering pool views, Relax On The Caribbean is located 5 km from Playa Grande. It features an outdoor pool and a patio.




21 reviews

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Las Puertas del Paraiso

Rio San Juan (6.1 miles from Playa Grande)

Just a 7-minute walk from Río San Juan Beach, Las Puertas Del Paraiso Bungalows offers an outdoor pool and an à la carte restaurant for dinner.




45 reviews

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Villa Vertigo-Vista Linda

Rio San Juan (7.1 miles from Playa Grande)

Villa Vertigo is located in Río San Juan, 7 km from Playa Grande Beach. From the windows of the villa overlooking the sea. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property.



Very good

30 reviews

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€ 103

per night

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Casa Caleton

Rio San Juan (7.2 miles from Playa Grande)

Featuring garden views, Casa Caleton is located in Río San Juan. It features a restaurant, bar, a garden and terrace. It offers free Wi-Fi and free private parking.




36 reviews

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See more properties near Playa Grande Beach

San Juan Beach in Alicante

Nature has endowed the city of Alicante with a great location: while many people want to visit the sea, the people of Alicante live on the Costa Blanca, adjacent to the Mediterranean Sea. It is not surprising that in the city and its environs there are many beaches that tourists visit with pleasure.

The beach of San Juan, also known as Playa de San Juan, spreads its sandy arms in the suburb of Alicante, which is called San Juan de Alicante. Despite the fact that there are other beaches in Alicante that are much closer to the city center, Playa de San Juan is considered one of the best and most famous beaches in the city of Alicante.

The beach is 2900 meters long and 60 meters wide. Playa de San Juan is located in a lively residential area. San Juan Beach is adjacent to Mucha Vista Beach. There is no clear boundary between these two beaches. Mucha Vista beach is located between the city of Alicante and the city of El Campello.

There are restaurants, bars and cafes close to Playa de San Juan. Some of them are located almost on the beach itself.

Playa de San Juan is close to a large number of shops. The shops located near San Juan Beach offer shoppers games, handicrafts, beachwear and accessories, as well as various items that beachgoers may need.

Playa de San Juan has a Blue Flag sign. This sign is awarded to beaches that meet European standards of safety, order, cleanliness and comfort. The «Blue Flag» indicates that sewage does not enter the sea near San Juan Beach, and the water there is not polluted. Near the beach of Playa de San Juan, several streams flow into the sea, but their water is filtered.

It is worth noting that in Alicante, people who decide to swim in the sea are warned about the conditions for bathers with flags of various colors. You can read more about these flags in the article «Playa del Postiguet in Alicante».

San Juan Beach delights visitors with a bright sea that is calm most of the time. The waves near San Juan Beach are moderate, as if they did not dare to disturb the rest of the people who came to the beach. Wooden paths spread under the feet of visitors, and clear water beckons to the sea. Coming to San Juan Beach, you will enjoy the warmth of the sun, rich blue sea water and light and clean fine sand warmed under the sun.

If you get tired of relaxing on the beach, San Juan Beach offers its visitors a variety of entertainment. On the beach of Playa de San Juan there are rental points for equipment for water sports: for kiting (doing this sport on the beach is allowed from about October to May, because during the beach season kiting is prohibited on San Juan beach), surfing , windsurfing and SUP (sup-surfing, surfing on a board with a paddle). Also on this beach you can rent a catamaran or a light sailboat.

San Juan Beach has sports fields where beachgoers can play beach volleyball or mini football.

During the summer months, San Juan Beach hosts sports and cultural events.

Playa de San Juan has playgrounds. There, children can play various games, ride a swing or slide down a slide. There are even special houses for children’s games on San Juan Beach. One of the playgrounds on the beach of Playa de San Juan is built in the form of a ship … In short, the little visitors to the beach of San Juan will not get bored.

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