The 5 Most Beautiful Beaches in Puerto Rico

By Kastalia Medrano, Thrillist

Puerto Rico is ready for you. Though the island is still recovering from Hurricane Maria, the vast majority of it has re-opened for business, and the best way to support your fellow Americans who live there is to visit. This summer is the perfect time to do it, because it just so happens Puerto Rico has some of the most stunning beaches to be found anywhere in the world. You can take my word for it because I am a Professional Journalist, but even better if you go see for yourself. Here are five of the best beaches you can visit in Puerto Rico right now.

Mosquito Bay, Vieques

Playa Negra, Vieques
There are only five bioluminescent bays on Earth -- bays where microorganisms illuminate the water from within, as if it contained a million blue/green fireflies. Three of those five bays are in Puerto Rico. One of those three -- Mosquito Bay -- was long recognized as the best and brightest in the world. After Hurricane Maria struck in September 2017, Mosquito Bay went dark. Now, it’s starting to glow again, and we must celebrate this by going there. Timing is important here -- make sure you see it under a new moon, when it’s at its best.

Bonus: Vieques, a smaller island off Puerto Rico’s eastern coast, makes for a fantastic day trip -- check out local restaurants Bili and Bananas, snorkel off Mosquito Pier, and definitely set aside some time for the famous Black Sand Beach. Oh, there are also wild horses.

Flamenco Beach, Culebra

Flamenco Beach, culebra
Another great day trip by boat from the main island is Culebra, the crown jewel of which is arguably Flamenco Beach -- it’s regularly ranked one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, and often in the whole world. The water is warm, there are no rocks -- just soft sand and little fish and one extremely large fish named Godzilla who comes to the same spot every day to hang out. Also sea turtles, if you’re a bit lucky. I am sure it’s an exceptionally nice beach on which to take a long walk, but to be honest when I visited in early June the water was so nice I just stayed in it the entire time.

Bonus: This beach is completely pristine with the exception of, uh -- *checks notes* -- two Sherman tanks. They’re time capsules from a weapons-testing ground the US Navy abandoned in 1975.

La Monserrate

Playa Luquillo Beach
Recently reopened post-Maria, La Monserrate has long been beloved by both locals and tourists for its clear waters and family-friendly vibe. This is one of Puerto Rico’s handful of Blue Flag beaches, meaning it’s studiously kept up to make sure it’s clean, safe, eco-friendly, and, of course, stunning. It lies in the northeastern Luquillo (and also goes by Playa Luquillo) -- the small town known as the “sun capital” of the island.

Bonus: When you inevitably get hungry from all the sun and salt water, you need not look far -- food kiosks line the entrance to the beach. Lots of them. If there’s a more ideal setting in which to consume fresh seafood and a piña colada, we’ve yet to find it.

Playa Borinquen

Playa Borinquen
Oh, were the first three on this list not adventurous enough for you? Try this one. Located in the northwest town of Aguadilla, this beach is secluded, comparatively harder to get too, and as a result less crowded. Search the waters for remnants of planes from the former Air Force base nearby.

Bonus: At low tide, you can turn to your right and walk 10 minutes or so to Punta Borinquen, where you’ll find some cool-ass caves to explore.

Playa Peña Blanca

Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla
While you’re in Aguadilla, you’ll also want to see Peña Blanca. Also known as Wishing Well Beach, this site is best visited in early summer. It’s being forever reshaped by the tides, so you could visit year after year and still feel like you’re seeing it for the first time. Bring your snorkeling gear and keep an eye out for sea turtles.

Bonus: Bring a hammock! You’ll find palm trees perfect for hanging it. If you’re really craving some solitude, once you walk down the concrete steps leading to the beach, turn north and keep walking a little -- what little crowd might be there will thin out pretty quickly.
Luquillo Beach, Puerto Rico

See more at: Thrillist


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