Guanica is a nice beach town that still retains an off the beaten path feel offering miles of beaches without crowds when travel season is in high gear on the San Juan area of Puerto Rico. You can spend a whole day beach hopping along the Guanica coast. The beaches of Guanica offer a unique landscape with more of a desert like look but still very beautiful and scenic. Some beaches are great for bathing and swimming, some great for long walks and some really scenic and tranquil with views of limestone cliffs perfect for reading a book and relaxing under the sun.
We’ll start off with our favorite beach in Guanica which is actually one of the offshore treasures of Puerto Rico, Cayo Aurora most known as Gilligan’s Island. Gilligan’s is a pretty mangrove island with crystal clear waters perfect for romantics, nature lovers, snorkelers and great for kids. The waters are shallow, it’s like a giant natural pool with schools of tiny fish swimming at your feet. The photo below is on a cloudy day when storms were approaching, we show you this one on purpose just to show you how clear the waters are even on a cloudy day.
At Gilligan’s you get to snorkel on slow currents along mangroves where you’ll see a variety of fish.
Other popular beaches in Guanica include Balneario Cana Gorda, the only public beach with facilities and lifeguards. The waters at Cana Gorda are calm and excellent for swimming and families with children.
Playa Santa is one of the most popular beaches for locals, it gets really crowded and busy during the summer months when the kid’s are off school, weekends and very busy on holidays. During the “high travel season” you may enjoy this beach without crowds. Playa Santa is a pretty beach with clear turquoise waters, a few restaurants nearby, local vendors offering kayak and jet ski rentals but no lifeguard or restrooms onsite. There’s food right near the beach offering traditional Puerto Rican food including the very popular empanadillas (fried turn overs) filled with beef, chicken, or fresh seafood.
On the nature reserve is Playa Tamarindo, good for boogie boarding and very tranquil.
- A scenic stop as you go beach hopping in Guanica is Playa Jaboncillo (left photo), spectacular views from the road and from your beach chair too. Most of the beach floor is grassy but there are some clear spots for bathing and playing in the water. There are some old picnic tables and gazebo but no bathroom facilities.
- Ballenas Bay Beach is one of our favorite for walking, the sounds of the waves are loud, the beach is wide and long. During the week you will have it to yourself.
As you drive along the coast on the reserve you’ll find “secret” spots great for parking your lounge chair and relaxing. Some spots are not great for bathing but the scenery, quiet and lush landscape will give you a great escape where you’re embraced by the beauty of nature. There are mangroves along the shore and many seashells and old wood that look like art pieces wash up along the shore giving you many photographic opportunities. Be sure to spend a day in Guanica.
Map of Beaches in Guanica, Puerto Rico
Not all beaches are included on this map, come back soon for our update.
Where to stay in Guanica, Puerto Rico
If these beaches appeal to you and you wish to have them at your disposal for your entire stay, there is a nice resort right in Guanica next to Playa Gorda and just a short ferry ride away from Gilligan’s Island. This intimate resort is a family friendly hotel and popular as a wedding venue with friendly hospitality.