Along the north coast of Puerto Rico, there are various natural pool beaches, Mar Chiquita is among the most popular, just 45 minutes west from the capital city of San Juan. Along the cliffs, an opening allows the waters of the Atlantic to rush in creating a refreshing natural pool.
A legend explains how the beach was formed: A beautiful Puerto Rican woman used to walk along near the edge of the cliff. One day as she was walking, an earthquake caused her to slip and fall into the ocean. Miraculously, part of the cliff breaks, the current that began to flow between the rocks pulled her back to the shore, saving her life. Mar Chiquita was formed and remains today for everyone to enjoy.
The Water at Mar Chiquita Beach
The water on this natural pool is crystal clear, constantly refreshed with every wave that pushes from the ocean through the channel. The mesmerizing shades of emerald green and turquoise blue invite visitors to jump in. Depth and clarity of the water changes with the weather conditions and seasons.
Photos on this page were taken during a summer month, when the water is calmer, safer for swimming and snorkeling. During winter months, more water comes in making the pool deeper.
Snorkeling at Mar Chiquita, Manati
Be sure to bring your snorkel gear to Mar Chiquita, the clarity and diversity of fish make this beach a fun place to snorkel (when conditions are good). There is not much coral, but you can swim along schools of colorful fish. Snorkeling is not recommend during winter months.
Food at Mar Chiquita
There are a few food trucks serving food and drinks throughout the week. During the weekends where there are more beach goers, there are more food trucks and arts / crafts vendors on the beach.
Crowds at Mar Chiquita
Mar Chiquita is perfect to bring a lounge chair, a picnic basket and enjoy the simplicity of a quiet beach. The weekends are busier with residents and nearby locals visiting.
Summer months: Playa Mar Chiquita is a popular beach among locals during summer when the kids are off school. Adventurous travelers searching for unbeaten paths and local vibe find their way here.
Winter Months: There are less crowds during the winter months on weekdays, but the water is also rougher and less clear depending on conditions. You’ll be sharing the beach with fewer crowds, a nice beach for couples desiring a quiet beach.
Need to Know Facts before visiting
The personality of Mar Chiquita changes through the year. During the summer, the water calmly comes in through the channel, the pool remains clear with relaxed gentle waves. During the winter months, this perfectly shaped little beach is completely changed when storms move across the north. Waves crash against the rock wall going up as high as 25 feet, rushing down like fierce waterfalls. The water rushes in through the channel with fury, giving beach goers a great wave show but warning them to stay away from the water. It is really important not to climb the cliffs, waves can potentially cause a fall, injuries and fatal accidents.
Mar Chiquita, perfectly calm natural pool during great summer weather.
Mar Chiquita during a winter day with a strong surf
Recommended places to stay near Mar Chiquita, Manati, Puerto Rico
Map Location & Directions – Playa Mar Chiquita, Manati, Puerto Rico
If you’re vacationing in the San Juan area, Mar Chiquita makes a nice day trip, you’ll have plenty of time to make a few other stops on nearby points of interest along the north. If you like this beach, you may also enjoy Poza de Obispo in Arecibo, about a 40 minute drive west of Manati.
You’ll find Mar Chiquita at the end of Carr. 648, off of Carr. 685 in the town of Manati.
A few more photos – Mar Chiquita