An online tour of the best beaches along the west coast of Puerto Rico from the town of Isabela to Guanica.
This beach guide is loong…you’ll see why the west coast is the best beach destination on the main island of Puerto Rico.
Porta del Sol (the west coast of Puerto Rico) is an exciting beach destination, offering visitors weeks worth of adventure and relaxation in the water. If beaches are a priority on your vacation, Porta del Sol may be the best vacation destination for you on the main island of Puerto Rico. The diversity in beaches is impressive from world class surfing beaches to calm swimming beach coves, to crystal clear waters on offshore cays.
The beaches on the west coast are perfect for beach bums and beachcombers, but if you crave adventure on the water, the west coast of Puerto Rico delivers all year round. You can choose from a nice variety of hotels, resorts and apartment right on the beach; from luxurious and romantic to simple, clean and affordable.
High season in Porta del Sol are the summer months. For vacationers escaping the cold, it means you can enjoy most of these amazing beaches without crowds on weekdays. Whether you’re a surfer traveling with a group of friends, a honeymooner dreaming of romantic beach scenes, or a family seeking for a memorable vacation, the west coast is an excellent destination.
Following we’ll give you an overall beach guide of the most popular beaches along Porta del Sol.
Before we start, watch the video, mostly shot on the amazing surfing / sunset town of Rincon. It captures the spirit of surf life on the west coast of Puerto Rico.
Beginning in beach town of Isabela, you can swim, play, surf and snorkel on miles of dazzling beaches, with unique landscapes like no where else around the island. The Isabela coastline is fairly undeveloped with a few small inns, condo rentals, private homes, one beachfront resort and one luxurious golf resort nestled on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Isabela gets heavy waves coming in year round, it’s a great place for beginner surfers. Playa Jobos, a shallow cove protected by a cliff is the best beach in Isabela, at this beach you can do it all: swim, surf, snorkel and relax.
Horseback riding at sunset is really romantic along the Isabela coast. Don’t miss snorkeling or scuba diving the blue hole at Playa Shacks, a beach with a wide reef with underwater tunnels and caves. Best time to snorkel at Shacks is early morning and summer months. Best way to explore the underwater world at Shacks is by hiring a knowledgable tour guide, call Aquatica Dive & Surf at (787) 890-6071.
Two unique beaches in Isabela are Playa Montones and Pozo Teodoro, these are tidal pools perfect for lounging with your feet on the water to admire the strong surf smash against a rock wall. The pools are really shallow, perfect for toddlers to play safely on the water. One the east side of Isabela, be sure to visit Guajataca Beach, part of the Rio Guajataca Nature Park.
Hotels in Isabela, Puerto Rico
Moving west, we head to the beaches of Aguadilla. This coastal town, right on the northwest tip of the island is gaining popularity as a tourist destination in Puerto Rico. Many locals and surfers in the area, will argue that some of the best surfing beaches are in Aguadilla. Crashboat, Bridges and Surfer’s Beach are known to be good for all surfing levels. For the more experienced surfers: Wilderness, Gas Chambers, Rompeolas and Schoolyards.
Following is a video filmed at Gas Chambers Beach by Surfing Magazine
For a romantic walk on the beach, head to Playa La Ponderosa, a beautiful stretch of golden sand where you can listen to the surf, visit the ruins of a forgotten Spanish Lighthouse and watch the sunset.
Don’t miss visiting the picturesque Crashboat Beach. During the winter months, the surfing is good for all levels. From the pier you can jump into crystal clear waters with good snorkeling right under. During the weekends, you’ll experience an authentic Puerto Rican beach atmosphere with families having fun under the sun. Be sure to visit Crashboat near sunset, the kids will love the daily Pelican Dance show by the “Pelican Whisperer”, a local dedicated to feeding pelicans that dance at his command, he sells homemade jewellery pieces, and uses the money to buy feed for the pelicans. Be sure to bring some cash for ice cream and some yummy traditional Puerto Rican treats that sell on the beach.
In addition you can see the many colorful fishermen boats parked right on the sand on the north side of the beach. You’ll get many great photos at this unique place.
For snorkeling in Aguadilla, head over to Playa Peña Blanca, also known as Wishing Well, beautiful clear waters with cliffs as a backdrop. Best snorkeling is during the summer months when the water is calmer.
Before we move down to Rincon, check out the following video with aerial views covering the beaches in Isabela, Aguadilla and underwater photos.
Hotels in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Rincon is an relaxed beach town with plenty of excitement for surfers and water sport lovers. Surfing in Rincon is world class, this beach town is known as the surfing capital of the Caribbean, with 10 amazing beaches to surf all year round, slower in the summer months. If you have a family with children that want to learn to surf, head over to Rincon, we can almost guarantee you’ll be coming back year after year, you may end up investing in a vacation home.
If you’re not a surfer, it’s very entertaining sitting on a lounge chair to enjoy the show.
Following is a surfing video filmed at Tres Palmas Beach.
Sandy Beach is the best beach in Rincon to learn how to surf, an amazing spot to watch the sunset and home to one of the best beach bars in the world.
Rincon is a great destination for honeymooners with miles of beaches to explore. Each beach in Rincon is unique, it’s a great destination for those that enjoy long walks on the beach. You’ll have miles of beaches to explore without crowds with dreamy spots to enjoy the good life in Rincon.
In the summer months, the winter waves of Playa Tres Palmas (Steps Beach) get calm and it becomes one the best snorkeling spot in the west coast of Puerto Rico. Leave the surf board and bring your snorkel gear instead, you can float over one of the biggest elk horn coral reefs in the Caribbean, you may find yourself swimming with sea turtles.
Hotels in Rincon, Puerto Rico
We’ll head down to the southwest tip of the island where the water it’s calmer and more turquoise. You’re now in our beloved hometown of Cabo Rojo, where beaches are our playground, natural beauty abounds and life is simpler.
Cabo Rojo Beaches
Cabo Rojo is on the southwest point of the island, a relaxed town with some of the best swimming beaches on the island. Two of them, made it to to our “Best Beaches in Puerto Rico” list.
We’ll first send you to the Cabo Rojo National Wildlife Refuge, our favorite place on the whole island. La Playuela also known by locals as (Playa Sucia), is a gorgeous beach cove on the most unique and breathtaking location on the main island of Puerto Rico. The colors, the soft white sand, the views… Then, just steps away you can hike to the lighthouse, walk along the edge of limestone cliffs with breathtaking views, see natural bridges, the salt flats, the hiking trails…it’s like an all-inclusive eco-lovers destination, so plan to spend a full morning or afternoon here.
After a morning at La Playuela, head over to Balneario de Boqueron (Boqueron Bay Beach), listed on our “Best Beaches in Puerto Rico” list. The waters are really calm here, we think the best beach for swiming in Puerto Rico. During the week, you’ll be sharing the beach with few crowds and have a long stretch of beach to yourself. Be sure to stay for sunset, it’s marvelous spot everyday of the year. The beach park closes at 7pm, so get back in the car and head next door to El Poblado, a one way street along the coast with casual dining, kiosks serving fresh oysters and clams and inexpensive tropical drinks. During the summers and weekends, there’s live music for an authentic festive atmosphere. More about the beaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico.
Hotels in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Now we’re heading east towards Lajas, mostly know for it’s beautiful valleys, sweet pineapple fields, bioluminescent bay and offshore cays and islets.
We’ll first send you to Playita Rosada (The Little Pink Beach), a fun place to spend the day picnicking, swimming and enjoying nature. There are no beaches in Lajas, but DRNA had the genius idea of creating a pool right on the water. Along the edges, there’s netting to keep seaweed and fish from coming into the pool area, creating a safer and clean swimming area for visitors, very kid friendly.
Head to the village, there are various tour companies that offer trips to the cays, you may also get a tour along the mangrove channels and islets, or rent a boat and explore on your own. Our favorites cays are Mata la Gata and Caracoles. Mata la Gata is best for spending the entire day with picnic facilities, clear water and protected area for swimming.
Caracoles is a mangrove cay with no land, the waters are crystal clear with decent snorkeling around the mangrove channel, you’re either on the boat or on the water.
Hotels in Lajas, Puerto Rico
We are completing the online tour of the best beaches along the west coast in the town of Guanica. Guanica feels and looks completely different than the rest of the island. The terrain is very dry, the temperate is hotter, with plenty of beaches you can explore with the added pleasures of seclusion. You get sunburned really quick in Guanica, so be sure to re-apply often.
We’ll send you on a scenic drive along PR-333. As you go up the hill, you’ll have breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea on the your right with limestone cliffs framing the entrance to the bay.
Soon you’ll see an entrance on your right to Playa Jaboncillo, a quiet bay perfect for lounging, listening to the waves, feeling the Caribbean Sea breezes, bathing and doing a little snorkeling.
We’ll keep driving east, you’ll be driving along the Guanica Dry Forest, an excellent place to hike. After you pass Copamarina Beach Resort, make a right and soon you’ll see a parking lot with signs to Gilligan’s Island. The restaurant offers ferry boat rides to Gilligan’s Island (formally named Cayo Aurora), where you can enjoy the clearest waters on the west coast of Puerto Rico. Gilligan’s is one of our favorite places to spend the day, where small children can play safely in shallow waters and the whole family can snorkel along the mangrove channels.
Keep driving west and you’ll get to Playa Ballena (Ballena Bay), a beach that’s desolate most of the time, with a little more traffic during the summer months when kids are out of school.
The shores along the bay are beautifully rugged and naturally landscaped with no buildings or development on site. You can take a long walk all the way to the point where the cays begin, the sand is deep, and the area is hot, so take plenty of water, snacks and sunblock. The beach is not good for bathing, but there are various natural pools / shallow spots to get in and refresh. The waves and currents are strong, especially in the winter months, the waters are calmest during the summer months.
Drive another minute east and you’ll get to Playa Tamarindo. Tamarindo Beach is part of the Guanica State Forest, the last one beach on the east side of Guanica. It’s a nice beach for boogie boarding with a few shallow spots calm enough for kids to play. There are no facilities, or restaurants on the beach, just a natural setting, be sure you bring everything you’ll need. The surrounding flora is dry, no palm trees, but the quiet natural feel makes this beach worth a visit.
Hotels in Guanica, Puerto Rico
That completes our online tour of the best beaches on the west coast of Puerto Rico. There are many more nice beaches, cays and islets to explore in Porta del Sol. We hope you enjoy our beaches as much as we do.
Complete List of Beaches on the West Coast by Town
- Gas Chambers
- Playa Crashboat
- Playa de Colon
- Playa La Ponderosa
- Playa Parque Colon
- Playa Rompeolas
- Playa Surfer / Surfer’s Beach
- Playa Tamarindo
- Playa Wildnerness
- Balneario Pico de Piedra
- Playa El Mameyito
- Playa Espinar
- Playa y Punto Rio Grande
- Balneario Tres Hermanos
- Cabo Rojo
- Balneario de Boqueron
- Playa Combate
- Isla de Ratones
- Buye Beach, Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
- Playa La Mela
- Playa Sucia / La Playuela”
- Punta Pitahaya
- Bahia de la Ballena / Ballenas Bay
- Balneario de Caña Gorda
- Cayo Aurora / “Gilligan’s Island, Guanica, Puerto Rico
- Cayo Ballena
- La Jungla
- Los Congres
- Playa Jaboncillo, Guanica
- Playa Manglillo
- Playa Santa
- Playa Tamarindo
- Almirante Beach
- Antonio’s Beach
- Balneario de Rincon
- Barrero Beach
- Corcega Beach
- Dogman’s Beach
- Deadman’s Beach
- Domes Beach, Rincon, Puerto Rico
- Indicators Beach
- Little Malibu
- Maria’s Beach
- Parcking Lot
- Playa Los Almendros
- Pistons Beach
- Pools Beach
- Punta Higuero
- Rivermouth Beach
- Sandy Beach
- Spanish Wall
- Playa Tres Palmas (Steps), Rincon, Puerto Rico
- Table Rock
- Terminador Beach
- The Point
- Trampa Beach
Keep Exploring Puerto Rico
About Puerto Rico
San Juan, Puerto Rico ⎜ Isla Verde Puerto Rico ⎜ Culebra, Puerto Rico ⎜ Vieques, Puerto Rico ⎜ Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico ⎜ Dorado, Puerto Rico ⎜ Fajardo, Puerto Rico ⎜ Guanica, Puerto Rico ⎜ Isabela, Puerto Rico ⎜ Lajas, Puerto Rico ⎜ Mayaguez, Puerto Rico ⎜ Ponce, Puerto Rico ⎜ Rio Grande, Puerto Rico ⎜ Rincon Puerto Rico