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Key Info

Ashford Avenue

Price & Hours

Free
Dawn-dusk daily

Details

Beaches, Free Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.0Atmosphere

If you're staying in San Juan and want to stretch on the sands, you won't need to venture farther than Condado Beach. For many sun-lovers, that's just fine. Condado is framed by a string of high-rise hotels and resort complexes, plus it's ground zero for water sports and beach bars. Families, however, sometimes forego these sands for one of the government-run beaches, or balnearios, because Condado beach's tide is often too strong for young swimmers.

According to past travelers, you won't be disappointed with Condado, as long as you recognize it's not a remote strip of sand, but rather a beach that sits alongside a bustling city. But its proximity to so many hotels and resorts makes it all the more tourist-friendly.

Condado Beach is free to access and is open daily from dawn to dusk. If you drive to the beach, you will likely have to pay a fee to park in a local parking garage. Beach umbrellas and chairs are available to rent as well. You can access the beach at several different stretches along Ashford Avenue.

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#1 Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay (Vieques)

This south Vieques beach might not sound like much, but it's one of travelers' favorite experiences in Puerto Rico. During the day, Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay is your stereotypical Caribbean hideout, but at night, the waters emit a blue glow from the organisms, called dinoflagellates, that live there. More than 600,000 bioluminescent dinoflagellates live in each gallon of bay water, and recent travelers have been amazed by just how much visibility these tiny creatures provide.

Avoid visiting the bay during a full moon; the microorganisms aren't as visible then. Also aim for a quiet approach. Recent travelers recommended going out in a kayak to get the full effect of the glow and to prevent disturbing the dinoflagellates.

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