Credit

Courtesy of Wassim Samara/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Puerto Rico

If you have extra time, Condado Beach is worthwhile.
  • #3
    Things to do in Puerto Rico
    View all Photos
    #3 in Puerto Rico
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    On the island of Culebra — which sits about 20 miles east of Puerto Rico— visitors will find a beach perfect for families, snorkelers and those looking for a remote spot that boasts a delightful aesthetic from nearly every angle. Flamenco Beach's 1½-mile strip of sand is the most popular on Culebra and is often recognized by travelers and experts as the most beautiful in all of Puerto Rico.

    Facilities like bathrooms and showers can be found on site, and the beach's white sand is peppered with kiosks selling refreshments or offering chairs and umbrellas for rent — all available for inexpensive prices (about $10 USD each). Amenities and tranquility are among the many allures of this favorite spot but above all else, travelers simply can't stop raving about the beach's beauty. "The water is shades of teal, turquoise, and blue. I've never seen such amazing ocean water," one TripAdvisor reviewer raved.  Some travelers do complain that Flamenco Beach's popularity means it can get a bit crowded on the weekends (despite a lack of fancy resorts or restaurants). And your company won't just be of the human variety; fish tend to swim right up to the shallow water's edge.

  • #4
    Sun Bay (Vieques)
    View all Photos
    #4 in Puerto Rico
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Mosquito Bay is popular in the evenings, but the island of Vieques' daytime beachcombers like the chalky sands and serene vantage point of southwestern Sun Bay. It's also the only beach on Vieques with public facilities: The 2-mile-long beach on Vieques' south coast has lifeguards, showers, bathrooms and a small area to purchase food. Plus, the town of Esperanza (and its restaurants and bars) is just a short walk away.

    While San Juan's beaches have a distinctly urban vibe, travelers appreciate Vieques' seclusion. The on-site amenities make the beach appealing for groups. "The water is shallow for quite a ways out, and the waves are mild. It's great for families with kids," one TripAdvisor reviewer adds. If you're an avid snorkeler, however, you may want to skip Sun Bay as there's not much marine life to see here. 

  • #8
    Condado Beach
    View all Photos
    #8 in Puerto Rico
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're staying in San Juan there's a good chance you'll never 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 in Greater San Juan. Families, however, sometimes forego these sands for one of the government-run beaches, or balnearios, because Condado's beach's tide is often too strong for young swimmers.

    Travelers say 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 has its perks when it comes to being tourist-friendly. According to one TripAdvisor reviewer, the beach has "loungers and umbrellas for rent, waiters around to provide drinks" and is a "great place to just relax."

  • #10
    Carolina Beach (Balneario de Carolina)
    View all Photos
    #10 in Puerto Rico
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located near the Isla Verde resort area in greater San Juan, lengthy Carolina Beach is a popular public beach among both visitors and locals. Families especially love its white sand, warm water and that there's an on-duty lifeguard. What they're not so thrilled with are the crowds. The best times to visit are early in the morning or later in the afternoon, after the port-of-call sunbathers have re-boarded their cruise ships.

    There are plenty of vendors on the beach, including spots to rent equipment for water sports like kiteboarding, to satisfy the needs of most visitors. Although there are plenty of vendors selling refreshments, "You can bring music, coolers, food, pretty much anything you want," one TripAdvisor reviewer writes. "But, if you bring soda or beer, be careful. You could possibly get a ticket if you bring glass bottles." Another minor drawback is that Carolina Beach's proximity to the airport means you may hear a bit of loud noise from airplanes overhead. 

Explore More of Puerto Rico

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

Gwen PratesiDecember 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

Lyn MettlerNovember 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

Kyle McCarthyNovember 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

Holly JohnsonNovember 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

Gwen PratesiNovember 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

Christine SmithNovember 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

Nicola WoodNovember 12, 2019

The Top Pyramids in Mexico to Visit

Add these ancient marvels to your Mexico vacation itinerary.

Lyn MettlerOctober 28, 2019

30 Top Babymoon Destinations, Trips and Ideas

From romantic beach getaways to big city adventures to glamping in the forest, these locales will inspire your babymoon planning.

Gwen PratesiOctober 15, 2019

15 Tips for Traveling While Pregnant

These tips will help pregnant women travel the world in comfort and style.

Holly JohnsonOctober 10, 2019