San Juan Puerto Rico beaches are municipal gems and though some might argue they are don’t offer the same slice of paradise other Puerto Rico beaches do, others would strongly protest. San Juan Puerto Rico is the biggest city going on an island that’s small in size yet a Caribbean destination that’s growing wildly in popularity. Within San Juan lie many of the most important cultural and historical aspects of the country, and it’s this history that intrigues the everyday traveler. Three of the top municipal beaches within San Juan include Condado, Isla Verde, and Ocean Park Beach.
Isla Verde Beach
Isla Verde Beach in San Juan is easily the most popular within the area. Just take a look at the 200-foot-wide stretch on any weekend and crowds speak for themselves. A local favorite and one that’s catching on with tourists, Isla Verde features soft, tan-colored sand and calm, clear surf. Most of the beach’s amenities are located near the Intercontinental San Juan Resort & Casino and the El San Juan Resort & Casino, but the entire strip is lined with luxury hotels and condos. Casinos, Puerto Rico resorts, and plenty of water sports mix with a lively crowd exuding a relaxed, happy vibe. It is also the place to be seen in San Juan Puerto Rico, but there’s no real air of pretension going on. If you’re content to just sit, people watch, and sunbathe, you’ll be in the right place. There are other things to do too, like sea kayaking and jet-skiing around the inlet. Isla Verde Avenue flanks the backside of the beach offering a deluge of both fast food and local restaurants to choose between.
Condado Beach is another of the San Juan Puerto Rico beaches available for sun-seekers and is conveniently only a ten-minute drive from Luis Munoz Marin International Airport. Take a few steps beyond the renowned Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza Hotel and you’re there. The beach is highly acclaimed for its location, but mainly for the natural beauty along the shore, especially out in front of the San Juan Marriot Resort & Stellaris Casino. Walking beyond the beach hotels, the water tends to get a little rougher with swift undertows, but out in front of the main stretch, it is calm as calm can be. The feel of it is what most visitors comment on—it’s as if you’re welcomed into a friendly neighborhood rather than just another beach. The small restaurants and cafes nearby add to the benevolent atmosphere.
The last of the three main San Juan Puerto Rico beaches is Ocean Park, another well-loved beach featuring eye-popping aquamarine water and plenty of convenient services and facilities. Only a few minutes from the San Juan metro area, Ocean Park provides visitors (many local crowds on weekends) with free beach mats, boogie boards, chairs, umbrellas, and coolers subject to availability. The beach is also home to two restaurants sitting directly on the shores with tables set up on the beach making it a popular spot for sunset dinners. Though mostly calm, the water does get a little choppy at times. If it does, just get into the groove and enjoy some kite surfing, windsurfing, or boogie boarding. Noche de San Juan Festival happens with fervor in Ocean Park in June, where music, food, and other festivities are part of the celebration of St John the Baptist and walking backwards into the sea at the strike of midnight is a tradition, and a sight to see!