What is your Favorite San Juan-area Beach?

Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:56 AM
  #1  
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What is your Favorite San Juan-area Beach?

Hi everyone. Posting for the first time in this forum after being a regular the past two years in the Turkey and Japan forums. I will be Puerto Rico for 6 nights/5 days later this fall. I will be staying in Old San Juan and am not planning to rent a car. So all touring I do outside of walking distance will need to be done by public transport or by taxi. I understand that the 3 main beaches in San Juan are Condado, Isla Verde and Ocean Park. In researching, each seems to have their individual pros and cons. I would prefer a beach that offers a good amount of sun, is clean and is easy to get to from Old San Juan and is not typically too windy. Moderate crowds are ok but I want to avoid wall to wall crowds that afford you a piece of sand the size of a postage stamp. What would you recommend under these conditions? Thanks much.
MinnBeef is offline  
Feb 3rd, 2014, 03:12 PM
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I am just back from a quick getaway in San Juan. We stayed at the Marriott and Stellaris Casino there and while the hotel was ok for the price (we booked late), the beach was less than overwhelming. We weren't there very long and just visited the hotel beach, but two other beaches which I heard were good were Pine Grove Beach (in Isla Verde) and Luqillo (further away, in a different part of the island, but maybe you could have your hotel arrange transport for a reasonable price). Plus with the amount of time you have, you may want to go somewhere other than San Juan.

Old San Juan is a great little town - you'll have a great time!
Bostonblondie226 is offline  
Feb 9th, 2014, 07:48 AM
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Thanks B2. My brain was working faster than my typing fingers when I first posted this. I'll be in PR later this MONTH, not fall. Can't wait to get the heck out of the horrible Minneapolis cold this winter. I saw your trip report about the Boston temps being down into the 20s every day. This year, we would KILL to have high temps in the 20s!

Beach wise, thinking about either Condado or Ocean Park (or both if I decide to use my one free day as a second beach day.) Any additional input from you PR experts is most welcome!
MinnBeef is offline  
Feb 11th, 2014, 02:10 PM
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Never been to ocean park but isla verde is a better beach than condado.
tom42 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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Tom, are there public portions of Isla Verde? I'm not staying in a resort but rather, in Old San Juan and so would be looking for a beach (or portion thereof) that's open to the public.
MinnBeef is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 07:17 PM
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All beaches in San Juan (and all of Puerto Rico) are public. Even though the hotels set up chairs for their guests on the beach, the actual beach is public. Isla Verde is a nicer beach than Condado and if you actually want to swim then go to Isla Verde, but both are accessible by bus or taxi from Old San Juan. You could go to Calle Tartak in Isla Verde and have lunch at El Alambique or one of the other little restaurants across from the beach and there are vendors renting umbrellas and chairs. You could also have lunch at the beach cafe which is part of the Intercontinental hotel. It's literally on the beach. Regarding crowds, the weekends are much more crowded than weekdays as most locals are at the beach on the weekend. However, having the locals there also added to the festive atmosphere IMO.The eastern most part of Isla Verde (where the Marriott and Ritz are located, was much less crowded when I was there.
genio67 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2014, 09:20 AM
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Genio is spot on. The stretch of beach by the ritz Carlton is pretty close to the airport runway so if you stroll down that part you will see and hear planes taking off. If you stick to the part of isla verde by el San Juan hotel and intercontintal you won't be so close to the runway. The waters at isla verde are typically calmer than condado, which has a pretty rough surf. Isla verde is a good walks beach - you can walk for miles if you want.
tom42 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2014, 05:33 PM
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Genio and Tom, thank you very much. Isla Verde it is!
MinnBeef is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 04:45 AM
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You're very welcome. Have fun!
tom42 is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 06:32 PM
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jft
 
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I have been to Puerto Rico many times as my parents had a time share for 25 years in Humacao which is on the Caribbean side of the island. I think it is a beautiful island with diverse climates and landscapes and I think you would enjoy at least one day outside of the San Juan area. I really enjoyed the Catamaran snorkeling trips out of Fajardo- I think the different boats provided transportation either free or for a reasonable fee. Luquillo beach is close to the rain forest and is probably about 45 minutes from San Juan ( my estimate may be off as I have not been in about 10 years). It is not hard to drive once you get out of San Juan. There were also interesting caves in a different direction but you need to make sure they are open on the day you plan to go and that you get there early enough in the day before they close.
From rain forests, to arrid areas, Atlantic and Caribbean beaches, big bustling cities to tiny villages,Puerto Rico has it all.
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