Bienvenidos a Puerto Rico! Welcome to Puerto Rico! This tropical island paradise is the home of MI OLA brand ambassador Andrea (@mermaid.drea ). When she isn’t in the water – free-diving to 40 feet, surfing, fishing, lobstering or playing in the waves – she’s on land doing yoga and exploring the outdoors. We caught up with this mermaid to get the scoop on her favorite beaches in Puerto Rico. Check it out below!
Our Top Five Amazing Beaches to Visit in Puerto Rico
Playa Peña Blanca, Aguadilla, PR
I love this beach because it’s where the sea turtles like to hang out in the West! I can literally spend hours snorkeling this beach – – I’ve encountered the most marine life thus far in PR. Playa Peña Blanca is also a great place to spend the day lounging and tanning on the sand. However, if there is swell, the shore disappears and this place looks like a completely different beach!
This is also a special spot because it is a part of the “Playuelas” sector, where community members are fighting against the construction of a massive resort, “The Christopher Columbus Landing Resort,” that would destroy this beautiful un-touched land. (For more information about the cause and how you can help “Save Playuela,” click here.)
Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)—In Puerto Rico we call these beauties “Peje blanco” or “Tortuga verde.” Sea turtles are such beautiful creatures that when I encounter one I get lost just staring at them while they swim or eat sea grass.
Juvenile French Angel Fish (Pomacanthus paru) – Another one of my favorite marine organisms are Angel Fish! This one here is a Juvenile French Angel Fish. You can tell because it has yellow stripes – – when they become adults their stripes disappear and they develop yellow specs.
Playa Pata Pata, Manatí, PR
This is literally a beach bum’s playground! This is my all-time-favorite go-to beach because when its flat, it’s the best place to kick back and pop open some beers or go practice your free-diving skills. When there are waves, you can spend all day surfing this fun sand bar or just playing in the huge shore break! Coming to this beach can turn into an adventure. On the opposite end of this beach, within walking distance, there is a beautiful tide pool called “La Poza de las Mujeres,” which is very popular among the locals. Some locals made the coolest palm tree hut which makes spending a day under the sun a lot better.
Playa Tamarindo, Culebra, PR
Culebra is a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico. To arrive, you must take a boat, ferry, or an airplane. If you really want to go an adventure, camp on Flamenco Beach. Take your vehicle filled with food so you can cook over a campfire because there are very limited options (especially if you have dietary restrictions because there are only a few restaurants and not many supermarkets).
Tamarindo beach is walking distance from Flamenco. It is a bit of hike because there is a hill you have to go over, but it is another spot I love to dive! This is the best place to see marine life. The beach lies within the Luis Peña Channel Natural Reserve—and all of Culebra’s sea grass is listed as a critical habitat for endangered species and is protected by law. In other words, there are tons of sea turtle to see here because sea grass is a Green Sea Turtle’s favorite snack. I love coming here because you really get a chance to photograph and appreciate nature. Although snorkel gear rentals are available on Culebra, it’s better to bring your own snorkel gear. Flamenco Beach also has a reef you can snorkel, but during the winter there are huge waves. Tamarindo is located inside a bay so the water is flat all year-round.
Playa Caza y Pesca, Arecibo, PR
Caza y Pesca is located in Arecibo in a sector called “Islote.” There are many fun breaks in this town, but this is one of my favorite surfing beaches because it is where I learned to catch waves! Some of the clearest waters I have seen on Puerto Rico are at the Arecibo beaches like this one. If you like to get barreled, then I suggest you surf Hallows Beach—a shallow reef break. Another one of my favorite surfing beaches in Arecibo is “La Cueva del Indio,” I like it because the wave is very long. The actual “Cueva del Indio” is a tourist attraction where scenes of the film “The Goonies” was filmed and it has a lot of our native Indians, the “Taínos,” hieroglyphics engraved in the walls.