Best beaches in PR are on the islands of Vieques and Culebra. Need to take a ferry or fly to these islands. Best to stay at least one night, if you're willing to make the trip.
On the main island, the west coast (like Rincon) has some great beaches, as well. It's a couple of hours drive from San Juan.
When are you headed this way?!
What are the names of the beaches couple of hours away from San Juan? I'll look up the other ones. I am not sure if I'm going yet. Thinking of going last weekend in May or early June. As far as nightlife and touristy things to do I'm assuming San Juan is the best place to stay? I looked up a few beaches near San Juan and they didn't look very nice at all.
I enjoyed the beaches in Loiza (right outside of San Juan) last summer. They are rocky, but absolutely gorgeous. Not the best area for swimming, but Piņones is around there and there are a lot of open air bars and food kiosks. Mostly locals. It's very crowded on weekends and super fun.
Oooh, I just thought of this! I really like Luquillo. The beaches are mostly surfing beaches, but there are some swimming beaches. The Kioskos in Luquillo will have action at night, but sometimes it can be sketchy. Luquillo is near the rain forest (El Yunque) and near there is a super cool place called Charco Frio. Basically, it's a cold water river that leads to waterfalls and natural-rock slides and is fun to hang out at.
Let me know what you decide to do... I can give you some recommendations for places to stay and eat in Old San Juan
Oh boy, there are so many things I want to do I have to pick. At most we'd be flying in Thursday night and leaving Monday afternoon. Have you been to Mina Falls? El Yunque looks realllly nice and I want to definitely go there. The question now is where to stay.
If you want to focus on hanging out at El Yunque, I recommend The Luquillo Sunrise Beach Inn. Short drive to El Yunque, very cute, right on the beach, short walk to a few good/casual restaurants, ice cream shop, coffee shop (great breakfast!). We are now off-season, so prices should be $100ish per night. They do offer a complimentary breakfast, but I find it "meh." It is also a short drive to Fajardo, if you want to do a Bio Bay tour (which I highly recommend you do!) or hang out at Charco Frio in Ceiba. Also, there is the Luquillo Kioskos nearby for more dining/shopping options.
If you want to stay in San Juan near the beach, I recommend The Dream Catcher Guest House in Ocean Park. It is a tiny guest house with 5 or 6 rooms, some have shared bathrooms, with a shared kitchen. There are 3 dogs on property, just as an FYI. It is about a block from the beach and nearby to yummy restaurants and shopping. Prices are $75+, IIRC. My friend Michelle works there. She's a curly, too
If you want to stay in downtown Old San Juan, I like Da House. Funky, art-deco style, walkable to everywhere. $100+ per night. The only thing is the music from the bar downstairs is pretty loud. I've heard great things about their sister hotel, Wind Chimes Inn, in Condado.
Well, I live on Vieques, so I'm not really sure about names of beaches on the main island.
San Juan is on the north side of the island, so it's beaches are rocky with rough waves due to being on the Atlantic. The south of the island, and the two little islands (Vieques and Culebra), have great "classic" Caribbean beaches. But, they definitely do not have night life.
The town of Rincon on the west coast might be where you'd want to spend your time. It has both nice beaches and a bit of night life. A good friend of mine lives there and she's a surfer/party girl. She loves it
You can also Google Aguadilla, Mayaguez, and Cabo Rojo.
Mayaguez doesn't have beaches. There is ocean, but no beaches.
Aguadilla has Crash Boat. It is very rocky and deep, I wouldn't recommend it.
Cabo Rojo has calmer beaches. You can walk quite a bit and it doesn't go deep. Its the Caribbean Sea(West), not the Atlantic Ocean (North). You can go to Combate, Playa Sucia, Boqueron. Boqueron is a party town. Lots of bars if you are into that.
If you want to hang out party and go to bars, San Juan a decent nightlife at Old San Juan.
If you want a nice Hotel with a beach, my favorite is El Conquistador in Fajardo. Has a nice beach island, great pools (many actually) and a water park.
Isla Verde is nice for a city beach, like they said here. Hotels around it are expensive but really nice.
I wouldn't recommend any cheap place near San Juan. Sorry. PR has a lot of crime in San Juan so I wouldn't recommend anywhere cheap. I sure as heck wouldn't recommend a place where you need to share anything like a bathroom, not in San Juan! In Rincon, depending on the place, maybe yes.
Rincon on the West and the rest of the Island are safe. Very little crime.
I am not familar with the night life in Rincon but I know it is a surfer town and lots of seafood restaurants. I've been to Rincon Beach Resort, its pretty nice.
Another place to go is La Parguera (West Coast). Its a fishing village with some bars/restaurants. You need to rent a boat to get to the water,but the water is beautiful. No beach, you go to "cayos" where people park their boats and stay there for a day in the water. Most of the people that go here are upper class people with boats.