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Puerto Rico's South Coast Best Beaches Guide

Beautiful Beaches & Water Activities on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

Family Fun at Caracoles

Staying on the south coast region of Puerto Rico gives you some great beaches to enjoy, from calm bays perfect for swimming with children to offshore mangrove cays with crystal clear shallow water where you can go snorkeling.  Come with us for an online tour through the coastline, we’re taking you to the best beaches so you can peak at the adventures you can have under the Caribbean Sun. We’ll start in the city of Ponce, move to Guanica, then Lajas, and end at the southwest in the town of Cabo Rojo.  A car rental is recommended in order to enjoy the beaches, since taxis, Uber, and public transportation would be very costly.

The Most Beautiful Beach on the South Coast

Puerto Rico

Playa Pelicano – Caja de Muertos, Ponce, Puerto Rico

Playa Pelicano - Ponce, Puerto Rico - South Coast

Playa Pelicano… those lucky enough to get there will agree is truly a special place… located on the uninhabited island of Caja de Muertos, just off the coast of the city of Ponce.  No development disrupts the natural landscape… and that’s part of the experience.  Colorful pebbles adorn the edge of the white sand, the hill at the edge of the beach is a nesting site for pelicans, and the sand is so soft.  The colors of the water are mesmerizing… we’ve only seen these beautiful tones in Vieques and Culebra.

Best Places to Stay in Ponce, Puerto Rico

Getting to Caja de Muertos Island

Best Beaches in Guanica

Puerto Rico - South West Coast

Gilligan’s Island

Guanica, Puerto Rico

Gilligan's Island Guanica, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico most beautiful beaches

Book a Private Tour to Gilligan’s Island

Highlights:  Shallow crystal clear water, great for kids to snorkel, no crowds during the week.

Gilligan’s Island, officially known as Cayo Aurora, is a captivating haven, offering a picturesque natural pool surrounded by lush mangrove trees—a perfect sanctuary for couples seeking a romantic escape or families with little ones desiring a safe space with shallow waters for snorkeling.

Best Place to Stay near Gilligan's Island in Guanica

Getting to Giligan's Island

You can choose a water taxi at a nearby restaurant to access this little treasure island.  You may also book this snorkeling tour, taking care of all the details.  Alternatively, Copamarina Beach Resort, conveniently located nearby, provides daily trips exclusively for its hotel guests, ensuring effortless access to the allure of Gilligan’s Island.

Playa Tamarindo

Guanica, Puerto Rico

Playa Tamarindo - South Coast of Puerto Rico

New Tour – Experience World Class Scuba Diving in Guanica

Highlights:  Feeling of seclusion, calm water on the east end, great for walking on the beach, access to the Guanica Dry Forest coastal trail.

Once you set foot on Playa Tamarindo, you’ll find yourself pondering, “How is it possible to have this special place all to myself?”  As an integral part of the Guanica State Forest, the landscape here is truly unparalleled on the main island of Puerto Rico.  While you won’t encounter the typical palm trees or the conventional tropical ambiance, the sheer beauty and tranquility, free from any signs of development, are genuinely captivating.  

This elongated beach is ideal for a romantic stroll, providing a serene escape from the crowds.  In the summer, a handful of families may dot the shoreline, drawn to the beach’s suitability for bathing.  The eastern side boasts shallow, crystal-clear waters, inviting pelicans to gracefully plunge in pursuit of sardines, while the western side features slightly deeper waters with playful waves.  Lacking any facilities, it’s essential to come prepared with everything you might need.

Best Place to Stay in Guanica

Visiting Tips & Itinerary Suggestions

Extend your exploration by briefly hiking along the coastline to the east.  Marvel at the presence of cacti trees, diverse plants, and panoramic views from the cliffs.  Your journey will lead you to an even more secluded haven known as Playa Pelicano, offering a continuation of the serene beauty that defines this hidden gem.

Playa Santa

Guanica, Puerto Rico

Playa Santa - Guanica, Puerto Rico - South Coast

Highlights:  Family-friendly beach, calm water, fun water activities, and food kiosks in the vicinity.

Playa Santa stands out as a beloved family-friendly beach in Guanica, boasting serene waters, conveniently located food stands, and an array of  fun water activities.  Particularly during the vibrant summer season and weekends throughout the year, Playa Santa transforms into Guanica’s liveliest beach.  However, it offers a tranquil and crowd-free environment on weekdays, creating a perfect escape.  Free parking is available within walking distance, enhancing accessibility, while nearby food vendors provide a taste of Puerto Rican delights such as traditional fritters, local beer, and soft drinks.  For added recreational options, there’s a stand offering rentals of floats, inflatables, kayaks, and jet skis, ensuring a well-rounded and entertaining beach experience.

Best Places to Stay in Guanica

Offshore Cays of La Parguera in Lajas

South West Coast of Puerto Rico

Cayo Caracoles – La Parguera Nature Reserve

Lajas, Puerto Rico

Caracoles Cay - Lajas, Puerto Rico - Best Beaches on the South Coast

Caracoles promises to be one of the highlight during your vacation on the south coast of Puerto Rico. The suggested itinerary below stands out as one of the most memorable vacation experiences on the island.  Caracoles boats shallow, warm, and crystalline emerald-green water.  Without a traditional beach, your family will be constantly surrounded by the water or on the boat, navigating open waters and mangrove cays.  When hungry, head back to La Parguera village for a food cultural experience, restaurants serving delightful dishes from fresh fish to traditional Puerto Rican fritters everyone loves. 

Top Rated Tours - Caracoles Cay - Lajas

Best Places to Stay in Lajas & Nearby

Visiting Tips

Fun Beach Day Itinerary:  Spend the day at La Parguera enjoying the Caracoles & Mata La Gata.  Eat lunch and dinner at the fishing village, and at night, get ready for swimming with the stars on the bioluminescent bay.  La Parguera is the only bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico where you’re allowed to swim.  After swimming, change and dance with locals to live music in the village if you’re here on the weekends.

Best Times to Visit Caracoles:  Optimal tranquility graces the weekdays, making it the perfect time to immerse yourself in a true paradisic experience.  Note that weekends during the summer and holiday weeks tend to draw boat crowds, becoming more of a party scene at sea.

Best Beaches in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Playa Buye

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Playa Buye - Puerto Rico South Coast Beaches

Highlights: Clear, calm water, good for swimming, great for kids, amazing sunsets, food kiosks at the beach, water sports rentals.

Playa Buye, the prettiest beach on Puerto Rico’s southwest coast,  with tranquil waters and shallow depths, and perfect for families with children.   Distinguished by its turquoise clear water, Buye features ivory-white sand and a soft, sandy bottom—ideal for swimming and play. Buye has a laid-back beach bar, kayak rentals, a small shop for essentials and souvenirs, off-street parking, and a fee-based lot.  Buye radiates an authentic local atmosphere, drawing families for picnics, music on radios, and children’s carefree play.  It embodies a community party vibe, immersing visitors in the local beach culture.  While most families favor the main beach, the north side offers a mellower scene with clear waters.  A brief 7-minute walk unveils a serene environment for a leisurely stroll, photos of leaning palm trees, and exploration of the undeveloped coastline’s treasures.

Best Places to Stay in Cabo Rojo & Nearby

Visiting Tips

Travel Tip: For the best experience at Buye, arrive early in the morning to appreciate its true colors before the waters get disturbed.

Balneario de Boqueron (Boqueron Beach)

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Boqueron Beach - South Coast in the town of Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Reserve a Fun Ride at Boqueron Beach

Highlights:  Calm water, safe swimming beach area, great for kids, lifeguards, restaurants within walking distance, easy ample parking, sunsets.

Boqueron Beach consistently ranks among the top 3 in local recommendations for the best beaches in Puerto Rico.  Families adore its tranquil waters, perfect for children’s play and swimming.  While it becomes a lively hub during Easter and major holidays, the rest of the year maintains a serene atmosphere.  

Bordered by tall coconut palms, vibrant Flamboyan trees, and sturdy Almond trees, the beach is located in the charming fishing village of Boqueron.  This beach attracts weekend visitors seeking fresh seafood delights and traditional fritters.  Don’t miss the breathtaking sunset, making Boqueron Beach one of Puerto Rico’s top three sunset spots.

Best Places to Stay in Cabo Rojo & Nearby

Beach Itinerary Suggestion & Visiting Tips

As you drive to Boqueron, stop by Boqueron Bakery and order sandwiches and quesitos to enjoy at the beach.  If you’re at the beach on the weekend, you can walk to Poblado de Boqueron for lunch; there’s a pizza shop, food and drink stands, and various restaurants and pubs.  The action starts around dinner time during weekends.  During the week, many restaurants are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays or open for dinner, so you will have to go to Route 100 to eat.  If you want to explore another beach in the same day, head to Playa Beach, just five minutes away.  If you’re in the mood for Pizza, head to Papa’s Pizza, then go to Rex Cream for ice cream and walk to the square just a block away to sit down and enjoy while admiring the architecture and friendly local atmosphere.

Money-saving food tip: If you want cheap, plentiful, and good Puerto Rican food, head to Mr. Special Supermarket at lunchtime and eat there.  Rotisserie chicken and garlic bread loaf are sold and are great to take to the beach.

Playa Sucia / La Playuela

Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

La Playuela - Beach on the South Coast of Puerto Rico

Top Rated Tour to Cabo Rojo

Embark on an unforgettable journey to La Playuela, the pretties crescent beach in Puerto Rico, also known as Playa Sucia.  Take a short stroll from the beach to explore a hiking trail along the cliffs, leading to Faro Los Morrillos.  Playa Sucia is part of a wildlife nature reserve; on the way there, you’ll pass Las Salinas, (Salt Flats), a nature reserve trail where you can go birding, and an observation tower with sweeping views of the reserve.  Bring sturdy sneakers and a quality camera to capture some of the island’s most stunning scenery.

Best Places to Stay in Cabo Rojo & Nearby

Safety Tips

Please be very careful when walking around the cliffs, and keep your children supervised at all times; people have died taking pictures and standing too close to the edge since the limestone can be fragile by the edge.

Playa El Combate – Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Combate Beach - South West Coast of Puerto Rico

Embraced by locals, Combate is known for its family-friendly waters and nearby eateries and pubs on weekends.  As part of Boqueron State Forest, its southern side boasts a natural landscape, perfect for leisurely walks along the shore. Weekdays offer a tranquil atmosphere, while weekends bring liveliness. In summer, the beach becomes a bustling hub with visitors and boats.  Combate Beach is a nice spot to stop for dinner at sunset after Los Morrillos Lighthouse.

Best Places to Stay in Cabo Rojo & Nearby

Best Experiences on the Water - South Coast of Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Things to Do  ⎮  Puerto Rico Beaches  ⎮ Best Beaches – South Coast of Puerto Rico