Puerto Rico’s Luquillo Beach (Playa Luquillo), also known as Balneario Monserrate, is a tranquil crescent famed for its coconut palm trees and long stretch of powdery white sand. Considered one of the island’s best public beaches, the calm waters here are perfect for swimming, wading, kayaking, and other water sports.
With El Yunque National Forest blooming in the background, it’s easy to see why this beautiful beach is such a draw. A fringe reef protects Luquillo Beach from raging surf, so families find it a great place to bring young kids who are often found frolicking in the calm water. Local food kiosks that dot the area are frequented for beachside eating, though locals often set up their own grills and have hearty barbecues. Beach umbrellas and lounge chairs are available for rent, as are kayaks for personal use or kayaking tours. Guided tours that include Luquillo Beach depart from Old San Juan and may combine the beach stop with visits to El Yunque, the Camuy Caves, and the bioluminescent bay.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is a small entrance fee to use the beach; guided tours usually include this fee.
- The beach has restrooms, changing stations, showers, lifeguards, and paid parking.
- Food kiosks on the beach sell everything from burgers to ceviche; picnics are also a good option.
How to Get There
Puerto Rican buses and jitneys are available, but it is most convenient to rent a car or visit on a guided beach tour. Via car, depart San Juan on Route 3 toward Luquillo.
When to Get There
Puerto Rico is generally very busy in December through February, as it’s a hot spot for those escaping the mainland United States’ frigid winters. Aim to visit in the spring, after the tourist glut and before the hot, rainy season. Luquillo Beach can get quite crowded on summer weekends, when it fills up with local families.
Things to Do Near Luquillo Beach
Near Luquillo Beach is the lush El Yunque Rain Forest, which features hiking trails, La Coca Waterfall, Yokahú Observation Tower, and plenty of local flora and fauna. Another don’t-miss sight is the nearby bioluminescent bay, where visitors can swim in waters that light up with glowing phytoplankton after dark.