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Beaches and Water Sports in San Juan, Puerto Rico

What is there to do when you are on a Caribbean island and practically surrounded by beaches? If you’re a perfectly rational human being, then the ideal response would be to take off those shoes and go crazy in the water.

In San Juan, Puerto Rico, there is plenty of room for beach adventures. For one thing, the tropical climate is on your side. The annual average temperature is 82 F (28 C) and rarely falls below 64 F or exceeds 97 F. With excellent weather, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy the crystal clear waters and white sand of San Juan.

Isla Verde is the main beach destination in San Juan. Stretching for miles along the city’s shoreline, Isla Verde Beach fronts numerous luxury hotels, condominiums, restaurants, clubs, guest houses, luxury apartments, parks, and even a cemetery.

Although you can still read or take a nap here, this beach is not your ideal location if you are looking for a quiet and deserted getaway. It’s not very crowded on weekdays, but people come in droves on weekends and Isla Verde becomes a hub for water activities. The surf is good enough for body surfing or you can venture further out to sea with parasailing, jet skiing and water skiing. Nearby sports stores offer equipment for rent. The beachfront hotels and resorts in Isla Verde also have several water sports facilities.

Fishing is another popular water sport in San Juan. However, most anglers here practice the catch-and-release system, so the furthest you can go for a souvenir catch is a picture of the fish. A common style here is deep sea fishing. The most abundant species in these parts of the Caribbean are allison tuna, sailfish, wahoo and mackerel. Thanks to the tropical climate of the island, the fishing is good all year round, you have more chances to catch tuna, dolphins, wahoo, sailfish and other species during the months of October to early March.

San Juan has many marine charters that offer a half day or full day fishing trip. The boats typically range from 32 to 50 feet and can carry about six passengers along with two to four fishing crew. The deep waters are close to shore, so you can usually start fishing within half an hour of leaving port. A half-day package tour can cost between $480 and $500, a six-hour trip ranges from $650 to $700, and a full day of fishing costs between $850 and $1,000. These rates already include fishing equipment, drinks, and captain and officer services.

For those who prefer to stay away from the deep water but still want a great fishing experience, light tackle fishing in the bays and lagoons is a good alternative. There are also nautical boats that offer smaller boats, around 16 to 18 feet, for half or full day trips.

Diving and snorkeling are also must-do activities in Puerto Rico. Visibility is at least 60 to 75 feet in areas closer to the beach, but can be up to 100 feet offshore. The dive sites in San Juan boast impressive marine diversity and picturesque geographic formations. Other impressive dive sites are located 50 miles west of Mayagüez, near Desecheo Island off Rincón, off Mona Island, and off Culebra and Vieques. There is no reason to panic, even if you are a newbie to diving. Some hotels and resorts offer diving lessons for beginners. As for snorkeling, the shallow reefs of San Juan are more than enough to dazzle you with impressive underwater scenery. A good place to dive is in the marina of the bay, near the Caribe Hilton hotel.

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