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Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

Minneapolis, MN
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Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

I'm looking at traveling to Puerto Rico in December. It will take 2 flights to get to San Juan (with my husband and a 7 and 10 year old), so I'd like to find a hotel on a really nice beach (preferrably on the Caribbean) but close enough to San Juan to not to make our trip even longer than it aready is and to make day trips to San Juan and El Yunque. Does such a place exist?? How far would it be from San Juan? Also looking for the beach/hotel to be near restaurants, parasalling etc. Any advice (even if the answer is no such thing) would be appreciated. If it doesn't exist then I would look for a nice hotel/beach close enough to make a day trip to El Yumque, and see San Juan on the way in or on the way back to the states.

We do plan to rent a car.

Thanks!!

Edited: 14 August 2013, 19:07
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1. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

Beaches with parasailing, and near restaurants are in the San Juan (Ocean Park, Condado, Isla Verde) area. Note that San Juan is on the _north_ side of Puerto Rico ... that makes it the Atlantic Ocean, not the Caribbean Sea. The Caribbean "starts" about half-way down the eastern side of Puerto Rico, and on the south side. So, "Caribbean beach" and "near San Juan" are diametrically opposed.

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2. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

"Does such a place exist??"

Have you looked at a map? The Caribbean Ocean is in the south, San Juan is in the north, El Yunque is in the north east. We're talking about -at least- a 1.5 hours drive between San Juan and the south, and about 3 hours from the south to the north east. On top of that, the nicest beaches are not on the south, but on the south west, which is a 3 hours drive from San Juan and 4 to/from El Yunque.

San Juan has a nice beach: the Isla Verde beach. The north east also has a nice beach: the Luquillo beach, which is pretty much located at the foot of El Yunque. Where to stay depends on how much driving you want to do, and your personal preferences: city life (San Juan) vs a quiet town (Cabo Rojo, Rincon, Rio Grande, Fajardo). Personally, beings that San Juan is only a 45 minutes drive to El Yunque, I would stay in San Juan, at a hotel on the Isla Verde beach.

Edited: 14 August 2013, 19:34
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usa
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3. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

There is no such place with everything you asked for, that is, on the Caribbean side, close to San Juan, near restaurants, parasailing, etc. The island is not as small as most first time visitors imagine. To get to the really nice beaches on the Caribbean side and then get back to San Juan is a logistical issue as it is quite a distance time-wise that one must travel.

I suggest staying in San Juan on Isla Verde Beach which is the best beach in San Juan. There you will find parasailing and can make it to most sight-seeing venues like Old San Juan, the rain forest, the biobay and Fajardo's marina for offshore sailing tours. If you are opposed to staying in this urbanized setting, perhaps Luquillo or Fajardo will work for you.

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Minneapolis, MN
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4. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

Thanks for your reply. I didn't think such a place existed, but I didn't know if there were other ways to travel (via commeter air like Jamaica). I'm not opposed to urban but I have heard that the beaches in San Juan can be quite crowded (and can be dirty). Are the beaches in Luquillo or Farardo considered nicer? Quieter? How far are they from San Juan (Luquillo is about an hour I think)? Which hotels are best in each area (directly on the beach)?

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5. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

Fajardo has Seven Seas, which may be the kind of beach you are looking for. This website offers information and photos: paradise-puertorico.com/beaches_puertorico/…

The Luquillo beach is also very nice, but it can be busy, and the kiosks on the end are not very environmentally friendly when it comes to disposing trash.

The hotels nearby are Rio Mar, right on the beach. And El Conquistador, not on the beach, but rents a very nice private beach (Palomino).

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Fajardo, Puerto Rico
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6. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

I would suggest wyndam Rio Mar. Its centrally located. Its on the Atlantic but you are about twenty minutes from Seven Seas Beach which is on the Caribbean. The Atlantic and the Caribbean meet at the Light house in Las Croabas. You will be about 10 minutes from El Yunque and 30 from Old San Juan. You will close to the ferries although you should have ticket in advance. Horseback riding, zip lining etc are all within easy access. The Rio Mar usually runs some very good deals. Hope this was helpful.

EllisPR

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7. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

We loved Playa Azul , in Luquillo. The beach was perfect - warm golden sand, waves that were fun but no too rough, no weeds or rocks, lined with palm trees... We stayed in a condo which I would encourage you to consider given that there are four of you and it will have all the conveniences families need, like a washer & dryer and full kitchen. My profile pic is the view from the balcony :) Playa Azul is located about 45 mins east of San Juan and very close to El Yunque.

When we visited Seven Seas beach earlier this year, we found it to be somewhat neglected, especially the bathrooms. There are some reviews on here for Seven Seas beach so you can get an idea.

Good luck with your planning.

Edited: 15 August 2013, 17:33
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Fajardo, Puerto Rico
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8. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

She's right but there is a nice little restaurant at seven seas on the water with clean bathroom facilities and you can sit right by the water and have a snack if you want. Playa Azul is nice but you did say you wanted a beach on the Caribbean and that's pn the Atlantic. I use both beaches.

Ellis Puerto Rico

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9. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

Sorry Ellis F, but Seven Seas Beach is not on the Caribbean but on the Atlantic side of Puerto Rico.

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Fajardo, Puerto Rico
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10. Re: Nice Carribean side beach near San Juan and El Yunque?

You are right its almost on the line at the lighthouse. Sorry

Ellis Puerto Rico