- Top Experiences
- Interests & Activities
- Food & Dining
- Art & History
- Extreme Sports
- Travel Information
- Lodging & Accommodations
- About Puerto Rico
Home > Interests & Activities > Beaches > Secluded
When you have 300 beaches, some of them are bound to be off the beaten path.
Our most secluded beaches require a bit of effort to get to, be it a boat ride to a remote island or a rugged hike to an unspoiled paradise. But that’s what makes them special.
Travelers come to Puerto Rico every year in search of their very own slice of Caribbean beachfront. They keep coming back because they find them.
Any list of secluded beaches in Puerto Rico must include a small and picturesque destination in Vieques that’s so secret it’s actually called “Secret Beach.” The tricky part about Secret Beach is getting to it. Drive along Route 997 and you’ll come to a gate leading to a broad trail. Follow the trail and take your first right onto a muddy road. Continue until you see two large barrels. Stay to your right and see if you can find your way to Secret Beach.
A good place to propose
Ensconced in a natural cove, framed by green hills and often without a soul in sight, Secret Beach is one of the most romantic spots in Vieques … a perfect place to pop the question or escape for a day out with a loved one.
Secret Beach is located just off a trail that leads to some of Vieques’ most beautiful beachfronts. Just minutes away lie Red Beach, Blue Beach and Silver Beach (another remote and secluded spot).
To get to Secret Beach, you’ll be best served by renting a jeep. Cars will have a tough time navigating the bumpy dirt road that leads here, not to mention the large puddles after a rainfall.
Closer to the Dominican Republic than it is to Puerto Rico, Mona Island has inarguably our most secluded beaches. A natural reserve maintained by the Department of Natural Resources, Mona Island is the definition of remote. It’s a five-hour boat ride from Puerto Rico’s west coast, and access to the island is strictly monitored: in other words, you’re guaranteed not to find crowds when you step onto one of its unspoiled beaches.
Welcome to the “other” Galapagos
You might not find other people on this island, but you’re sure to spot the island’s chief resident: the Mona Iguana, a harmless species that can grow to four feet in length.
Bring your snorkeling gear
If you do make the journey to Mona, don’t forget to pack your snorkeling equipment; the crystalline waters here offer some of the best snorkeling in Puerto Rico.
Go with the pros
On a summer weekend, many people head to Cabo Rojo’s Bahía Sucia (“Dirty Bay”) and the gorgeous Playa Sucia. However, to get to this beach, you have to drive past the Cabo Rojo salt flats. If you crave seclusion, stop in at the salt flats and walk along the coast, with nothing before you but the bare landscape of a dry forest and white, cracked earth. You’ll find openings in the scrub with narrow trails leading to miles of beautiful, isolated beachfront.
Beaches and Birds
The salt flats are a prime destination for bird-watching enthusiasts. This is a popular nesting ground and habitat for migratory shore birds including the Snowy Plover, Least Tern, Wilson's Plover, Peregrine Falcon, Yellow-shouldered Blackbird, and Brown Pelican, to name just a few of the 118 species that have been recorded here.
Bring your snorkeling gear
Coral reefs lie just offshore from the beach, making Bahía Salinas a great spot to go swimming and snorkeling. A teeming fish habitat, the area is also a haven for sea turtles.
Sunblock is essential for most beachgoers, but is particularly necessary if you want to explore the salt flats. Also bring bug spray and plenty of water.
To get to Carlos Rosario Beach, you must first travel to Flamenco Beach. From the parking lot at Flamenco, walk to a padlocked gate at its eastern end. Slip through the gate and hike up the trail. In about 20 minutes, you’ll come to a postcard-worthy stretch of golden sand. Welcome to Carlos Rosario Beach.
Watch for flora and fauna
The hike to Carlos Rosario may give you a few pleasant surprises, like bright, blooming flowers, butterflies and even the occasional prancing deer.
Bring your snorkeling gear
Most agree that the reef off Carlos Rosario offers the best snorkeling in Culebra, just a short swim out from the beach.
Stock up at the kiosks
If you plan to spend the day here, make sure to buy ample supplies at the kiosks at Flamenco Beach, including water, towels (if needed), and food. There are no services or stalls (and oftentimes no people) at Carlos Rosario.
When you have to travel to an island, and from there travel to another island, chances are you’re visiting a secluded beach. But that’s the charm of Culebrita, a small cay close to Culebra Island. The amorphously shaped Culebrita offers a handful of lovely destinations, the most famous of which is a crescent of white-sand beach called Playa Tortuga. However, if you prefer the beach less traveled, turn your feet toward the ill-named Trash Beach, a near-twin of Tortuga Beach.
The main difference between Trash Beach and Tortuga Beach is the water. Trash Beach has rough surf and is not recommend for swimming. For sunbathing and views of St. Thomas, however, it can’t be beat.
Unless you charter a boat, the only way to get to Culebrita is by water taxi. Several make the trip from Culebra Island, giving you several hours to enjoy the island before picking you up for the return trip.
Like many beaches on this list, Culebrita is a remote destination with no facilities; its only manmade structure is an abandoned lighthouse; as such, pack all the water, food and accessories you’ll want before making the trip.
Spanish Wall Beach
As a world-famous surf destination, Rincón naturally has its share of beaches, many of which are easily accessible from the road. One of its most popular surfing spots is Domes Beach, which attracts a loyal following every morning during peak surf season. The informed surfers (and beachgoers) also know of a trail at the north end of Domes that leads to another, far less frequented spot around the tip of the coastline called Spanish Wall Beach.
Not just for surfers
Domes and Spanish Wall are justifiably famous for their excellent surfing, but for many months throughout the year (particularly in the summer), these are tranquil beaches that welcome sunbathers rather than surfers.
Gifts from the sea
Among the added benefits of visiting Spanish Wall are the souvenirs that wash up on the beach. This is a great spot to hunt for seashells and sea glass.
Where sea and ocean meet.
Spanish Wall is a favorite destination for surfers because this is where the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet, creating spectacular breaks. From December to March, come and watch the pros test the waters.
Black Sand Beach
Black Sand Beach ranks among the most unique destinations in Vieques, but it’s not easy to find. To get here, you need to drive along Route 201 south, past Route 996, until you pass a small bridge. Stop at the cleared-away area to the side of the road and walk down to a broad dirt trail. Follow the trail to a gorgeous beach where the soft sand is, indeed, black streaked with golden.
Bugs and bug spray
The biggest obstacle to getting here are the cobwebs along the trail and the no-see-ums, or sand flies. Make sure you’ve armed yourself with bug spray before attempting the journey.
What is black sand?
Black sand is evidence of volcanic activity. Many beaches in Puerto Rico have traces of black sand, but none are as striking as Black Sand Beach.
Wear your hiking shoes
Few beaches in Vieques require hiking shoes, but this is one of them. The rough trail, often muddy and strewn with natural debris, is no fun in flip-flops.