Discover White Sand Beaches in Ceiba
When it comes to beaches, I like white sand and clear, blue water. But white sand is not all that common on an island like Puerto Rico that was created by a volcano and tectonic plate collisions.
Most of the beaches on the big island are cream or beige colored, with the occasional black sand beach. The white sand beaches are usually only found on coral islands off the coast.
So imagine my surprise when we went to Playa Los Machos and Playa Medio Mundo … and discovered two more white sand beaches on the big island!
We spent a day driving around the east part of the island between Fajardo, Ceiba, and Naguabo. We were really excited to find these two beaches
Both Los Machos and Medio Mundo beaches are located in Ceiba, on the east coast of Puerto Rico.
To get to these beaches from the north east, take Route 3 toward Ceiba … for the most part, you’ll want to follow signs toward the Ceiba Airport. You’ll see a huge "Welcome to Ceiba" sign, with arrows pointing toward beaches and airport. Turn off of Route 3 there, onto Tarawa Drive. That road leads to the gate for (the old) Roosevelt Roads navy Base. You’ll be looking for Calle 5 on the left, which is just before the gate into Roosevelt Roads.
If you follow Calle 5 straight to the end, you get to the boat ramp and pier (which is posted as no longer usable), a restaurant (open on weekends). You’ll also find local fishermen, with their boats and Pescaderia Machos, where you can buy fresh-catch from the local fishermen.
We walked around this area, taking some pictures, and we walked out on the long pier. From there, we could see the beach calling us, so we got back in the car. There is a small road that turns off of Calle 5 and that leads to Playa Los Machos.
Playa Los Machos
Playa Los Machos means "Men’s Beach" in English. It’s a very long, and wide (maybe 30 or 40 feet wide), white sand beach. There is a huge (free) parking lot, and also some picnic pavilions that you can use, with BBQ grills, but no tables or chairs. There are no other facilities.
It was a very "natural beach" — meaning it had seaweed and sea grass in places. I hear it can have a lot of seaweed at certain times of year, due to weather and seasonal conditions.
It was a beautiful, large, cove-shape that looked wonderfully inviting … but be careful! There are no life guards and it has been noted that there can be hazardous water conditions at Playa Los Machos, so swimming there is not recommended.
We walked to the far south end of the beach, where the mangroves start, where we found another little cove. But, unfortunately, there was a lot of trash there that had either washed up, or was left behind by other people using the area.
Playa Medio Mundo
At the south end of the parking lot, we noticed a path that leads into the mangrove forest — of course we had to check it out.
It was not long trail, but would not be fun to try carrying all your beach gear. Mosquito repellent would have been a good idea, but we were not prepared.
After a while, we came to a sign indicating that we had entered Playa Medio Mundo, which is one of the properties managed by El Fideicomiso de Conservación de Puerto Rico (the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico).
Playa Medio Mundo means "Half World Beach" in English, most likely named for the shape of the cove. It’s another very long, though narrow (maybe 10 feet wide), white sand beach.
We took a long walk on this beautiful, deserted beach, just admiring the sand and blue water. There are no facilities of any kind at this beach.
I walked about 40 feet out into the water, and it was still less than mid-thigh deep! Both of these are really just lovely beaches to sit at the shore and admire the beauty.
These beaches are located close to the
José Aponte de la Torre Airport in Ceiba. While we were at the beach, a few little puddle-jumper planes flew directly overhead — taking off and landing. It was neat to see them fly so close and low — just above the treetops!
Occasionally, there are kayak tours sponsored by the Sierra Club or operated by kayak companies (like Island Kayaking Adventures) that explore these beaches, the surrounding areas, and go out near Piñeiro Island for snorkel trips.
There are no lifeguards at either of these beaches. Surf conditions can be rough and unpredictable in this area. Swimming at these beaches is not recommended (though people do it all the time).
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.