Playa Puerto Nuevo – Another Beautiful Beach

NOTE: With the rough weather we had in early 2010, there were massive waves that came up and over the wavebreaks and destroyed the buildings and parking areas. They have finished repairing/replacing the facilities in 2015. Note 5/15- We recently went and the beach has been cleaned and the bathrooms and showers are open.

Playa Puerto Nuevo

Playa Puerto Nuevo is another must-visit beach. I would have to say it is on my Top-10 list of beaches in Puerto Rico.

Located on the north coast, in Vega Baja, about 45 minutes west of San Juan, it is just beautiful. Sometimes called the Balneario of Vega Baja, or Balneario Puerto Nuevo, it is has something for everyone.

The Beach & Facilities

The beach is golden sand and is protected from the violent northern swells by huge limestone rocks. The rock outcroppings act a as a wave break, but also offer magnificent views and photo opportunities.

These rocks make for 2 types of water fun. First, there is a nice natural pozo or pool that is gently filled and flushed constantly with the wave action. The water in this pool is almost always calm. It is shallow on the edges and deeper in the middle. Second, there is the beach on the left that is open to the ocean, however one side is a cove protected by the limestone rocks. Go to the west (left) for more wave action.

Playa Puerto Nuevo

The limestone rocks are beautiful and they call out for you to climb them to get some beautiful photos. But you need to be careful. Huge waves do occasionally crash over them. Check YouTube for some amazing (and scary) videos of this beach in the Spring of 2010.

If you want to climb on the rocks and explore, be very aware of waves conditions, wear sturdy shoes (the rocks are sharp) and do so at your own risk.

There are picnic tables, bathrooms, lifeguards, parking, showers, a playground and food kiosks. And, because it is a balneario, water quality is monitored by la Junta de Calidad Ambiental (Board of Environmental Quality).

Playa Puerto Nuevo

Like many beaches on the island, there were a large number of stray dogs hanging around. And we saw some broken bottles in the sand. So watch your step!

For beachcombers, I did find some sea glass and nice sea shells on the beach.

I did not get in the water with my snorkel gear, but I saw a number of fish in the pool and around the rocks.

Details

It can get crowded, especially on weekends and in summer.

Playa Puerto Nuevo is about a 45-minute drive from the San Juan area.

The beach is located on Route 686 at the intersection with Route 692 in Vega Baja. There is a Parking area at the Balneario for $3 per car, but there are many parking spots outside the balneario gates where people park and walk in for free. But it is good to help support the salaries of cleaning staff and maintenance of the beach by paying the parking fee.

Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.

PuertoRicoDayTrips.com assumes no responsibility regarding your safety when participating in the activities described in this article. Please use common sense! If your mother or that little voice in your head tells you that you are about to do something stupid … then don't do it! Read more about Safety →

Comments & Discussion Leave a Comment »

There are 7 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

I've been to this beach, and while it's beautiful from a distance, a closer inspection will reveal trash, including sharp broken glass, both on the beach and in the water. Moreover, the river about a mile away throws all kinds of trash onto this beach - and that must include the bacteria that goes with it.

Comment by J on 08 Jan 2012

Yes, we were just here a few weeks ago. Unfortunately, due to the construction, they have stopped the services of the balneario-so there are no facilities and no one is cleaning the beach. The waves do wash up a lot of trash and debris. But luckily, the water is still monitored for bacteria by the JCA, so you check here: http://www.puertoricodaytrips.com/beaches-101/ to make sure water quality is good.

Comment by Gwenn on 10 Jan 2012

QThis was one of the most beautiful beach in Puerto Rico, I don't know why the mayor don't get it fix. A n d bring back the kiosk,so people can enjoy the beauty of it. politics in P R sucks.

Comment by manny on 02 Aug 2014

Do not go there!! It is still in bad shape. Very dirty and sharp glass all over the sand. Not to mention stray dogs all over the place. With that comes the dog poop everywhere... The area looks very shady with a lot of abandoned homes. It's very sad being that it is such a beautiful beach!! All I was able to do was take a few pictures.

Comment by E.M. on 01 Dec 2014

That makes me very sad. I really love that beach. Yes, the area around it is not great- I assume the huge waves that destroyed the original beach buildings also destroyed these. They just don't take care of the beach in the winter months. And so many stray dogs, breaks my heart. I haven't been there in a while, I was just thinking about heading out there to see the waves coming over the rocks...the pictures can be great.

Comment by Gwenn on 06 Dec 2014

We visited this beach on Sunday, 12/7/14, after we learned that Playa Cerro Gordo in Vega Alta was closed to swimmers due to water contamination. Playa Puerto Nuevo made for a fun day for me and my family, though there were with some caveats. It definitely could use some picking up. There was a fair amount of glass, trash, animal droppings and a stray, mangy dog on the beach. There are a number of bathrooms, perhaps with showers, but they were all closed. There is a very handsome, large, new beach house/administrative building(?) along with maybe some planned kiosks or something between the parking lot and the beach, but it was all fenced in. I'm guessing the same reason the beach has not been kept clean is why there is a huge beach house not being used. Likely the municipality ran out of money or theyñre waiting until summer. In any event, the kids had fun swimming on both the open beach and more so on the warm water cove side. I'm guessing the bacteria count was high in the cove, but the splashing waves were impressive and there were some unexpected snorkeling opportunities around the cove. A fair number of folks, mostly locals, enjoying the beach. Four officers on horseback came through around midday. A little care and maybe an admission fee would turn this into a really amazing beach.

Comment by Peter on 07 Dec 2014

The beach located in Vega Baja, PR is very beautiful. Certain areas are very calm and gorgeous. Please do not go to the top of the mountains where the rocks are located. The rocks are very slippery. The waves that splash over the mountains are about 15 feet high. It may cause you to slip and fall. On the other side of the mountain deep down into the ocean there is a world pool. Stay away from this these rocks many people have lost their lives here. If you come to this beach stay please stay in the shallow end of the beach. Beautiful looks are very deceiving.

Comment by Beautiful But Deceiving on 19 Mar 2015

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