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 are in the process of repairing them, so the beach is available for use, but the “balneario” part (facilities) are not available. Note 2/15- We recently went and the beach was so-so clean, though no facilities are available.
Note since the original article published, this beach has gone down in quality. While the beach is still pretty, it is not maintained well. Hopefully that will soon be remedied when they complete the construction and officially re-open this balneario.But the scenery is still beautiful! 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 magnicifcent 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.
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).
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.
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. Currently, you need to follow a detour to get to the parking area.
Use this map to locate places mentioned in this article. You can click on a placemark to view the GPS coordinates for that place.
- Playa Puerto Nuevo: (18.492002, -66.398205)