Hurricane Sam (updated 24 Sep 2021 @ 8am)
📍 Hurricane Sam is expected to strengthen to a "major" hurricane (Category 3) on Friday night or Saturday. The current forecast projection has the storm passing to the northeast of Puerto Rico. We will be keeping an eye on this system over coming days to monitor its development.
🌊 Expect storm surge from the hurricane to affect our beaches, especially on the north and east sides of the island, during the first half of the coming week.
🌦️ Keep an eye on our weather page for updates from the National Hurricane Center
Temporary Mandates from 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 (updated 20 Sep 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces, and in outdoor spaces where 50 or more people are gathered.
🛒 Restaurants, bars, and stores must remain closed from 12 midnight to 5am. This limitation does not apply to supermarkets, pharmacies, gas stations, food take out and delivery, or healthcare.
🍺 Alcohol cannot be sold anywhere, nor consumed in public, from 12 midnight to 5am.
🚩 Effective 02 Sep to 14 Oct 2021 per executive order EO-2021-065. Note that this executive order was extended until 14 Oct on 20 Sep.
Current COVID-19 Mandates, with no end date (updated 30 Aug 2021)
😷 Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone, regardess of vaccination status, in public, indoor spaces.
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older. If you are unvaccinated and staying more than a week, you are required to show new negative test results weekly. Effective 16 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-062.
🍔 In order to be admitted to a bunch of different places (restaurants, bars, theaters, tours, excursions, casinos, etc) you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Other types of businesses may, at their option, require this documention to access their facility.This applies to all people 12 (twelve) years old and older. Effective 23 Aug 2021 per executive order EO-2021-063.
✈️ All domestic travelers arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test results of test administered no more than 72 hours prior to your arrival, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. This applies to all people 2 (two) years old and older.If you are un-vaccinated and do not have negative results when you arrive to PR, you have 48 hours to produce those results. Otherwise you will be fined $300 per person. See the PR Government Travel Safe site for details, and to submit your contact tracing information

An (Almost) Perfect Public Beach in Condado

Playita de Condado

I assume most people come on vacation to an island because they want to spend time on a beach. But many tourists that come to Puerto Rico end up staying in the San Juan tourism area (Isla Verde, Ocean Park, Condado), where the beaches are nice, but not great. Some have rough waves and, toward the Condado end, some serious undertow. They can also be windy — a windsurfer’s paradise — so you can get some serious dermal abrasion along with your suntan!

But the locals know about a great little calm-water beach and I will let you in on the secret … it’s Playita de Condado. This small, public beach is at the western end of the Condado area, just east of the bridge on Ashford Avenue. It is protected from most of the strong winds by the hotels (though there is still a nice breeze to help keep you cool). The water is usually calm because there is a coral rock formation to break the waves. The shallow water is warm and clear. The beach is fine, golden sand. There are trees lining the back of the beach, providing lots of shady spots in the morning and early afternoon. There are life guards on duty during the day, outdoor showers for rinsing off (post Maria update- shower area not open), and there are usually vendors selling food and drinks. It is a nice beach for the whole family.

A Recent Visit

Peacock Flounder

We went on a Saturday morning, got a nice spot in the shade and spent some time snorkeling. The snorkeling wasn’t very good — mainly sea grass and silty corals, but there were some fish and some live corals. We saw barracuda, peacock flounder (one was on one of the artificial reefs they put in place to encourage more fish/corals), bluehead wrasse, sergeant majors, and yellow tail snappers. If you happen to have snorkel gear with you, you can go in and see what you find. But I would not rent snorkel gear just to snorkel here.

Playita de Condado is actually the beach the used by guests staying at the Condado Plaza Hilton, so their staff helps keep this beach clean. They also will rent lounge chairs to anyone for $5/day and umbrellas for $11/day. They have a Water Sports facility where you can rent snorkel gear or kayaks. I found the beach "guard" and the chair steward to be helpful in answering my questions. I am almost sure they would let you use the hotel bathrooms if you needed (and I bet a few bucks tip wouldn’t hurt either!).

What’s Not To Like?

It sounds almost perfect, right? Well … OK … it does have some flaws. First, the beach is small, so it could get really crowded (especially on summer weekends). But, if you go mid-day during the week, it would be less crowded.

Blue-striped grunts

The beach is on the street (Ashford Avenue), so there is a lot of traffic going by. Also, in my opinion, the road, bridge and construction being done in the area are ugly.

But if you sit away from the road and look only out to the ocean, it is beautiful. You just have to work around the flaws and you can really have a nice time.

There is supposed to be a life guard there (and I have seen one on other occasions), just not the Saturday in August when we went. Go figure! SO swim/snorkel are your own risk.

The Details

The beach is "open" during daylight hours.

If you’re driving there, you can park in the Condado Plaza Hilton parking deck. The entrance to the parking deck is near the pedestrian bridge that crosses Ashford Avenue by the hotel.

Playita del Condado is located on Ashford Avenue, between the Condado Plaza Hilton and the Ashford Avenue bridge. It’s an easy taxi ride from Old San Juan and Isla Verde. If you’re on a cruise ship in port for the day, grab a taxi and ask him to drop you off at the Condado Plaza hotel.

We are in the process of updating the maps we use on our web site. While we're working on that, you can click on the GPS coordinates below to view the location on Google Maps ...

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 3 comments on this article. Add to the Discussion »

Yes, it is allowed to use metal detectors on the beaches here.

Comment by Gwenn on 09 Nov 2015

can I bring my metal detector for use on the beach

Comment by Gerry Haliburda on 09 Nov 2015

Thank you so much.I was looking for information about La Playita. My family loves to snorckle. Even if it is a small beach we can still try .

Comment by Bea on 20 Dec 2011

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