Masks Required (updated 13 Jan 2022)
😷 Indoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public indoor spaces 😷 Outdoors - Masks covering mouth & nose are required for everyone 2 years old and older, regardless of vaccination status, in public outdoor spaces where you cannot socially distance, or where there are 50 or more people
Busness Closure & Dry Law (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 All businesses that serve the public must remain closed from midnight until 5am. Exceptions to closure include supermarkets, gas stations, pharmacies, health facilities, hospitals, among others. Restaurants, clubs, bars, etc ARE closed midnight to 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
🍺 Dry Law (no sale nor public consumption of alcohol) is in effect from midnight until 5am. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per executive order EO-2021-086, and extended by EO-2022-002.
Restaurants, Bars & other Food Establishments (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🍔 ALL CUSTOMERS (2 years old and older) must show proof of vaccination or negative COVID test results - In order to be admitted to food establishments you are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival at the restaurant, or (c) evidence of positive test in last 3 months along with documentation proving your recovery. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per executive order EO-2021-081.
👪 The capacity of "any place that serves (and people consume) drinks or prepared food" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to restaurants, bars, theaters, food courts, etc. Effective through at least 02 February 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Stores, Offices & similar places that serve the public indoors (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🛒 The capacity in all facilities that "serve the public indoors" will be limited to 75%. This applies to stores, malls, offices, etc. Effective 17 Jan 2022 through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2022-002.
Hotels, Resorts & other Lodging (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏨 In order to check-in to any lodging facility (short-term rentals, AirBNB, hotels, resorts, etc), all members of your party (5 years old and older) are required to show either (a) vaccination card showing that you are "fully vaccinated", (b) negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 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. Per executive order EO-2021-062 and EO-2021-075.
Tours & Excursions (updated 13 Jan 2022)
⛵ Tour operators may require proof of vaccination or negative test results to participate. Check with the operator to make sure you have what they require.
Events, Stadiums & Theaters (updated 13 Jan 2022)
🏟️ All attendees at group activities of less than 250 people at facilities that encourage crowding, indoor or outdoor, must show proof of vaccination OR negative test (molecular or antigen) results of test administered by an authorized health provider no more than 48 prior to arrival at the event. Facilities include theaters, amphitheaters, stadiums, conference and activity centers, and any other place where events are held. This applies to everyone 5 years old and older. Kids under the age of 5 are not permitted to attend these events at all. Effective 22 December 2021, per EO-2021-080, and modified by EO-2022-002
👪 The capacity of "event or activity venues" will be limited to 50% if indoors, or 75% if outdoors/open-air. This applies to stadiums, coliseums, convention centers, theaters, etc. Effective through at least 02 Feb 2022, per EO-2021-085 and extended by EO-2022-002.
Cruise Ship Passengers (updated 30 Dec 2021)
🚢 All cruise ship passengers and crew who wish to disembark in Puerto Rico must be fully vaccinated, and must have a negative molecular or antigen COVID test performed within 48 hours before disembarking in PR. All passengers and crew who test positive, or have been in close contact to someone who has tested positive, will not be permitted to disembark in Puerto Rico, regarless of vaccination status.
Air Travelers Arriving in Puerto Rico (updated 20 Dec 2021)
✈️ DOMESTIC TRAVELERS (effective 27 Dec 2021, per EO-2021-081)
All DOMESTIC travelers (2 years old and older) arriving in Puerto Rico are are required to show BOTH
  1. negative COVID test results from test administerd by an authorized health provider no more than 48 hours prior to arrival in PR AND
  2. 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.
  • If you do not have your test results upon arrival, you have 48 hours to produce those results, or you will be fined $300 per person.
  • If you are un-vaccinated, you are required to quarantine for 7 days, even if you have negative test results.
✈️ INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS (effective 06 Dec 2021, per CDC)
All INTERNATIONAL air passengers, regardless of vaccination status, must show (before boarding flight to the US) a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 1 day before travel to the US. This applies to all travelers, 2 years old and up, flying from INTERNATIONAL (outside of the US) destinations. Flights between Puerto Rico and the States are domestic flights, so this does not apply to travelers arriving in Puerto Rico from the States.
📄 ALL TRAVELERS arriving in Puerto Rico are required to submit a travel declaration upon arrival via the PR Government Travel Safe website. This is where you will upload your COVID vaccination card and/or negative COVID test results.

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.

Click on a placename 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 →

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