An anomaly among Puerto Rican beaches, Playa Mar Chiquita isn’t alongside a main thoroughfare, has no long strand and isn’t good for swimming or surfing. Still, the pure drama of this place makes it a favorite. Two rearing coral formations protect a small, shallow cove and tidal pools from the rage of the Atlantic, which sprays foam in unpredictable bursts. It's no undiscovered gem, however, and crowds do descend to knock back icy beer and snack at the food stands.
This spectacular spot is about surveying the majestic might of the ocean, chilling on the small sandy area with a book, or picnicking alongside Puerto Rican families. There are also caves along this stretch of coast, though it can be almost impossible to see them from land.
There’s a barely visible sign to the beach off Hwy 685, about 3km north of Manatí and just beyond the entrance to the town of Boquillas. If you miss the sign, go north on Hwy 648 (about 1.5km east of Boquillas). This road takes you over a steep hill to the beach.