Puerto Rico, Vega Alta, Cerro Gordo, Waves on the beach

Getty Images/Purestock

Playa de Cerro Gordo

North Coast

Lying at the end of Hwy 690, this charming palm-dotted expanse of sand has had several million dollars pumped into the expansion of its tourist facilities by the government. Restrooms, showers, fire pits and the like complement the beach, but the place is nevertheless often deserted. Camping is possible here, and several hiking trails and a mountain-bike route lead off from the eastern end of the beach.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby North Coast attractions

1. Balneario Manuel Morales

3.78 MILES

This is a little-advertised public beach in Dorado where you can swim. At the end of Rte 697, it’s an OK bit of sand surrounded by rocky outcrops, but it…

2. Museo de Arte e Historia de Dorado

5.38 MILES

This neatly renovated museum gives you the rundown on local history and archaeology, including findings from excavations at the nearby Ojo del Buey beach.

3. Balneario el Ojo del Buey

5.39 MILES

Calle 13 on the eastern side of Dorado terminates in a tan-colored stretch of tree-backed sand, and is freer from beachgoers than Balneario Manuel Morales…

4. Museo y Centro Cultural Casa del Rey

5.43 MILES

This museum is set in an old Spanish garrison dating from 1823, making it the town's oldest surviving building. It was also once the home of Puerto Rican…

5. Laguna Tortuguero

5.89 MILES

This lagoon is one of only two natural lakes in Puerto Rico, making its protection extra precious. It is also one of the most ecologically diverse areas…

6. Playa Tortuguero

7.69 MILES

A narrow road (Hwy 6671) squeezes between Laguna Tortuguero and the Atlantic, passing through coastal forest a few kilometers northeast of Manatí. Here is…

7. Playa Mar Chiquita

9.58 MILES

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…

8. Punta Salinas

10.11 MILES

Toa Alta’s beach, Punta Salinas, lies about 12km east of Dorado on Rte 165. It’s got food kiosks, lifeguards, restrooms and basketball courts.