Balneario Escambrón

Top choice beach in San Juan & Around

Image by Melissa Alvarado Sierra Lonely Planet

A sheltered arc of raked sand, decent surf breaks, plenty of local action and a 17th-century Spanish fort shimmering in the distance are the hallmarks of this fine beach only a stone's throw from Old San Juan and the busy tourist strip of Condado. Best of all, it's often uncrowded.

Perched on the northern end of the slither of land that is Puerta de Tierra, it abuts majestic Parque del Tercer Milenio. This palm-fringed yet rugged beach just might be one of the best municipal options offered anywhere. There are lifeguards, restrooms, gear rental stands and snack bars, along with a large parking lot.