If you’re looking for a beautiful, clean and safe beach right next to the Isla Verde hotel district then “Balneario de Carolina”, also known among the locals as “Isla Verde” and “Boca de Cangrejos”, is the beach for you.
First of all, it’s close. In fact, you could almost walk there if you were staying at one of the Isla Verde hotels. But most importantly, it’s excellent! In fact, it’s one of Puerto Rico’s blue flag beaches, so you’ll know that it’s clean, safe, has plenty of lifeguards and all the facilities.
If there’s one thing that distinguishes this beach from most others in Puerto Rico is its size. This place is huge. It stretches out about two miles parallel to the original Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport runway, so —yes— you will hear the airplanes every time they land or take off. That can be annoying.
Otherwise this beach is wonderful. The surf is just right, the sand is a wonderful light tan color and there are plenty of trees to protect yourself from the hot Caribbean sun.
Like all other beaches in Puerto Rico “Balneario de Carolina” belongs to the people of Puerto Rico. However, the term “balneario” is reserved only for government-run beaches. Other beaches throughout the Island might be just as beautiful, but they have no lifeguards, no buoys, no parking, no showers, no concession stands and in some cases no shade. So that little word “balneario” makes a world of difference. Oh, and did I mention that you’ll pay a $4 per car entrance fee? But hey, I think it’s more than worth it!!!
Now, Puerto Ricans love the beach. That’s why the fact that all beaches in Puerto Rico belong to the people is even consecrated in the Island’s constitution. Seriously. I’m not joking. On weekends and public holidays you’ll find them with their barbecues, their music, their hammocks and all their buddies, soaking in the rays and having fun. But during weekdays it’s a different story, and you’ll probably have the place all to yourself.