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Puerto Rico is a small island that spans roughly 35 miles from north to south and 100 miles from west to east. The most visited area, of course, is around San Juan but the most beautiful beaches are actually on the west coast of the island. The Caribbean side is home to the calmest, bluest water ever! More than beaches, you can also find some beautiful ruins that will take you back in time. Follow the below itinerary as you make your way north on the west coast of the island and enjoy all of the stops!

Playita Rosada opens at 9 am and is one of the coolest man-made “beaches” we’ve ever seen. That part of the coastline doesn’t have a sandy area, the land abruptly cuts off into the ocean, so the locals improvised and built a long pier that opens up into a “pool.” The docks open up into a large square with 2 staircases leading into the water. Visitors can lay out on the dock and swim in the roughly 5-foot deep water. Right next to the beach is the picnic area fully equipped with grills and tables.

The Pink Salt Flats are one of Puerto Rico’s beautiful natural treasures and one of the most scenic stops on the west coast of the island. Take a walk down the stone path and take in the natural ecosystems surrounding the area.

Although Flamenco Beach grabbed the award for top 5 beaches in the world, we think Playa Buyé was snubbed. The water is clear blue, warm like a bath, with calm waves, and hugs the shore of a white sandy beach lined with palm trees. The further down the shore you go, the more quiet and pristine the area. Plop your towel under the shade and let the sound of the water lure you away from your troubles.

Crash Boat is not as pristine as Buyé by far, however, the longboat dock makes for a cool jumping board and the locals really love this beach. Here you’ll find food vendors set up at the entrance serving chicken skewers and other fun snacks. Enjoy a drink and hang with the people for an authentic Puerto Rican vibe.

On the edge of a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean stand the ruins of a once beautiful lighthouse. Originally erected to help ships find their way safely to shore, today all that is left are a few brick walls and some piles of rock. The beach is secluded and beautiful but NOT for swimming. The waves are a bit strong and all along the shore are brittle rocks that will absolutely leave you with several tiny, annoying splinters.

Also known as Pirates Cove, legend has it that pirates used to come ashore here and conduct their illegal affairs. Perfectly situated in between rock hills, it’s impossible to enter the cove from the ocean without being seen. The ruins of the stone fort where the pirates used to hide still stand overlooking the ocean and the beach is perfectly nestled away for privacy.Note: There is one very narrow and steep road that goes in and out of the beach. You must drive slowly otherwise it is very dangerous and it does take some time for ambulances to get there.

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