What is there to do when you are on a Caribbean island and practically surrounded by beaches? If you’re a perfectly rational human being, then the ideal answer would be to throw off those shoes and go crazy in the water.
In San Juan, Puerto Rico, there’s so much room for beach adventures. For one, the tropical climate is on your side. The average annual temperature is 82 F (28 C) and it almost never goes below 64 F or above 97 F. With a great weather, it’s almost impossible not to enjoy San Juan’s clear waters and white sand.
Isla Verde is the premier beach destination in San Juan. Stretching for miles along the city coastline, Isla Verde Beach lies in front of numerous luxury hotels, condominiums, restaurants, clubs, guesthouses, upscale apartments, parks, and even a cemetery.
Although you can still read or take a nap here, this beach is not your ideal location if you’re looking for a tranquil and deserted getaway. There’s not much crowd on weekdays but people come in droves during the weekends and Isla Verde becomes a hub of water activities. The surf is good enough for body surfing or you can venture further into the sea with parasailing, jetskiing, and water skiing. Nearby sports shops offer equipment for rent. Beachfront hotels and resorts in Isla Verde also feature various facilities for water sports.
Fishing is another popular water sport in San Juan. Most anglers here practice the catch-and-release system though so the farthest you can get for a souvenir catch is a picture of the fish. A common style here is deep sea fishing. The most abundant species in these parts of the Caribbean are allison tuna, sailfish, wahoo, and mackerel. Thanks to the island’s tropical climate, fishing is good all year you have more chances of catching tuna, dolphin, wahoo, sailfish and other species during the months of October to early March.
San Juan has a lot of marine charters that offer a half-day or full day fishing trip. Boats often range from 32-50 feet and can take in about six passengers along with two to four fishing crew. Deep water is close to shore so you can usually start fishing within half an hour of leaving port. A half-day tour package can cost $480-$500, a six-hour trip ranges from $650-$700, and a whole day of fishing costs anywhere from $850 to $1,000. These fees are already inclusive of fishing equipment, beverages, and services of captain and mate.
For those who would rather stay out of deep waters but still want a great fishing experience, light tackle fishing in the bays and lagoons is a good alternative. There are marine charters as well that offer smaller boats, around 16-18 feet, for a half-day or full day trip.
Scuba diving and snorkeling are must-do activities as well in Puerto Rico. The visibility is at least 60 to 75 feet in areas nearer to the beach but it can be up to 100 feet offshore. Diving sites in San Juan feature awe-inspiring marine diversity and picturesque geographical formations. Other impressive dive sites are 50 miles west of Mayaguez, near Desecheo Island off Rincon, off Mona Island, and off Culebra and Vieques. There’s no reason to panic even if you’re a newbie in diving. Some hotels and resorts offer diving lessons for beginners. As for snorkeling, the shallow reefs in San Juan are more than enough to dazzle you with awesome underwater scenery. A good snorkeling location is in the bay marina near the Caribe Hilton hotel.