Lining the coast along Avenida Isla Verde just beyond the headland, ISLA VERDE is another brash resort of malls, self-contained hotels and international restaurants. While this resembles southern Florida more than Puerto Rico, the palm-fringed beach is the best in the city. It’s wide with fine sand and gentle waves and the proximity of so many stylish hotels and beach bars creates a party atmosphere at the weekends, attracting a diverse crowd of well-heeled locals, reggaetón fans and plenty of cocktail-sipping tourists.
The beach can be accessed via passages between the condos, or Calle Tartak halfway along. Once here, you can hire loungers for $4 (umbrellas for $10). Further east, beyond the Courtyard hotel, the beach merges into the Balneario de Carolina, the most popular public beach for local families. Though there are showers here and weekend volleyball tournaments, the beach is otherwise marred by the steel poles sticking into the water (to deter jet skis) and the jets taking off from the airport across the road. From here it’s a short bus ride into Piñones.