A trip to the Caribbean means water, at least for our family. We pack just one or two outfits for the trip and plan on spending the entire time in our swimsuits covered in sand. We might leave for an hour or two to get some food, but all that is second to jumping over waves, digging holes in the sand to reach water, getting buried neck deep in warm sand granules and most importantly, searching for seashells. We found the perfect family beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico at Balneario El Escambron Beach.
► Ranking: #cleandiaper
Balneario El Escambron Beach
San Juan, 00901
Phone: 1 787-480-2602
This family beach in San Juan is touted as the best there is. It’s close to Old San Juan, near restaurants, and boasts a family friendly atmosphere and culture.
During our afternoon spent at Balneario El Escambron Beach we took an Uber from our hotel in the City Center. We first stopped and ate lunch at El Hamburguer and then made our way down the hill to the beach entrance. We passed by a beautiful mosaic tile sidewalk that spanned the entire length of the city block and was filled with vibrant colors and images. It felt like a scene out of a old romantic movie as we strolled down the sidewalk hand in hand.
Balneario El Escambron Beach is a preferred family beach in San Juan because it has an enclosed reef swimming area. The coral rocks form a semi circle around the swimming area eliminating the harsh waves and providing calm waters for swimmers, and an enclosure for snorkelers to enjoy the aquatic life.
In addition to the beautiful beach and gorgeous views that extend to the horizon, Balneario El Escambron Beach also offers bathrooms, showers, and garbages. There are shaded areas with towering trees to hang a hammock and escape the hot sun with a picnic. Lifeguards are on duty during the afternoon hours.
The beach is accessible by foot, but parking at Balneario El Escambron Beach is just $5. There is a paved pathway that will lead you back to the city center in one direction, or to Old San Juan in the other direction.
This was Miss Molasses first time in the ocean. The water was warm, the sun was a temperate 80°, she took a nap on the beach with a sarong for a blanket, and splashed in the water with a giddy smile on her face. The children collected seashells and we swam out as far as we could, until we couldn’t touch the soft sand underfoot anymore.
► For Kids: This family beach in San Juan offers all the amenities that a family would need for a day at the beach, minus a restaurant. It’s extra awesome for less than great swimmers as the waves are mitigated by the coral reef enclosure; this also makes it great for snorkelers so bring your gear. Strangers are friendly and everyone shares the beach together. Worldschooling opportunities present themselves at Balneario El Escambron Beach in the form of marine biology, ecology and geology.
Our day at Balneario El Escambron Beach taught us something else too. In fact, we witnessed something that has never happened to our family during our nearly 8 years of traveling. We witnessed the tragic event of a man who perished while snorkeling in the reef. This experience impacted our family greatly as it did to every single person on the beach that day, no doubt. We wrote about this tragedy, how our children were affected and what questions we grappled with as a family in a separate post.
► Nap-Time Version: Balneario El Escambron Beach is a fabulous family beach in San Juan that gets our vote as one of the best ways to spend the afternoon in Puerto Rico.
Check out our reviews of El Hamburguer, and another little beach we loved in Vieques that had Black Sand (coming soon)!