Beaches in Puerto Rico: Balneario Punta Salinas

Where? Balneario Punta Salinas, Toa Baja, Puerto Rico

Note: If you want to visit Puerto Rico right now and don’t know what to do, what you need and where to start, read my blog post titled: “What you need to know if traveling to Puerto Rico “post” the Covid-19 vaccine”.

Click on the picture to get directions from Google Maps.

Address

PR-165, Sábana Seca

Toa Baja, 00949

Views at this beach.

Hours of operation based on our recent visit, July 2021, we were told at the entrance that it’s currently open every day from 8:30 AM until 5:00 PM with a lifeguard, and then is swim at your own risk until 6:00 PM. You can access the official website of the National Parks beaches in Puerto Rico by clicking here. It is in Spanish though. At the moment, we are in what is considered high season. Therefore, the beach is open every day following the hours of operation aforementioned. During low season, from September to April, it opens from Wednesday to Sunday from 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM.

IMPORTANT: We visited this beach on an early morning day during a weekday. The beach wasn’t crowded at all. It was very empty. But this can be totally different during weekends.

Crystal clear water!

Fee We paid $4.00 per car. There’s isn’t a difference in fee between PR residents and visitors. Yay!

Note: If you want to visit Puerto Rico right now and don’t know what to do, what you need and where to start, read my blog post titled: “What you need to know if traveling to Puerto Rico “post” the Covid-19 vaccine”.

Pets No pets allowed! There’s a big sign by the entrance stating so.

Restrooms There are restrooms on site but they were in horrible condition. The day we visited we were told that the maintenance staff wasn’t onsite that day, so there was no one to clean the restrooms. They were so stinky and disgusting that our sphincters were more than capable to hold it.

The arrow points where the entrance to the beach is located. The blue rectangle shows where the Burger King is located.

My advice is that before you enter, go to the restroom at the Burger King right in front of the entrance to the beach (see picture above). When at the beach, don’t go overboard with water and food. The human body can totally survive a couple of hours without too much water and bowel-movement-inducing foods.

Parking available all along most of the sand stretch. It’s not big though. The good thing is that this avoids an overcrowding situation. My advice is to try to park near the showers. You can see them from the parking. That way, you can rinse the sand and salt off before getting in the car. If the restrooms were decent, I would suggest to park near them. But this is not the case!

Yes, this is how pretty it looks, even on a nice semi-cloudy day.

What to expect

The sand stretch is long enough to allow you to keep your distance and enjoy some space just for yourself. There are many palm trees offering shade and an opportunity to hang a hammock, which we did, of course!

My parents enjoying retirement from a hammock.

After entering the park, you’ll notice that on the left side of the road is the sand stretch where people go to swim and relax. While on the right side of the road, people gather for fishing. That right side is open sea, which means that a swimming boundary hasn’t been designated. There aren’t any ropes and the waves are more active.

Satellite view courtesy of Google Maps

At the end of the sand stretch, next to the swimming area, there’s a kayak rental. Their current fees are $20.00 for 30 minutes/two person kayak.

The kayak rental is located on the far end of this sand stretch. Also, the island on the far end to the left is Isla de las Palomas.

Food

We saw one food kiosk on site. And by food kiosk I mean, a person under a tent selling fried appetizers displayed on a table. Therefore, if you plan on staying long enough that you’ll get very hungry, consider bringing your own food. Just remember the crappy restroom situation. There’s fast foods, like the Burger King mentioned before, near by and local renowned places such as Burger Town and Lemy Bakery.

Even if the food situation is limited, we were thrilled when an ice cream vendor walked past us. This took me all the way back to my childhood when vendors like this were a common thing in beaches and town events!

It was such an amazing treat. These “ice creams” are actually traditional sorbets made of flavors like coconut and passion fruit. My kid wanted rainbow though!

Pristine Water Although I lived in Puerto Rico for 27 years, this was the first time I visited this beach. All thanks to my sister who is an avid roadtripper!

I was amazed by how pretty the water was. You normally see beaches like this on the west coast. So, finding a beach in the San Juan metro area that looks this good is a true treasure find!

This beach is under the management of the municipality of Toa Baja. It’s also registered as a “balneario” which is similar to State Park status in the mainland. The office responsible for oversight is the “Compañía de Parques Nacionales de Puerto Rico”. It’s important to note that “balnearios” in Puerto Rico have facilities such as restrooms and showers but most aren’t as developed as the facilities at state parks in the mainland. Keep your expectations low and you won’t be disappointed!

Balneario de Punta Salinas is approximately a 30 minute drive from Old San Juan and about 40 minutes from the airport. But be advised, this can decrease or increase greatly depending on the time of the day. Distances in the island are short, but roads are not in the best shape and traffic is heavy.

Kid friendly This beach is perfect for little kids (and big ones too!). It’s very shallow and calm. You can let your child play in the water without having to worry too much.

It’s great for relaxing on an inflatable because the water is very calm. You won’t be dragged very far. Also, there’s a rope delimiting the safe swimming zone.

Don’t forget to bring the following essentials:

Sunscreen anytime you will be exposed to the sun you should wear sunscreen. Follow the instructions for application to allow it to dry and if you have the means, please use a sunscreen that is labeled reef safe. You can read more about it here.

Hat consider getting a hat from a local vendor in the island.

Floaters and Beach toys there’s plenty of stores to get floaters and beach toys such as big retailers like Walmart, Walgreens, CVS and local stores like Capri, Always 99 (similar to Dollar Tree) and more!

Hammocks, beach chairs and whatever else that will make you happy!

I have a portable hammock like this one that I enjoy a lot. It’s very easy to set up and carry everywhere.

I hope you have a great time visiting this beautiful place. Being in contact with nature is proven to make you feel better and happier. Let me know if you go how it goes and remember that the easiest way to stay on the loop is to follow me on insta, where I also share videos and more on my stories/highlights!

Please, share with your family and friends and comment below, and/or send me an email/message with suggestions of what else you would like to see here. I want this page to be as helpful as possible. Thanks for reading!

Note: If you want to visit Puerto Rico right now and don’t know what to do, what you need and where to start, read my blog post titled: “What you need to know if traveling to Puerto Rico “post” the Covid-19 vaccine”.

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