- Puerto Rico
- Chanel Mowatt
Isla Verde is the enchanting resort strip of San Juan and is known for its beautiful beaches. Despite having such a great beach area, Isla Verde – which translates to “Green Island” – offers some beautiful nature to see too. These are a few of the things you must experience in Isla Verde.
Isla Verde Beach
Many people come to Isla Verde just to visit this beach since it is one of the best on the entire island. With shade from the trees, plenty of local spots to eat, parking and shower areas, it’s no wonder it’s a popular spot on the island. The strip runs all the way from the Isla Verde hotels to a public beach with soft, white sand rivaling what you’d find on Condado Beach.
San Juan Waterfun
San Juan Waterfun, located on Isla Verde Beach in front of the El San Juan Hotel & Casino, gives you a chance to use Wave-runners™, banana boats and para-sails. If it’s fun that can be on the water, then San Juan Water offers it at reasonable prices with assistance including small catamarans, jet skis, water skis and knee boards.
All of the local hotels can help you arrange a dive trip right off Isla Verde. Guides can teach techniques for mask and snorkel clearing that will help during the actual snorkel session. They also can help identify camouflaged species that you’d miss without their help. If you have a camera that can be used underwater this is a great opportunity to use it as you snap pictures of beautiful starfish and bright fish.
A few miles away from the beautiful Isla Verde Beach is Carolina Beach. Tourists typically don’t visit it, but it’s a fan favorite among locals. Carolina is one of two public beaches in San Juan and has beautiful white sand. It’s easily accessible by taxi or car incase you don’t want to walk and has necessary beach facilities like lifeguards and restrooms. Enjoy a coconut underneath the shade of a palm tree.
If you continue driving east along the beach you’ll arrive at Piñones. This area is favored by the locals for being more natural and has mangroves as well as a lot of vegetation. If you’re looking to try some authentic Puerto Rican fried finger food you’ll find it here. You can ride bikes – rentals available – on the boardwalk or you could just walk with the views of the beach and forest.
Café La Plage
If you get a bit hungry after your long day, give Café La Plage a chance. If you are able to get brunch there during your day at the beach, not only will you be served great country style omelettes or brioche but they’ll give you a table on the beach. When it’s dark, the café plays European and Latin American films such as The Motorcycle Diaries, Y Tu Mamá También, and Volver on the large, beachside white wall above the bar. Reserve your beach bed early to guarantee you’ll be comfortable.
Mist Club Lounge
Mist is a hot spot for locals and tourists alike. Mist has comfortable seating for rooftop relaxation, a skyline swimming pool, signature drinks and an Caribbean-Italian–Spanish fusion menu. The menu includes Socializers, small plates to share food – a perfect accompaniment to their fruity cocktails. Local and international DJ’s help set the mood all night long.
Lupi’s offers a delicious fusion of Puerto Rican and Mexican fare at very reasonable prices. Most of their entrees can be made vegetarian if you make a request. Their cocktails are dangerously delicious, and very reasonable for their large size (sip them slowly!). A Spring Break like crowd often visits Lupi’s and instantly makes the place come alive.
El San Juan Hotel & Casino
A sparkling crystal chandelier and tuxedoed waiters greet you upon entering El San Juan’s Casino. As one of the most impressive casinos in Isla Verde, you can expect an overall glamorous experience during your trip here. Open from noon until 3am every day, the casino resembles a classic European casino with 336 slot machines and 27 table games.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Casino
Not only is this the largest casino in the Caribbean, but it’s open 24 hours and covers two floors. There are 300 slot machines and casino favorites like blackjack, craps and roulette. The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Casino has a sophisticated decor that is reminiscent of a tropical resort in the 1940’s and offers live entertainment every night.