Carolina Beach
Carolina Beach
4.5
About
Balneario Carolina is long stretch of white sand just east of the Isla Verde area in San Juan. It has a parking lot, restrooms, and showers. There's a kiddie water park at the eastern end of the beach.
Duration: More than 3 hours
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles320 reviews
Excellent
171
Very good
116
Average
28
Poor
2
Terrible
3

April2002
Panama City, FL227 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Friends
The beach was only “okay”. I say that because I’m from Panama City Beach & we have some of the worlds most beautiful beaches. This claims white sand, it was NOT. More like tan/yellow dirt. Definitely not impressed by the beach, but probably only because I’m spoiled by ours in FL. The water here was pretty however and the temp in June was nice! We rented some chairs and umbrella from guy standing nearby. We bargained with him and he made us a better deal than he was advertising!
Written 19 September 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Linda D
Portland, ME2,511 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2021
We were there during a record breaking cold spell in April. Funny to see many people on the beach with winter coats on and we were one of them! The beach is very clean and huge. Lots to do on the boardwalk and Britt's Donuts are to kill for!! No trouble finding parking .
Written 4 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Penny
Tipp City, OH1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2021 • Couples
Don't waste your money or your time.
Very un-organized. No clear instruction, should have received dinner as part of the excursion. Told everyone to meet at 430 for dinner, knowing we were to stay on ships time. They even explained that. No one received dinner because they should have told everyone island time but didn't. They said this right after the discussion on times. Dirty chairs and tables. Don't waste your money!!!!
Written 23 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

EvanGuthrie
Charleston, SC10,967 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021 • Couples
Carolina Beach in Carolina is a beautiful and well maintained beach that has everything that you want in a beach and more. The views and water are fantastic and make you want to stay for a while. Well worth the visit for a great beach with plenty to offer here.
Written 30 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

K A
Midlothian, VA161 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2017 • Couples
My wife and I found ourselves stranded in Puerto Rico after returning from a week long Caribbean cruise (courtesy of hurricane Irma). No flights out of Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and no flights into Miami or Fort Lauderdale. Given the devastation Irma left behind, we considered ourselves very fortunate to have found lodging in Old San Juan with electricity and running water.

The realization that we were completely helpless in deciding when we would be able to get home quickly set in. Businesses in the immediate vicinity of our hotel did not have electricity, stranded tourists, locals, and a strong police presence along with evidence Irma had come through was the environment we found ourselves in.

The weather improved as the days waiting to catch a flight home dragged on and a sense of bizarre normalcy seemed to set in. By this point my wife and I had explored the historical sites of Old San Juan and found ourselves trying to fill our time with some sort of activity to stave off the ensuing boredom, cabin fever, and the stress of waiting for a flight off the island.

Visiting the Concierge we asked about possible excursions. We were told that due to the sporadic availability of electricity or the complete lack thereof in most locations around the island, options were extremely limited but that there was a possible location on La Isla Verde, a small private beach spot a short distance away from our location called “Vivo Beach Club”. After verifying it had power and was open for business we paid the individual day pass fee, got our tickets and took a short 20 minute cab drive.

The drive from the hotel to the club revealed the devastation Irma had dealt to San Juan. Downed trees, power lines, and debris were visible everywhere. As we were approaching the club, our driver explained that the club was privately owned and was guarded and that locals were excluded from entering or enjoying the amenities the property offered. Upon entering the grounds we were astonished that the property seemed like an ‘Oasis’, well landscaped, clean, neat, fantastic ocean views, and a very large pristine curled snake swimming pool, complete with submersible lounge chairs and mini coves with tables for drinks.

The only signs Irma had recently ravaged the area was the beach in front of the property was littered with debris and it was apparent there had been significant beach erosion. It was obvious a valiant attempt had been made to clean the beach directly in front of the club and return a sense of normalcy however the evidence to the contrary could not be ignored.

We later found out this was a cruise excursion destination but as a result of cruise ships cancelling the San Juan port of call and no flights in, we had the place almost completely to ourselves. Our stay was bitter sweet as we were constantly thinking of the hardships unfolding outside the closed guarded gates and the sense of peace we felt enjoying the decadent moment. The drinks were a bit overpriced as was the selection of ‘finger food’, however the service was fantastic and the atmosphere surreal.

Our only regret is that we discovered this gem under the cloud of Irma.

Note: Be aware of the sales pitch.
Written 22 September 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Freeman-315
San Diego, CA138 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2019 • Solo
There's obvious confusion on the naming and reviewing of the two long arc beaches lying on each side of Isla Verde's point. Isla Verde is the west beach for sure, but many consider the east beach to also be Isla Verde. And just how much of the east beach is consumed by Carolina Beach? Most reviewers including myself don't know. I've spent 6 weeks in a condo overlooking the beach, walking it daily, and getting a high point binocular view of the various activities. Here's an assessment of both arcs that I'll call the east and west beaches.

For May, both beaches had very light crowds during the week, moderate crowds on the weekends, and never a lack of open space for sun bathing, beach games, or swimming. Both beaches had light tan sand, with a width varying between narrow and wide depending on the tide, along with rows of nice Palm and shade trees lining the edge. Both beaches had long, roped off swimming areas with beautiful aqua marine 82 degree water and a gradual gradient that was perfectly suitable for wading or swimming. The daily, strong winds, however, were annoying - blowing sand around, chilling the air, and churning up the shallow waters constantly into an unattractive brown mix. Both 2 km beach arcs are quite long, making for great exercise walks or runs. Know though that one must go inland onto streets in order to negotiate the central point.

The east beach has a developed area between the Courtyard Hotel and Vivo Beach Resort which is identified as Carolina Beach. Here, you'll find parking lots, shade structures, bathrooms, a medical building, and a life guarded beach area. Ironically, I found this area far less crowded than other areas. The entire arc gets dispersed use, but the other areas have no lifeguards or bathroom facilities, and chair/umbrella areas seem to be limited to the Courtyard and Vivo areas - possibly for guests only. During my stay, there were no motorized water sports along the east beach, and only one day did I see sailboats, windsurfers, and kite boarders out - strange for such a windy place. At night, the beach was empty, and not once did I see any fires or beach parties - just a rare couple or small group making use of the solitude.

The west beach has no public developed area. People access it and find free street parking along several adjacent residential roads. Be aware though that much of it is fenced, meaning that traversing from condo to beach may or may not be a straight line if you lodge inland. This beach does have several chair and umbrella rentals, some limited eating options, massage venues, and motorized water sports - but not too much to be chaotic. Unfortunately, what it doesn't have is bathrooms. Go figure; what does everybody do? Overall, the beach is definitely busier and livelier than the east beach, but still pretty low key except for the many sound systems that the locals like to bring. Near the western end of this arc is a unique swimming area partially protected by boulder walls placed in the water. It's a wonderful spot for those tiring of the constant waves and choppy waters found everywhere else.

Although I don't care for the music that the locals blast here, nor understand their desire for drinking beer while standing out in the waters, I do commend their overall behavior patterns that are so much better than what I witness in other some countries. The beach has plenty of good trash containers and the public really uses them faithfully. I was constantly amazed to watch people with beer bottles and cans, out in the water socializing in party fashion, wading back into shore to dispose of them properly. I was also pleasantly surprised at the lack of litter and cigarette butts to be found on the sands - some yes, but very little compared to some other beaches. The use here seems to be mostly responsible families and couples, with walkers, joggers, and dog owners coming out early evening. So far, there seems to be no restrictions on dogs and it's working out welI. And if there is a restriction on glass bottles, the signs are ambiguous. I notice the police patrolling the beach occasionally on ATV's but see few violator stops or incidents. Overall, I'd consider both beaches pleasant and safe with few touts or troublemakers degrading the scene.

One final note for those planning a trip here and considering lodging. I can't judge the west beach for noise issues, but I can for the east. The airport is close and quite noticeable day and night with its very loud planes frequently taking off. The Vivo Resort also plays music with base so unbelievably loud on Saturday nights that it'll rumble the windows and blast through the condos 1 km away across the bay. This occurs til 2 am and on Sunday afternoons. Shame on the city for allowing this. Excessive noise from planes, music, and barking dogs is the curse of this place, and bad enough to keep me from returning. The beach and surrounding walkable area is clean, safe, and nice, but the noise negates it from being a good living environment.
Written 3 June 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rene T
San Juan, PR11 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2015 • Friends
Nice protected clean beach near hotels.Within walking distance of meany Isla Verde hotels. Parking for cars with a 2 dollars fee.
Written 17 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

20854Dave_K
Potomac, MD108 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2014 • Family
We enjoyed Carolina Beach two days after Christmas. There are actually references to two different Carolina Beaches here, and we accidentally stopped by both of them! We were staying outside of San Juan, so initially we were looking for the Balneario de Carolina beach, which is just east of the Isla Verde stretch of beautiful sand, which is also called Carolina Beach. We couldn't find the Balneario beach at first, so Dad dropped off the family at one of the Isla Verde entrances to the beach and went searching for the Balneario de Carolina beach; after finding it, he had to search for temporary parking back closer to where he dropped off the family, but the only parking was at a grocery store several blocks away. Dad wanted to go get the family to take them to the Balneario de Carolina beach, but after walking quite a while, he got word from them that they had already paid for an umbrella and two chairs. So, Dad went back to the grocery store to get the car from the temporary parking, drove to Balneario de Carolina in order to pay for official parking (just $4), then walked the 1.5 miles to where the family had staked its ground in the sand.
Okay, back to the beaches. So, the Isla Verde Carolina Beach is the popular one behind all the resort hotels. Beautiful, clean sand; beautiful, clean water; lots of Caribbean sun; lots of people. Not much you can add to that. In the afternoon, Dad walked a couple of blocks to get a piping hot pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut and a chilling cold Frosty from Wendy's and that was lunch on the beach. Obviously, lots of choices for dining on the street in front of all the Isla Verde hotels. When we were done, we all walked the 1.5 miles to Balneario de Carolina. It was nice, too, but the sands had a little more debris washed up. There was no crowd over here. There are restrooms and rinsing stations, though not well maintained, perhaps because it is winter. The best part for us is that we could park our car for a small fee, because we could not find any parking in Isla Verde (which is what a gas station attendant had told us when we asked, but we didn't believe her at the time!). All in all, the place to be for fun in the sun in Puerto Rico!
Written 6 January 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

N588LB
Atlanta, GA8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2019 • Friends
Before our trip, we couldn't decide whether to stay at Condado Beach or Carolina Beach. We opted for Condado Beach because we read that there were many restaurants and things to do within walking distance, as opposed to Carolina Beach. That was true. We had read a lot of reviews about how rough the ocean was at Condado Beach but we discounted them because we're men and strong swimmers. Suffice it to say, my friend just about drowned behind the Marriott hotel. We later talked to locals who said drownings happen all the time, and we found lots of stories after googling it. We spent the next day at Carolina beach and preferred it. Condado Beach is beautiful and I'd stay there again. However, if you plan to swim in the ocean be careful. We liked Carolina Beach better for that.
Written 9 March 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DaMarcanos
Norfolk, VA702 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2014 • Family
One of my Local Spots when on the Island, The Other one was el Condado Beach in San Juan, I used to be a Croupier for the Roulette Tables from 11-86 till 12-89 (casino dealer) at the Sands Hotel and later at the Condado Plaza San Juan, it is actually Isla Verde but I think is consider to be part of Carolina, This is where the mayor Hotel Strip is and it is the biggest Touristic area in the north side of Puerto Rico is Besides Condado San Juan, everything is at walking distance and all the state side restaurant chains are around the area, plus a bunch of local food eateries, world class Dinning Restaurants from 4 stars Japanese cuisine to out of this world Steak and Potatoes (Churrascos) If you ever go to Puerto Rico Chances are you might stay in this area of Isla Verde in Carolina witch is literally Walking Distance from The Airport or in Old San Juan.
Written 10 March 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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