Palmas del Mar Beaches

If you are considering a move to Puerto Rico, you might be concerned about the recent algae infestations, strong undertows and littered beaches.  Those things are all the unfortunate truth. This is what the beach currently looks like at Palmas del Mar.
Palmas del Mar Beaches Sargasso
Palmas del Mar Beach behind Beach Village - note the seaweed :/
Palmas del Mar Beaches Sargasso
The seaweed and rip tides make these beaches unpleasant and sometimes dangerous to swim in -- they are lovely to walk along though!
Beyond the seaweed, one of the biggest issues about the beaches we have visited in Puerto Rico is the trash.  Luquillo was covered in trash, Mar ChiQuita in Manati had broken glass everywhere underfoot (though the cove itself is REALLY cool) and our little Glass Beach here in Palmas is often littered with beer cans, condoms and their wrappers and other trash.
BOO to love nests on beaches...
It is not spoken of often, and you will often hear the beautiful beaches listed as one of the great things about Puerto Rico, but the truth is that they are suffering. The beaches around Palmas, in particular, are rocky and have a strong undertow.  These are not safe swimming beaches and I won't let even my oldest kid any deeper than his knees/waist.  The waves aren't super strong, but the tow back out to the ocean can really catch you off guard and drownings are not rare.  Be careful. 

Another note on the rocks...if you are swimming, you need to get out far enough away rom the rocks so that you are not pushed back into them when a strong wave hits.  Also, the large rocks right around the shore have plenty of snails and greenery growing on them and are VERY slippery.  BE CAREFUL!

The seaweed comes and goes.  Sometimes there isn't too much and the beach is pleasant to walk along, but other times it can cover the entire sandy area.  The native seaweeds just look bad, but the Sargussum (reddish floating along the surface of the water) STINKS.  Sometimes it is gag-inducing and sometimes it just smells a little fishy/salty. 

The views of the ocean are GORGEOUS from Palmas.  The waves crashing into those rocks and cliffs are stunning and the long expanse of flat ocean is truly awesome. You can see the white in the google map image above from the waves crashing onto the rocks.

Most people will not tell you this ugly truth about Puerto Rico. Here at REX, we want to make your move as smooth as possible and part of that is telling the truth about the less pleasant aspects of the current Puerto Rican reality. We hope you move, of course, but we want you to move here with eyes wide open.

Also...looking UP is stunning!
Palmas del Mar Beaches Sargasso

UPDATE: November 2015 Hurricane season seems to have done good instead of ill to the beaches of Palmas del Mar at least!  There are now pretty pieces of bamboo and driftwood on the beach as opposed to hills of seaweed.  The problem?  There is still trash everywhere and broken pieces of glass that beach visitors are neglecting to take home with them...and yes...the condom wrappers still appear :/

Glass Beach as of November 2015
The worst of the seaweed problem was here in the harbor -- it is MUCH much better after a few minor hurricanes.
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