If you’ve read my Rincón travel guide, you probably know that I fell in love with the west coast of Puerto Rico. Just like Rincón, Aguadilla is best known for having perfect surfing conditions and a laid-back vibe. This west coast town was on my top list of places to visit in Puerto Rico for a long time.
Why visit Aguadilla, Puerto Rico? It’s a place where you can be in the city and connect with nature at the same time. Some of the best beaches are located here and in Rincón (which is a 45-minute drive). Aside from being a surfing paradise, Aguadilla is becoming an up-and-coming culinary hub with an endless variety of food/restaurants. Also, the second largest airport in Puerto Rico is located in Aguadilla.
I stayed 2 days (48 Hours) in Aguadilla as a weekend getaway back in February. I’d recommend booking on the weekends because most of the shops are not open until Tuesday or Wednesday; so please, have that in mind before booking your Airbnb/hotel. If you’re flying from the US, see here the travel guidelines before entering Puerto Rico.
How to get to Aguadilla:
There are two (2) ways to get to Aguadilla if you’re arriving from the U.S.
You can arrive at the Rafael Hernandez International Airport (BQN) which is located in Aguadilla or arrive at San Juan (SJU). Due to the pandemic times, BQN is partially open and has limited-service flying. Therefore, my suggestion is to arrive at SJU Airport and plan your road trip to the west coast. From San Juan, it will take you between 2-2.5 hours to get to Aguadilla.
The perks of traveling to Puerto Rico: you can get anywhere in less than three hours.
Our Airbnb – Lair of the octopus:
We had the opportunity to book on this beautiful Airbnb called Lair of the Octopus. It’s in the heart of Aguadilla so everything is within a 5-15 minute drive: Crash Boat in 5 minutes, Peña Blanca in 10 minutes, and Survival Beach in 15 minutes.
This Airbnb was $71 per night and it was one of the prettiest Airbnb’s I’ve ever been in. It’s one of those Airbnb’s that are straight out of your Pinterest boards.
It had a fully equipped kitchen, TV, communal area with games, and an excellent local guide. Our room had no A/C, however, since we had the view of the beach and lots of green pastures it had great ventilation. The decoration, attention to detail, and their designs made me feel inspired and made the experience unforgettable!
Peña Blanca is a beach tucked in a rocky cliff on the coastal corners of Aguadilla. Its crystal clear water attracts many people across the world to enjoy this hidden gem on the west coast. The place already has concrete stairs that lead you to the beach when the sand is visible in the summer. In addition, you have Playuela at a 3-5 minute walking distance.
TIP: If you’re planning to visit this beach, go in the Summer. The wait will be worth it! During Fall to Spring, the tides go all the way up to the cliffs, washing the shore away. At the time I visited Peña Blanca (February), there was no shore.
Even though I didn’t get the experience to enjoy a proper beach day in Peña Blanca, I got to witness the most crystalline water I’d ever witnessed in my 22 years of living in Puerto Rico. In the picture below, you’ll see an example of how the beach looks in the Summer.
If you’re looking for a hiking activity and finish it by sunbathing on one of the most beautiful beaches in Puerto Rico? Survival Beach will be perfect for you! This beach is known for its rock formations on the shore and its cave-like landscape.
It’s a 15 to 20-minute hike therefore, wearing sneakers and having bug spray are highly recommended. To get there, you’ll need to park in Surfer’s Beach and follow the path from there. At the end of the hiking, the scenic view of Survival Beach will be 100% worth it!
Playuela is a popular camping spot that has over 4,000 feet of coastline and is home to many important/protected flora and fauna species of Puerto Rico. It’s known for its iconic palm trees that spread throughout the entire land. There are 4 ways to enter Playuela!
Since Peña Blanca is right next to Playuela, I parked my car near the beach and walked to Playuela. You’re going to need a very sturdy car to get to Playuela on the other 3 routes. If you either love the outdoors, camping and/or surfing, you must visit this beautiful place. It also happens to be the prettiest photo spot, too!
Crash Boat is one of the most popular beaches on the west coast. Its turquoise waters make it ideal to take a swim, go snorkeling and even surf in the summer.
It’s a beach where it can get very crowded, however, there’s a lot of beach activities to do at this beach. You can play beach volleyball, sunbathe or dive at the pier, or witness the magical sunset on the west coast.
Where to Eat in aguadilla:
Aguadilla is an up-and-coming culinary haven on the west coast. Not only do you consume fresh local fish straight from the Atlantic Ocean but also, you have a wide variety of food options. There are ramen shops, taco shacks, vegan + keto options, brunch spots, taiyaki, and even Thai food. Most of these excellent restaurants are all located in the same place: Route 10. Whatever you’re in the mood for, in Aguadilla, you’ll have it!
If you want to start your day with the right foot? Head to MONA to savor the yummiest brunch Aguadilla has to offer. I ordered the Wowffle (waffle with dulce de leche, berries, and meringue on top) and my boyfriend had Benedict Eggs. Both meals were a heavenly experience in our mouths. Although, I’d suggest going there early since it’s a popular place and the waiting list is long.
There are few places in Puerto Rico where you can get Thai food. In Aguadilla, one of the restaurants most recommended by locals is Khalan Thai. I’ve never been to a Thai restaurant before so I was very excited to experience a new Asian cuisine! Their Pad Thais were freakin’ delicious and they serve a generous amount on each plate.
The Beer Box
Want to grab drinks while also supporting local breweries? Say no more! The Beer Box is a space designed to highlight emerging and already established breweries in Puerto Rico. You’d be surprised how many local breweries you’ve never heard of! They have 16 beers on tap and an extensive list of cans/bottles for you to try out.
Arepas 2 Go
What’s a good meal that’s filling, budget-friendly, and on-the-go? Arepas. Arepas are a traditional South-American food made with ground maize dough. It’s typically eaten with cheese and/or meat but options are endless when stuffing arepas. You must try their Chicken Karina and Vegan Karina! They even have Keto versions of arepas. Honestly, you can never go wrong with arepas.
El Wariké – Aguadilla Foodtruck Park
If you’re feeling a little adventurous to try out other cuisines, you must savor this authentic Peruvian food truck! The owner was very friendly and provided details of everything on the menu. We decided to order Arroz Chaufa with Shrimps. Arroz Chaufa is their own version of fried rice mixed with scrambled eggs, green onions, peppers with pork, chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Before you leave, you NEED to try their Alfajores (cookies with dulce de leche) they were insanely good!
As you can see, there are so many things to do in Aguadilla and the list can go on. It’s a necessary tropical getaway if you’re looking to escape from the city noise and connect with nature.
Hope you enjoyed the Aguadilla Puerto Rico guide!
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