If you’ve read last year’s Aguadilla Travel Guide, you probably know that Aguadilla has turned into one of my favorite towns in the west part of Puerto Rico. Whether you’re planning your next road trip or a vacation Aguadilla should be on your top list of places to visit in Puerto Rico.
Why is Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, my favorite town? Just like Rincón, it’s a town known for its surfing seasons, beautiful beaches, and its laid-back vibes which makes it a hotspot for a small getaway. Here is where you can be in the city and connect with nature at the same time.
Aguadilla is also a culinary haven as it has a wide variety of food places to try. From Thai food to Venezuelan Arepas to Puerto Rican chocolate truffles, your cravings will be satisfied here.
HOW TO GET TO AGUADILLA, PUERTO RICO?
There are two (2) ways to get to Aguadilla
- Booking your trip with a destination to Rafael Hernandez International Airport (BQN). This is the second largest airport in Puerto Rico and is located in Aguadilla. Airlines like JetBlue, Frontier, and Spirit provide destinations to this area of Puerto Rico.
- If you arrived at San Juan Airport (SJU), you’ll want to rent a car and plan your road trip to Aguadilla. From San Juan to Aguadilla, it’s a 2-2.5 hour drive.
The perks of traveling to Puerto Rico: you can get anywhere in less than three hours.
OUR AIRBNB EXPERIENCE:
Out of all the Airbnb experiences we’ve had, we always go back to our favorite stay: Lair Of The Octopus.
It’s one of those Airbnb stays where you feel inspired to transform your home into an oasis getaway. The attention to detail, the colorful murals, and all the amazing amenities will make you want to stay on this Airbnb forever. If you’ve read about my first trip to Aguadilla, you’ll realize that this Airbnb now has A/C, another colorful mural behind the bed, and hosts a few activities like a Paint + Sip, and little markets with jewelry and souvenirs.
On top of being the most aesthetic Pinterest-looking Airbnb, it’s close by to all the hot spots you want to visit in Aguadilla in under 15 minutes. Crash Boat is 5 minutes away, Peña Blanca and Punta Borinquen are approximately 10 minutes and the parking for Survival Beach is around 15 minutes from the Airbnb.
beaches in Aguadilla Puerto Rico to visit:
It’s my favorite beach I’ve ever gone to! Peña Blanca is a beach tucked into a rocky cliff on the coastal corners of Aguadilla. In the Summer the tide is low and thus, has a shoreline where you can relax + sunbather in this hidden gem on the west coast. The last time I went to this spot, it was in the Winter and the tides were high so there was no shoreline. Below you’ll see the difference:
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.
Playa Punta Borinquen
On your way to Playa Punta Borinquen, you’ll pass by the airport and a golfing site. Then, you’ll go down a steep hill until you see a bit of sand on the road. From there, you can park at the free parking they have available and the views are incredible. It’s one of those beaches you’ll see on Instagram and ask “where is this magical place?”
In this area, you can walk down to see the ruins of a lighthouse, an abandoned building filled with beautiful murals, and on the far east of the beach, you can find caves. I find this beach to be the perfect spot to watch the sunset and unwind.
Calling out all my hike lovers and outdoorsy people, this one is for you! This beach is known for its rock formations on the shore and its cave-like landscape. From afar the rocks look like they’re floating on the water.
To get to Survival Beach, it’s a 25-minute hike so wear the appropriate shoes and bring some snacks for your adventure. A snack that I highly suggest for a trail on a hot tropical day is Power Cookies. They’re locally made in Aguadilla + perfect for that boost of energy when hiking to your destination.
The trail is fairly easy to follow and a lot of locals do this hike frequently so there’s always a light flow of people hiking the trail. Once you finish your hike to Survival, you deserve to take a dip at this beach as a reward!
Located in the city center of Aguadilla, this beach is one of the most accessible ones in the area. Why? Because if you get hungry, you have multiple restaurants and bars within walking distance.
You may see a lot of people snorkeling, bringing their families for BBQs, or picking up rare sea shells or sea glass.
One of the most popular beaches on the west coast is Crash Boat! Its turquoise waters lure people from all over Puerto Rico (and globally, too) to take a refreshing swim on a hot day. It’s also perfect to go sunbathing, snorkeling with the fish, and taking a dive on the pier.
Due to its popularity, it can get crowded easily. If you’re staying during the week, there’s a little bit of crowd (especially in the sunset hour). However, if you’re planning to go during the weekend, I highly suggest going before 10 am as the parking can get a bit tricky! But once your toes are touching the sand, you don’t ever want to leave.
PLACES TO SEE IN AGUADILLA:
If you went to Aguadilla and didn’t visit Playuela, did you really visit Aguadilla? Playuela is a vital ecosystem in the west part of Puerto Rico. Sharing over 4,000 feet of land, Playuela is home to more than 500 species of flora and fauna. It’s a great place to go camping and the iconic palm trees make it perfect to showcase your tropical vacation.
There are multiple ways to get to Playuela. You can walk from Peña Blanca or if you have a sturdier car like a Jeep or any car that’s 4×4, you can drive the dirt roads that’ll lead you to Playuela.
Ruinas DEL Faro de Punta Borinquen
If you’re looking for a special place to take pictures of your trip, this landmark is a must-stop spot. Ruinas Del Faro de Punta Borinquen translates to the Ruins of Punta Borinquen’s Lighthouse. The remnants of this lighthouse go back to the 18th century when the Spaniards built lighthouses on different coastlines in Puerto Rico.
Murals at Punta Borinquen
Located next to the lighthouse remnants of Punta Borinquen, this is another pit stop if you’re on the hunt for travel pictures. This abandoned building has served as a blank canvas for artists to express their creativity in murals. On every corner, you’ll see different artworks and graffiti while having the beautiful beach scenery in the background.
We’re all suckers when it comes to taking a picture of the name of a city. Hence, this colorful Aguadilla sign should be on your bucket list too! It’s conveniently located next to Rompeolas Beach too, so if you want to show off your tropical tan, it better make it on the Aguadilla sign picture.
Once you are in the city center of Aguadilla, your attention will gravitate to the colorful houses that are located on a hill. If you went to the murals at Punta Borinquen, wait until you get to this bright-colored neighborhood. This mural project can also be seen in Yauco (a municipality on the southern coast of PR), designed to brighten up our local neighborhoods and celebrate local artists.
WHERE TO EAT IN AGUADILLA:
If you book your stay at Lair Of The Octopus, they give you a discount card from their local favorite food places at 10% off! Luckily for you, I’ve listed below the amazing restaurants you can go to using their discount card. Even if you don’t get to stay with Lair Of The Octopus, these restaurants are a must-stop + 100% totally worth the hype:
Poke + Bar by the Reef
Poke Bowls are essentially Hawaiian bowls filled with sushi rice, protein (mainly fish like tuna or salmon), avocado, sauce, and fresh vegetables on top. Think of it as a deconstructed sushi but 10x better! I ordered a Poke Bowl filled with spicy crab, avocado, cucumber, edamame beans, and scallions with spicy mayo on top. Kef ordered another bowl with sushi rice, smoked salmon, sweet plantain, and scallions!
If you want to try new foods or if you have a specific craving for pad thai while you’re here, Khalan Thai is one of the few places (if not, the only one) where you can enjoy Thai cuisine. If you haven’t of Pad Thai before, it’s a comforting bowl filled with rice noodles, tofu, tamarind sauce, and peanuts. It sounds weird at first but all of these elements come together so harmonious and every bite is a burst of flavor. I’ve never had Thai food in my life until I went to Khalan Thai and I loved it so much!
This small local pizza shop cooks its pizza in a wood-fire oven which provides a nice and smokey flavor to the dough. They’re open from Thursday to Sunday so if you’re staying over the weekend in Aguadilla and you’re craving pizza, order their Carbonara Pizza. You’ll thank me later!
Arepas To Go
If you’re on a budget but want something filling, allow me to introduce you to Venezuelan Arepas! It is no secret that my love for arepas has me in a chokehold. This street food is a traditional South-American food made with ground maize dough. One of the most popular orders is the Karina Special (black beans, white cheese, avocado, spinach, and sweet plantains) and the Reina Pepiada (a type of chicken salad with avocado). They also offer different sauces so you can try them out!
If you’re a fan of popsicles and coconut flavored desserts. You HAVE to try their coconut-pineapple popsicle. Unlike other popsicles places in Puerto Rico, these ones tend to melt slower and coconut popsicles is a very creamy compared to water-based fruit popsicles. Kef ordered the strawberry lemonade and it had a slice of green lime in the popsicle. Perfect to treat yourself after a day at the beach!
This small boutique, located in carr. #110, makes premium chocolate truffles and chocolate desserts made with 100% locally grown Puerto Rican cacao. Their cacao beans are grown and harvested in the town of San Sebastián. It’s the first dessert shop where the ingredients are 100% local, how amazing is that?!
They have tropical fruit-filled chocolate truffles that I did not know they could pair up so well with chocolate. If you had to try just one of their truffles, I’d say go for the passionfruit flavor. The moment I tried it, I wanted to eat like 10 of them!
For more food options, visit my first Aguadilla travel guide where you can find a place that makes the yummiest brunch.
Now that I’ve given you a long list of things to do in Aguadilla, do you now know why I love this town so much? From the beautiful beach scenery to amazing food experiences, you have the best of both worlds here.
It’s a necessary tropical getaway if you’re looking to escape from the city noise and connect with nature.
If you’re spending a few days in Aguadilla, add Rincón to your itinerary so you can experience the tropical paradise of the west coast. Read What to do In Rincón for more details. I’ve included below 5 places to visit in Aguadilla that went viral on Tiktok (because the places are too beautiful)!
@alanis.colina Reply to @lonlysaul30 estos 5 spots los puedes visitar en un día cómodo 🤍 perfecto para irte en tu próximo roadtrip! #puertorico🇵🇷 #aguadillapr🇵🇷 #placespuertorico #puertoricotravel ♬ Otro Atardecer – Bad Bunny & The Marías
Hope you enjoyed the Aguadilla Puerto Rico guide!
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