Puerto Rico has a diverse coastline with the Caribbean Sea in the south and the Atlantic Ocean in the north. The northern coast is known for high waves and choppy seas, but along the way, you will encounter lagoons broken by natural rock formations, which create beautiful natural pools and caves. One of them is Cueva de las Golondrinas (Cave of the Swallows) in the town of Manatí. This idyllic cave leads to a beach with crystal clear blue waters and is part of the La Esperanza Nature Reserve.
One of the perks of Golondrinas Cave is that it is less crowded than many beaches in the area because you have to go on a 20-minute hike to get to the beach. Pack comfortable shoes so you can enjoy the scenic walk to the beach, lined with sea grape plants, tropical birds, and waving palm trees. You will probably see a few golondrinas (swallows), a small bird that you can find tweeting around the area—hence the cave’s name. The cave leads to the ocean, where you will find a natural pool swimming area, and the water extends itself into the cave, where you can also go for a dip. Bring water shoes as the rock formations can be sharp as you get into the cave area.
Golondrinas Cave also has other noteworthy beaches nearby. Manatí is the perfect town to go beach hopping with several natural swimming pools and beaches. Poza las Mujeres is also part of the La Esperanza Nature Reserve and home to another gorgeous natural swimming pool. If you are looking for a livelier beach scene, head to Mar Chiquita, a much larger beach perfect for snorkeling and hiking up the rock formations for an impressive beach view.
Know Before You Go
There is a 15-20 minute walk to get to the beach, so bring comfortable clothes and shoes. Bring snacks and water as there are no restaurants or vendors at the beach. Golondrinas Cave is busiest over the weekends.