Today on the blog, I'm sharing everything about one of my favorite towns in Puerto Rico, both as a local wanderer and a wedding photographer: Aguadilla!
Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
Aguadilla is a coastal town northwest of Puerto Rico's main island. It has some of the most beautiful beaches and a booming local economy that has made it a must-visit and one of the best locations to stay on the west coast of Puerto Rico.
How far is Aguadilla from San Juan?
Aguadilla is only 82 miles from the San Juan Area; its airport (BQN) has several non-stop domestic routes into the mainland United States.
It's a direct drive to Aguadilla from San Juan, driving through the PR-22 and PR-2, two of the island's main driveways. However, traffic can get heavy during rush hours and can take 2-3.5 hours each way.
You could go for a day trip to Aguadilla from San Juan, but I'd recommend staying for at least one night during your stay, because there's so much to see, eat, and visit.
Beaches to visit in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico
My favorite thing about Aguadilla is the beaches, which is why I'm always excited when clients ask to have their photos taken in the area. Below are some of Aguadilla's natural highlights.
Crash Boat Beach Snorkeling
You haven't been to Aguadilla if you didn't snorkel at Crash Boat. Crash Boat beach has great, calm waters for swimming, plenty of coasts if you want to sunbathe, and most importantly, clear waters and beautiful wildlife for snorkeling.
I graduated from diving school in Crash Boat, where I first saw seahorses in the wild! A beautiful experience. If you go diving or snorkeling, please don't touch or step on the reefs, and make sure you learn about the wildlife you should avoid coming in contact with, such as lionfish, a venomous, invasive species.
Crash Boat is a favorite amongst Puerto Ricans, so if you're visiting on the weekend, make sure you arrive early.
Playa Peña Blanca
Peña Blanca beach is another diver's favorite. You can get distracted and snorkel off the coast for hours, following sea turtles and other beautiful wildlife. Unfortunately, there aren't many spots to sit, so if you're looking for a sandy beach to chill, maybe skip this one.
For diving and snorkeling, ensure you bring a diving buoy and check the winds and tides before you go in. Some of these beaches are also where locals have fun on small boats and jet skis, and you want to be safe from propellers. My go-to dive shop in Aguadilla is Aquatica Underwater Adventures.
Survival beach hike
Survival Beach is a hike that's grown popular in the last decade, as it has an idyllic beach as a reward. You start parking at Surfer's Beach and hike east for about 30 minutes through the cliff trail. The hike is of moderate difficulty, requiring sturdy shoes and climbing, jumping through the rocky cliff. On the other side of the cliff, miles of raw, sandy beach will be waiting for you.
Punta Borinquen Beach
Maybe you don't want to hike or climb to get to a lovely, sandy beach where you can spend an afternoon. That's why I love Punta Borinquen Beach.
To get to Punta Borinquen beach in Aguadilla, you must drive through a golf course by the BQN airport. It's a lovely sight to visit in the afternoon and watch the sunset. Punta Borinquen beach is surrounded by a cliff, making it look natural and secluded, although it's easy to access and has a designated parking area.
It is one of my favorite beaches for watching the sunset in Puerto Rico and one of my client's favorite for photoshoots.
The underwater tides are rough most of the year, and there are no lifeguards, so I don't recommend this beach for swimming unless you stay very close to the coast.
Aguadilla Lighthouse Elopement: Jessica & Ganesh
The Aguadilla lighthouse ruins add value to your visit to Punta Borinquen. Just a few minutes are hiking west through the coast on low tide or driving through the dunes; you'll find the ruins of the old Faro.
The Aguadilla Lighthouse Ruins is a favorite for portraits, watching the sunset, and doing small elopement ceremonies and portrait sessions.
My lovely clients Jessica and Ganesh chose the Aguadilla ruins to elope a few months ago. Their day started with a first look at the ruins, after which they walked up to meet with Ana Maria, their elopement officiant. After their vows, they had an intimate toast, followed by gorgeous portraits in and around the Ruins—a glorious, candid sunset.
For this event
Aguadilla Elopement Vendors
Photography: Camille Fontanez
Wedding Officiant: Wonderland PR by Lic. Ana Maria Hernandez