Shark sightings on the beach can be terrifying.
There have been shark sightings in Puerto Rico, but thankfully, shark attacks are rare.
I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have never seen a shark at any of the beaches I’ve visited.
In this article, I will cover everything that you need to know about sharks in Puerto Rico:
– When was the last time there was a shark attack in Puerto Rico?
– How many shark attacks happen in Puerto Rico each year?
– Why are there no shark attacks in Puerto Rico?
– Are there sharks in San Juan?
– Can you swim in the ocean in Puerto Rico?
– What types of sharks are found in Puerto Rico?
– Are there Bull Sharks in Puerto Rico?
– Are there Great White Sharks in Puerto Rico?
Shark attacks in Puerto Rico are quite rare.
According to the Shark Attack Data website, the last shark attack was over ten years ago, back in 2011, in Vieques.
The attack happened at night, and it was an unprovoked attack with no fatal injuries.
And before that attack, there was one back in April of 1966.
For general safety information about the island, visit our article Is Puerto Rico Safe For Travel?
On average, 0-1 shark attacks occur in Puerto Rico each year.
Shark attacks are relatively rare worldwide, and the chances of being bitten by a shark are very low.
The vast majority of shark species are not dangerous to humans.
With the most recent attack being over ten years ago, and the one before that over 55 years ago, it’s safe to say that you’re safe from any shark attack when visiting the island.
The reason for rare shark attacks in Puerto Rico is that sharks don’t consider humans a food source.
There have been less than 20 shark attacks from 1900-2023, where 10 were unprovoked and 4 were fatal.
There are no sharks in the San Juan area.
The beaches in San Juan are safe and free of sharks, like the Escambrón Beach in San Juan.
It’s popular among locals and visitors for diving, snorkeling, or just relaxing at the beach.
Read more about two very safe and popular beaches in San Juan in our articles about Condado and Isla Verde.
Yes, you can swim in the ocean in Puerto Rico.
The ocean in Puerto Rico is relatively safe to swim in. Watch out for high tides, currents, and waves.
Many beaches are great for surfing, so you don’t have to worry about shark attacks.
Visitors often love finding where sharks hang out the most and swim with them!
Below is a video of someone swimming with the sharks in Caja de Muerto, Puerto Rico:
If you would rather explore Puerto Rico’s waters in a kayak while experiencing one of its most popular natural phenomenons, head over to our Ultimate Guide To Puerto Rico’s Bioluminescent Bays.
There are different shark species found in other regions of Puerto Rico.
The sharks prefer to swim in the very deep end of the ocean, where you’ll only see them if you’re going on a fishing trip in a boat to the deep sea.
There are currently six common “Puerto Rican” sharks you’ll hear about.
A whale shark is a gentle giant that grows up to 72 feet long.
They are considered social sharks, and divers love to interact with them.
The only “injury” you’ll get from them is getting hit by their large fins. There have been no reports of any Whale Shark attacks.
This shark is the most common shark you’ll find.
You can find them swimming around the reefs of Puerto Rico.
These sharks are antisocial, and will likely ignore divers and swimmers, so you’re safe. Be aware that they can become aggressive if going through a feeding frenzy.
There have been four unprovoked attacks by this shark, but 0 were fatal.
This shark is as smooth as silk!
You can find a silky shark in the deeper reefs of the islands. You’ll most likely have to dive to see a silky shark.
They will most likely become aggressive if food is around and near the reef. They will harass you to leave the reefs, as reported by a few divers.
There have only been two attacks from this shark, unprovoked, and none were fatal.
This is a common shark you’ll find around the reefs of Puerto Rico.
You can easily distinguish them by their blackfin tips.
This shark is shy and will very likely swim away from you. However, they tend to spend a lot of time in shallow waters, so don’t be alarmed if you see one swimming nearby.
Yup, even cats can be found underwater!
The Antilles Catshark is tiny, cute, and found in shallow waters around Puerto Rico.
They weigh just 3 lbs and grow up to 1.5 feet long. They pose 0 threat to humans as there has never been a shark attack from an Antilles Catshark.
This is another shark that doesn’t interact with humans.
And you shouldn’t get close to it either.
These sharks can be found near shallow waters near the reefs. There have been nine unprovoked attacks, but none were fatal.
Yes, there have been sightings of the Bull Shark in Puerto Rico.
Bull Sharks are rare to spot. They prefer warm coastal waters but can also live in fresh waters and lakes.
Unlike the other sharks I mentioned, they are highly aggressive and will try to attack at any slight sign of provocation.
There have been sightings of the Great White Shark in Puerto Rico, but they are uncommon.
There was a rumor of a great white sighting in Ponce after Hurricane Irene in 2011.
However, you’ll most likely find this shark in Australia more than in the Caribbeans.
Shark attacks in Puerto Rico are very rare.
The last shark attack in Puerto Rico happened in 2011, with no fatal injuries.
If you’re worried about seeing sharks in the ocean, or fear shark attacks, rest assured that you’re safe in Puerto Rico.
The beaches on this island are lovely, so I compiled a list of the 30 Best Beaches In Puerto Rico for you to check out.
Writer at PuertoRico.com. I’ve lived in Puerto Rico for 14 years and have experienced every inch of this stunning island. Growing up in Puerto Rico has helped me truly learn about the rich culture and extensive history this island has to offer. I share my local knowledge in all of the articles that I write.About the author