Survival Beach In Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (2022) – All You Need To Know

Survival Beach is a dream destination for photographers and hikers.

Did you know Survival Beach is one of Puerto Rico’s most secluded beaches?

I was born and raised in Aguadilla, and know its beaches from start to finish.

In this article, I’ll share everything you need to know about Survival Beach:

What is Survival Beach?
Why is Survival Beach called Survival Beach?
Where is Survival Beach located?
How do you get to Survival Beach, Puerto Rico?
Can you swim in Survival Beach, Puerto Rico?
How much time do you need at Survival Beach?
Do you have to pay to park at Survival Beach?
Can you visit Survival Beach without a tour?
Is Survival Beach open to the public?
Is Survival Beach worth visiting?

What is Survival Beach?

Survival Beach is a long stretch of sandy beach with gigantic rock formations and caves.

The beach is accessible after a 30-minute hike through woods filled with incredible flora and fauna.

You will also pass a beautiful beach called Table Top.

image of Survival Beach
Survival Beach.

 

Why is Survival Beach called Survival Beach?

There are three versions of how the beach got its name.

According to the people of the Borinquen Field-Ramey Air Force Base Museum, Survival Beach was the site of survival training when the General Ramey Air Force Base was in operation.

image showing the Air Force survival training
Air Force Survival Training.

The second version has to do with the filming of the movie Lord of The Flies in 1961.

They filmed the movie on location in Vieques and Aguadilla.

Some say that the crew started calling the location Survival Beach.

image of the movie Lord of The Flies filmed in Survival Beach
Image from Lord Of The Flies film.

And the last explanation has to do with some Airmen stationed at Ramey. 

These military officers loved to surf and found great spots to surf on the west coast of Puerto Rico.

They named the surfing spots as they went to them. This particular beach was challenging, and they called it Survival Beach.

 

Where is Survival Beach located?

image of the gate that takes you to Surfer’s Beach
Image of gate at your left, at end of Cliff Road.

You will find Survival Beach in the town of Aguadilla, 84.5 miles or 136 kilometers west of San Juan.

You must go to Ramey Base and find 4-16 Cliff Road. At the end of Cliff Road, you will see a gate to your left.

Below is a Google Map that shows the location of Survival Beach:

 

How do you get to Survival Beach, Puerto Rico?

There are two ways to get to Survival Beach, one is from Shacks Beach in Isabela, but you will have to walk for about two and a quarter miles on the sand.

The other is an adventurous 30-minute hike starting at Surfers Beach in Aguadilla.

When you see the gate and a water treatment building, turn left, and enter the gate.

Keep descending on that road until there is no more road. Be careful with the road being unpaved, and there are plenty of holes.

image of the unpaved road that leads to Surfer’s Beach
Unpaved road that leads to Surfer’s Beach.

Keep going past the skate ramp until you get to Surfer’s Beach. You will see a sign that reads “Sendero Trail Survival Beach.”

image showing the sign that tells you where the trail begins
Image showing the start of the Survival Beach trail.

The fun is about to start. Cross this little bridge and follow the trail.

image of the little bridge to Survival Beach
Bridge to Survival Beach Trail.

Be aware that there are no rails on the path; use tennis or hiking shoes.

You will have to walk up and down a mountain in an uneven way with lots of roots and trees, so be careful. 

image showing a part of the trail to Survival Beach

After about eight to ten minutes of walking, look to the left and see two big rocks on the beach.

Descend the path to the beach. You will have arrived at Table Top Beach, not Survival Beach.

image of a two big rocks which is a sign that you arrived at Table Top Beach
Arriving at Table Top Beach.

Many people make this mistake; they see the stones at Table Top and think they are at Survival Beach.

Keep going to your right, but you can take some time to take pictures at Table Top.

image of the Table Top
Table Top Beach.

Then walk past the huge millstone until you see two giant boulders on the beach:

image of the big boulders at Table Rock
Boulders at Table Top Beach.

You are still on Table Top. These two huge rocks are a great place to take pictures.

You will see a path going up to the right of the two boulders:

image showing the path to go from Table Top to Survival Beach
Path from Table Top to Survival Beach.

Keep walking the path between the sea grape, uva playera (coccoloba uvifera).

image of the sea grape on the path to Survival Beach
Sea Grapes.

Then carefully climb these rocks:

image of rocks that you need to climb towards the Survival Beach
Rocks you climb to reach Survival Beach.

Start descending on the trail, and you are almost there!

image of the Survival Beach
Viewpoint overlooking Survival Beach.

 

Can you swim in Survival Beach, Puerto Rico?

Yes, you can, but you must be careful; the waves are strong, and the currents can be dangerous.

Low tide at Survival Beach. If it’s like this, you can get into the cave:

image showing low tide at Survival Beach
Low Tide at Survival Beach.

Please don’t enter the cave during High Tide!

High tide and waves at Survival Beach pictured below: 

image showing high tide and waves at Survival Beach
High tide at Survival Beach.

 

How much time do you need at Survival Beach?

To get to Survival Beach, you must walk for about an hour, 30 minutes going and 30 minutes returning.

image of the Survival Beach
Survival Beach.

Let’s say you stop for photos and maybe a quick dip in the water.

You will need from two to three hours.

Keep in mind that you will also be tired from hiking.

Check out the video below for a walkthrough of the hike:

 

Do you have to pay to park at Survival Beach?

You don’t have to pay for parking at Survival Beach.

Parking is free at Surfers Beach.

Surfer’s Beach Parking might look deserted, but don’t worry. Your car will be safe. 

image of the Surfer's Beach parking
Surfer’s Beach parking lot.

 

Can you visit Survival Beach without a tour?

Yes, you can visit Survival Beach without a tour.

Puertorico.com wants you to have the time of your life when you visit, so here are a few safety tips:

Be aware that this is hard to get to the place, and may not be suitable for young children, the elderly, or people with mobility problems.

You will have to walk up and down a mountain; in some areas, there will be sharp rocks.

image of the sharp rocks on the path to Survival Beach
Sharp rocks on the path to Survival Beach.

Use comfortable closed shoes, and carry a backpack so you can use both hands to climb on the rocks.

There are no bathrooms on Survival Beach.

There is no place to buy food or water. You must bring water to stay hydrated.

Also, make sure to use sunblock. 

 

Is Survival Beach open to the public?

Survival Beach is available to the public.

You do not have to pay a fee to go to Survival Beach. As I mentioned, parking is free.

The gate that leads to Surfer’s Beach is always available, but don’t go too late in the afternoon.

The tide rises and it might be harder to walk near the water.

image of the Survival Beach Cave
Survival Beach Cave.

 

Is Survival Beach worth visiting?

Yes.

When I went to Survival Beach to take pictures for this article, two men asked me if I could take a photo of them with their phones.

I asked them: “Do you think the half-hour hike was worth it?”

One of them answered me: “It was worth the trip from Australia.”

image of the Survival Beach Cave
Survival Beach Cave.

 

Final thoughts

This is a must-visit destination.

Survival Beach is a natural wonder. The landscape is gorgeous, the hike is an adventure, and you will have the chance to take incredible photos.

Keep in mind that the hike is challenging. I don’t recommend swimming in Survival Beach. If you want to swim after your hike, you can go to Crash Boat Beach, just 15-minutes south of Survival Beach.

If you are looking for other beaches to visit, then check out our article where we review the 30 best beaches in Puerto Rico

Also, check out our article where we cover the 45 best things to do in Puerto Rico.

Article by

Carlos Cubero

Writer at PuertoRico.com. I was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. I’m passionate about Puerto Rican history and culture. I live on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and host an Airbnb for tourists. I also coordinate tours and concierge services for tourists. I authored “Eat Like A Local, Puerto Rico”, and have contributed to blogs and magazines with articles about discovering and enjoying what Puerto Rico has to offer.

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