Isabela is no typical beach resort destination. Although you may be tempted to stay within the resort grounds, the magic of Isabela lies along the coast and up high in the verdant lush mountains. You could get around by bike in some areas, but visitors are encouraged to have a car in order to enjoy the best of Isabela without limitations. For your convenience, a map is provided below to help you “get around” Isabela with a rental car or a bicycle.
Visitors flying into the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU – San Juan Airport), or the Rafael Hernández Airport (BQN – Aguadilla Airport) can conveniently book a car rental online so you can hop behind the wheel soon after your arrival. Reservations in advance are highly recommended, especially on holiday weekends and summer months. We recommend searching for “Cars” at Priceline.com.
Driving Tips for Isabela Beaches
In Puerto Rico, and on most roads and highways like in Isabela, there are green-white Kilometer (km) markers / signs on the side of the road, typically every 0.2 km. Throughout this Isabela travel guide’s content pages and maps, we reference “km marker X.X” to help you find beaches and attractions. If you click on markers on the maps we provide, you’ll typically find a km marker reference to better help you get to your desired destination.
As shown above, the main road to remember for your trip to Isabela is PR Route 466. It is a nicely paved road that runs along the coast providing access to most of the best beaches.
Route 466 provides access to the following beaches:
- (west to east) – Jobos, Sal Si Puedes, Montones, Poza Las Golondrinas, Middles, and Pozo De Teodoro
- Shacks – the western most Isabela beach. Traveling from the east, Route 466 connects to 4466 near Playa Jobos (Beach). From the south/west, Route 110 intersects with 4466. 4466 is the access road for Shacks beach.
By turning north off of Route 466 at km marker 14.1 and going down the hill, you’ll come to a Y in the road (shown above) at Villa Pesquera/Playa Sardineras (Beach). Going right provides access to the following beaches from west to east:
- Sardineras/Villa Pesquera, Poza Sardineras, Baño de la Princesa (road ends here), Dunas and Pozo Brujo (walking access only past Baño de la Princesa)
If you continue on 466 east, without turning north at km marker 14.1, Route 466 immediately turns north, up a steep hill, and goes into town. Here you can take 113 east to Playa El Pastillo (Beach) and Playa Pelicano (Beach). Note: Pelicano can only be accessed by parking at El Pastillo and walking east.
Route 113 heading further east ends at Highway 2. You’ll have to turn east onto Highway 2 and make the first available U-turn and come back west on Route 2 to the first exit at the “ISABELA” sign for access to Playa Guajataca (Beach).
Remember to use the map below and click on the beach markers for more detailed directions or visit the Beaches page for more specific beach information.
As shown above, some of the most beautiful beaches in Isabela have “rugged” sandy parking areas between the beach and main road. At certain times of the year, due to heavy rains, some of the areas get flooded as shown at the top of this page. To ensure you can access and enjoy ALL of the beaches and attractions, we highly recommend you rent a Jeep, SUV, or an all-wheel-drive vehicle with good ground clearance due to ruts and sometimes deep sand. Note that parking is always free except for some private lots that rent spaces for Jobos Beach (Playa Jobos) access.
Driving Tips for Isabela Attractions
Attractions are shown on the map below as well as on the Attractions page. Like beaches, attractions and things to do can be accessed from Routes 466, 4466, and 113. In addition, Route 112, which connects Highway 2 to the Isabela Plaza/Square, features some attractions as well. Like the historical Guajataca Tunnel and beach, some must-see attractions are accessed by exiting off of Highway 2.
Exploring further…the West Coast
As shown on the map below, Puerto Rico Highway 2 passes east-west through the upper half of the municipality of Isabela and is also the main access/driving route of Puerto Rico’s west and southwest coasts. Highway 2 is also the main route east along the north coast to Highway 22 that goes into San Juan. Heading west from Isabela, Route 2 turns south past popular west coast towns with great beaches and attractions as well like Aguadilla, Rincón, Mayaguez, and Cabo Rojo. Highway 2 then turns east, providing access to southwest towns like Guanica and Poncé that are well worth a visit as well if you have time.
Bicycling or Walking on Paseo Lineal
Paseo Lineal (Linear Walk) is the name of the very nice, scenic bike or walking route along some of Isabela’s coast. From west to east, as shown in the map below, it has one main scenic, coastal stretch on a boardwalk beginning near Playa Jobos (Beach); one that runs through a wooded area between Cueva Golondrina and Playa Middles (Beach); and one that runs along Playa Sardineras (Beach) ending at Villa Pesquera. Outside of these stretches, the bike route runs alongside Route 466 as shown above. Note that bicyclers have the right-of-way in Puerto Rico and are respected by motorists.
Walking around the downtown Isabela Plaza / Square is a nice way to experience the friendly local culture and shops. Riding a bike in town is not recommended as streets are narrow and traffic typically heavy.