Have I finally found the beast beach in the world?
JOBOS BEACH, Puerto Rico- “You should go to Jobos. It has palm trees.”
“The reason why we came here instead of Crash Boat is because of the palm trees.”
The reason I came to this beach was, yes, the palm trees. There was a sprawling beach area in full sunlight — like every other beach — but back a little way, where the natural brush line would be, someone planted a bunch of palm trees. The result of this was a natural shade canopy where beachgoers could lay back, barbecue, and hang out without being completely baked by the sun.
My first thought after I spread out my beach towel, laid down upon it, and took in the view was that this was the perfect beach.
I am not a solar phobe. I do not believe that the sun causes skin cancer (seed oil consumption causes skin cancer). I believe that the sun is good for you. It makes you happy. It keeps you healthy. In fact, when in Astoria I sit in direct sunlight every morning working on my laptop. And if I feel I don’t get enough rays from that I go for a walk around my neighborhood without a shirt on. The sun is life.
But too much sun — like too much of anything — can get uncomfortable. I don’t like burning, and baking in the tropical sun for hours and hours and hours everyday will eventually leave you looking like a strip of beef jerky.
So I’m particularly drawn to beaches that have the option of shade — and there is no better shade in this context than those that come from palm trees. My first thought after I spread out my beach towel, laid down upon it, and took in the view was that this was the perfect beach.
I feel that somewhere buried down deep in my life’s mission was finding the perfect beach. The beach is the end of the road, and for travelers the end of the road is the place where you can take off your boots and rest for a while. There’s just nowhere else to go.
Jobos is a medium size pincer shaped beach that’s on the north shore of Puerto Rico’s Porta del Sol — the beach-laden western portion of the island. It is separated from beaches to the east and west by rocky outshoots. You could probably walk all the way down it in ten minutes. It’s not big but big enough. The water is glistening blue, the surf is shallow, and huge waves come in from the east in kind of a diagonal way being partially blocked by a rocky outshoot, which makes the water in the depth of the crescent nice and calm. It’s the kind of beach where you can just go out into the water and float, look up at the sky, and try to figure out where it all went wrong.
Behind the beach is a row of beach bars — the typical beer and cocktail joints and a cafe that specializes in acai bowls — that are arranged along a boardwalk with a generous amount of outdoor seating. This means you can get things to eat and drink without having to carry it all in … and places to hang out when you get bored of sitting around doing nothing and swimming.
But the best thing about this beach are, of course, the palm trees.
Another thing about this beach are the people there aren’t annoying — to put it basely. Oftentimes you find yourself at the road at what you think could be the perfect beach just to find yourself being pestered by helado vendors, jewelry peddlers, and drug dealers routinely interrupting your solace with attempts to get your money. Here at Jobos, nobody bothers you. One vender did come by dragging a cooler and was like, “I’m sorry to interrupt you but I just want to let you know I have some food here” and then walked away.
This is really the perfect beach. Here it is. I found it. To top it off the place is called “Jobos” — pronounced Hobo’s …
But all beaches — and everything perfect — has its limits. How much time of your life do you really want to devote to sitting around with sand in your crack? It was time to move on.
I stuffed my towel in my plastic bag and walked over to the bars. I was looking for some food. Up until this point I was basically surviving on Amish beef jerky and liver crisps and was into getting something a little more meal-y into me. I was thinking eggs. The only thing available was acai. I still don’t really know what acai is but it had some fruit on it and wasn’t bad. Kind of like candy but I could probably use the carbs. I came up with a new mission: to see if I could find a better beach than Jobos. I would travel down the coast and around the corner of Puerto Rico going to every beach I could find and ranking them. Yes, every once in a while even I do some travel writing.
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