Mar Chiquita, or Little Sea, is a small beach in a protected cove near the eastern end of a long rocky wall exposed on the coast of Manatí in northern Puerto Rico, about 40 kilometers west of San Juan. The oval shaped beach lies behind the rocky wall in a small cove protected from the rough Atlantic. The wall was breached by the action of waves to form a 25 meter opening where the tide entered and formed a bay in the shape of the English alphabet U. The waves inside the cove is of considerable height as the result of the backwash meeting the incoming waves at their breaking point, building up the size of the waves.
Due to the shape of the cove and the narrow area between the rocks where water comes in and goes out, there can be serious undertows. It is possible to get sucked out into the open ocean when the water flows back out of the cove. Usually, it is calmer in the summer months so you can wade or snorkel, but it’s not always good for swimming because of its strong undercurrents and rocks.
Mar Chiquita was once a popular beach with a beautiful setting of palm trees, golden sand, and the imposing ridge of pitted eolianite. Today, Playa Mar Chiquita is still a gorgeous beach, but it is no longer as secluded as it once was due to the major urban development occurring on the coastal plains of Puerto Rico. However, the beach’s popularity has not declined. On any given day of the week you can see a few family picnics, visitors playing beach sports, or simply enjoying the landscape and sunbathing. One popular activity is to climb and explore the eolianite ridge that forms the rocky headland of Punta Mar Chiquita, on the northeast side of the beach.
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