Surfing In Rincon Puerto Rico
Surf Travel In Rincon Puerto Rico
Rincon, Puerto Rico is known as the Atlantic Ocean’s answer to Oahu’s North Shore. Located on the northwest corner of the island of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean, Rincon is situated to receive long period swells from Winter storms crossing the Atlantic. Combined with balmy temperatures, bathtub-warm clear blue water, and easy access through Aguadilla airport, Rincon is a surf mecca for East Coasters sick of the Winter blues.
Getting To Rincon, Puerto Rico
The easiest way to get to Rincon is to find a flight into Aguadilla airport. After you rent a car it will put you an easy 40 minute drive from Rincon. The airport is fairly small and easy to navigate. Check the oversized luggage area to pick up your surfboards.
What can I say…I’m a HUGE fan of Jet Blue. They fly right into Aguadilla airport, and only charge $50 for your boards each way (as of this writing).
Do I Need a Passport for Puerto Rico?
No. Puerto Rico is very easy for US Citizens because they use the American dollar, and US citizens don’t need a passport. However, things might change in 2023 with the REAL ID requirements so check your state website to verify this.
Places To Stay in Rincon
When I was planning my trip, I searched the internet for short term. I wanted to go as cheap as I could, and I found an apartment on VRBO.com (Vacation Rentals By Owner). It ran me $500 for the week, had full kitchen amenities, a great view, and a private driveway.
Check out VRBO and Craigslist for more private residences for rent.
Some of the nicer places I saw are the Lazy Parrot, Bunger’s Bon-Accord Inn, and Casa Islena. On my next trip I’d love to stay at the Lazy Parrot. For a comprehensive list of Rincon hotels and accommodations, check out Rincon.org.
The most important part of your trip! There are so many spots around Rincon and on the North coast of the island that you’d be hard pressed to surf them all even in a week.
My favorite spot, by far, was Maria’s beach. Located just off the 413, Maria’s is a friendly right point with a reef bottom. Access is easy…park anywhere you want pretty much – just be respectful of course. Parking in Rincon is very unregulated, which is nice for visitors. Watch out for the HUGE pothole in the middle of the Maria’s lot! I nearly killed my rental car.
Getting in and out at Maria’s is easy if you know what you’re doing. If you sit down and watch, you’ll notice a lot of the surfers (well, the ones who know the spot) going in and out at a little keyhole. This is a sandier spot that is easier on your feet and seems to have less urchins.
Further up the coast from Maria’s is Indicators and Domes. Indicators is a right point that curls along the cliff, “indicating” a coming set for Maria’s. Domes is in it’s own little cove right underneath a power generator of some sort. You’ll see the green “Dome” right away.
They were doing significant construction to the lighthouse pavilion when I was there, and hopefully that construction is finished. It looks like it was going to turn out very nice.
Rincon’s renown big waves spot is called Tres Palmas located just off Steps Beach. It’s called steps because of a random piece of concrete stairs sitting in the middle of the beach.
When I was in Rincon last March I was lucky enough to Witness the “Swell of the Decade” which stacked the sets at Tres Palmas up to 25-30 foot. It was an AMAZING experience. The view from the road of Tres Palmas is spectacular, and on a good swell cars will be lined up, people watching, locals setting up beer coolers and selling Coronas, and general mayhem. Be sure to get the Coconut gelato from the guy with the cart if he’s down there! Next to Tres Palmas is its little sister, Dogman’s.
The north coast of Rincon point includes Sandy Beach, Puntas, Pools, and Antonio’s. These are all mostly reef breaks with some sand bottoms. Sandy Beach sets up to be a left, and Antonio’s a right. They get blown out by the trade winds, however, so they’re fun but not premier spots.
When the conditions are right, Little Malibu can start breaking. It’s a right point breaking right into a bay. The paddleout is fairly easy, but it’s a tricky wave to surf. When I was there the huge swell was causing it to double up, heave, and back off, but that didn’t stop scores of hopefuls from attempting to catch a ride here.
When the swell starts absolutely macking you can head up to Aguadilla bay and catch some more fun sized waves at Bridges and Playgrounds. I surfed Bridges at around 4 foot and super glassy when the rest of Rincon was maxed out. Unfortunately, everyone else was also there, making it crowded. Hold your own, be respectful, and don’t run over the spongers!
Further North of Aguadilla bay are the breaks of Crash Boat, Gas Chambers, and Wishing Well. I did not venture up that way during my stay, but these are very popular breaks that can get very good.
On the north coast of Puerto Rico you’ve got Wilderness, Surfer’s Beach, Jobos, and Middles. I did not make it to this area during my travels, but will hopefully cover it during another trip. You can check out Surfline’s extensive coverage of this, and all other major Puerto Rico surf spots, for more information.
There are surf spots for people of all abilities and board disciplines.
Other Stuff To Do In Rincon
If the surf goes flat there are numerous things to do during your stay. Check out the small shops scattered around town, go for a snorkel tour, hit up Calypso for a drink, go scuba diving off Desecheo Island, or take a moonlit horseback ride.
What is most cost effective way to send my 2 boards ahead to Rincon, P.R.?
United airlines did not fully disclose their recent 200.00 fee. Any ideas
This report is amazingly accurate for a traveler to the island. As a warning to tourists, some spots should not be attempted without a local guide, as hidden rocks/reefs are waiting to eat your board and skin or otherwise spoil your vacation. Check with a local surf shop for proper advice on the best places to surf for the conditions. Also, do not be scared of by hurricane Maria damage. Most places have water and electricity, etc. and truly value your business. There are a ton of spots on the western side of the island to surf, snorkel, parasail, or just lay in the sun and drink mojitos, that you will certainly have a good time.