The Premier Surf Spot in all the Caribbean, Rincon first came into notoriety after the 1968 World Surfing Championships were held there. Located on the Northwest tip of Puerto Rico, it is in a perfect location to receive all the Winter swells resulting from the Winter storms coming off the East Coast. Within 3 or 4 days of those cold Wintry storms, fresh swells will swarm into Rincon with everything from fun, chest high Surf to occasional monstrous Surf that can rival Hawaii!
There are two ways to fly into Puerto Rico. There are many daily flights that go into San Juan. The problem is that Rincon is 2+ hours away at the other end of the island. Driving there can be a real adventure. Just take your time, relax and enjoy the warm air. The other way is to fly into Aguadilla. The flights there only go at night with you generally landing at 1 or 2am. If you choose to go this way, make sure you have your car rental and accommodations confirmed. There’s nothing worse than arriving at Rincon at 3am with no place to stay!
In the old days you could roll into Rincon and easily find a house or apartment for $5-10 a night. Not anymore! Make sure you set up your accommodations before you go. There are plenty of Hotels, Condo’s and rentals available. Just search Hotels or VRBO. Find something you like, in your price range and you’re ready to go.
There are quite a few breaks in the Rincon area. Some are on the North facing beaches and some on the West facing beaches. The breaks on the North can be fun if you get up early. It will often be glassy until about 11am when the Trade Winds come up, making it onshore and choppy. The west facing beaches are often a better choice, but all the breaks are over coral reefs. Care has to be taken when surfing those breaks; watch where other people enter and exit the breaks. You want to avoid the coral and even worse, those nasty Purple Urchins that fill every coral nook. Stepping on those guys is not fun!
Located on the North coast, Antonio’s offers fun rights and lefts that break over a long stretch of beach. It works best on North and Northwest swells. It’s a big, open area so crowds are not usually a problem. Surf early because the Trades will come up.
Parking Lots is located between Antonio’s and Sandy Beach. Look for the parking lot beside Casa Islena. It offers fun Rights and Lefts over a bottom of sand and rocks. Another Trade Wind spot.
Great spot for all levels of Surfing ability. It is located in the area near Tamboo Tavern. Also works best on North and Northwest swells. When conditions are right, great Rights and Lefts can be had. Keep an eye, the undertow can be dangerous!
Here there are a few scattered reefs that can be fun. It is located just where Puntas turns to the West. It is protected from the Trades but works best on a Northwest swell. There are quite a few shallow reefs in the area. Best for experienced Surfers. This can be a heavy wave!
Domes is one of the first breaks that put PR on the map. Another spot good for all levels of Surfers. It is located at the end of Rt 4413, right next to the old nuclear dome. It’s a very popular surf spot. Works on Northeast and Northwest swells. Rights come of a point break with a flat rock bottom. The wave can be hollow and long. Intermediate Surfers can just surf down the beach and bit. Gets more mellow. This is one of the most popular spots in Rincon. Respect the Locals!
For experienced Surfers only! Off Rt 4413, past Maria’s. It’s located just before you get to the Lighthouse. This is another popular spot. Long rights can get super hollow and long here. Best on a Northwest swell. All reef bottom.
Maria’s offers probably the longest rights in all of Rincon. Another spot good for all Surfing levels, when the Surf is under 5ft. There are a few peaks, but the primary spot is up near Indicators. Super long Rights can be had. Works best on a Northwest swell. Reef bottom.
Dogmans is one of the most exposed spots to Northern swells that curl around the tip of the island. It can hold well overhead Surf on some fearsome and shallow coral reefs. Mostly Rights, but you can find an occasional Left here. Usually not as crowded as Maria’s.
If you’ve ever seen a perfect picture of somewhere in the Caribbean, it was probably Tres.
Tres is for very experienced Surfers only. It really only starts to show it’s stuff around 10-15ft.
It needs a very large Northwest swell and East winds. Tres only breaks a handful of times each Winter. If you’re not really ready to surf Tres, just go by and sit on the Beach and watch. You’ll see some of the very best Surfers in the area, riding massive Rights. Quite a show!
Rincon has pretty much been taken over by Gringo’s. Many Americans have bought or built homes in Rincon over the last 20-25 years. There are still many local Puerto Ricans there though. When you are surfing you need to be respectful of other people’s homes. Just like Hawaii, the Locals protect their spots. Don’t paddle out and go right into the middle of the pack. Sit off to the side a bit, read the crowd vibe. Catch a couple and slowly work your way over towards the peak.
Otherwise, you’ll find most of the Locals friendly and often eager to help. Just give a Good Vibe and most often you’ll get one in return.
When I first started travelling in the early 70’s, Rincon was my first trip. Back then there wasn’t nearly as many people. It really was Paradise! As it became more popular it became much more crowded and it was time for me to venture out. In recent years I’ve returned to Rincon. Although much different from when I first travelled there it is still a Gem. If you are new to Surf Trips, you can’t beat a trip to Rincon. Enjoy!