By: Mikael and Thrillism
Images: Lucas Moore / Rincon Surf School
20 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
It’s an understatement to say that the waves of Puerto Rico are alluring. This tropical paradiso is the surf capital of the Caribbean, with barrelling hollows that compare to the likes of Hawaii. PR offers just the right conditions for any surfing level, which is why the surf-lined beach towns of the island attract surfers from all over the globe.
But we’re not here to focus on the island as a whole. The cream of the crop when it comes to surfing in Puerto Rico is the northwest coast, specifically the town of Rincon. Rincon surf is constantly pumping, keeping things spicy with a variety of waves to choose from.
Before you jump the gun and immediately book your trip to this Caribbean dream spot for the surf in Rincon, Puerto Rico, there are a few things you should know about the island. Surf season, culture, food, safety, getting around – all that and more will be covered in this complete guide to Rincon, Puerto Rico surfing.
Before you can start surfing Rincon waves, you first have to get there. The good news is that traveling to Puerto Rico is fairly easy for most of us. International travelers fly into PR’s main airport in San Juan before taking another quick flight to Mayaguez or Aguadilla. Depending on where you’re flying from, you might be able to find a direct flight to Aguadilla from NYC or Miami.
If you prefer to stay in San Juan for a few days before taking on Rincon surfing, you can easily take a taxi or shuttle bus from the city to get to Rincon. It’s about 2.5 hours by car – watching the waves crash to shore as you drive along the coast is a great way to take in the sights. You also have the option to rent a car if you’re up for it.
Rincon is located on Puerto Rico’s northwest coast. Laid-back travelers come here to lounge around on the pristine white sand beaches, but more adventurous souls love the ever-pounding surf. There’s no shortage of on-land activities, either, like mountain biking, horseback riding, and sunset gazing with a cold drink in hand.
In the past, there has been some concern about safety for travelers heading to Puerto Rico. But as long as you stay mindful of your surroundings – in other words, don’t flaunt all of your riches for all to see – you’ll be fine.
Illegal drugs and petty crime are common here, but this is still considered to be one of the safest Caribbean islands for travelers. Most of the crime happens in PR’s main city, San Juan, and not so much in Rincon.
The tropical climate of PR is one of the main attractions, with near-constant sunshine balmy temperatures. Like any Caribbean island, though, PR is susceptible to hurricanes and tropical storms. PR’s rainy season runs from April to November and the greatest risk of hurricanes is from June to September.
Because of these climate trends, the high tourism season is from December to April. The main downside of traveling to PR during these months is the inflated cost of everything on the island. If you’re trying not to break the bank, consider traveling here during a shoulder season month, like November or May.
Puerto Rico is a US territory, which means they use the USD. The official languages of Puerto Rican people are Spanish and English. Even if you don’t know a single Spanish word, you’ll get by just fine with English. Spanish is by far the more widely spoken language here, but a high percentage of locals also speak English.
The cost of accommodation during your time surfing Rincon PR won’t be cheap. Even on a backpacker budget, you’re looking at spending about $50 per night in a mid-range room. Your best bet for sticking to a budget is finding a Rincon surf hostel that also offers surf lessons on sight. Luxury stays are dotted all over the Rincon area, ranging from $100 to $150+ per night.
Most surfers recommend renting a car, especially if checking out all the best spots to surf Rincon PR is on your agenda. If you can opt for a car with the 4-wheel drive since some of the best surf beaches are off-the-beaten path. For travelers who aren’t up for renting, choose a Rincon surf shop that provides transportation.
No matter your food preferences, it’s easy to get behind Puerto Rican cuisine; there’s lots of rice, beans, plantains, meat, and seafood, all seasoned with fresh herbs and spices. You certainly won’t go hungry during your time in Rincon, especially if you eat at one of these top-rated restaurants:
Rincon Puerto Rico surf plays a huge role in deciding where to stay. The entire area is surrounded by one nice beach after another, but avid surfers gravitate towards the westernmost tip of Rincon. Here is where you’ll find the most guesthouses, resorts, camps, and schools that are focused on Rincon surf.
Surfing in Rincon is all about understanding your skill level and finding the perfect wave that caters to that. There’s no doubt about the fact that this is a surfing destination (there’s even a statue of a surfer in the middle of town) but that doesn’t mean you should hop on just any wave.
Beginners are highly encouraged to invest in Rincon surf lessons; this isn’t just a money-making scheme, it’s for your own safety. During lessons and surf camps, new surfers will practice their skills on waves like Sandy Beach, Domes, and Maria’s Break. Family surfers love Maria’s since the waves are gentle and easy here.
Intermediate and advanced surfers are less limited on where they can put the board to the water. Antonio’s is a reef break with wide rights and lefts, with super long rights when the conditions are right. Another advanced-level Rincon surf spot is Pool’s, a shallow reef break with scattered rights and lefts.
The ultimate advanced surfing spot in Rincon is Dogman’s Break. If you’re up for an adventure, this is the wave to ride. It breaks over a shallow reef, which is why beginners should avoid this one. The hollow, well-formed waves here attract both locals and tourists. A quick web search of Rincon surf photos is likely to show Dogman’s before any other Puerto Rico Rincon surf spot.
Rincon Surf School is the perfect spot for beginners. This provider offers the best-rated surf lessons Rincon has to offer; you’ll learn from coaches and instructors who challenge everyone from the novice to advanced surfers. Travelers have the option to sign up for group lessons, solo private lessons, and guided adventures throughout the island.
“At the Rincón Surf School, we like to specialize in creating surfers, whatever your goals are we have a coach or a guide that can get you there. Our ultimate motivation is not just to get you standing up but to have you walk away with a better understanding of the sport and a fast love for riding waves. We will see you out in the water.”
– Rincon Surf School
The surf school is located at the Rincon Surf Resort, which means your Puerto Rico Rincon surfing adventure can be an all-inclusive experience if that’s how you prefer it. Tourists can also sign up for lessons individually, but if you want to immerse yourself with like-minded travelers, definitely book a room on site.
Rincon Surf Resort isn’t just about enhancing your time in the water but laying the framework for an unforgettable PR vacation. There’s a variety of surf packages to choose from with stays ranging from 4 to 7 nights. The 7-night surf package includes room and board, 5 days of surf lessons, yoga, an hour-long massage, daily surf report Rincon Puerto Rico updates, and adventure activities.
Surf787 believes that surfing Rincon Puerto Rico waves are possible for anyone willing to try. As the Surf787 instructors teach basic skills or improve the ones you already have, they’re always mindful of sustainable ocean practices. They believe in allowing guests to connect with the ocean, but to do it in the most responsible way possible.
“Surf787 has something for all ages… A relaxing resort atmosphere exclusively for adults from December through April and a summer camp for kids from June through September.”
The 787 surf school is centrally located near all of the best PR surfing beaches. This includes popular spots like Little Malibu, Steps Beach, Tres Palmas, and Maria’s. Advanced surfers can hire a Rincon surf and board rental and make their way to the two-way breaks of Dogman’s. 787 offers several all-inclusive retreats, boot camps, kids camps, and Rincon surf rental options.
Do a quick Google search of “Rincon Puerto Rico surf cam” and you’ll see real-time footage of the best waves that are frequented by Surf Lessons Puerto Rico Adventure Company. SLPRAC caters to all skill levels, even seasoned veterans who require local wave hunting guides to find the perfect wave. Sign up for a private or group lesson with one of the ISA-certified instructors if you’re new to the water sport.
“With Surf Lessons Puerto Rico Adventure Company you can learn the art of surfing in the Caribbean’s most popular surf destination Rincon Puerto Rico!”
– Surf Lessons Puerto Rico
The only downside of signing up for surf lessons in Rincon, Puerto Rico with SLPRAC is that you can’t actually book a room on site. This provider is strictly about surf teaching, coaching, and guiding, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for accommodations. You can, however, sign up for surf lesson packages every week to get the lowest rate.
Glance at a Rincon surf map and you’ll see that Jobos Surf Venture House isn’t actually located in Rincon. It’s actually located near the neighboring town of Aguadilla. Aguadilla offers the same conditions as Rincon since it is directly in line with the northwest swells of the island. Some surfers even say that Aguadilla is the better destination of the two.
“Just a 5-minute drive from the BQN airport, we are surrounded by over 50 surf breaks… We have crystal clear waters and untouched natural landscapes for miles.”
– Jobos Surf Venture House
There are over 50 surf breaks to choose from in the area surrounding Jobos Surf Venture House. The house sits on Jobos Beach, which gets waves in some form or another 365 days per year. When you sign up for surfing with Jobos, you have the option for private/group lessons or you can go all out with the Jobos Surfing Adventure.
The traditional lessons run for 2 hours, a half-hour of surf theory followed by 1.5 hours in the water. If you do not require a lesson and are already comfortable with your skills, the guided surf adventure is the way to go. A local guide will take you and your crew on a private surf excursion to the best local breaks in the area, including a few in Rincon.
Puntas Surf School is a Rincon surf hidden attraction. The school doesn’t have much of an online presence other than a handful of positive reviews on Google and TripAdvisor. The school started in 2007, and since then they’ve been teaching travelers how to shred through lessons and guided tours. If you just want to rent a board and do your own thing, this is the perfect place.
“Our school provides lessons for beginners, intermediate, and those who just want to get to the next level! All ages are welcome and we provide a variety of different surfboards!”
– Puntas Surf School