Puerto Rico is a U.S. commonwealth island in the Caribbean near the Dominican Republic. It has some of the most consistent waves of any island in the region, making it informally known as the Surf Capital of the Caribbean. Most of the major surfing spots are on the north and west coasts of the island, and Rincon is the most famous of these. Surfing trips can be inexpensive with relatively cheap airfare and low-cost food and accommodations nearby. In general, surfing is best between October and May of each year.
Surfers don’t have to wear wet suits in Puerto Rico’s warm waters.
Rincon’s surfing scene was first made famous by the 1968 World Championship. This competition brought surfers from around the world to this small town on the west coast of Puerto Rico, and cemented its reputation as the island’s best surf spot. Rincon’s beaches have consistently large waves throughout most of the year and the area is full of surf shops, schools and hangouts. In the past 40 years, Rincon has become a major resort area, with large hotels and luxe accommodations; however smaller hotels and surf shacks can still be found around the beaches.
While Isabela is not a major resort area, it is becoming better known with surfers with each passing year. In 2010, a Corona Extra Pro Surf Circuit competition was held at Middles Beach near the town. Nearby, Playa Jobos is a popular surf spot with a protected cove and a reef that creates big waves a short swim off shore. A few hotels and vacation rental villas have sprung up in the area and a few beachfront bars and restaurants provide cheap eats and evening entertainment for weary surfers. These beaches are mostly known to locals and surfers and the atmosphere is laid back and friendly.
Aguadilla is located on the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, approximately 20 miles west of Isabela. It is a former U.S. military base town and features a relatively large airport with direct flights from New York City and other major hubs in the United States. Playa Crash Boat and Playa Wilderness are both local surf spots, although the waves at Crash Boat can be inconsistent. Playa Wilderness has bigger more consistent waves, however it requires a hike through a woodland area to get to the waves. Food and lodging near the beach in Aguadilla is mostly small and locally run, although a few large hotels are in town and near the former military base.
- “Lonely Planet Puerto Rico”; Brendan Sainsbury and Nate Cavileri; 2008
- Asociation Profesional de Surfing de Puerto Rico: About Us
- PuertoRico.com: Famous Beaches Offer the Caribbean’s Best Surfing
- Tourism Association of Rincon: Surfing Shops, Lessons and Water Sports Rentals
- surfing image by bacalao from Fotolia.com