Cities / SURF TRAVEL

Surf Guide: Rincon and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

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Rincon 413Getting off the plane at the Aguadilla airport makes no sense.

After a 3-hour flight from JFK, we thought we’d arrive in a landscape similar to Florida.  But, no, Puerto Rico greets you with a warm salty breeze with luscious mountains set in the background.  The best part is we do not even need to bring our passports! It’s like the paradise island of Hawaii but much closer from the East Coast.

Since discovering this island, Surf Mei Mei have returned time and again mainly because of its proximity to the East Coast, its consistent waves and beautiful scenery.  However, some of the most remarkable things about this island are its authentic island atmosphere and dedicated surfers who reside in the North Coast.

Getting around

  • You need a car to get around the island.
  • Your GPS will work here, 80% of the time.
  • Ask around with a big smile and people will tell you where to go.
  • Best advice is to look for directions online before you head down here.
  • In terms of roads, Highway 413 will take you everywhere you need to go.
  • Just remember to rent a nice SUV as the roads are rocky. Otherwise, get ready for a bumpy ride!
  • As with anywhere, you need to earn respect from the locals.
  • Puerto Ricans are a hot-blooded breed that loves a good laugh and sincere people.
  • Be respectful and they may invite you to surf with them at some local hidden spots!

Area Guide

If you’re looking for an exotic surrounding, Puerto Rico will not disappoint you. On the northwestern side of the island where we usually go, Rincon, Isabella and Aguadilla are still not very commercialized.  You can often stumble upon a quiet beach with only the softest sand and the clearest water all to yourself.

If you go during the rainy season, do expect heavy spells of rain momentarily that bring about some gorgeous rainbows.

AQUADILLA

Crashboat Beach, Aguadilla, PR, has clear green wave, making surfing and diving more enjoyable!

Crashboat Beach, Aguadilla, PR, has clear green wave, making surfing and diving more enjoyable!

Located on the northwestern side of Puerto Rico, Aguadilla is a major city where the Rafael Hernandez Airport (BQN) is located. BQN is less crowded and busy to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport (SJU) in San Juan. Overall, Aguadilla offers regional class surf breaks, very laid-back beaches, and accommodations.

RINCON

About 30 minutes from BQN, Rincon offers activities for people of all ages. Rincon has been known as a surfing town since 1968 when a major surfing competition was held at the town.  With its world-class break and many regional surfing beaches, Rincon is heaven for many east coasters from the US.

Beach

Crashboat Beach (Aguadilla)

A calm surfing beach with soft sand, Crashboat has a short boardwalk with local food vendors

Sandy Beach, Rincon, PR, is a long stretch of beach with surfers and all sorts of beach goers

Sandy Beach, Rincon, PR, is a long stretch of beach with surfers and all sorts of beach goers

selling their treats.  In addition, there are two restaurants and a bar right next to the beach.  There are snorkeling and standup paddling gear available for rent from Aquatica Dive And Surf which is right on the beach. You should try out some stand up paddling (SUP) or scuba diving on a calm day at this spot. The water is usually extremely clean and clear. Many locals and tourists love to sip on beers out in the shallow waters by the shore, finding respite from the hot Caribbean sun.

Directions: On Route 173, follow the Playa Crashboat sign and turn right.  After 10 minutes of hilly roads, you will pass by an empanada shop on the right and then the parking lot will be to your left.

Sandy Beach (Rincon)

This is a family-friendly beach that offers a sand bottom. It’s a good surfing beach for all levels. Sandy Beach is next to some of the most famous restaurants and bars in Rincon including Tamboo (Pointe) and Casa Verde.  Expect bar hoppers and beach parties!

Directions: Located on Carretera 413 Ramal, you will take PR-115 and go to PR-413.  This will eventually become Cll Miramar then Carretera 413 Ramal.  You can park along the street then just go through Tamboo to get to the beach.

Surf

We surfed at multiple locations in north / northwestern of Puerto Rico. Rincon is the most popular town with more crowded beaches.  Aguadilla and Isabella offer a variety of breaks with fewer surfers.  However, this also means you will encounter more localism in the latter areas as a result.

We will only talk about a few memorable surf spots here:

One of the most popular beach for beach goers and surfers

One of the most popular beach for beach goers and surfers

Maria’s (Rincon)

Quality: regional classic

Type: reef-rocky

Direction: left and right

Swell: north, northwest, west

Wind: south, southeast, east

Tide: more protected break

Tube: hollow, long and powerful

Level: all, lessons available for beginners by the beach

Lighthouse, Rincon, PR

The lighthouse is located at the tip of Northwestern side of PR. It divides Maria’s and Dome.

Consistency: good in winter

Surfing tip: The best and safest way to get into this rocky and shallow shore: standing by the parking lot entrance, surfers can paddle in and out by a line of shallow rocks on the left by the surf school stand.

Maria’s is always a crowd favorite spot whether you are a surfer or just a drinker in Rincon.  Calypso Restaurant and its little surf shop downstairs are great for after surfing.  Gorgeous people hang out here, so get ready to people watch!

Note: Extremely crowded on weekends.  Watch out for sea urchins, rip currents and rocks, especially near the shallow shore. Respect local surfers and enjoy the great bars and cafés by the beach!

Directions: Take Route 413 and go left at El Faro.  After about ¼ mile, turn into a large parking lot with a restaurant building on the left.

Dome, Rincon, PR

Dome, Rincon, PR, can be a fun break to surf. When Maria’s is not working. Try Dome.

Dome  (Rincon)

Quality: world-class surf

Type: point-break

Direction: right

Swell: northeast/northwest Swell

Wind: southeast

Tide: mid to high tide

Level: experienced surfers

Consistency: occasionally but great when breaking

Note: Heavy local spot.  Watch out for rip currents and rocks, it can be tricky to get in due to rip currents. Busy on weekend. Contest in February.

Directions: Off Route 413 past Maria’s Beach as well as the lighthouse.  Follow a large and old nuclear dome and park in the parking lot next the dome by the beach.

Indicator, Rincon, PR

Indicator, Rincon, PR

Indicator  (Rincon)

Quality: regional classic

Type: reef-rocky

Direction: right

Swell: north, northwest, west

Wind: south, southeast , east

Tide: high tide only

Tube: hollow, short and powerful

Level: experienced surfers

Consistency: occasionally but great when is breaking

Caution: heavy local spot, reef bottom

Directions: off Route 413 past Maria’s Beach, and a parking lot by a cliff can be seen on your left before the lighthouse.  We respect local surfers, therefore, please ask locals about how to get down there!

Rincon, PRSurfers Beach (Aguadilla)

Quality: regional classic

Type: reef-rocky

Direction: left and right

Swell: all directions ok

Wind: south, southeast, east

Tide: all tide

Tube: fun

Level: all level

Consistency: very consistent

Note: Surf Mei Mei’s favorite spot. Aguadilla is not so touristy; therefore, locals are super friendly if you are!

Directions: input Surf Zone surf shop on your GPS.  On Route 107 go west past the air base on your left and when you reach Surf Zone, go through the metal gate and drive down the hill.   You will see the ocean on your left and there will be a muddy road in front of you.  Keep going but avoid the large potholes. You will see the parking area up front, often with many friendly local surfers.

Wilderness, Aguadilla, PR

Wilderness, Aguadilla, PR, is a beautiful spot if you can find it. When it is big, it is fun. Be careful of rocks.

Wilderness (Aquadilla)

Quality: regional classic

Type: reef-rocky

Direction: left and right

Swell: north, northwest, southwest

Wind: south, southeast, northeast

Tide: all tide

Tube: fast and powerful

Level: experienced surfers

Consistency: good in winter

Note: Watch out for sea urchins, rip currents and rocks, especially near the shallow shore.

Directions: Off from Route 107, you will see palm trees and a large golf course on your right (if driving from the east). Turn into the golf course and drive through it.  You will come a rocky but grassy driveway where you will see the ocean in front of you.  Keep on driving and turn left, you will past an old monument that will eventually lead to a more open beach. Park by the beach area where there are fewer trees.  You can paddle out by the rocks, but be careful of the rocky bottom.

Equipment Rental

Equipment rental

Surf Zone Surf Shop: Equipment rental

AGUADILLA

Surf Zone Surf and Skate

We booked a Takeyama surfboard before we arrived.  We drove about 10-15 minutes from Aguadilla Airport, got our board soon after and bought a few surf items at very good prices.  It is an easy access shop with many types of equipments to rent.  On the day of departure PR, We dropped the board off before the surf shop was open due to our early morning flight.  The surf shop had no problem and made things super easy.

Aquatica Dive and Surf

We rented a SUP by Crashboat beach and made friends with the owner/tour guide.  They are hardcore boogie boarders and know north/ northwestwern PR very well.  Super friendly and provide you with diving, snorkeling, SUP equipments on the beach!

Or some Local Ding repair :)

Or some Local Ding repair :)

RINCON

Hotwavz Surf and Dive Shop

Literally right on Maria’s beach in front of Calypso Café, Hotwavz has surfboards and boogie boards for rent. You can also sign up for surf lessons right on the beach!

Food / Drink

Aguadilla: One Ten Thai, Cacina Creativa, Restaurante Fufu

Rincon: Calypso Café, Tamboo, Casa Verde and Casa Isleña

Source

wannasurf.com; surfline.com; swellinfo.com; yelp.com

Written by KL

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One thought on “Surf Guide: Rincon and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico

  1. Pingback: Surf Spot Review: Rincon and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico | Surf Mei Mei

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