Relax in the laid-back ambiance of this surfer town, which is famous for its beaches, sunsets, waterfront bars and whale watching.
Set around a series of sun-soaked bays and headlands, Rincón is the surf capital of Puerto Rico. The town rose to fame in 1968, when it held the World Surfing Championship. Now join bohemians, free-spirited travelers and surfers searching here for the perfect wave. The intimate beaches of Rincón uphold the casual lifestyle associated with those who put it on the tourist trail.
Activities in the town center revolve around Rincón Downtown Plaza Central. Find bars, breweries, cafés and restaurants that cater to almost every taste. Come on Thursday evenings for the Rincón Art Walk and peruse art, handicrafts and street food stands filling the square. Sunday features a farmers market with fresh produce. Browse surf-inspired crafts, paintings, pottery and woodcarvings at the nearby Playa Oeste Gallery.
Rincón’s beaches start at the downtown waterfront and spread north along a beautiful Caribbean coastline. Rincón Balneario has calm, sparkling blue water and is popular among local families. At nearby Rincón Marina arrange fishing, sailing and scuba-diving excursions. The marine reserve at the uninhabited Desecheo Island is one of the region’s best dive sites.
Travel north to discover the beaches that make the town a magnet for surfers. Domes Beach, Indicators Beach and Maria’s Beach are packed with bodyboarders and surfers from November to April. Watch humpback whales from Punta Higuero Light House, set above Domes Beach. Tres Palmas Marine Reserve, accessible via Steps Beach, is a great place for snorkeling, especially in summer when the water is calmer.
Continue north around Punta Gorda to Pools Beach, another family favorite with a wide stretch of sand. The adjacent Sandy Beach is where you’ll find a range of tourist amenities such as beachside bars, restaurants, hotels, guesthouses and tour operators.
Reach Rincón by flying to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan and then rent a car. Come in winter to experience the surf culture at its best or in summer for beaches that are often blissfully uncrowded.