Eat roadside food as much as possible - it's awesome, cheap, and puts money in the right pockets.
The Rincon Area has a bunch of great spots, but that early in the season you might be relying on windswells instead of the big north groundswells of winter and early spring. With that in mind, Jobos and points east along north shore toward San Juan might have better consistency. But get on it early AM or the trades will make a mess of whatever is there by 9 or 10am. If a solid swell arrives, head to the Rincon Area, where it will be offshore.
everything here is all you need to know. the reef up north is way worse tho. domes and marias you can walk on cuz of the grass or whatever it is. if you put forth the effort to be nice and respect the lokes youll find they are right nice most of the time. weekends at domes maybe not so much. get up early and get on it.casa verde aint the place to be if you want sleep.
I'll second the recommendation for Roger at Surf 787. Really chill guy and he's got waaay better boards than anyone else in town. I rented from Mar Azul once and they barely had anything I was interested in... I'm sure that's changed by now, but that was my experience. Roger always has a few very decent shortboards, many of which are locally shaped. I had a great time last February on his 5'10 Monchito RNF style thing, shaped by a guy up in Puntas.
Have fun! Definitely get a car, you'll hate life without one - trust me!
Hell yeah you guys delivered! Def getting a car and renting a board. I think I will have to fly into San Juan but my girl is coming so first and last nights spent in the city could be pretty sweet. That will leave 5 days/ nights to explore rincon and nw coast. So the big storms won't be brewing up yet in nov? Do you think waves on the north coast will fare better than the rincon area that time of year (mid-november)? IF not, any recommendation on places right on the beach or walking distance from good breaks (preferably right and left, as im goofy). I've done my share of driving around costa rica looking for surf but you know what? there was a hotel right on the break at hermosa, negra, pavones, etc. I don't want to drive in circles if I don;t have to. Thanks dudes.
Oh someone asked about price range, My girl is coming to so that rules out slumming it but we don't need to stay at the ritz either. Something in the $50-$100/night range would be good.
Last edited by leethestud; Aug 18, 2011 at 01:07 PM.
In that case, I can't recommend Coconut Palms Inn (google it) enough. The people there are super nice and accomodating, it's right on the water, with an awesome outdoor kitchen, and has a really cool little rainforesty bit. Two times ago, my girl and I stayed there in one of the rooms on the water for less than $100. Plus, cooking on that grill every night saves dollars. It's on the south side of town, so it's not ultra convenient to the breaks like staying up near Sandy Beach, but you can walk out onto the beach in the morning, turn right, and see whether there's surf - you'll definitely be able to see a breaking wave from there.
I've stayed with Bobby from Mar Azul in Puntas and last time stayed some place further south, outside of town, purely because Coconut Palms was booked up. I won't hesitate to go back to them every chance I get. And my girl definitely liked it a bunch - we took the beach chairs out on the sand every night and split a bottle of wine from the grocery store. Was awesome.
Now I'm just starting to get jealous...
Oh, make sure you take some time on the beach before paddling out anywhere. There are some areas with stuff underwater that you'll really want to avoid... plus, there are well defined entry/exit spots. Get swept south of the entry point at Maria's on a day with some current and unless you know the other 2 or 3 breaks in the reef right there, your session will start to be not so fun pretty fast.
Ah...the mention of the place with the bbq grill made me think of this crucial food related tip. Every time I've gone to puerto rico, I've gone the first or second day to the fishermen's cooperative at Crashboat Beach (Gas Chambers) It's on the road from Aguadilla Airport to Rincon and you should see signs. I buy a bunch of mahi mahi or whatever the guys have caught that day and just grill that up for the next 3-4 days of dinners. It's cheap, super fresh, and you're buying it right from the guys who caught it. Highly, highly recommended. Crashboat is a cool little beach to visit anyways. Just tip the dude to watch your car. And if the fishing cooperative building is locked and looks like no one is there, ask around by the fishing boats and someone will usually open it up and help you.
Stayed at Villa Montana on the NW corner of PR just before my 1st kid was born. Prego wife wanted to sit on a nice relaxing beach with a waitress and I wanted to paddle out right outside my door and be close to other spots. This place didn't disappoint. Super secluded, quiet and relaxing. Little bit more than $100/night though.
In mid november you can get a few good swells, but its not as likely as going later in the winter (december-february). If you have to go that early though, then yeah I'd probably stay on the northern side. I usually fly in to aguadilla because its much closer than san juan. I have yet to find a flight at a decent time though, most of them are between 9PM and 4AM, so its unlikely you'll be able to enjoy a night in the city anyway. you could stay in San Juan if you wanted to, but you'll probably end up doing a lot more driving