Puerto Rico trip - Rincon/San Juan/Bayoman (March 3-21)
I am traveling to Puerto Rico for a three day academic conference. So, naturally, I have decided to prolong my stay and find out what the Island has to offer in the way of rock-climbing and surfing. I will be traveling solo for the entire trip, and am in need of advice for the best ways to travel around the island. I plan to fly into San Juan and then immediately head towards Rincon (air-fare straight to Rincon was ridiculously priced). The plan is to hang out in, and around, Rincon from the 4-11 (surfing); then heading to San Juan for my conference untill the 17th; finally going to Bayoman I and II to do some multi-pitch limestone rock-climbing... Or at least that is the tenative plan (the only true obligation I have is to be in San Juan from the 13th-17th. If anyone out there wants a climbing/surfing partner, I can provide all gear needed to climb and potentially a rental car to get us around! Only draw-back, I am a very novice surfer (I live in B.F.E Ky), but have surfed in Virginia Beach on numerous occasions. Regardless, any advice on where to go, and what to stay away from would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks for the heads up. Do you think the surf there is normally appropriate for a novice boarder? any advice on what to check out while in the area (bars, restaurants, places to stay, etc.)? Any advice would really help me out.
Sounds like a fun little trip. Rincon is a great laid back town with plenty of surf spots. definitely check out the south side of rincon if there is some swell. it tends to be a bit smaller but always cleaner. Domes beach and Marias beach are sick places to surf but can get crowded if its good. if you want to avoid some crowd just to the north is a beach called sandy beach. Usuallt a lot choppier but can be fun if you dont want to deal with the crowd. hotspots to check out are the calypso cafe at marias beach and tamboo down at sandys. grab a few medallas and kick it! enjoy your trip
For a novice surfer, there are definitely a lot more hazards surfing in puerto rico than the east coast, US... Paddle outs are a lot longer and more strenuous. Almost everywhere you paddle out, you will have to cross urchin filled reef to get into the water. It takes a little while to get the hang of getting in and out properly without getting snagged by urchins... and in a lot of places there's only specific places where you can get in and out of the water where there's sand rather than jagged rocks covered in urchins, or rock faces.... great surf, but definitely a walk in the park... But once you get out into the lineup it will be worth all of the trouble. Just be smart and watch where others are getting in and out of the water, and it should be a pretty good indication.
Marias beach in Rincon is the best place to start not just because of the wave but you can observe where and how people are getting in and out of the water. Lots of surf lessons going on at Marias. It gets crowded but you can spread out all the way down to Dogmans which is the next break to the South. There's the Calypso cafe, a surf shop, and some other little stores right there- good starting base. If you want a guide or a nice place to crash, look up Roger Wagner at Surf 787. If you rent a board from him you can follow him as he takes his students on surf lessons.
Ditto on getting in touch with Roger Wagner. His website is surf787.com I would hire him for a half day to show you around and get you dialed in the area. He also has a nice villa for lodging. You can rent a room that will be all set up. There are a ton of breaks in Rincon and North, but as mentioned above, it will depend on crowds, tide, wind, swell direction and size etc as to where you will have the best time. Roger can provide all the local knowledge. The coral bottom can be dangerous in certain areas if you go out in the wrong spot. Sandy Beach (like it's name) is probably a good option since it has limited reef. Another good option is Surfers Beach by the airport. Roger can take you to all these places. Enjoy your trip.