Rincon is great, especially for swell this time of year. From what i hear, the surf hostels are for the most part ver friendly. The car is a must, and there is plenty of nightlife: Bungers, Casa verde, and Tamboo. Calypso and Shopwreck are great resturants too. Just North of Tres Palmas theres a great little deli for breakfast sandwiches that are amazing. It's tough to explain but the car is crucial in navigating around, especially to surf; everything is real spread out. I should be staying right in a house on the beach at Dogmans/Maria's from Jan 1 - Jan 8, CAN'T WAIT!!!
Hostels are alright down there, if you want to save money. Most places have rooms with bunk beds or something that you might, or might not share with other people. Overall, PR is pretty sick... Good waves, but like everyone said, that is the busiest time of year down there, but on the upside, the nightlife is usually good. You can catch live music and drink as many beers as you can handle. Definatly get a car if your of age, if not be prepared to pay a good deal extra for the underage fee. Check out Target rental cars once you get in to the airport, assuming you fly into San Juan. They are usually cheaper... BTW, what hostel were you looking into?
Scooter rental is not a good option, not even sure if you can rent them. Just get a car. The minimum age is 25... And the crowds, thats another story. It will be crowded if you surf rincon, period, unless it is huge. It depends on the spot too, some crowds are def aggro. Lots of boogies that will hoot you off every wave, but be respectful and youll get your fair share. Best bet for less crowds is up north, and the earlier the better...
I've stayed in many hostels and usually they are hit or miss. One might have bed bugs and sleep 25 to a room while others may have breakfast and dinner provided with 3 beds to a room. Either way they are a bargain. There's one in old san juan that I stayed in that had 15 foot ceilings but no windows, felt like a closet.
If the surf is down and you have a car, I would recommend a few things -
1. Bioluminescent Plankton - glowing plankton that lights up when its moved in the water - can be found in a few spots in the south and the northeast corners of the island.
2. Waterfalls/Cliff jumping - ask the locals and you can probably find some of these hidden spots.
3. El Junque Rainforest - pretty cool, some good hiking and pretty good views.
4. Old San Juan - pretty cool architecture, good restaurants, clubs ect
If there is surf then don't bother with any of this just go enjoy the surf
the rincon inn is the the hostel i saw. two blocks from the beach, we might just do that the first few nights then look for a better place.
anyone ever rent scooters there? or stick to car?
how much is car rental down there? is the underage thing 25 or 21?
are the crowds going to piss me off?
I stayed at the Rincon Inn a few years ago. Its a nice little spot on a budget, but keep in mind that two blocks from the "beach" is not two blocks from the surfing beaches. Its almost all the way around the point, so its like a 5-10 min. drive up to marias/domes. Let me know if you have any questions about the place.