When we heard publicist Marcy Fitzpatrick skipped Los Angeles for a small surf town we had never heard of in Puerto Rico, it was hard to imagine. Until she sent us photos.
RINCON, Puerto Rico – Rincon, which is known as the Town of Beautiful Sunsets, is a small surf village on the western coast of Puerto Rico. Primarily a seasonal town for vacationers, Rincon has a number of world-class surf breaks, sunny Caribbean beaches, and a welcoming local vibe.
WHERE TO STAY
Barrio Puntas, Carr 413 km. 4.8; +787-823-1525
Casa Islena is a beautiful property in Puntas, right on the beach in Rincon. The hotel has clean and affordable rooms with touches of luxury, a restaurant on site, and a private pool for guests.
Carr 413 Km 2.8 Bo. Puntas; +787-431-3044
The newly remodeled vacation rental sits atop the hill overlooking Maria’s Beach. The property has a four-bedroom home, two two-bedroom apartment units, and a studio available for nightly or weekly rentals. Guests can watch serene sunsets from the hammock on the private balcony and there's an infinity pool with a view of the ocean. Possibly the best view in Rincon.
VRBO lists a number of both low-cost and higher-end home and apartment options that are great for couples and families. Many are priced by the week for better savings.
WHERE TO EAT
Carr 413 km 1.2; +787-679-2365
The newly opened juice cart serves fresh smoothies, snacks, and juices. A great stop for a morning bite or when hunger pangs hit after mid-day surf sessions.
Carr 115 km 16.3; +787-949-8551
A true Galician tapas house, Do Galego is a family-owned restaurant serving chorizo al vino, seafood paella, fish ceviche, and homemade sangria by the pitcher. It's quaint. You'll feel like you spent the evening in Spain.
Carr 413 km 1.0, Black Eagle Marina, Bo. Ensenada; +787-823-0896
Located in the marina, La Copa Llena is the perfect place to enjoy the sunset with a piña colada in hand and a delicious poke dish on the way. The back patio overlooking the water makes for a great dinner date. And they have a mean Sunday brunch!
WHERE TO SHOP
6 Calle Sol, Rincon Town Plaza
The ecoconscious silk-screening house is stocked with T-shirts, handmade jewelry, photography, and home goods from local designers The Mermaid and the Squid. The original graphic design is all done in-house.
Calle Progreso No. 4, Rincon Town Plaza; +787-407-1940
Where local artists show beautiful handmade leather work and art pieces.
173 Calle Sol, Rincon Town Plaza; +787-452-3275
Flip-flop sandal heaven. Dozens of styles of Havaianas line the quaint store in the town plaza.
Puntas, Sandy Beach; +787-823-2100
Down near Sandy Beach is a cute shack with colorful souvenirs, unique clothing, and beach rentals like surfboards and beach chairs.
WHERE TO PLAY
Surf Maria's Beach
Carr 413, at Calle 4413
On a day with waves, this is the spot for surfers and posting up on the sand. By warned: The parking lot fills up quickly. Surf rentals and lessons are available on the beach.
564 Calle Black Eagle, Black Eagle Marina; +787-823-6429
There are plenty of places to snorkel, scuba, and free dive when the waves are flat. Taino Divers rents gear and arranges excursions. They're great guys who know what they’re doing in the water.
Barrio Puntas, Carr 413 (Casa Islena Parking Lot)
Catch some Zen every day with 9 a.m. yoga under the palm trees on the beach. A beautiful way to start the day.
The most serene day escape may be this small town an hour south of Rincon. Hourly boat rentals are available; you should spend a few of them skipping around all the mangroves that surround the sea. The Caribbean Ocean never looked so blue.
Carr 304, Marina; +787-299-2212
OLD SAN JUAN
If you feel the need for a bit of cultural city experience, Old San Juan is a drivable day trip or overnight stay, about two hours east of Rincon. The streets are colorful, and the architecture and history are notable. Visit the home of the very first piña colada at Barrachina restaurant, add your name to the graffiti walls of El Batey bar, and tour the 16th century fort, Castillo San Felipe del Morro.
104 Fortaleza St., San Juan; +787-725-7912
Calle de Cristo 101, San Juan; +787-723-7657
501 Calle Norzagary, San Juan; +787-729-6960