Whether you’re a gnarly ace, pulling aerial barrel rolls before breakfast, or you’ve no idea which foot to place first and just want to try surfing out, Puerto Rico is an awesome place to go. Book your flights to Aguadilla and get ready for crystal water, long smooth beaches and all the rum you can drink!
Puerto Rico’s northwest side, particularly the town of Rincon, has been known as one of the best places to surf in the world since it hosted the 1968 World Championships. In the winter, the ‘Caribbean Pipeline’ throws up waves up to 30ft tall, making it an exhilarating ride for even the best surfers. Check in to The Lazy Parrot Inn &Mini Resort for clean, good-quality rooms at a variety of rates – if you’re just going to be crashing out, get the Budget Pod and spend more of your money on a board! After a walk along the beach to get in the zone, grab dinner at the hotel’s poolside bar, Rum Shack, and fill up on pulled pork and burritos while you figure out where you’ll be heading in the morning. You’re spoilt for choice, with Domes, Marias, Tres Palmas and Sandy Beach all within easy reach.
After waking up early, take advantage of the free breakfast buffet and load up on fresh bread, pastries, fruit and cereals before heading to the beach. Beginners or those looking to brush up on their skills will want to get in touch with Ramse Morales at Surf Lessons Puerto Rico & Adventure Co. He’s an international champion surfer, one of the best surf instructors in Puerto Rico, and will have you up on the board with a healthy respect for the ocean in no time. Once your body is aching and you’ve finally managed to catch a respectable wave, stop for lunch at The Pool Bar, where you can stock up on sushi or fish tacos while watching wave heroes in surf films on the huge screen over the pool.
In the afternoon, try something different and head for Taino Divers to check out the underside of the ocean. This company has been voted the best (and safest) in Puerto Rico, and will take you to check out the local reefs for a couple of hours, so you can catch a glimpse of what’s going on beneath your board. After a few hours under the water, climb back aboard for a whale and dolphin watching trip, and marvel at these amazing creatures as they breech and bowride alongside the boat. By the time you get back on dry land you’ll be starving, so after a quick shower head straight to Casa Islena for dinner. A little more expensive, this place is totally worth it, serving incredible tapas and some ridiculously good cocktails to the young, happy crowd on their poolside ocean terrace.
The following morning, drop behind the hotel to Banana Dang for delicious coffee, smoothies and bagels to get rid of your hangover. Once you’re feeling a little more alive, get back to the ocean for a final day of surfing. If you can spend the whole day out there, great, but if you’re unlucky and the sea is flat or your arms are too sore, either stay out to snorkel or jet ski, or head back into the town for the afternoon. Rincon is 240 years old, and an attractive place to explore and wander around all the shops. If you want to practice your surfing skills, make for Rincon Skate Park and work on your movements on dry land. When you’ve worked up an appetite, spend your last evening in the Tamboo Tavern. This is the only place in Rincon with an oceanfront deck, and it’s the perfect place to watch the whales frolic in the sunset with a cold beer or mojito in your hand and a stomach full of delicious grilled food.
After two perfect days in the ocean, head back home with salty skin, a light tan and a huge smile on your face. The book your flights straight back again.Pleasance Coddington