Rincon de puerto rico: 14 Things To Experience the Best of Puerto Rico’s Surfing Capital
14 Things To Experience the Best of Puerto Rico’s Surfing Capital
Known as the Town of Beautiful Sunsets, Rincón is slowly becoming a top destination in Puerto Rico. It is favored not only by tourists but also by expats looking for a relaxed environment by the beach.
Located on the west coast of Puerto Rico, Rincón is famous for its world-class surfing beaches that constantly deliver legendary waves during the winter season.
But even though surfing made Rincón famous, this once sleepy town is now a major destination year-round, offering all kinds of activities that range from the cultural to the historical and adventurous, and a culinary scene that not only digs into its past but also experiments with new flavors.
If you’re visiting Rincón, make sure to give it at least a few days to see the best of it. Here I show you some of the best things you can see, eat, and drink to make the most of your experience there.
1. Ride a Wave in the Surfing Capital of the Caribbean
Rincón has been known for having some of the best surfing in the Caribbean, so there is no shortage of top-grade beaches where you can surf like a pro or test your novice surfing skills.
Maria’s Beach is among the most popular beaches frequented by surfers, especially during the winter when its waves are at their peak.
This beach is also commonly known as Domes Beach, thanks to the decommissioned nuclear reactor nearby. Another beach favored by surfers is Sandy Beach, just north of Domes.
You can start riding the waves with this beginner’s surfing lesson, from one of the best surf shops in the area. Alternatively, there are several surf schools and shops nearby where you can take some lessons or rent a surfboard.
2. Have a Picnic by the Punta Higüeras Lighthouse
This lighthouse and its modest park might look simple, but their location is everything! It sits at the edge of spectacular sea cliffs that offer amazing views of the coast and some of the most beautiful sunsets you’ll see in Puerto Rico.
You can picnic at the park with the historic lighthouse as your background, and if you’re lucky, you might be able to see the whales pass by (if in season).
Though the lighthouse was originally built in 1892, it was destroyed during an earthquake in 1918. The lighthouse you see today is from 1922.
3. Go Nuclear at the BONUS Reactor Facility
This is one of the unusual fun facts about Puerto Rico that not many people know about.
The Boiling Nuclear Superheater (BONUS) Reactor Facility, also known as “Domes,” is the first Nuclear Power Plant in the Caribbean.
It was built in 1960 and served as a nuclear testing facility until 1968 when it was decommissioned, making it the precursor to modern nuclear facilities.
Today it is the BONUS Technological Museum run by the local power authority. Don’t worry, the reactor is entombed in concrete, and there’s no more radiation, but visiting it is a hit and miss as the museum opens sporadically.
If you happen to pass by and see it open, I highly recommend checking it out or at least seeing it from the outside. The dome is also listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
4. Drink a “Pirate” at Villa Cofresí while Watching the Sunset
Roberto Cofresí is Puerto Rico’s most famous pirate, and even though it’s been almost two centuries since his death, he still inspires folk tales and adventures.
One more thing inspired by him, or at least loosely named after him, is The Pirate drink at Villa Cofresí.
It is well known Cofresí loved mixing his rum with coconut, so The Pirate is a mix of four rums with coconut and cocoa creams, served in a coconut! Yes, four rums!
So, grab your coconut, sit on the deck by the beach, and relax while watching the sunset. The recipe is a secret, but this YouTube video gives a brief description of the ingredients. This other post has a similar recipe, in case you’d like to try it out at home.
5. Go Scuba Diving by a Pristine Remote Island
The scenic island of Desecheo is a small paradise everyone should experience at least once in their life, especially underwater.
The island, located just 12 miles off the coast of Rincón, was originally discovered by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage to the New World.
Today it is a natural reserve only inhabited by a herd of wild goats, but once you go under the sea, you’ll see a diverse, colorful array of marine life, caverns, corals, and even the occasional unexploded artillery that sunk to the ocean floor.
The island has over 20 diving sites, all unique and full of life. Some divers claim these reefs are so alive that you can even hear them crackling.
While there are many diving companies doing trips to Desecheo, one of the most popular ones is Taino Divers.
If you have no diving experience, you can still explore Rincon’s tropical coral reefs by doing this PADI Discover Dive. Trust me; it’s worth it if you’re not a certified diver already!
For non-divers, snorkeling is also an option. You can try this snorkeling adventure, which is a great way to experience the marine life of Puerto Rico, no matter your experience level.
6. Go Deep Sea Fishing
The warm, clear blue waters of the Mona Passage, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, are excellent for fishing year-round.
It’s so good that ESPN’s Billfish Xtreme Release League rated Western Puerto Rico as #3 in the world for blue marlin fishing.
But, Rincón’s great fishing is not limited to blue marlins. Tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, and other fish are top-notch as well.
Several companies offer full-day and half-day charters with options for deep-sea fishing, live bait fishing, bottom fishing, trolling, kite fishing, and more.
Among the most popular is Makaira Fishing Charters, which is the longest-running fishing charter in Rincón.
7. Learn about the Surfing History of Puerto Rico
If you’re a surfing enthusiast, spend a quick half-hour checking the Surfing Museum (Galeria del Surfing) located in the downtown area of Rincón.
Here you can see over 100 vintage surfboards from the 1950s and 1960s, in addition to other surfing paraphernalia.
Given that this is such a small and very niche museum, it only opens sporadically. But, appointments to visit the museum can be made by calling +1-787-823-1088.
8. Drink a Delicious Mojito at One of the Best Beach Bars in the World
There are plenty of bars in Rincón where you can relax with a drink, but Tamboo Tavern deserves mention as it’s often named among the top beach bars in the Caribbean and the world, according to CNN, Travel & Leisure and USA Today.
Tamboo offers a culinary experience that blends traditional Puerto Rican cuisine with a tropical version of American light cooking.
Add to that a refreshing mojito while sitting on its open wooden deck along Sandy Beach, and all you’ll wish is that you had discovered this place sooner.
Get cozy while watching the sunset and spotting humpback whales, or hit the dance floor to the rhythm of new and classic Latin beats.
9. Keep an Eye Out on the Humpback Whales
Humpback whales are among the many magnificent sea creatures that’ll keep you in awe when you see them.
These whales, which can grow up to 50 feet in length, are known for and other distinctive surface behaviors, making them popular with whale watchers.
From December to mid-April, they migrate to the warm Caribbean waters to mate and calve before heading back to the cold North Atlantic waters during the summer.
Luckily for us, one of their preferred areas is the Mona Passage, which is just off the coast of Rincón.
To set realistic expectations, humpback whales are known to be elusive creatures, but sightings happen almost on a daily basis. With enough luck, you could spot them from Sandy Beach and Domes Beach or any other beach facing the Mona Passage.
The best time to go whale watching is either really early in the morning or during sunset.
Some local companies like Taino Divers, Katarina Sail, and Adventures Tourmarine offer sunset sailing tours year-round, but during the season, you might have a chance to see them up close.
10. Try a Different Kind of Food Truck
Food Trucks are everywhere, and many of them offer something new to the culinary scene, but CHRISin Limites (which roughly translates to Chris without Limits) is a special food truck worth trying out.
Its chef is Chris, a guy born with Down Syndrome challenging the limits often associated with his condition.
Try its delicious “bowls” made with wheat, corn, or spinach. Fill it with chicken, pork, or vegetable and top it with your choice of vegetables and dressings. He also prepares pastries based on the season.
11. Enjoy some delicious street food at [email protected]
I already mentioned CHRISin Limites, but this is not the only excellent food truck in the area.
As the first indoor food truck park in Puerto Rico, [email protected] is the perfect dining option for anyone looking to eat a variety of good food in Rincon.
Keeping with Rincon’s chill vibe, over ten food trucks are set in a way that creates a communal area for you to sit and eat while enjoying the relaxed atmosphere of the place.
I suggest you check all the trucks and what they have to offer before picking your winner.
There’s ice cream, BBQ, bistro, Italian, sushi, burgers, Mexican, and Puerto Rican food, among others. Plus, there are a few liquor and beverage truck bars too!
Some favorites there are Chago and Charl’s fish tacos and Las Cookies Chicken BBQ Cheddar sandwich.
[email protected] opens from Wednesday to Sunday from 5 pm to 12 am.
12. Go Horseback Riding by the Beach
In Rincón you can surf, relax, do watersports, and of course, go horseback riding by the beach.
Pintos “R” Us offers guided horseback riding tours along Rincón’s spectacular beaches, past the lighthouse and whale-watching park, and through other lush tropical trails that descend onto cliffs overlooking the historic Spanish Wall and the beautiful beach behind it.
13. Feel like at Your own Private Beach at the Spanish Wall
The Spanish Wall Beach is named after the old railroad built by the Spanish that used to run along Rincón’s coast. You can still see the remains of the railroad tracks and the wall that ran along with it.
Given that this beach is shallow, not surfing-friendly, and only accessible via a coastal trail from Pools Beach on the north or from Domes Beach on the south, it rarely draws a crowd, so chances are you’ll have it all for yourself!
14. Do Yoga at the Beach
Re-center yourself in Rincon while taking in the amazing ocean views.
Take a yoga class to connect to yourself, restore your energy, and stretch your body, all while being surrounded by nature and listening to the sounds of tropical waves bathing the beach.
There are plenty of yoga by the beach options in Rincon, but I recommend checking Barefoot Yoga & Ayurveda.
Rincon might be considered a sleepy town compared to San Juan and other cities in Puerto Rico, but as you can see, there’s nothing sleepy about it!
There are so many things to do and ways to relax in the sunset and surf capital of the island that you’ll never want to leave.
Essential Info: Logistical Tips and Tricks to Book your Trip to Rincon
HOW TO GET TO RINCON
The easiest way to reach Rincon is by flying to Puerto Rico’s international airport in San Juan and, from there, renting a car to drive two hours west along Highway 22 and Highway 2 to Rincon. Puerto Rico’s public transportation system is abysmal, so you must rent a car to explore the island.
Alternatively, you could fly directly to Aguadilla Airport, which is much closer (about 30 minutes away), but flights are more limited and sometimes more expensive.
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Kayak. These are two of the sites I use the most due to their exhaustive search on several websites and airlines around the world. They usually bring the cheapest fares.
WHERE TO STAY IN RINCON
There are plenty of places to stay in Rincon, and no matter the area you stay in, you’ll be close enough to the beach and main attractions. Still, there are a few recommended hotels for you to stay in.
Villa Cofresi is one of the most popular hotels in Rincon, with its famous “El Pirata” drink, as mentioned previously. Book it here | Read Reviews here
If you’re looking for a resort type of hotel, then the Rincon of the Seas Grand Caribbean Hotel is the place to go. Book it here | Read Reviews here
If you’re looking for an apartment by the beach, then Coconut Palms Inn is a great option. I recently stayed here with my family, and it was perfect for us. Book it here | Read Reviews here
Lastly, Airbnb has hundred of apartment options for you to rent during your trip.
DON’T FORGET YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel insurance with comprehensive coverage will protect you against unexpected events like theft, cancellations, injury, and illness. I use World Nomads to insure my trips.
If you’re a nomad and travel often or long term, then SafetyWing could help you save a lot of money on travel insurance.
FIND THE BEST TOURS AT THE BEST PRICES
If you’re looking for the best day tours and cheapest ticket entrances to local attractions, I recommend checking Viator, as they have the largest selection of attractions, passes, and activities all around the world.
OTHER TRAVEL AND MONEY-SAVING TIPS?
Lastly, check out my resources page for some of the best products and companies to use for your trip. If you like saving money (like I do!), then this page will help.
Images Featured, 1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14 from Flickr Creative Commons. Images 10 and 11 from Facebook Pages.
19 Best Things to Do in Rincon (Fun Activities & Top Sites)
Rincon is famous for having the best beaches to surf in Puerto Rico and the entire Caribbean, but even if you’re not a surfer, there are other great things you can do in this city located on the west coast.
Whether you want to spend the day surfing, swimming, or hiking, Rincon definitely offers endless entertainment for your vacation.
To help you have the time of your life like a local, I’ve summed up the best things to do in Rincon, so you don’t miss a bit of the fun. Oh, and be sure to bookmark my guide to staying in Rincon if you need a hotel!
Table of Contents
- 19 Best Things to Do in Rincon
- Go Scuba Diving at Desecheo Island
- Go Deep Sea Fishing
- Go Snorkeling
- Go Horseback Riding
- Visit Punta Higüera Lighthouse
- Catch Rincon’s Art Walk Every Thursday
- Reach the Steps in Steps Beach
- Surf in Domes Beach
- See the Sunset
- Walk Above the Sea
- Go Whale Watching
- Enjoy Local Coffee at Cafe 413
- Take a Surfing Class
- Shop in the Town Center
- Hunt for Sea Glass in Sandy Beach
- Visit a Local Gallery
- Swim in Rincon Public Beach
- Hike to Spanish Wall Beach
- Enjoy Dinner at [email protected]
- FAQ’s About Rincon
- Is Rincon worth visiting?
- What is there to do in Rincon Puerto Rico today?
- What is Rincon known for?
- Is Rincon Puerto Rico safe for tourists?
Disclosure: Travel Lemming is an independent reader-supported blog. You can support us by purchasing via the affiliate links on this page, which may earn us commissions. Thank you!
19 Best Things to Do in Rincon
Go Scuba Diving at Desecheo Island
Desecheo Island from Rincon
📍 Map It: Desecheo Island | 👉 Browse Viator’s Top Scuba Diving Tours
Desecheo Island is a small uninhabited island you can see from Rincon. This island is a popular destination for scuba diving because of its crystal clear waters and virgin coral reefs. Currently only the company Taino Divers offers scuba diving tours to Isla Desecheo.
👉 Looking for more great things to do? Check out my guide to the top activities in Puerto Rico.
Go Deep Sea Fishing
The union of the Caribbean sea with the Atlantic Ocean makes the waters of the west ideal for fishing. Multiple companies offer boat trips for fishing enthusiasts with the option to do deep-sea fishing, live bait fishing, and kite fishing, making Rincon the perfect day trip for fish lovers.
👉 Book a Rincon Snorkeling Tour
One of the best things to do in Rincon is to go snorkeling on one of the beautiful beaches in Rincon. While not all the beaches are suitable for snorkeling, especially during the winter, snorkel enthusiasts can’t miss the chance to practice the water sport in Steps Beach. If you don’t feel confident doing it alone, you can book this guided snorkeling tour to enjoy a safe experience.
Go Horseback Riding
There are multiple ways you can enjoy the beaches of Rincon, one of them is while riding a horse! Riding a horse on a beach during the sunset is one of the things you can scratch from your bucket list while visiting this city. There are different guided horseback riding tours you can take, so you’ll surely find one that fits your needs.
Visit Punta Higüera Lighthouse
📍 Map It: PR-4413, Aguada, Rincón 00677 | Entrance: free
There are more than a dozen lighthouses left behind by the Spaniards around Puerto Rico. Punta Higüera Lighthouse in Rincon is one of them, and it sports a height of 70 feet. This lighthouse started its service in 1922 and although it’s automated, it works up to today.
If short on time, take this amazing tour through the west of Puerto Rico so you get to visit Domes Beach and Punta Higüera Lighthouse along with other destinations on the west coast of the island.
👉 Read Next: Best Things to Do in Aguada
Catch Rincon’s Art Walk Every Thursday
📍 Map It: Pueblo, Rincón | Entrance: free
One of the things Puerto Ricans are best known for is for always finding an occasion to get together and celebrate with good music and food. That’s the experience you can enjoy every Thursday evening in Rincon’s Art Walk, where you’ll find local crafts, food, and music all while enjoying a tropical vibe atmosphere.
Reach the Steps in Steps Beach
📍 Map It: PR-413 Rincon Puerto Rico 00677, Rincón 00602 | Entrance: free
Steps Beach is one of the most beautiful and iconic beaches of Rincon and its name comes from the concrete steps on the shore. Besides its famous steps, this beach is home to natural pools and beautiful scenery. During the winter, waves can reach over 20 feet, which makes it ideal for surfing too.
👉 Local Tip: Steps Beach is perfect for sunbathing, and snorkeling in Tres Palmas Reserve. Check out the Aqua Marina Beach Club to stay a few steps away from this beach.
Surf in Domes Beach
📍 Map It: Rincon, 00602 | Entrance: free
Domes Beach is one of Rincon’s top beaches for surfing. Located a few minutes away from the lighthouse, this beach gets its name from the dome that was once a nuclear facility right behind it. The beach sports great waves for surfing, areas for camping, and a swing. This beach is also home to multiple surfing festivals during the winter.
🛎️ Local Tip: Rincon is the best place to stay in Puerto Rico if you’re a beach lover. You can read my complete guide to where to stay in Puerto Rico to see what other places are great for staying on this tropical paradise.
See the Sunset
📍 Map It: PR-413, Rincon, Rincón 00602 | Entrance: free
Rincon is famous for its colorful and breathtaking sunsets and it’s something you can’t miss if you’re in the city. There are multiple spots from where you can enjoy the sunset, but one of the best is the viewpoint in front of The Beach House in Rincon.
📚 Related Reading: Rincon is one of the top places you need to visit during your vacation in Puerto Rico. Read the complete guide to find out about the other places you can’t miss.
Walk Above the Sea
📍 Map It: Rincon, 00677 | Entrance: free
Right in front of La Cueva del Burro in Rincon, you’ll find a wooden stair that descends to the below waters and rock formations. While you travel down the road, you should keep your eyes open or you might miss it. Make a stop not only to take a picture but to enjoy the view as if you’re walking on top of the water.
Go Whale Watching
📍 Map It: PR-4413, Aguada, Rincón 00677 | Entrance: free
If you love whales, then you’ll be glad to know you can see them from Rincon. Every winter season, from January to March, humpback whales frequent the southwest coasts and locals gather along different viewpoints to take a peek of them. Punta Higüera Lighthouse serves as a whale-watching park.
🚗 How to Get There: If you’re arriving at San Juan airport, you should rent a car if you’re planning to tour around the island. You can use Discover Cars to find the best price for your rental car and if you have any worries about driving by yourself in Puerto Rico, read my guide to driving on the island.
Enjoy Local Coffee at Cafe 413
📍 Map It: 157B Cll Progreso, Aguada, Rincón 00602 | Phone: (939) 697-8188 | Hours: 8 am – 4 pm daily, Closed Wednesdays
If you haven’t tasted a good Puerto Rican coffee yet, then I recommend you stop at cafe 413 in Rincon’s Town Center. This casual restaurant sports both a bar and a coffee shop, and you can enjoy breakfast, lunch, or brunch. The coffee here is to die for, or if you’re more of a tea person, don’t miss the Chai Latte.
Take a Surfing Class
If you’re a surfing enthusiast, but you don’t know how to surf yet, then you can start by taking your first class in Rincon. Since the city is the capital for surfing on the island, you will find multiple surfing schools that provide guided lessons regardless of your age, weight, or gender.
See our guide to surfing in Puerto Rico for more.
Shop in the Town Center
Rincon sports a colorful town center with souvenir shops, art galleries, bakeries, bars, and small boutiques. Set your shopaholic free and go store hopping around the plaza. You can also grab a quick lunch at the area, or enjoy a nice coffee while sitting on the benches.
🛎️ Need a hotel? Villa Cofresi is a great hotel to stay close to the town center and have top bars, restaurants, and festivities within walking distance.
Hunt for Sea Glass in Sandy Beach
Sandy Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Rincon, both for its waters and the beach bars around it, but craft makers and souvenirs lovers will find it perfect for hunting Sea Glass or small “frosted” crystals on the shore.
Visit a Local Gallery
Besides its wonderful beaches, Rincon also sports different galleries visitors can enjoy, including The Uncharted Studio and F Javier Gil Gallery pictured above. Besides admiring the local art, you can also buy local crafts and paintings.
Swim in Rincon Public Beach
📍 Map It: 8PRV+6Q8, Rincon, Rincón 00677 | Entrance: free
If you´re looking for a beach with facilities where you can spend your day swimming, then head over to Rincon’s Public Beach. This beach with turquoise waters is where the locals go to relax, snorkel and kayak. It sports free parking, showers, bathrooms, and even gazebos you can rent for any type of activity.
👉 Are you a beach lover? Don’t miss the guide to the top beaches in Puerto Rico.
Hike to Spanish Wall Beach
📍 Map It: Cam. las Trinitarias, Aguada, Rincón 00602 | Entrance: free
Spanish Wall Beach is one of the secret beaches from Rincon even when it’s reachable from Domes Beach. The beach gets its name after the historic Spanish wall ruins that used to be the railroad. You can access the trail from Domes Beach, you can also reach Pools Beach and Sandy Beach along the coast.
Enjoy Dinner at [email protected]
📍 Map It: Stella, Rincón 00677 | Hours: 12 – 10 pm Thurs to Sun, Closed from Mon to Wed
Foodies will not lack options in Rincon, especially in Rincon’s [email protected] This food truck park sports food for all different tastes and it’s open until late so you can visit when you’re hungry for a night snack. They also host live music during some days of the month.
FAQ’s About Rincon
Is Rincon worth visiting?
Rincon is one of the top destinations to visit in Puerto Rico and visitors should spend part of their vacation there. Rincon sports top notch beaches, great local cuisine, historical buildings, and local festivals travelers can enjoy.
What is there to do in Rincon Puerto Rico today?
Travelers that visit Rincon can take surfing lessons, surf in Playa Domes or Maria’s Beach, enjoy food on the kiosks in Sandy Beach, go shopping, horseback riding, snorkeling, and scuba diving too.
What is Rincon known for?
Rincon is best known as the Caribbean’s surfing capital for its world class surfing beaches, and its beautiful sunsets. Rincon is also known as one of the best spots in Puerto Rico to see humpback whales during the winter.
Is Rincon Puerto Rico safe for tourists?
The city of Rincon is probably the safest city for tourists after San Juan and Carolina. The city is home to dozens of expats and it’s also one of the top tourist destinations in Puerto Rico. See our full guide to Puerto Rico safety for more information.
That’s it for the best things to do in Rincon! This beautiful city is one of the top destinations in Puerto Rico and even if you’re not a surfer, you will love your stay in Rincon. Before you go, be sure to bookmark our epic Rincon travel guide!
👉 If you’re looking for more great places in Puerto Rico, check out the 33 best places to see around the island!
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90,000 Puerto RICO — tourist attractions, the most visited places
- 888888 Home
- Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is located in North America. The capital is the city of San Juan. Area is 9thousand square kilometers. The population is 4 million. We counted 76 attractions in this country. Here are some of the more interesting ones. Temple of Porta Coeli, Church of Christ the Savior (Capilla de Cristo), Church of San Jose, Cemetery of Mary Magdalene, Lighthouse of Cape San Juan. Temple of Porta Coeli, Church of Christ the Savior (Capilla de Cristo), Church of San Jose, Cemetery of Mary Magdalene, Lighthouse of Cape San Juan.
- Temple of Porta Coeli
- Church of Christ the Savior (Capilla de Cristo)
TOP-100 (actually 76) attractions, Puerto Rico
Temple of Porta Coeli
Porta Coeli is the oldest Catholic church in the Western Hemisphere. Built on San Juan Hill
Church of Christ the Savior (Capilla de Cristo)
Church of Christ the Savior or Chapel of Christ, built at the end of the 18th century, on top of one of the
Church of San José
Church of San José, built in Old San Juan in 1532, the second oldest church in all of the Americas
Cemetery of Mary Magdalene
Mary Magdalene Cemetery in the city of San Juan, named after Saint Mary Magdalene de
Cape San Juan Lighthouse
Cape San Juan Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse built on the highest point of Cape San Juan by Manuel C
Feliza Rincón de Gautiere Museum
The Feliz Rincón de Gautiere Museum is a wonderful monument to Old San Juan. Museum dedicated to life and work
Art Museum of Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Museum of Art, was opened on the first July 2000. It is the largest art museum
Lighthouse Punta Tuna
Maunabo Lighthouse, also known as Punta Tuna, is a small white building with a tower built on
Museum of massacre
Ponce Massacre Museum dedicated to the tragic events in Ponce during the struggle for independence