Surfing in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated US territory and it’s considered one of the best surfing destinations in the Caribbean. The island is situated in the north-eastern Caribbean Sea and is known as the “Caribbean North Shore”. There are many kinds of waves along the 580 km of coastline making Puerto Rico the perfect destination for all levels of surfers. Puerto Rico has more than surf to offer to the travelers who come to visit this laid-back island. The tropical vibes along with the stunning scenery of palm trees and white sand beaches are more than enough reasons to add this amazing destination to every surfer’s bucket list. The main surf season in Puerto rico is from October to February. This time of the year can be crowded and lots of surfers prefer to come from mid-April to June. There is less crowd during this shoulder season but the summertime rains still haven't started. With all these qualities it’s a big surprise that Puerto Rico is not considered one of the top surfing destinations in the world.
Climate in Puerto Rico
The climate in Puerto Rico is tropical with warm temperatures throughout the whole year. Average air temperatures are around 29 °C (85 °F) in the coast but can get lower on the mountains inland. Easterly trade winds prevail year round while the rainy season happens from April into November. In autumn North Atlantic storms start kicking in around late September and the deepwater Puerto Rican trench captures any north swell bringing consistent waves to the North Shore of the Atlantic. This is a good time to surf in Puerto Rico. During winter time surfers from all over the world travel to Puerto Rico. November to February is a transition time that sees a constant string of low-pressure systems off the Eastern Seaboard, which can create some solid swells. This is when the offshore winds are prevailing. Swells aren’t as large as in winter, but can reach up to 4-6ft and occasional 8ft swell, even into May. Summer usually presents a lack of big swells.
Best surf spots in Puerto Rico
The best surf spots in Puerto Rico are located in the Northwest coast of the island, from Isabela to Rincon. These are the main breaks in the country: Rincon, Surfer’s Beach, Table Tops, Survival Beach, Wilderness, Wishing Well, Manglito, Crash Boat Playa Aviones, La Islita, Kikita, Cerro Gordo, Boca del Cibuco, Los Tubos, La Marginal, Playa Caza y Pezca, BCS, Dunes, Gas Chambers, Indicators, Little Malibu, Parking Lots and Pools.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $5 USD. Mid-range meals start at $10 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $40-70 USD
Surfboard rentals are about $25 USD per day or $150 per week.
Prepaid SIM cards
Claro is a good choice. SIM cards can be purchased from the airport, at local stand up shops, and retailers everywhere.
Prepaid packages start at $10 USD.
There are públicos (bus services) that travel on set routes, but they wait for the vehicle to be full before departing, so make sure you have time on your hands.
In San Juan you’ll find guaguas (public buses).
Renting a car or motorbike is your best option though. Rental cars start at $40 USD a day.
Uber is also available in the city, as are a few local ride-hailing companies.
$0.41 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Puerto Rico is mostly known for big, hollow, powerful surf and reef breaks. Also strong currents and riptides, as well as a healthy supply of sea urchins.
June to September is hurricane season.
How to prepare
US and Candian citizens do not require a visa to enter. Citizens from 39 countries, including the UK and Australia, can enter Puerto Rico with a visa waiver for up to 90 days.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella.
Things to know
Language & Currency
Spanish is the dominant language of Puerto Rico, but many of the local people also speak English. Traveling to the island without Spanish speaking skills is not a problem. You’ll get by just fine with only English.
The currency is the US Dollar ($)
Best time to go
September to November and April to May. June to September is the rainy season with the potential for hurricanes.
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 911 in cases of emergency.
|Check surf pictures of Puerto Rico at #surfpuertorico.