Surfing in Puerto Rico: Top Surf Spots & Tips! [2024]

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Surfing in Puerto Rico: Top Surf Spots & Tips! [2024]
Catching a wave is truly one of the most thrilling experiences. Whether you’re a beginner or have been surfing for years, riding a wave is an indescribable feeling you have to experience.
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Puerto Rico is a top destination for surfers worldwide because the weather and water are warm all year. You can find surf spots for any skill level, even if you’ve never touched a surfboard before.

While surfing didn’t catch on in Puerto Rico until the late 1950s, the island now has a thriving surf culture. 

Where is Puerto Rico?

The island of Puerto Rico is a US territory located east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. The Atlantic Ocean surrounds it on the eastern and northern shores and the Caribbean Sea on the southern beaches.

US citizens don’t need a passport to travel here, and it’s quite easy to get to. Most people can get a direct flight from Florida to one of two airports on the island, Aguadilla and San Juan International. 

Once in Puerto Rico, you’ll definitely want to rent a car, preferably an SUV of some kind, especially if you’re traveling with your own gear. The island is small enough to drive around in one day, making it easy to find working surf spots.

Drone view of Island of Puerto Rico surrounded by boats
Photo by TripAdvisor

Where Should I Stay in Puerto Rico?

If you’re planning on traveling to Puerto Rico strictly to surf, you’ll want to stay in Rincón or Isabella. 

Rincón is Puerto Rico’s quintessential surf town. It has a laid-back feel and is home to world-class surf spots like Domes, María’s, Tres Palmas, and Sandy Beach. 

Not only famous for these surf spots, but Rincón is also legendary for its sunsets, as well as being one of the best places to see humpback whales during the winter months. 

You won’t find any high-rise condos or luxury hotels here, but you can find plenty of Airbnb options and surf camps.

Isabella is only slightly more built up. You may find some condos here, but it’s still a quiet place to stay with more beginner-friendly surf spots like Jobos and Middles. Swimming, snorkeling, and paddleboarding are also popular here, as the waters can be a bit calmer.

Person walking on beach in Puerto Rico: Rincón
Photo by Dana Berez

Why is Surfing so Popular in Puerto Rico?

There are so many reasons to visit Puerto Rico to surf. For example:

  • There are spots for every level
  • Consistent swells
  • It’s warm all year long
  • Easy to get to
  • Easy to get around
  • There are different types of waves
  • Great place to learn to surf
  • Fairly affordable
  • Places to rent equipment 

When Is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Rico?

The best time to surf in Puerto Rico is late fall through early spring. During these months, you can find fun, consistent swell with the occasional storm that brings bigger waves. It’s a great time to visit and learn to surf!

Hurricane season, which runs June through November, brings bigger, heavier swell and is popular with advanced surfers seeking out big, hollow waves. 

Where Can I Learn to Surf?

Various camps offer packages for anyone coming to Puerto Rico to learn to surf. Booking a stay at a camp is an excellent option for anyone who has never surfed before or does not have their own equipment. 

Many camps offer variations of packages that include accommodation, lessons, equipment, food, and sometimes even an excursion. 

Top-rated camps include:

What Are the Best Places to Go Surfing?

There are dozens of places to surf in Puerto Rico, so finding a break for your skill level should be a breeze. Whether this is your first time or you’ve been surfing your whole life, there is something for everyone. 

Beginner Spots

  • Sandy Beach
  • Surfers Beach
  • Jobos Beach
  • La Pared

Intermediate Spots

  • Gas Chambers
  • Crash Boat
  • Wilderness

Advanced Spots

  • Domes
  • La Ocho
  • Tres Palmas
Walkway on Jobos Beach
Photo by Puerto Rico Day Trips

Safety Tips and Trick

Surfing can be a dangerous sport, but there are simple rules to follow that will keep you safe and focused on catching a wave:

  • Don’t surf a spot that is above your skill level.
  • “When in doubt, don’t go out.”
  • Never surf alone or at night.
  • Tell others where you’re surfing and when you expect to be back.
  • Take a lesson if you’ve never surfed before.
  • Memorize the rules of “surf etiquette.”
  • Study/learn about the spot you’re going to.
  • Be aware of riptides and strong currents.
  • Check the weather and tides before heading out.
  • Don’t leave stuff unattended on the beach, and lock cars.
  • Some beaches have urchins that can get stuck in your feet—be cautious.
  • Puerto Rico can get crowded, so be respectful, especially of locals.

What Should I Pack?

If you’re coming with your own gear:

  • Extra fins
  • Spare leash
  • Wax
  • Ding repair kit
  • Wetsuit top

In general:

  • Reef safe sunscreen
  • Multiple bathing suites
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Hat
  • Reusable water bottle
Surfing essentials laid out
Photo by Surf School

Let’s Go Surfing in Puerto Rico!

Surfing is one of the most magical experiences on the planet. There is no way to describe it adequately. You just have to experience it for yourself! If you’re still planning out your Puerto Rican surf trip, remember to get more organized with a trip planner.

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Amanda Strube Blog
Written by:
Amanda Strube
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