There comes a time every winter where you just need to get away from the frigid cold and bitter winds to experience warm sun, sandy beaches and perfect tropical waters. This season forget the tourist packed beach resorts and opt instead for a real eco-adventure to the quaint island town of Rincon, Puerto Rico. Whether looking for a relaxing warm getaway or epic surf trip, this island has something for everyone.
We had the pleasure of staying at the Rincon Boarding House in Barrio Puntas, which is the most peaceful and beautiful area of Rincon. This ideal location provides convenient access to the entire west coast of PR and has quiet roads, sweeping ocean views, and no street lights for miles. Despite arriving in the middle of the night, we were easily able to find where we were going and had everything waiting for us inside the accommodating Bajacú Suite (translation: Good Heart, Good Moon).
Located on the second floor of the west side of the house, this is their largest and most comfortable family suite featuring three queen beds, console A/C units and spacious seating areas for added comfort and privacy. The suite also has a large living/dining area and fully equipped kitchen. The entire guest house features incredible Caribbean ocean views, daily maid service, and everything you’d expect from staying at a fancy hotel such as fresh towels, high-speed Internet & more.
Located at one of the highest points in Puntas, the ocean views from all the Boarding House accommodations are truly breathtaking. All roads from the house lead to white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters, world class surf breaks and snorkeling sunset sails. The Boarding House is also family-owned and operated which means you can expect personalized service as if you were one of the family.
The owner, Erica, is a true honorary local in that she moved to Rincon from the states many years ago and has made this town her home ever since. A soon-to-be yoga instructor, Erica’s vision is to run week-long yoga retreats with sunrise and sunset sessions on her beautiful roof deck. She already has relationships with some of the top yoga talent in the world and intends to offer these classes in partnership with their support.
Her warm and welcoming spirit were a definite perk of staying at the Boarding House. She was also able to point us to a really cool Farmer’s Market in the center of town and all the lesser known local hot spots. One such hidden gem was a really great restaurant called La Cambija— known for their amazing fish tacos and fresh squeezed watermelon mojitos (highly recommended that you go here). There’s also the English Rose where Erica works, a delicious breakfast place perched high atop a cliff overlooking all of Rincon. With eight other restaurants and bars within two minutes of the Boarding House, there is always a great variety of quality international cuisine and laid back “island style” nightlife including live music and surfing slide shows just steps from the sand.
The Boarding House is also fully equipped to help you make the most of your island adventure or relaxing getaway. They have a complete stock of Rincon beach & surfboard rentals ready to cater to all your needs and an in-house Rincon surf school for the more adventurous traveler. The best part is that all guests receive 15% off all surf lessons and beach rentals. And for the more inclusive loving traveler, they also offer Puerto Rico vacation packages with their comfortable Rincon guest house accommodations and a special menu of activities for you to choose from.
An Island Lesson in Soul Surfing
While you’re here, be sure to schedule a surf lesson with Boarding House Resident Surf Instructor, and local Big Kahuna, Leo. He offers surf instruction for the novice beginner all the way up to the accomplished expert. We had the opportunity to paddle out at Marias Beach with Leo and are proud to report that just a few hours together has taken our surfing to entirely new level.
His advice is to take your time surveying the water and scope out a nice consistent peak from the beach by using a visual landmark to keep your position in the water. Time your paddle out between sets and move forward in a nice methodical motion without expelling too much energy. When you arrive at your peak, center yourself using the visual landmark you initially set. When you see a wave approaching, don’t try and fight for it — wait patiently for it to come to you, give a few thorough paddles, then slide right into it!
His philosophy is that surfing is more of an finesse-based art form than a sport which you can muscle your way through. Surfing, he says, demands a deep connection with the ocean as well as a conscious awareness of yourself in the water. Spoken like a true soul surfer, Leo helps to open your “third eye” of surfing in order to accelerate your ability and pull off more advanced maneuvers in the water. To learn his advice for pulling off these more advanced moves, be sure to ask Erica about scheduling a session with Leo and you won’t be disappointed!