As its Spanish name suggests, the municipality of Rincón can feel remotely tucked away in the northern corner of Puerto Rico’s west coast… but it is far from unknown. Rincón is considered one of the premiere surfing areas on the globe and as such has been host to several international competitions, including the 1968 World Surfing Championship, and more recently, the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship of 2007.
Las Marías, Tres Palmas, and Domes are among the most famous surfing beaches in Rincón. These beaches are located in the ‘wilder’ stretch known as Sunset Coast, where waves range anywhere from 2 to 25 feet, sometimes more. And it’s no wonder then that surfers come here, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, in search of a perfect wave. Domes is named after one of the island’s true oddities: a short-lived, dome-shaped nuclear reactor installed nearby and shut down during the 1960s. Tres Palmas, on the other hand, is also called Steps, or Playa Escalera, as the former refers to the area outside the surf break while the latter stands for the inside, an area which is sometimes too rough for swimming.
Rincón’s beautiful beaches might be moody, but their beauty extends for miles, beckoning many types of visitors not intent on riding the waves. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and beach volleyball are other activities popular with the fairly active crowds. There are also interesting sites to step away from the sand, including a marine reserve and a historic lighthouse. Rincón might be known as “el pueblo del surfing,” but at the end of the day, everyone knows there’s a reason it is also called the town of beautiful sunsets.