I recently had the opportunity to visit Rincon, Puerto Rico for the first time and had absolutely no idea what to expect. I fell in love with the island nearly 15 years ago when my husband and I took our first trip there as a couple. Now, as we were so incredibly in need of a kid-free vacation, we took the suggestion of some friends of ours and decided on a vacation to Rincon.
Rincon, Puerto Rico has always been a favorite destination for visitors to Puerto Rico and there are several strong reasons behind that. The place is mostly known for its breathtaking sunsets, scenic beaches, amazing eateries, and great surfing opportunities. It’s true that people who travel to Rincon are mostly interested in spending some relaxing time – I was surely no exception here. However, if you’re visiting Rincon, I highly suggest you also make time to visit some of the most talked about offerings of this Puerto Rican municipality. Here are some of the amazing things we experienced during our trip and top picks for visitors to Rincon.
Where to Stay
One thing you will not find in Rincon are any “chain” hotels. Rincon prides itself on offering visitors a truly authentic (and “non-touristy”) experience. I had a chance to experience two very lovely and unique lodging options: Blue Boy Inn and Seashell Villas.
The Blue Boy Inn is a privately owned Luxury Bed and Breakfast and our experience there was nothing short of
phenomenal. It’s a beautiful property equipped with 8 rooms, a large pool, hot tub, lounge areas, outdoor grill, fire pit, and some beautiful tropical gardens in site. I describe it as having all the charm of a Bed and Breakfast with the amenities of a luxury resort. It’s literally just a 2 minute walk to the beach and a few local bars and restaurants. The Innkeepers were very warm and personable and incredibly helpful in guiding us around town. Blue Boy Inn is Rincon’s top-rated B&B/Inn on TripAdvisor, and we are definitely a place for romance and peaceful relaxation. Check out my full review of the Blue Boy Inn.
Next, we stayed at the beautiful Seashell Mansion, in the upstairs villa. The Seashell Mansion is actually a one of HomeAway properties and is a gorgeous architecturally designed beachfront house. Yes, we could literally step outdoors to the beach! Our villa contained 2 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms, laundry room full kitchen, living room and furnished balcony overlooking the ocean.
The larger mansion includes all of the same, plus an additional half bath, dining room with seating for up to 8 people, private jacuzzi, internal garden, and a floating stairway leads to a rooftop bar and entertainment area.
Either is perfect for a relaxing luxury vacation for couples, families, girls trip, and more! Find out more about the Seashell Mansion and Villas HERE.
Things to Do in Rincon
Must See Attractions
There are a few nice attractions in Rincon. If you’re there, you should not miss visiting the Punta Higuero Lighthouse. This historic structure was built way back in 1892 and was again renovated in the year 1922. It rises over 100 ft above the scintillating Caribbean waters; climb up to the observation deck of the lighthouse for enjoying spectacular view of the ocean.
Another attraction you may want to visit in Rincon is the Isla Desecheo. It’s a remote island that is regarded as a National Wildlife Refuge. Right now, the island is not inhabited by the humans. However, there was a time when
Desecheo was home to bandits, pirates, as well as the US military (they were here for training and testing artillery). Thanks to the crystal clear water it is surrounded by, today, the island is immensely popular among people interested in taking part adventurous activities like snorkeling and scuba diving.
Another must-visit place is the Rincon Surf Museum. The museum has over hundred vintage surfboards as exhibits; these surfboards were manufactured and used during the 50s and 60s. The list of exhibits at the Rincon Surf Museum also includes a range of other interesting surfing gears.
Rincon being such a hub for surfers, there are many options for water sports and other vacation activities. These include, but are not limited to,
sail charters, flying fish parasail, diving, and tropical trail rides. You can find out more about these offerings at www.surfrinconpr.com.
There aren’t any malls in Rincon, but you’ll find quite a few specialty gift shops in the area. Red Door Boutique is the place to find an assortment of locally made jewelry and crafts, among other imported goods. Caribbean Trading Company offers a variety of souvenirs and gifts, but I was most excited about their assortment of spices, marinades, rum cakes and other edible goodies. On the weekends, I’d definitely recommend stopping by the Farmer’s Market in the downtown area!
If you must get your fill for some mall shopping, I did come across the Puerto Rican Premium Outlet Mall on our way back to San Juan from Rincon.
Rincon Night Life
While the nightlife in Rincon isn’t overwhelming, we did manage to find a few fun spots for late night dancing and drinks. One place we hung out one night was called Pico Teo. From the front, it looked like the place was about to close, but we discovered the hidden gem of a back room where we Salsa danced and Bachata’d the night away. A few other suggestions we had include Tamboo, Villa Cofresi Hotel, as well as Calypso Cafe & Tropical Bar and The Beach House for restaurant/bar/music/nightlife on/near Maria’s Beach. There are also several local bars in the area that may or may not offer dancing.
Last, but not least, your trip to Rincon would be a lot less exciting if you don’t spend a few (or many) hours at the Rincon Bay Beaches. This was the place that hosted the International Surfing Championships of 1968. Now, it’s a haven for people who love sunning, snorkeling, and swimming. It includes six scenic beaches, some of which are located along the Caribbean Sea, while the others are situated along the Atlantic Ocean. The pristine waters, convenient amenities, and clean shoreline the beaches offer also make it ideal for family trips.
Where to eat in Rincon
As I mentioned earlier, Rincon offers a truly local experience in Puerto Rico. In addition to not finding any chain hotels, you won’t find any chain stores of any kind – that means, no fast food restaurants, no Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, etc. What you will find are some of the most delicious and authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, in addition to some flavorful takes on traditional American foods.
There were many, many great restaurants to choose from, but some of the ones we had the opportunity to visit and would recommend include La Cambija and Red Flamboyan for Puerto Rican food, as well as Mi Familias for some great pizza. La Copa Lllena and English Rose were also recommended for international cuisine and fusion food respectfully, though we did not get a chance to visit unfortunately.
There are also quite a few fresh juice bars you’ll find around the city, including one we tried nearby the Blue Boy Inn called Carta Buena. The Mango Colada (non-alcoholic) was unforgettable!
What you should know before traveling to Rincon
Of course, since Puerto Rico is a US Territory, you do not need to have a passport to travel here. You have two options as far as airports to fly in -San Juan and Aguadilla, which is about 30-45 minutes away. Since fewer airlines fly into Aguadilla, many visitors will fly into San Juan, rent a car and drive along the 2 – 2 1/2 hour route. Not to worry, however, as the ride is filled with some of the most beautiful scenery. Oh, and a really yummy pit stop about halfway to Rincon is a place called El Buen Cafe!
While you should always be a cautious traveler, crime did not appear to be a problem in Rincon for us at all. The people there were very friendly and we felt pretty safe during our stay.
All in all, if you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation and a break from the hustle and bustle of big city life, I highly recommend you visit Rincon! It’s perfect for a couples trip, girlfriends getaway, or even a family vacation. For more information on Rincon or additional tips for your Rincon Vacation, check out www.visitrincon.com.