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Home > Interests & Activities > Beaches > Surfing & Kiteboarding
There’s a reason why Puerto Rico has been called the “Hawaii of the Atlantic;” why some of the most storied surf competitions have crowned the world’s best on our shores; and why the sport of kiteboarding is literally taking off on our waves.
From its humble beginnings in the 1960s, Puerto Rico has grown to become one of the world’s premier surf destinations.
The tradewinds, spectacular year-round weather, and gnarly breaks you’ll find here—particularly on the west coast—combine to rank Puerto Rico among the best surfing experiences in the world. An active community of surfers lives on the island, and many more come from around the world to become one with our waves.
While peak season occurs in the winter months (November to February), you’ll find chances to surf throughout the year, and a vibrant cottage industry that provides instruction, rentals and a friendly community of like-minded souls.
Located in Isabela on the northwest corner of Puerto Rico, Jobos has a bit of everything: wild, rugged, fossilized sand dunes; a beautiful beach for those who don’t surf; and some tasty local eateries. It also has some of the island’s most consistent waves and a surfing experience that can be enjoyed by surfers of all levels.
Jobos is a well-known venue for world-class surfing. It hosted the 1988 World Amateurs and is a favored beach for numerous surf competitions.
Watch Those Rocks
The locals all gravitate to a small rock ledge on the east end, where the main wave breaks.
What’s in a Name
Jobos is the name of a sweet tropical fruit that grows in Puerto Rico and throughout the Caribbean; it’s also called a hog plum or Spanish plum.
Steps and Tres Palmas
With its short flight of concrete steps right on the beach and leading nowhere, Steps is an unmistakable fixture in the surf capital of Rincón. Steps and Tres Palmas go hand in hand, and is usually where experienced surfers go to hunt for big waves.
When one surfing site recommends that you might be better off staying at home and renting a movie rather than daring the breaks at Tres Palmas, you know this spot is for experienced surfers only.
When it’s not surfing season, come here to snorkel at the coral reef, part of the Tres Palmas Marine Reserve.
Steps is close to one of Rincón’s most iconic beaches: Marías, which lies at the end of Route 413, the “Road to Happiness.”
An intimidating name for a place with a reputation for what many consider to be Puerto Rico’s best tube, Gas Chambers is something of a rare treat. It only breaks a handful of times a year, but those who have surfed at Gas Chambers say it’s well worth the wait. The crowds who often gather here to watch the pros are likely to cheer your efforts.
Sister Crash Boat
Gas Chambers lies next to one of the more famous beaches in Puerto Rico: Crash Boat. Gas Chambers is located north of the pier, in front of a rock wall.
This is no place to test your newly minted surfing chops; you’ll often find pros at Gas Chambers, with good reason; novices and amateurs, stay on the shore.
When Gas Chambers isn’t a world-class wave (which is most of the time), you’d swear it’s not a surfing beach at all. If you do plan to surf here, make sure to check conditions before you make the journey.
Aguadilla’s most famous beach draws surfers, bathers and families alike, Crash Boat is almost the surf beach that wasn’t. The beach was intended to serve as a dock, but that didn’t quite work out; instead, the pier and nature combined to create a fun surf spot for all levels of surfers.
Behind the name
Crash Boat gets its name from its unique history: it was originally intended to serve as a dock for U.S. Air Force rescue boats.
While you’re here, notice the row of tropically colored fishing boats moored on the sand; this has become one of Puerto Rico’s most iconic images.
Snorkeling and Kayaking
Crash Boat is hugely popular, in part because of all it offers. You can rent snorkeling gear and kayaks right on the beach, and the pier makes for a rewarding snorkeling spot.
Ocean Park Beach
Ask a Sanjuanero to take you to the best surfing beach in the city, and you’ll likely end up in Ocean Park. This area has also become a popular kiteboarding and windsurfing destination, with schools and rentals available nearby.
The Beach Less Traveled
Wedged between Condado and Isla Verde Beaches (far more popular with the tourist crowd), Ocean Park caters to a more laid back crowd, making it a great place for beginners to wipe out spectacularly without an audience.
This beach is located in the Ocean Park neighborhood of San Juan, a Bohemian place with a laid back vibe and a cluster of small inns. It’s an affordable and pleasant option for those who don’t want the resort experience.
Puerto Rico’s kiteboarding instructors and experts agree: Ocean Park and Isla Verde are the places to be if you want to try this sport; instruction and rentals are easy to find here.
Isla Verde Beach
The Atlantic Ocean breeze and surf make this a popular beach for surfing and kiteboarding in particular. In fact, you can even enjoy a free kiteboarding lesson here on weekend mornings, courtesy of 15 Knots, which runs Puerto Rico’s leading kiteboarding school.
The Resort Beach
A perfect golden crescent of sand, Isla Verde is ringed by hotels ranging from budget inns to luxury resorts. If you crave the sun, sea and sand, this is one of San Juan’s most desirable addresses.
Isla Verde at Night
Known for its beach, Isla Verde also has an enviable reputation as one of the island’s premier nighttime hangouts. With destinations like Brava Nightclub, Bed Lounge, Liquid and Wet, this neighborhood stays hot after the sun sets.
Isla Verde is among the most popular beaches in Puerto Rico, in part because it offers virtually every kind of watersport, from kiteboarding, to personal watercrafts, to Banana boats, and more.
Another favorite among experienced surfers and pros, Middles is located in Isabela. This was the main beach for the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search, which brought some of the best surfers on the planet to Puerto Rico’s west coast; with its cinema-quality deep barrels, it’s not hard to see why.
In Good Company
If you liking surfing where the pros surf, you’ll be happy to know that the Puerto Rican Surfing Association hosts its Corona Extra Pro Surf Circuit right here in Middles.
Middles was also host to the Encanto World Series, the first-ever bodyboarding competition sanctioned by the International Bodyboarding Association.
While it’s not as intense as Gas Chambers, Middles is another beach best reserved for experienced surfers and pros.
One of the most popular surfing beaches in Puerto Rico, Domes is named for the massive dome that perches over the coast at its northern end. Remnant of a nuclear reactor built in the 1960s (no worries, the nuclear waste is long gone), the giant dome, together with the Rincón Lighthouse, make this one of the more scenic beaches on the island.
More than Domes
Not only is Domes home to outstanding surfing, it also has two neighbors – Spanish Wall, which you can only reach by hiking along the Domes Trail, and Indicators, on the other side of the lighthouse, that offer some of the most tempting waves in the Caribbean.
In December, visit this beach and the lighthouse for a chance to spot migrating humpback whales from the shore.
About That Dome
Plans are underway to convert it into a science museum, giving you yet another reason to want to visit this corner of Puerto Rico.