Our Anniversary Trip To Rincon Puerto Rico:
As you may have already heard me say, in my last post on doing a trip around the island, last month we went to Rincón for our anniversary.
It was a spur of the moment thing, and we only stayed two nights, but I wanted to share with you some of my impressions and observations about Rincón, as well as some of the pictures we took.
My Impressions of Rincón Puerto Rico:
- Hip surfer vibe – Rincón feels very much like a surfer town. I guess that is well deserved because there are some wicked waves there during the winter months; but in general, it has a laidback, surfer feel. This is reinforced by many signs advertising surfing lessons, yoga studios, and hip lunch spots on some of the beaches. We went in June, which is considered “off-season” for surfing but there were still plenty young folks that dressed and looked the part of surfers, by that I mean grungy, long hair, hipster types. Nothing wrong with that, in fact, it added to the overall charm and vibe of a laidback beach town. I liked it – a lot!
- Beautiful – no doubt, just like the rest of Puerto Rico, Rincón is beautiful. Amazing beach views, nice town square, and it is very lush and green. No big surprise there – judge for yourself from the pictures. Click any picture to enlarge.
- Clean – this actually was a surprise. Rincón is quite clean comparing to our experience in other areas of Puerto Rico. The biggest difference we saw was on the beaches – they were clean and there were signs everywhere to encourage people to keep them clean. I really liked that!
- Art Walk – on Thursday evenings, local artisans get together and set up booths around the Rincón Plaza to sell their wares. We just happened to be there on a Thursday and we thought it was pretty cool. Pretty crowded too, even during low season. There are many neat things to be found at the different tables, anything from wood carved puzzles to jeweler to clothing.
- Quite Americanized – I guess depending on your perspective this is either good or bad. We noticed that there were far more North Americans in Rincón than here on our side of the island. In fact, most of the wait staff in restaurants we visited were mainlander transplants, as were the restaurant owners. On the eastern side of the island, Rincón is affectionately called Gringolandia, aka Gringo land or Yankee land. When I mentioned this to our hosts (we stayed at a guest house via AirBNB), they laughed and said: “yep, but we call you guys the SanJuaneros”. HA HA HA – I thought that was funny.
- Rocky beaches – the beaches were our main focus. We wanted to see what the Caribbean side really looked like. They were pretty but I would say not nearly as nice as some of the beaches in our area. Main difference being that there are LOTs of rocks and only a few beaches that I would consider “swimmable”. In fact, the beaches in Rincón reminded me a lot of Costa Rica’s Pacific beaches. That is pretty much the opposite of our area; we have mainly swimming and walking beaches here, and only one decent surfing beach. Again, this would be personal preference – I like our beaches better.
- Reversed seasons – the tourist season in Rincón is the complete reverse of ours. They are really busy in the winter with LOTs of North American tourists and surfers but very quiet in the summer. Here in Luquillo, the winters are quiet while the North Americans visit (many folks “winter” here) and then in the summer the San Juan’s population descends on our beaches and it gets very busy as a result.
- Expensive – this may be a result of the popularity Rincón has with tourists but it seemed to me that everything was more expensive in Rincón: restaurants, hotels, condos, even groceries seemed a bit higher. For example, we had an excellent breakfast of eggs benedict on our anniversary at $16 a shot! Add coffee and tax to that and we walked out of there with an over $40 breakfast bill – OUCH! We also got some Medallas (local beer) on the beach and they were $4.00, I don’t think I’ve seen Medalla in bars around here for more than $2.00. In fact the popular surfer bar here in Luquillo (which is also on the beach) has special nights when you can get them for just $1.25. The frozen “virgin” drinks we were drinking in the top picture, were $6.37 – that’s no alcohol folks..
- Eco-aware – Rincón is the first (and the only) town on the island to be “plastic shopping bag free”. They actually passed a city ordinance banning them. If you go to a grocery store, you better bring a bag to carry your groceries or pay for the paper ones. I thought that this was an example of Rincón’s concern for the environment and we saw that type of things all around town – clean up signs, recycling signs, etc. Very cool indeed, we definitely need more of that here in Luquillo.
That’s all folks. Those were my main impressions of Rincón. Overall we really liked it and are definitely going to go back to visit. We really want to see more of the “under the covers” side of Rincón because from what we hear, it can be quite different than the tourist side.