PUERTO RICO XtremeBigAir's
December 17, 2003 - January 7, 2004
by Kinsley Wong http://XtremeBigAir.com
and Other XtremeBigAir Xpeditions.
(Kinsley Wong at Isabella Beach,
Punta Sandinaro, Puerto Rico - December 2003)
During the period of December 17, 2003 through January 7, 2004, we
visited many well known beaches of Puerto Rico Island as well as some
unknown one like Yauca,
Tamarindo, Mayaguez, etc... Here you will find our reviews of Puerto
Rico beaches for Kiteboarding.
When To Go:
The best time to visit Puerto Rico for waves riding is from December
through April. For flat-water is April through August. The wave-sailing
season starts off with the Christmas winds in December
and tapers off in mid-April. Winds are somewhat inconsistent in the 10-
to 25-knot range, blowing side-off to side-on, starboard-tack jumping.
The North Atlantic high generates the trade winds that blow during late
spring and summer at a steady 12 to 18 knots.
The busy tourist season is between December and April. During
these months Puerto Rico is swamped by visitors and prices are VERY HIGH
accommodations can be hard to find. The best time to avoid the
is during the month of May through November, but watch out for
We were paying around $85 to $180 per night for 1 room during our
Puerto Rico xpedition. Most of our meals were between $15
including those at local's favorite restaurants. Fresh Seafood is
very expensive and hard to find here. My best meal was the fresh Conch
Curry at Royal Sam restaurant in San Juan. The island is crowded:
more than 4 million people reside in PR. Car traffic around the
San Juan and Ponce area was unbearable! We got a few days
of nowind while we were at Shacks-the NorthWest area and 3 straight no
wind days at La Paguera-the South shore while Shacks were blowing
Needless to say, we ditched the South PR and went back to the NorthWest
Near San Juan:
In San Juan, the
beaches are wide and long with outside barrier reefs, no nasty beach
or rocks, lots of beautiful girls in hot bikinis.
The air temperature is around 88F and water temp is 82F all year
round. The taxi ride from SJU is $16.00 with equipment.
(San Juan beach)
We kited at Ocean Park in San Juan during the first day and the last 4
days of our xpedition. We stayed at Hosteria Del Mar ($180 per
night) which is
right on the beach and a block up from Pedro Rodriquez's kite shop: http://www.KiteBoardingPR.com
Contact Pedro if you
are going to be kiteboarding in this area. He can set you up and
guide you to all the local accommodations as well as all hot kiting
spots in the San Juan area. As you can see from the picture
above, the beach here in Ocean Park is sandy and has no sea
urchins. To get to waves, you have to kite out to the reef about
a mile out.
The Punta Las Marias in the San Juan metro area is one of the best spot
in San Juan. East Corner of Park Boulevard
about 3 miles west of the
airport offers beachfront street parking and easy
access to several of Puntas' clean breaks.
Dominoes: has hollow and fast
Puntas: is the easternmost reef and the most popular.
Caballos: the best big wave
break in Puerto Rico, is located
off the beach next to the San Juan Airport. Launch near the San Juan
Plaza in Isla Verde.
About 2 hours driving to the west coast (more if you get stuck in the
traffic) you will find:
Puerto Rico - Northwest Coast
On December 18, 2003 we left San Juan and traveled to the
NorthWest coast of Puerto Rico. Here we checked in to the Ocean
Front hotel ($65 per night) at a small town Jobos with its famous Jobos
surf beach. Jobos beach is about 5 minutes by car east of
Shacks. We launched right on the beach in front of Ocean Front
hotel and kited there on December 19 with our 12M/16M kite. There
were some places on this beach where we can get in and out without
getting trashed by the sea urchins or rocky bottom. The next day,
we booked into the Pelican Reef Apartment with kitchen, etc.. which is
next to Ocean Front hotel for $70 a night for the next 7 days. I
enjoyed tremendously the early morning surf sessions by myself at Jobos with
headhigh to double overhead everyday. I even tried my luck fishing of the beach here
but did not catch anything big enough for dinner. Xmas eve at
"Happy Bellys", a local bar/restaurant in Jobos was unreal. By
mid night, the bar and street in front of Happy Bellys were jampacked
with the locals. Other than this event, the night life here is
IsaBella Beach - Punta Sandinaro:
Gnarly Beach Breaks! Best sandy beach in the North West
(Shawn Obrien dropped down on a
double overhead wave at Isabella beach)
On December 20, we ventured up the coast from Jobos. We
drove past by Secret Spot beach, Middle Beach, and ended up kiting at
Isabella beach, Punta Sandinaro. Here the beach is a big bay and
sandy but it has some of the gnarliest beach breaks. We were
getting double to triple overhead waves and barely made it out
alive. Shawn ripped his kite after crashing on the outer break
and I got a big bruise which lasted for weeks on the side of my head
from playing too deep in the barrelling inside waves.
Puerto Rico - South Coast
(Shacks' launch point)
We then kited at Shacks until December 26. This is really "the expert only kiting spot"
waves are pumping.
The wave is hollow and pitches over a shallow and sharp coral reef. On
a calm day, the reef offers good
diving and snorkeling. There are only a few places here on
the beach at Shacks where you can get in and out without getting
trashed by the sea urchins as the beach is full of sea urchins and
sharp rocks. If you are planning to stay at Shacks, contact Anke Kirchner
can set you up with one of the beach front apartments. We came
back from the South coast on December 28 and stayed at one of the beach
front apartments which Anke got for us for only $85.
On December 26, we left the Northwest coast and headed south to meet up
with our friend Karl Jacob who was there with Real Kiteboarding kite
camp. We were there for 3 days but did not get any wind while the
Northwest coast was still blowing like crazy. During the 3
windless days, we drove everywhere to explore other beaches such as
Yauca, Punta Vento, Mayaguez, etc... Most of these beaches are
full of trashes and debris so we were not very keen of kiting there.
(Kinsley Wong at Tamarindo beach at
Guanica - Best one for kiteboarding on the south coast)
Below are pictures of Yauco beach, Punta Vento, etc. Most of
beaches are polluted with trashed. Thanks to our team member
Shawn Obrien who fearlessly drove everywhere and test out the beaches...
Climate: 88F Air Temp and 82F
Water Temp all year around.
on where you are going to be. Out of San Juan area, night life is
very non existent.
Hosteria Del Mar in Ocean Park. 787-727-3302
Pedro Rodriguez in San Juan http://www.KiteBoardingPR.com
Anke Kirchner in the North Coast - Aguadilla email:
firstname.lastname@example.org - website: www.SoulBoarder.de
(Old San Juan)
(Crash Boat Beach near Aguadilla - The best beach for its great
visibility water for
snorkeling and swimming)
Other important information:
Electricity follows the U.S. standard: 120/240 Volts/60 Cycles.
Entry and Departure Requirements:
Visas: US citizens do not require visas or passports. Canadians need
only bring a photo ID.
Citizens of Western European countries,
Australia, New Zealand and Japan can take advantage of a US reciprocal
visa waiver program if they intend to stay less than 90 days.
of all other countries require a US visa.
DEPARTURE TAX: There's a US airport departure tax when leaving San
Juan, usually prepaid with your airline ticket
English and Spanish
The US dollar is the official currency of Puerto Rico. Most
hotels, restaurants and taxi services accept traveler’s cheques, which
can be cashed at local banks. Most credit cards are accepted and banks
offer ATM's as well as cash advances on credit cards. Tipping is
normally paid to waiters, taxi drivers, maids and porters at 15%.
Once you leave the cities and touristed areas, it's best to carry
The US dollar is sometimes referred to as the peso. Restaurants usually
service charge in the bill, but if they don't a 15% tip is expected.
Some hotels add a 10% service charge, otherwise an equivalent tip is
expected. There's a government tax of 7-10% on hotel rooms and some
hotels charge an energy surcharge of around 3%.
Sunburn, small risk of hepatitis and bilharzia.
Telephone: From North
America, dial 1 + 787 + the seven-digit local
From elsewhere, dial your country's international direct
dialing prefix + 1 + 787 + the seven-digit local number.
In Puerto Rico, just put $.50 in the pay phone and you dial 1 and the
US phone number.
Verizonewireless, Cingular, and Tmobile is good here in Puerto Rico.
Internet cafe can be found easily aroun San Juan area. Playa
Bravo surf shop has DSL Internet cafe near Shacks area.
Time (GMT/UTC minus four hours)
Renting a car is the best way to see the island. International car
rental agencies are well represented on the island, and there are
plenty of local operators. Your home driving license is valid.
Other Sport Activies:
Windsurfing, Sailing, Scuba Diving, and Fishing!
(Old San Juan)
Anke and Oliver Kirchner - http://www.soulboarder.de/
Kitesurf Puerto Rico - http://www.kitesurfpr.com
Kiteboarding Puerto Rico - http://www.kiteboardingpr.com
VelaUno - http://www.velauno.com
Shawn, Anke, Kinsley, and Julienne - Shacks Beach - January 2004