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Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
216 posts
2 reviews
Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

I posted this on main PR forum too.

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Hi gang. So my family (2 boys ages 12 and 14) and I are planning to spend a week in PR over the next 30 days. We were in PR a few years back and spent a couple days in San Juan, ate like kings down the Ruta de Lechon, loved the Camuy area and then had a week on Vieques. It was amazing. The sites, the food, the music and especially the people.

We want to go to the west side of the island this time so I have a few questions relative to picking a location. I am just starting to read through the forum so I realize some items (storm recovery for example) are likely covered in trip reports. So I won’t fret on that too much as all these areas I am thinking about what I believe are well worn tourist areas, so I assume much of it is open for business. But I am Trying to figure out a good base of operations. I realize that driving distances north to south along the shore are not too far, but with such a short trip, I don’t think we want to do like 2 nights one place, pick up and move for another 2 or 3 nights. Can you advise on the following:

1) Storm Recovery in Porta del Sol: Part of why we are choosing PR for spring break is that we want to continue to help the island recover beyond our previous monetary donations through work and church. While I am working to find some volunteer service we can perform with the boys while there (very few leads on storm recovery work that is “family friendly” so far), I have been told repeatedly that helping to bring tourism dollars (back) to PR would be the most help. That said, I also want to ascertain if there are specific western beach towns/areas where power and water are more likely be a concern for our trip.

2) Which town: I don’t know much about the western side, but Isabel and Rincon are two NW areas we are looking at. And then down the SW is Boqueron. Why these? We want to be near or in a small beach town if possible since food and drink as well as music are big for us. And Mom will want to browse for local crafts but we aren’t big shoppers outside of art. And these towns popped up in my limited search. We do Usually try to avoid resorts and go as “local” as our limited language skills will allow. “Touristy” areas are ok in my book, as they are usually popular for a reason. But I just want to avoid high rise, fancy-schmancy areas or places that are overrun by spring break types. Low key. Authentic. A little bohemian is ok. That’s more the vibe. We are generally a VRBO/AirBNB family and usually look for small home or cottage that is on the shore/oceanfront if possible. That said, requirements are different this time because I am planning on fairly short notice. But I would ideally like to be in an area that’s got lodging options for those of us that usually like a bit more privacy. Small hotel/inn/resort, or rentals. Close to town, yes. But close to the water is more important. Walkable food and drink is always a plus. We will have a vehicle. Can anyone compare Rincon/Isabela/Boqueron? Any other towns to look into ?

3) Beaches: One kid loves some wave action for boogey boarding and the other kid loves to do shore snorkeling. Mom and dad love it all. Vieques was so special as, with a jeep, we could visit 3 or 4 very different beaches easily in one day on that small island and I could make everyone happy. So ideally, I would like to land somewhere that has a mix. Sandy beach with some waves as the “home beach” but maybe some areas with coves and snorkeling within a short drive. Or vice-versa. Does that sway one town over the others?

4) Other attractions: Kids rarely want to leave the beach, but they do love history/architecture, and natural wonders (waterfalls, caves, etc). So bonus points if options are within a short drive. Again, being near a cute, beach town is priority

Any suggestions on a western PR beach/town that ticks some of these boxes are appreciated. And “ways to give back” while there are welcome too. Thanks for listening. Take care,

Brendan

7 replies to this topic
Caguas, Puerto Rico
Level Contributor
2,220 posts
24 reviews
1. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

It is a tough comparison, but hope this helps.

Cabo Rojo, has many beaches, not many waves, but all are very spread out. It can be packed during holidays.

Rincón- has a nice mix of waves, calm and snorkeling. Artsy vibe and beaches are closer.

Isabela- also a good mix of waves and snorkeling, but all can be done within a day. Restaurants and nearby attractions. Like in Aguadilla area.

I would recommend Rincón because it is in between the other locations and you can do long day trips to enjoy them.

Puerto Rico
Destination Expert
for San Juan
Level Contributor
4,803 posts
24 reviews
2. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

The only Cave towards the west that is open in Cueva Ventana by Utuado. I would stay in Rincon, love it there and it's central

Apopka, FL
Level Contributor
65 posts
3. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

I would recommend Rincon for the location and variety of beaches plus some good beach smorkeling. Isabela is about 30 to 45 min drive from Rincon and Cabo Rojo/Boquron is about 45 mins to an hour drive. Cabo Rojo has some of the best beaches on the main island of PR.

north carolina, usa
Level Contributor
15 posts
8 reviews
4. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

Just read your message today (July 2018) way late to offer any help for the March trip but, we are

curious how your trip went. We usually book a place in Rincon, PR over the winter January-February. Hope you found Rincon, as it meets the qualifications you outlined.

Please let us know how your stay went, and what the condition of the island is where you lodged. Thanks.

Ohio
Level Contributor
261 posts
37 reviews
5. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

Wondering the same!

Raleigh, North...
Level Contributor
216 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

We got 410 R/T to Spain in June which was only $50 more than PR so we didn’t end up taking a Spring trip and just did a longer summer trip.

Sorry...no intel to share

north carolina, usa
Level Contributor
15 posts
8 reviews
7. Re: Comparing Rincon/Boqueron/Isabela (1st time in the area)

Nice. How would you rate your Spain trip? I know this is off-topic for the PR Forum. When/if you review your Spain trip, send a link.

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