Northwest Puerto Rico is surf heaven, its numerous breaks catching more swell than Rincón during the peak Nov–March season, and some decent waves lingering through summer. The best spots lie to the north of Aguadilla in the area known as Punta Borinquen, host to the 1988 world surfing competition, and closer to Isabela at challenging Middles, site of the 2010 Rip Curl Pro Search (Playa de Jobos is also a magnificent beach for beginners). Assuming you have a car you could base yourself at any of the beaches or towns covered in this section, as distances are short – make sure you visit one of the following shops if you intend to spend a lot of time in the area.

Aquatica Dive & Surf

PR-110 km 10, near Gate 5, Ramey Base t787/890-6071, wwww.aquatica.cjb.net. This small shop rents boards for $25 per day and offers 90min lessons for around $65.

Playa Brava Surf Underground

Calle E, no. 135, Ramey Base t787/431-8055, wtupicabrera.com. Managed by veteran surfer Tupi Cabrera, who offers lessons ($40/person, or $35/person for two) and board rentals ($20/24hr). A good choice for beginners.

El Rincón Surf/Beach Shop

Ramey Shopping Center t787/890-3108, wwww.elrinconsurfshop.com. The friendly English-speaking staff here have been assisting surfers for over thirty years, selling gear, handing out surf maps and tide charts, advising on current conditions, and offering rentals and lessons.

Surf Zone

Cliff Road Bldg 704, on the way to Playa Surfers t787/890-5080. Compact but hip place for gear, owned by surf pro Rebeca Taylor – also has the best website for up-to-date surf conditions.

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