The local surf scene in San Juan is well established and with the coast taking an almost constant battering from the Atlantic Ocean, there are plenty of enticing breaks to suit all levels. La 8 Surf Shop (t787/723-9808,, at Avda Ponce de León 450 in Puerta de Tierra (near La Ocho), is one of the best in the city, selling, fixing and renting boards ($25/3hr; $50/day), as well as arranging lessons with a couple of pro-surfers. You can also contact the instructors yourself: William “Chino” Sue A Quan (t787/955-6059; is a good teacher for both beginners and more experienced surfers. Lessons are $50 per person for 1hr 30 min. Costazul Surf Shop in Old San Juan at c/San Francisco 264 also offers lessons and board rental in addition to surfing gear. In Isla Verde make for Surf Face, in La Plazoleta shopping court (t 787/791-6800), for a good selection of surf gear and boards.

The best breaks

Pine Grove

Beginners should make for this fine beach break in Isla Verde (in front of the Ritz), which has small waves and a sandy bottom.

La Ocho

This break, just west of Escambrón beach in Puerta de Tierra, should pose no problems for surfers with slightly more experience. You have to paddle out a bit and there’s a rocky bottom, but the water’s deep and it’s popular with long-boarders.


Includes Chatarras, a hollow, fast reef break, not far from the last line of kioscos off PR-187: the swell is not consistent but when it gets up you’ll score some excellent tubes. Playa Aviones is a more consistent reef break in shallower water suitable for most levels, while Tocones is a short beach break with fast waves popular with body-boarders, but watch the currents here.

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