Puerto Rico has been called the 'Maui of the Caribbean', thanks to its varied kitesurfing conditions, with waves on the north side and flat water in the south. There's so much more here than just kiting though, including the only tropical rainforest in the United States, the world's largest rum distillery, exotic, tropical island adventures, world-class restaurants and shopping.
If you're staying around the capital of San Juan you'll want to stay in Ocean Park or Isla Verde, the two best kitesurfing beaches in the city. Both are beginner friendly and, for the more advanced riders, there are also excellent reef breaks between a quarter and half-a-mile out from the beach.
Rent a car and explore the island, head west from San Juan to Shacks near the town of Isabela, for some amazing wave action or go southwest to Parguera for butter flat water in the mangroves (this spot does require boat access, but you can hire someone to take you out).
WIND, WEATHER AND WATER:
The island's easterly trade winds sweep across it year round. From east to west, the winds cruise around an average of 19 knots and are at their best November - August. Enjoy beautiful flat water and 15-20 knots of wind in the summer, and 15-20 knots of wind and excellent wave riding on the outer reefs in winter. Beginners can still learn in the protected smooth waters inside the bay all year.
Puerto Rico benefits from a moderate temperature year round, averaging nearly 27ºC / 80ºF in the lower elevations and 21ºC / 70ºF in the mountains. The water temperature bounces around 27ºC / 80ºF all year too, which is the number one reason people visit – it's warm!
If you plan to stay in the city of San Juan you can get by using taxis. Visiting Old San Juan is a must and is only 13 kilometres / 20 minutes away from the airport. If you plan on exploring it is recommended that you rent a car and there are lots of rental companies in San Juan. Driving to the rainforest is very easy and only 49 kilometres / an hour from the airport. To give you some perspective, you could drive around the whole island in a day, albeit a long day. With almost two million people in San Juan, take the same precautions as you would visiting any other major city.
Currency: United States Dollar ($) - £1 = $1.6 / €1 = $1.3 All major credit cards generally accepted.
Take your pick from $69 per night at the Coqui Inn (across the freeway) or $289 per night at El San Juan Resort and Casino (beach front). Coqui Del Mar is a nice, kiter-friendly guest house one block away from the kite beach in Ocean Park (don't get this confused with Coqui Inn), with apartment rooms starting at $79 per night, which is great value for its location.
For long stays, big groups or when a kitchen will be beneficial, you can rent privately owned villas from websites such as: www.vrbo.com. On top of that there are dozens of hotel chains, like Ritz Carlton, Marriot and Hyatt etc. from the moderately priced to very expensive.
FOOD AND DRINK:
There are an abundance of restaurants and supermarkets to choose from in San Juan, from rustic kiosks selling fritters on the side of the street to some of the finest international and creative restaurants in the Caribbean. You can be sure to never go hungry or get bored of eating the same things here.
Visit old San Juan and see the two 16th century forts built to protect the city, or shop and eat in the cobbled streets. Hike in the El Yunque national rainforest, leading to waterfalls and spectacular views. Take a ferry from the east coast to Cluebra and enjoy the pristine Caribbean beaches. See the world's largest single aperture telescope used in Goldeneye and other movies, or go on a tour of the third largest underground cave network in the world. Plus lots of other watersports and more general tourist activities.
The largest airport in Puerto Rico is Luis Munoz Marin International (SJU), located just outside the capital, San Juan, ten minutes from most major kitesurfing spots.