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Mayagüez And Rincón, Puerto Rico

Mayaguez And Rincon, United States

Surfing, diving and history on Puerto Rico’s west coast

Located in the Porta del Sol region of western Puerto Rico, the towns of Mayagüez and Rincón are separated by a short 30-minute drive, but couldn’t be more different. While Rincon is a quiet beach town that surfers from all over the world flock to, Mayaguez is a bustling university town full of historical monuments, museums and nightlife. Then, there’s tiny Desecheo Island, which sits about 22 kilometers offshore from both. Visitors are drawn here by the stupendous offshore diving opportunities. If you’re planning a trip to the western side of Puerto Rico, try to visit all three.

Mayagüez, Melting Pot of Old and New

Plaza Colon, the town square, is a good place to get a sense of the history of Mayaguez. Admire the statue of Christopher Columbus, the colonial-style architecture of City Hall and the Catholic Cathedral. Check out the Yagüez Theater and Mayagüez Post Office, both notable historical landmarks. The university has many tourist-friendly attractions, such as the MUSA art museum, the RUM Planetarium and the Tropical Agriculture Research Station. Just next door to the university campus is Puerto Rico’s only zoo, Mayagüez Zoo, which features 17 animal species. If you’re in the mood to shop, there are over 100 stores to choose from in Mayagüez Mall.

Rincón, a Surfer’s Paradise

Rincon has been a mecca for surfers ever since the 1968 World Surfing Championships put it on the map. Domes, Indicators, Spanish Wall and Dogman’s are among the beaches where you can watch surfers cresting 7-meter swells in winter. In summer, the water calms down and this laid-back beach town becomes a hot spot for vacationing locals, who love its non-commercialized vibe. It’s easy to while away the days by going on a whale-watching cruise, browsing gift shops and galleries, visiting the 100-year-old lighthouse or sampling the local cuisine.

Desecheo Island, a Diver’s Delight

You can’t actually set foot on this uninhabited 1.5 square kilometer island refuge, which was once used by the U.S. military for bombing practice, but its surrounding waters contain some of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. Scuba enthusiasts and snorkelers can book tours and explore the underwater walls, caves and reefs which are full of vibrant sea life, including starfish, eels, turtles and hundreds of varieties of colorful tropical fish. Numerous outfitters in Rincon offer half-day excursions to the island.

Credit: Visit The USA

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