My wife & I just returned from our trip to La Parguera in the southwest of Puerto Rico. It was our first trip there, and our main reason for visiting was kiteboarding. Neither one of us had done it before, and we were looking for an ideal setting to learn - we found it.
We had looked into kite outfits in San Juan (since we were arriving there), but the conditions there are not great for beginners - more chop on the water & the beaches are crowded. Not so in Parguera. The surrounding reefs keep the mangrove bay where you learn nice & calm so you can focus on learning to kite & there's really noone around to cause any distractions (see photos).
We ended up signing on with Luis Jose Mendoza of the Puerto Rico Kiteboarding Club (www.prkbc.com). Luis was extremely helpful in getting our trip planned, and was very responsive in answering all of our questions. Not to mention the costs for lessons are much cheaper than in San Juan.
Getting to Parguera from San Juan is fairly simple. We rented a car & it took us about 2.5 hours to get there. The roads are very well marked along the way, so it's a breeze. Luis actually met us at the hotel (Villa Parguera) and got us checked in. He then took us for a walking tour through the town - where to buy groceries, where to shop, the best restaurants, bars, etc. It's not a big place at all, but it's always good to know where to go wherever you are. His boat is docked right in the middle of town - pretty much walking distance from wherever you are staying.
Winds were light the first day, so we focused on board skills by wakeboarding (included with lessons). He got both of us up on the first try & we rode all day. Luis makes an excellent homemade lunch for his students, which is also a nice bonus. While he was working with me, his other instructor Jafet was teaching my wife how to control the kite. We couldn't have had two nicer instructors - very laid-back, very positive, and really passionate about getting people kiteboarding.
The second day had light winds again, so we opted for a different excursion that Luis offers - paddleboarding thru the mangrove canals. This was a beautiful & peaceful experience - not to mention a good workout. The canals are worth seeing so make sure you try this as well.
Next, we planned a day trip up to Rincon to try surfing. Well, our other instructor Jafet not only volunteered to take us to a good break up there, but he let us borrow his surfboard & he got out into the water to give us a lesson. We both caught our first waves - it was great.
Finally the winds arrived & we spent the entire day out on the water. After body-dragging in the morning, he let me give it a go in the afternoon. I was able to get up and ride - it is an awesome feeling. My wife also went out bodydragging & we stayed out on the water till sunset so she could get a lot of water time.
In summary - if you are gonna try your hand at kiteboarding, this is the PLACE to go. And Luis & Jafet at PRKBC are the guys to do it with - these two guys are like old friends now. I've already told a bunch of friends, and my wife & I are trying to figure when we can get back there again.
- Visit our page for La Parguera tourism organizations
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