This is the first chance I've had to write about a trip my wife and I took to Puerto Rico. We went from 12/13 to 12/20. It was such a great time and very affordable.
We flew into San Juan because it was the cheapest. Also we wanted to check out the historical part of the city there. However, we never got around to taking a tour there. After we landed we got our Dollar rent-a-car and drove to La Parguera, 2.5 hours to the southwest part of the island. This town is caters to local Puerto Rican tourists more than international tourists. Beers, food, and lodging are pretty cheap. It isn't fancy, but comfortable, safe, and relaxing.
The kite scene is ideal but you need some local knowledge and a boat. You don't go off the shore/beach but instead take a boat out to these mangrove islands 2-3 miles offshore. The first day, it was blowing 22 or so. We tied up in the lee of the mangrove where it was perfectly calm. The water is glass and about 1-3 feet deep, but there is no beach or land. Everybody just stands in the water and keeps there stuff on the boats. They use SCUBA tanks which makes everything fast (however, this guy popped my 16m filling it
). No matter, he let me use his 15m Yarga Pro which was the nicest kite I've ever used.
My wife took two days of private lessons. She eventually got up for about 25 yards on the first day. She was on a 9m Liquid Force Assault which was too big for her in that kind of wind. She weighs in at 140, so I think a 5m at first, then a 7m would have helped her quite a bit. Oh, well. She did great all things considered. Her favorite part was body dragging for 2 miles a few times. This was really good for learning.
The next day was 25+, so she just snorkeled, puffed nugs, and laid out. It was 95 degrees and the water was 83. This day, I used a spare Waroo 12m. Holy smokes it was awesome. It was very easy to get upwind on that thing. The day before on the Yarga was a little more fun for me though. I think the c kite is more fun to drive around in the sky. Also, I was doing jumps for the first time, mostly 3-5 feet which is nothing, but there was one time I boosted at least 10 feet. With the c kite, I just floated down really smooth. I must admit that I didn't land it, but it was still the highlight of the trip.
Those were the only days we kited. We hiked to this cave and waterfall the next day. After that we went to Rincon on the northwest shore where we were blessed with some very nice swell, so per my wife's request, we surfed on and off for four days.
I am trying to get another trip going for April. There are only 2 weeks with openings through Broneah. After going down, and seeing what is involved, I think it is the way to go. It would have been more fun to go through them; more relaxing and fewer headaches for the same price. I saw the hotel that they hook you up at; it is waterfront and they pick you up right there. Also, it has breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The kite spot itself is ideal. There were no other kiters where we went on the first day. The second day, there were two other guys. They said that sometimes "it gets crowded, like 6 guys".
It is 2-3 feet deep for 100 yards, then it drops down to 5 ft for at least 2 miles in all directions. Outside of the lee of the mangroves, there is 6 inch chop, but if you keep your kite up, you can blaze through the glass right behind the islands the whole time.
Let me know if anybody is interested in going down there. I feel like I'm 5 times better at kiting after two days. It would be killer to go again before summer. Photos will be posted asap. It is really hard to describe how sweet this place was.