Rincón traces its history to the 16th century and a few low-key sugarcane plantations. And while many people believe it gets its name from the Spanish word rincón (corner) because of its shape, the municipality is actually named after one of the area’s original planters, Don Gonzalo Rincón. For most of its history, the town survived on cane farming and cattle raising.
Things changed when the World Surfing Championships arrived in 1968. Glossy images of Rincón were plastered all over international magazines and TV – and the word was out. Every year since then has seen successive generations of wave riders make the pilgrimage. And while they pursued an endless summer, they began to invest in the community, building their own restaurants, guesthouses and bars.
As the baby-boomer generation of surfers got older, they continued to harbor romantic images of Rincón. But when they traveled with their own children, they demanded better accommodations, slicker restaurants and a broader variety of activities – and the town responded. Today, you can rent distinctive vacation homes or stay in luxurious hotels. While the old-style bunkhouses are all but gone, imaginative and moderately priced guesthouses remain a staple in Rincón.