Nicknamed ‘Garden of the Northeast’ for its local cheeses and elegant Paso Fino horses, Isabela and its surroundings boast an invitingly rugged coastline blessed with a handful of classic surfing beaches such as Jobos and Shacks that rival anything in Rincón, especially in winter when the breaks here are in fact often better. With accommodation and eating joints that now match Rincón, too, the ‘scene’ here begs to be checked out.
And surfing is not the only activity. Isabela now has one of the Caribbean's best golf courses and there is phenomenal horseback riding in the vicinity. You can also loll on the beaches, swim and snorkel to your heart's content. Isabela is great cycling country, too.
After the ghastly urban sprawl on Hwy 2, the miles of sand dunes, inlets and untrammeled beaches that lie sandwiched between the lashing Atlantic and a 200ft coastal escarpment are refreshing, resplendent respite.