Perhaps nowhere is the upgrading of the Rincón retail scene more evident than at its traditional town square, which recently underwent a renovation. New restaurants and chic boutiques have opened alongside the Catholic Church, local bakery, and simple bars and cafe. There is also free Wi-Fi, surf, and tourist shops.
Several properties, from higher-end guest houses to the larger hotels, have upgraded their shops and are stocking fashionable clothes, island fine art, gourmet foods, and coffee, jewelry, and much more beyond basic necessities.
For anything from a sarong to a pair of sandals, head to the Mango Beach Shop (tel. 787/823-2100) in Puntas. The Red Door Boutique (tel. 720/289-5079), also in Puntas, is an inspired gift shop.
A number of galleries have also sprung up in town, some of single artists, some serious fine-art ventures, and others a mix of original art and jewelry and fashion items. One that stands out, The Playa Oeste Tropical Surf Art Gallery & Gift Shop Carretera (Rte.) 413, Km 0.5 (tel. 787/823-4424), has fine art, photography, jewelry, and other crafts.
If you want to really shop till you drop, head to Barceloneta where you’ll find the Prime Outlets, 1 Prime Outlets Blvd. (tel. 787/846-5300), with more than 90 stores, including Coach, Adidas, Kenneth Cole, and Ralph Lauren, offer factory outlet prices at a beautiful outdoor mall that feels like a downtown village. It’s open Monday through Saturday 9am to 9pm and Sunday 11am to 7pm. To get there, take PR 2 (Hwy. 2) north to Arecibo, and then take the De Diego Expressway 22 towards San Juan. Take the exit (salida) 55 in Barceloneta for the Prime Outlets