Nicaragua is blessed with two beautiful coasts that spoil the country with surfing opportunities. Each one holds unique conditions for surfing and the country’s tropical climate often means this can be done without a wetsuit. Almost every Nicaragua surf camp can be considered world class. In this Nicaragua Surf Camp Guide we will cover some of the country’s finest surf camps.
Unlike Bali, the rainy season in Nicaragua creates the most favourable conditions for surfing. Despite this you can still surf all year round, and there will always be a Nicaragua Surf Camp available to suit your time.
This Nicaragua Surf Camp Guide will cover the top three destinations for surfing. These are San Juan Del Sur, Northern Nicaragua and Popoyo. However, similar to Costa Rica, both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are speckled with surf spots.
The Best Places To Surf
Nicaragua surf camps are a magnet for surfers, providing huge diversity that caters for any ability. Whether it be a reef or beach break, Nicaragua welcomes you. The country is up and coming for tourism, and once made the front page of the New York Times as a destination.
In this Nicaragua Surf Camp Guide we focus on the top three surfing areas on the Pacific coastline. Each offering a plethora of surf spots suitable for surfers of any ability.
Aposentillo, The Boom and Playa Maderas are just a few of Nicaragua’s world renowned surf spots. Follow the links below to explore each surf area and learn the key facts on each area. In each one we reveal the best surf camps in each area.
Nicaragua is still untouched by mass tourism, meaning even it’s most popular surf spots rarely get uncomfortably crowded. For newbies these conditions are perfect for learning.
Some surf spots are more suited to advanced surfers, such as reef breaks or those accessible only by boat. In this section, we will cover all the best surf spots in Popoyo, Sun Juan Del Sur and Northern Nicaragua.
Playa Santa Maria
Any surfer will find a home on Playa Santa Maria. The tropical white sand beach is littered with peaks that hold the best waves between mid and high tide. Waves here are steep and fast but still suitable for beginners.
Aposentillo is also suitable for all abilities, and produces it’s finest waves a few hours before and after high tide. Waves here are long and mellow, ideal for beginners but also for advanced surfers who can practice their turns.
Coco Loco caters for any level of surfer, it has a large swell and breaks over rocks but can be ridden right onto the beach. The best waves are between mid tide until a few hours beyond high tide. There are many peaks producing some good walled sections, and a notably enjoyable left point break.
Here, the best waves come at high tide and can be surfed by experts or newbies. This small bay maximises swell to produce a mellow wave which can be ridden all the way to the beach.
This famous wave is not a friend of beginners. It is a fast, barrelling, A-frame shaped wave. The long, sandy beach is peppered with peaks and is universally considered the best wave in Nicaragua.
Universally known for it’s left and right point breaks, Playa Popoyo is best suited to intermediate to advanced surfers. Waves here break large and hollow over an outer reef.
Waves here are consistently hollow, fast and powerful throughout the year, and is at it’s best between mid and high tide. The relative intensity and length of this wave make it best suited to experienced surfers, for this reason the bay is rarely crowded.
This beach is accessible only by boat, but is home to Nicaragua’s finest barrelling wave. It works on all tides, but frequently changes it’s characteristics. The unpredictability means the area is more suited to advanced surfers, but occasionally beginners can catch a wave.
Waves at Playa Amarillo break on the beach, providing an easy, suitable wave for beginners. Smaller waves appear on the south side, whilst larger waves are found on the north side. Each one is best at high tide.
This beach was named one of the best ‘not-so-touristy’ surf spots in the world by As We Travel. Unusually, this spot is one of the few areas best for surfing at low tide. Waves here are consistently hollow, powerful and ledgey – most suitable for advanced surfers.
Accessible by boat, though this can be done on foot although this takes longer. Waves at Lances Left are slow breaking, so perfect for beginners and intermediates.
The atmosphere of this beach alone should be enough to bring you to Playa Maderas! Although this bay is horseshoe shaped and poor for surfing itself, only a few hundred metres away are an array of surf spots. Waves here are consistent and occasionally hollow.
All skill levels enjoy this secret spot, which stretches for a mile along the coast so never faces crowds. Waves here have peaks, walls and barrels, and is ideal for learning on smaller days. The best waves come between mid and high tide, but typically need more swell to break being so far south.
This quiet beach serves up the best waves between mid and high tide, suitable for beginners and up. Waves can stretch up to 300m a couple of times a day, before breaking on the beach. These are usually gentle, but fun waves that are pretty regular.
Waves here are not frequent, but serve up a more advanced version of those at Playa Maderas. They are best from mid to high tide, but can occasionally be fickle. These can range from chest high to a little overhead.
Like other Central American countries, a tropical climate can be observed in Nicaragua. There are also just two seasons – the dry and the rainy season, this is due to it’s proximity to the equator.
Dry season is the first half of the year between January and June, while the rainy season is between July and December. Swell is largest during the wet season, producing substantial, world class waves.
Fortunately, showers in the rainy season are typically just once a day. These are intense but short, meaning this remains the best time to surf in Nicaragua. Flooding can be issue, but most roads remain accessible.
Sun rise and sun set remains at a similar time all year, since Nicaragua lies so close to the equator. In July visitors can expect the sun rise about 5:30am and sun set about 6:10am. This will only differ within an hour throughout the year.
Daily temperatures can vary from 21 to 35°C (70 to 95°F) throughout the year, providing comfortably warm conditions for surfing all year round. Although at night temperatures can plummet.
Throw out your wetsuits! Water temperatures in Nicaragua consistently remain between 27 and 29°C (81 to 84°F) throughout the year. This is perfect conditions for surfing and causes fewer health issues in the water (e.g. cramp), letting you surf from dusk ’til dawn!