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Find the Best Surfing Beaches in Nicaragua Today!

by Sean
best surfing beaches in nicaragua

Are you ready for an unforgettable surf adventure? Nicaragua, a hidden gem among surf destinations, offers the perfect combination of consistent offshore winds, untapped beaches, and world-class waves. In this guide, you’ll discover the best surfing beaches in Nicaragua today and learn how to plan your ultimate surf trip!

From the lively Playa Maderas near San Juan del Sur to the powerful swells at The Boom, Nicaragua is home to some of the most exhilarating surf spots. We’ll walk you through the top surf spots, surf seasons, accommodations, and transportation tips to ensure your surf trip is a memorable one!

Discovering Nicaragua’s Top Surf Spots

man surfing in nicaragua

Nicaragua is blessed with some of the most consistent surf in the world, thanks to its unique geography. With a Pacific Coast that rivals Costa Rica and a Caribbean “Mosquito Coast,” Nicaragua has no shortage of incredible surf breaks. But the real secret to Nicaragua’s surf prowess lies about 50 miles inland: Lake Managua. This massive lake funnels wind across the country, providing an astounding 300+ days of offshore winds, making Nicaragua a prime alternative to crowded Costa Rica for surfing enthusiasts.

Wondering where to kick off your Nicaraguan surf adventure? The top surf spots include:

  • Playa Maderas

  • Popoyo Beach

  • The Boom

  • Lance’s Left

  • Playa Colorado

  • Playa Amarillo

  • Panga Drops

Each of these beaches offers a unique surfing experience for different skill levels and preferences, all within the warm waters and stunning scenery of Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.

Playa Maderas

Playa Maderas, a short drive from the vibrant town of San Juan del Sur, is known for:

  • Its friendly waves suitable for all levels

  • A lively backpacker scene

  • Being an ideal location for a Nicaragua surf camp With consistent waves and a fun, welcoming atmosphere, Playa Maderas is an ideal spot for beginner and intermediate surfers alike, especially when the southeast swells go off.

Although accommodations in Playa Maderas can be a bit pricier than in San Juan del Sur due to the secluded location, the extra expense is well worth it. During the rainy season, when the waves are bigger and more challenging, you’ll be glad you chose to stay close to the action. Plus, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize and relax with fellow surfers at the local bars and restaurants after a long day of riding the big waves together.

Popoyo Beach

Popoyo Beach is a haven for intermediate to advanced surfers in search of consistent waves and thrilling reef breaks. The main break at Popoyo Beach is an A-frame with thrilling left and right walls breaking over a rock shelf, making it a fantastic hollow beach break. For the real daredevils, Outer Reef Popoyo offers a pipeline-style offshore slab that’s sure to challenge even the experts. With such variety, Popoyo Beach is perfect for those seeking exciting beach breaks and a fun surf break experience.

The wave at Popoyo Beach can be surfed at any time of the day until the tide becomes too low or too high, which adds to the appeal of surfing Playa Colorado. There’s plenty to do in the surrounding area. Some options include:

  • Dine at delicious beachfront restaurants

  • Rent mopeds and go around exploring

  • Relax at the hot springs every night

  • Test out your skating skills at Guasacate’s famous bowl

  • Attend one of the fiestas for a lively evening

With its diverse offerings, Popoyo Beach caters to intermediate and advanced surfers seeking an unforgettable surf experience at surf camps.

The Boom

Situated on the northern Pacific Coast of Nicaragua, The Boom is famed for its remarkable hollow A-frame waves and is an ideal spot for experienced surfers in search of potent, consistent swells. The best time to surf The Boom is in the morning before the winds kick in, as it usually goes onshore in the afternoons.

If you time it right, the crowd factor at The Boom is pretty moderate, and you can often find yourself scoring fun wave with only a few other people in the water. While there’s not much else to do in the area besides fish and explore, the wave’s remote location only adds to its allure for dedicated surfers seeking an unforgettable surf experience.

Lance’s Left

Located close to the tranquil fishing village of Astillero, Lance’s Left is a long left-hand point break that provides an exhilarating surf experience for intermediate to advanced surfers. On its best days, the ride on Lance’s Left can be up to 500 meters long, providing an exhilarating and memorable ride.

The best time to surf Lance’s Left is during lower to mid tides when the swells get really big. To reach this surf spot, you can take a panga (a small boat) from Astillero for around $80. The thrill of riding this legendary wave is well worth the effort to get there.

Playa Colorado

Playa Colorado, a private beach featuring world-class surf breaks suitable for all levels, can be accessed by boat or by privileged guests of Hacienda Iguana Development. With clean offshore wind almost every day and incredible barreling conditions, surf playa colorado is a dream come true for surfers seeking consistent and challenging waves.

Though the cost of food in areas like Hacienda Iguana at Playa Colorado can be higher due to limited restaurant options, the quality and variety of dining choices more than make up for the price.

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to this private beach, you’ll enjoy an unparalleled surf experience in a stunning and exclusive setting.

Playa Amarillo

Situated in proximity to Playa Gigante, Playa Amarillo is an exceptional beach break featuring lefts and rights that cater to surfers of all skill levels. This versatile surf spot caters to both beginners looking to hone their skills and experienced surfers seeking fun and consistent waves.

The best time to surf Playa Amarillo is between November and April, when the waves are at their most reliable and enjoyable. So, whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned pro, Playa Amarillo offers a fantastic surf experience that shouldn’t be missed.

Panga Drops

Panga Drops, a remarkable deep-water surf break situated at the northern end of Playa Colorado, generates unpredictable lefts and rights that can be surfed throughout the year. This unique surf spot caters to all skill levels, offering fun waves and a thrilling experience for surfers seeking a challenge.

The best time to surf Panga Drops is during the dry season, from April to September, when consistent offshore winds are present. It is highly recommended to check it out on a solid swell with offshore winds.

If you’re looking for a surf spot that’s a bit off the beaten path but still offers world-class waves, Panga Drops is the place for you.

Planning Your Nicaragua Surf Trip

Surfers enjoying the waves in Nicaragua

Having introduced you to the magnificent surf spots in Nicaragua, the next step is planning your trip. From understanding the surf seasons to choosing the right accommodation and arranging transportation, there are several factors to consider to ensure your surf trip is a success.

The upcoming sections will delve into insightful details about surf seasons, accommodation options, and transportation advice. By the end, you’ll be well-prepared for an epic surf adventure in Nicaragua, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer.

Surf Seasons

Nicaraguan surf seasons are typically categorized into two distinct periods, the dry season (December to March) and the wet season (April to November). During the dry season, smaller waves cater to beginners and those looking for fun, easy rides. The wet season, on the other hand, brings bigger swells and more challenging conditions, perfect for intermediate and advanced surfers seeking a thrill.

The best time to visit Nicaragua for surfing is during the summer months of July and August, when the swell is at its peak and the winds are moderate to strong from the southwest to west. However, with consistent surf year-round, there’s never a bad time to embark on a Nicaraguan surf adventure.

Accommodation Choices

Nicaragua boasts a broad spectrum of accommodation options, from cost-effective hostels to stylish eco-resorts, catering to diverse preferences and budgets. Some popular choices for surfers include:

  • Dreamsea Surf Camp Nicaragua

  • Selina Maderas

  • The SPACE in San Juan del Sur

  • TreeCasa Resort in San Juan del Sur

  • Popoyo Surf Camp

  • Costa Dulce Retreat

  • Amaru Wellbeing Resort

  • Miramar Surfcamp

When choosing your accommodation, consider factors such as proximity to popular surf destinations and spots, available amenities, and the overall vibe of the place. Keep in mind that some locations may be more remote or secluded than others, so be sure to factor in transportation options and accessibility to local attractions and amenities.

Transportation Tips

Navigating through Nicaragua is quite straightforward and economical, offering suitable options for both budget and mid-range travelers. The most efficient and budget-friendly way to travel between surf spots is by bus or shared taxi (locally known as “taxi colectivo”), which typically costs around $2 per person.

Managua (MGA) is the only international airport in Nicaragua and the best option for your surf trip. Flight prices vary depending on the location and are shown in US dollars, with surfboard bag fees ranging from $75 to $200 each way. Remember to factor in these costs when planning your trip and budget.

Surfing Essentials and Preparations

surfing essentials

Prior to surfing the Nicaraguan waters, it’s important to sort out surfboard rentals and lessons, organize boat trips, and pack all the necessary items for your surfing journey. Proper preparation will not only make your trip more enjoyable but will also help you avoid any unexpected surprises along the way.

The forthcoming sections will encompass all the details pertaining to surfboard rentals and lessons, boat trips, and essential packing tips for your Nicaraguan surf expedition. By following these tips, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your time on the water.

Surfboard Rentals and Lessons

The affordability of surfboard rentals and lessons in Nicaragua enables both novices and seasoned surfers to take on the waves without straining their finances. Lessons typically cost $40 to $60 per 2-hour session, while rentals range from $10 to $20 per day.

Some of the best surfboard rental options in Nicaragua include:

  • NSR Surfboard Rentals

  • Nicaragua Surfboard Rental

  • Two Brothers Surf

  • Nicawaves

  • Popoyo Surf Rentals

Be sure to check out these options and choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.

Boat Trips

Boat trips are indispensable for reaching some of Nicaragua’s prime surf spots and gaining insights from the captain’s local wave expertise. Boat trip prices can range from about $20 to $50+ per person, depending on the duration, locations serviced, and accommodations.

Some of the best boat trip options for surfers in Nicaragua include:

  • Popoyo Surfcamp

  • Surf Popoyo Lessons

  • Sardina Surf

  • Liquid Sessions

  • Surf Expedition

  • Emerald Coast Surf

When planning your surf trip, be sure to consider these boat trip options to maximize your time on the water and explore the best surf spots Nicaragua has to offer.

Packing List

There are a few essential items that should not be overlooked while packing for your Nicaraguan surf expedition. Sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher, wax for the water temperature, and a strong, durable leash that’s the right length for your board are all crucial for a successful surf adventure.

In addition to these essentials, it’s also a good idea to invest in comprehensive travel insurance that covers surfing and ocean sports, such as Battleface or World Nomads Insurance. Having the right insurance will give you peace of mind and help you focus on what’s most important – catching the perfect wave!


In conclusion, Nicaragua offers an incredible surf experience for both beginners and experienced surfers alike. From the consistent offshore winds of Playa Maderas to the powerful swells at The Boom, there’s something for everyone in this stunning Central American country.

With the right preparation, including understanding the surf seasons, choosing the perfect accommodation, arranging transportation, and packing essential items, your Nicaraguan surf trip is sure to be an unforgettable adventure. So, grab your board, pack your bags, and get ready to ride the best waves of a lifetime in Nicaragua!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which coast of Nicaragua is best for surfing?

Head to San Juan del Sur for the best Nicaraguan waves! Playa Maderas, Playa Majagual, Playa Gigante and Popoyo offer great surfing spots.

Where is the most consistent surf spot in Nicaragua?

If you’re looking for the most consistent surf spot in Nicaragua, look no further than Playa Popoyo – renowned for its large walls of right to left waves and occasional barrels. No matter the tide, you can have your fill of surfing here or take a challenge out at sea with the reef outside.

Does Nicaragua have good surfing?

Yes! Nicaragua has amazing surfing spots, boasting the best points, reef breaks and sandbars in Central America. Rivas is where you’ll find Nicaragua’s best surf spots with swells of 3-5ft and 330 days of offshore winds – an incredible surfing experience!

Is Costa Rica or Nicaragua better for surfing?

Nicaragua is the clear winner when it comes to surfing, with its reputation for 300+ days of all-day offshore winds. Although both Costa Rica and Nicaragua receive year-round swell from the southern hemisphere, Nicaragua has the edge in wind conditions.

What is the best time to surf in Nicaragua?

If you’re looking for the best surfing conditions in Nicaragua, head there during the summer months of July and August for optimal swell and moderate to strong southwest to west winds.

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