Top 5 Places to Visit in Nicaragua for Surfing
Nicaragua is quickly becoming the newest surf destination. In fact, there are many places to visit in Nicaragua, and the country offers some of the best beaches for surfing.
The country is known to have over 300 days of offshore winds, and this is because of Lake Managua, a lake with an impressive 64 kilometers long and 26 kilometers wide! The lake is so big, that it consistently moves the wind from the Caribbean side to the Pacific side, creating the perfect waves for surfers to visit Nicaragua.
I’ve spent a majority of the past four winters surfing in this country, and I can honestly say it has always been fun! Many of the spots are located in small fishing villages (there are some fishers that let you catch your fish!) thus its remoteness can be difficult for travelers to visit, but not impossible. In my opinion, however, this is a good thing as it only attracts people who want to experience an adventure and leaves most of the waves uncrowded.
That said, there are many other better-known spots for surfing in Nicaragua like Colorados and Popoyo, but my absolute favorite is the lesser-known surfing spots in Nicaragua that are just as fun, if not better.
PLACES TO VISIT IN NICARAGUA FOR SURFING
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I have called this little fishing village my Nicaraguan home for the past four winters. This place is a gem. It’s not very touristy and has some of the most consistent fun waves all year long throwing out lefts and rights.
Most accommodations like SOLID Surf & Adventure, Free Spirit Hostel, and Surf Hostel Nicaragua are located right on the beach with at least three spots you can check while sitting and having your morning coffee.
The spot is a beach break that works best mid to high tide. March through October is known as the bigger wave season for the more experienced surfer. However, the waves are always fun, even in the smaller wave season, it’s at least waist to chest high and offshore. You’ll be surfing with more locals and fishermen than tourists.
El Transíto is a quiet town with friendly locals and not much to do but surf, unless you happen to be there for holidays like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day when everyone in town goes out and dances and celebrates.
In my opinion, this makes it one of the best beaches to visit in Nicaragua, whether you’re an experienced surfer or someone who just wants to learn, this spot has it all.
A twenty-minute drive down the bumpy dirt road from El Transíto, this left point break has a steep and fast take off and barrels over rock. This spot works best on the incoming tide and is the spot to be when a big south swell rolls through. As with any point break the paddle out is relatively easy. When it’s smaller, there are a couple of spots on the inside that are fun.
Punta Miramar is a bit more of a town than El Transíto and sees a few more tourists as there are a handful of surf camps located in the area.
This world-class spot is for experienced and advanced surfers only as it barrels over a shallow reef. It’s a left that is super fast and hollow. This wave is best to get to by boat as it’s located in front of a private golf resort (Gran Pacifica) that charges per board if you drive and park there.
In the five weeks, I taught yoga at this resort, Rob Machado and Sterling Spencer came through to surf this wave. If you find yourself in over your head at this wave, you can surf the beach break a little further up the beach, known as Asuchillo. The wave in this area still barrels but is less intimidating, and this Nicaragua beach is often empty as there is barely a town around, just the resort, so pack your lunch!
Located in San Juan del Sur, this surfing spot in Nicaragua is a great place to learn, as there are a lot of surf schools around the area. This area’s waves also offers both lefts and rights and is fun for more advanced surfers as well.
For another beach break, the waves in this area are best on a medium to high tide, and though it may get a little crowded by Nicaraguan standards, there are always waves for everyone to enjoy.
Any of the hostels located in San Juan del Sur offers daily shuttles to this beach. If you’re looking for a fun night out, San Juan del Sur has plenty of fun restaurants and bars to hang out, or if you’re up for it, for dancing, too!
The area is also infamous for Sunday Funday; it is an all day hostel bar crawl that ultimately leaves the waves empty on Monday mornings.
San Juan del Sur is a fun place to visit in Nicaragua if you’re looking to party with some surfing on the side, as it offers plenty of parties and plenty of surf spots. However, we wary that you have to commute quite a bit using the shuttles to different places!
Also located in San Juan del Sur, this is another beach in Nicaragua that offers waves for both lefts and rights with plenty of room to spread out. Rarely crowded, the waves are perfect for any level of surfing and works best on a mid to high tide.
Playa Hermosa Eco Lodge is located right in front of the break and is 100% owned and run by Nicaraguans. The lodge works with solar power and is involved in turtle rescue.
Fun Fact: Playa Hermosa is the Nicaragua beach where the hit show Survivor was filmed in 2010!
Other Places to visit in Nicaragua
If you get surfed out, there are plenty of other places to visit in Nicaragua. So what is there to do and what is there to see other than surfing? Nineteen of Nicaragua’s volcanoes are active. Among the most popular to visit are Masaya, Mombacho, and Cerro Negro.
Masaya is an active volcano and is always spitting out sulfur dioxide, and it last erupted in January of 2016 and is also Nicaragua’s first national park.
Mombacho is also an active volcano although it hasn’t erupted since 1570. It is also located on another nature reserve with amazing hikes where you can see all kinds of wildlife; you can also zip line over a coffee farm, just to add up some excitement to your trip to Nicaragua.
My favorite, however, is Cerro Negro, yet another active volcano. The last time this volcano erupted was in 1999. Cerro Negro differs from the other volcanoes in Nicaragua because of its black gravel from old lava flows — and the best part, you sled down the “slopes”! There is one trail that you hike up with a sled type board and a backpack containing a suit, goggles, and gloves. Once you get to the top, you sled all the way down to the bottom.
Besides Managua (the capital of Nicaragua), Granada, and Leon are two fun cities to visit. Granada is charming with a lot of interesting architecture. Leon is more of a backpacker town with good cafes and restaurants and a fun nightlife. These cities also have a rich history, being involved in the Nicaraguan Revolution that ended in 1989.
There are many things to do in Nicaragua and is an amazing country for anyone seeking an adventure whether it’s for soul seeking or to just surf, for me, I found both in this beautiful country.
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