A Comprehensive Guide to Surfing in Nicaragua
If you're looking for a world-class surf destination in Central America, you might want to consider Nicaragua. The country's surf scene is not as developed as Costa Rica's, but it offers its own unique set of advantages and challenges. From consistent surf conditions to warm water and fun waves, here's everything you need to know about surfing in Nicaragua.
The best time to surf in Nicaragua is during the dry season, which runs from November to April. During this period, the waves are consistent and the weather is sunny, with daytime temperatures reaching up to 85°F (29°C). The rainy season, which lasts from May to October, can also be a good time to surf, especially if you're looking to avoid the crowds. However, the waves may not be as reliable during this period.
Southern Nicaragua's wet season brings an abundance of much needed rainfall and a variety of offerings for surfers and beach-goers. When the rains come down in September and October, they often bring all day downpours with heavy rain but it usually only lasts one day before the sun comes out again which is a welcome respite for many. It also brings something else with it - beautiful green foliage, lesser crowds and plenty of glassy waves which are usually head-high or higher. This is great for intermediate to experienced surfers who don't mind dealing with smaller peaks during these months.
On the other hand, January and February experience strong winds which result in colder waters due to upwelling from deep below the ocean's surface. The surf is typically going to be on the smaller side as well so it creates an ideal situation for beginning surfers without having to worry about bigger swells or competition with others. Despite the cooler water temperatures in winter months, this can be a great time of year to really get your footing in the sport while still enjoying some sunshine and warmer temperatures compared to some other places around the world at this time of year.
Nicaragua has numerous surf breaks catering to all levels of surfers, from beginners to advanced. The most popular surf spots are located near San Juan del Sur, a beach town in the south of the country. Playa Maderas, a beach break with offshore winds and consistent waves, is a favorite among surfers of all skill levels. Playa Colorado and Playa Santana are also known for their hollow waves and outer reef breaks, but they are best suited for experienced surfers. Other popular surf breaks include Playa Gigante, Playa Amarillo, and Playa Popoyo.
Nicaragua offers a range of accommodations for surfers, from surf camps to luxury lodges. The best places to stay are generally located near the surf breaks, such as around San Juan del Sur. Surf camps like Maderas Village and Buena Vista Surf Club offer everything from beginner lessons to guided surf trips, along with accommodations and dining options. If you're looking for more upscale options, try the Rancho Santana or Mukul resorts, which offer high-end rooms, restaurants, and spas.
When it comes to dining options, Nicaragua has something for everyone. In San Juan del Sur, you'll find plenty of beach bars and seafood restaurants serving fresh ceviche and grilled fish. Nica Tacos is a popular spot for cheap eats, while El Gato Negro serves up creative entrees like octopus and chorizo empanadas. If you're staying at a surf camp or lodge, meals are usually included in the package and feature a mix of local and international cuisine.
Getting around Nicaragua can be a challenge, especially if you're looking to explore multiple surf breaks. The most convenient way to get to your destination is by hiring a private driver or taking a taxi. Buses are also available, but they can be crowded and slow. If you're up for an adventure, you can rent a car and explore the country on your own.
In conclusion, Nicaragua is a great surf destination that caters to surfers of all skill levels. With warm water, consistent waves, and a surf scene that's still relatively uncrowded, it's a perfect spot for your next surf trip. Just be sure to plan ahead and choose your accommodations and transportation carefully to make the most of your time there.