The Best Surf Destinations in Central America
True surfers are constantly looking for new locations that bring them great waves, tropical views, and an amazing surf cultural atmosphere. For many wave-chasers, Central America is the ideal location. Affordable and easy to navigate, international surfers often choose surf destinations in Central America as their go-to vacation destinations. If you are on a surf tour, the best surf beaches in these destinations are not far from each other - and can be easily reached one after the other.
Witch’s Rock, Costa Rica
This surf destination is located on Playa Naranjo in the North-Eastern part of the Guanacaste Region. Costa Rica is full of national parks and nature reserves and Playa Naranjo is found in the protected Santa Rosa National Park. One of the reasons that visitors love this surf destination in Central America is that great care is taken to preserve the native flora and fauna and to protect the Costa Rican waters. Even though this area is frequented by surfers year-round, it has not degraded due to the high level of preservation by the Costa Rican government.
Witch’s Rock has a combination of wave types, suited well for all levels of skill. Beginners can take surf classes on the beach in Tamarindo, while advanced surfers can head to Witch’s Rock or Playa Grande for more challenging waves. Strong, open breaks, beautiful golden sand, and stunning views great all who visit Witch’s Rock.
Bocas del Toro, Panama
Bocas del Toro Province is one of the most well-known surf destinations in Central America. It is home to several surfable beaches, ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. The main surfing season runs through December and into March. This is due to the fact that storms of the Northeast coast cause large swells on the province’s beaches. This area is not as populated as others which make is less crowded, even during high season. The most visited surf beaches are Bluff, Carenos, First Beach, Paunch, and Silverbacks. Surf lessons are available for beginners or those interested in guided practice. Many beaches are training friendly – making this destination the perfect intermediate surfer location.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
Located on the southwestern coast of Nicaragua, San Juan Del Sur is a world-renowned surfing destination in Central America. San Juan Del Sur has been a hub for surfers for many years due to its prime location in the Pacific Ocean – and surf beaches north as well as south. Visitors to San Juan del Sur find the most picturesque and laid back beach town in Nicaragua with beautiful views of the San Juan Del Sur Bay and many surf beaches to choose from. Due to strong winds passing the big Nicaragua Lake there is surf al year around – although in the beginning of the year waves often are low. Personalized surf camps around San Juan del Sur make this destination a surfer favorite. Surfers often stagger visits to beaches such as Playa Hermosa, Playa Remanso, Playa Yankee and the world famous Playa Maderas - to ensure that they can catch amazing waves throughout the year. San Juan del Sur – is only 1 hour drive from the costa rican border can be combined with destinations in Costa Rica.
Playa Jaco, Costa Rica
Playa Jaco is one of Costa Rica’s main surfing towns and very pointedly caters to those who are there specifically for surfing. Specialty hotels, surf camps, restaurants, and bars are sprinkled throughout Playa Jaco. This location is famous for its beautiful swells that come in from the south, which is one of the reasons Costa Rica has several of the most popular surfing destinations in Central America. Although Playa Jaco is well-visited, its large size makes it hard to become crowded or overrun by surfers or travelers in the waters. Jaco Beach is best suited for beginners (there are a lot of classes available), while more skilled surfers can try their hand at riding waves at Playa Hermosa.