Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua

It is not a secret anymore, Nicaragua has many world-class Surf Spots!

The waves of Nicaragua are among the best of all Central America due to the constant off-shore wind, called by local surfers Papagayo Winds, that blow from Lake Nicaragua out to the Pacific.

Since there are many awesome surf spot it is not easy to pick my favorite Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua but I did my best, considering that I have been there personally.

However, before that, let us see some basic info about Surfing in Nicaragua, that will help you organizing a memorable Surf Trip and discover all the Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua !

Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua
This is what you might get after reading this article…!

When is the best season to Surf in Nicaragua?

Well…as surfers knows, it’s always hard to predict the swell but usually the wet season, that goes from May to November, has more solid waves. If you are a beginner, even the dry season, from December to April is good, with constant offshore winds and swell from the south.


History of Surfing in Nicaragua

Nicaragua surf scene started around 10-15 years ago but every year Nicaragua is getting more attention from surfers from all over the world, coverage by Surf Magazine and host some international Surf Contest. Few years ago, surf contest started in the best surf spot of Nicaragua and this helped to increase the popularity of this sport among locals.

Nicaraguan surfer
Nicaraguan surfer

Now there around 200 Nicaraguan surfers, surf shops are common as also Surf Camps, Surf Hotels and companies that offer Surf Trips to discover the best surf spot of Central America.

So, after this, here are what I consider the Top 5 Surf Spot in Nicaragua


This is definitely the most famous Surf Spot of Nicaragua and it’s the “wave to be” if you want to get barreled. It offers a consistent wave with a thick barrel and Popoyo has gained the reputation to be the heaviest wave of all Nicaragua. This is the wave that made Nicaragua famous on the world surf scene, so of course it can get a crowd at times. Here is where many International Surf Contest are held each year.

Playa Madera

It’s a consistent beach break located 20 minutes north of San Juan del Sur. Although Madera is a great surf spot all year round with constant Off Shore wind, it has become a bit overcrowded in the recent years.

Surfing in Nicaragua
A good day at Playa Madera

There are several surf school located on Madera’s beach as well bar, restaurants, budget hotels, camping spot and surf lodge. It is easy to get here from San Juan del Sur even if you don’t have a car, there are regular shuttle for around 5$ through a rough roads, which has only 4×4 access during rainy season.

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Playa Colorado

It used to be a well-kept secret, a massive wave in the middle of nothing, but sadly it is not a secret anymore, Playa Colorado has gained high reputation and now a gated community resort has been built on this beach. The wave has not change though, if you want to get barreled this is the wave you need to Surf while you check the Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua.

View from Hacienda Iguana, Surf and Golf !
View from Hacienda Iguana, Surf and Golf !

The wave is accessed by staying at Hacienda Iguana, which has a beatiful Golf Course as well, or by boat.


Panga Drop

Just north of Playa Colorado you find this surf spot that it is worthy to include in the Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua for its consistency and because most of the time is completely uncrowded.

To get to this wave you need to hire a boat since is far out in the ocean. This break works all year round and most probably you won’t share it with other surfers.


Playa Hermosa

This used to be another well-kept secret of San Juan del Sur area, with no access unless you rented a boat. In 2012 a road was opened to get to this 1 mile long beautiful beach, where now there is also the possibility to stay in a beautiful surf house, rent boats, have lunch, drink a beer and party with your friends…

This is the view you get after a day of surfing Playa Hermosa
This is the view you get after a day of surfing Playa Hermosa

But the best of Playa Hermosa remains of course the waves, perfect for all skill levels.


These are just Top 5 Surf Spots in Nicaragua, I know there are still many out there!

Do you want to suggest one? Feel free to get in touch with us and we will included it in the list ! Click To Tweet

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MatthewsaraDavid SchneiderThe Land of Lakes and Volcanoes: 5 Reasons to Jump on a Plane to Nicaragua Today - Mapping Megan Recent comment authors
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Playa Hermosa is not close to San Juan Del Sur. It’s closer to Miramar Beach and approximately 30 minutes from Leon.

David Schneider
David Schneider

Nice coverage!


[…] not breaking news anymore, Nicaragua has great surf spots. The most famous are Popoyo, Santana, Colorado, Hermosa, Panga Drop and the list goes on and on. […]