Nicaragua is an ideal place to surf, with an abundance of incredible surf sports that provide waves around 2 to 6 feet high year-round.
In fact, thanks to the way it has somehow avoided mass tourism, Nicaragua’s idyllic surf spots very rarely become overcrowded.
With its breathtakingly serene scenery, inviting local culture, and affordable travel, Nicaragua is ideal for anyone hoping to surf in some world-renowned, unspoiled spots, whilst managing to not break the bank!
When it comes to surf camps in Nicaragua, you are completely spoilt for choice.
The country boasts such varied coasts, that whether you are a first-timer or advanced surfer, there is something to suit your needs.
However, due to the sheer number of surf camps in Nicaragua, each boasting its own unique style and experience, it can be overwhelming when trying to search for the most ideal camp for your desires.
That’s why we are here to help. Below, there is a selection of surf camps from three different regions.
These regions are home to the best surfing spots on the Pacific coastline. Every surf camp has been hand-picked, each offering an array of different services and experiences, so there should be something for everyone!
Following, we outline some things to consider and discuss some frequently asked questions, to make sure that you have all the tools you need to be confident in booking your surfing getaway.
Thanks to Lake Nicaragua and its consistent offshore winds, Popoyo hosts a year-round swell, which helped to initially draw surfers to Nicaragua.
It is also home to Nicaragua’s most consistent wave, breaking on all tides and all sizes. There are a multitude of different spots in Popoyo, home to waves of different intensities.
For intermediate to well-seasoned surfers, Popoyo Main Break, an A-frame allowing you to ride great lefts and rights, is an ideal spot.
For expert surfers, the Outer Reef Popoyo, a pipeline-style offshore slab, provides a rare and perfect opportunity to challenge yourself.
Close to Magnific Rock, beginners can enjoy a more easy-going beach, perfect for learning how to surf.
Check out our favourite Popoyo surf camps below.
For the adventurous surfers out there, Nicawaves provides the perfect setting to experience surfing in all its glory.
Nicawaves fosters an environment in which meeting like-minded people is very easy, thanks to the shared spaces and its proximity to other surf camps.
The accommodation is surrounded by a number of incredible surf spots, and some (e.g. Popoyo and Beginner’s Bay) are just a short walk away!
Nicawaves is also well-known for its incredibly varied choice of accommodation. They cater to all different types and sizes of groups.
Guests can opt for dormitories, double, triple, or quadruple rooms, which range from budget-friendly to luxury. For those hoping to rent a car, Nicawaves also offers free parking.
This surf camp also has an all-inclusive service, including all meals and airport transfers.
When it comes to surfing, Nicawaves offers an ideal surf package for beginners. Expert instructors personalise your surf experience, utilising their local knowledge and keeping your surfing ability in mind.
These expert instructors are of a particularly high calibre, with World and Olympic champions on staff, meaning that if you’re looking for particular high-level help and advice, Nicawaves has you covered!
Once you’re done surfing you can hire a bike from the hotel, or sign up for other activities such as horse riding or fishing!
The location of this surf camp is one of the reasons it is so popular.
Just half an hour away from 10 of Nicaragua’s most idyllic surfing beaches on the Pacific coast.
For those hoping to hit the hotspots, Malibu Popoyo is an ideal base from which to explore the renowned Playa Santana, Popoyo, Magnificent Rock, and many more.
However, the accommodation is more than just a base. Malibu Popoyo provides a holistic experience, grounded in Nicaraguan culture.
Each room is specially designed to make sure you can relax and feel a renewed sense of adventure. Individually designed, the interior combines traditional Latin American style and raw materials.
You are also welcome to indulge in local, delicious, and healthy food on-site whenever you desire. Malibu Popoyo is an ideal choice if you’re hoping for a serene and immersive holiday.
In addition to incredible surfing opportunities, this surf camp provides a whole lot of other activities. It also brands itself as a yoga and meditation vacation, perfect for revitalising the mind, body and soul.
If you’re looking for some more sporting opportunities, they also offer:
- local tours
- and horseback riding
The lovely team at Malibu Popoyo also encourages you to contact them with any travel queries, to ensure your break is as stress-free as possible!
San Juan del Sur
Similar to Popoyo, the coastline at San Juan del Sur is provided with daily offshore winds by Lake Nicaragua.
However, in contrast to the other two areas, San Juan del Sur is known as the party town.
Perfect for groups of surfing friends hoping for a fun getaway, this spot in Nicaragua supposedly hosts the largest Central American party every Sunday!
However, for those who would like to separate themselves from the party life – don’t worry!
The beaches in San Juan del Sur which boast consistently great waves are at least a few kilometres from the party areas.
This area is great for those hoping to engage in other water sports, such as kayaking.
Check out our favourite San Juan del Sur surf camps below.
If you’ve dreamed of attending a surf camp that is situated right on the beach, so that the sound of the waves greet you every morning, Dreamsea Surf Camp is perfect for you.
When designing the accommodation, their aim was to ensure their guests can enjoy nature, without even leaving their beds.
Offering individual cabanas along the seafront, each uniquely designed and decorated with traditional furniture, bamboo features and greenery-a-plenty!
The food available at Dreamsea Surf Camp has received rave reviews since opening, and the Tiki Bar within the hotel provides daily fresh smoothies and cocktails.
Uniquely, in the evenings, there is entertainment in the form of traditional Nicaraguan shows, allowing guests to really immerse themselves within the culture, as well as the environment.
At this surf camp, they provide transport to the wide variety of surf spots within the area and pride themselves on their excellent local surf instructors.
Open to all surfing abilities, Dreamsea Surf Camp offers a truly unique experience.
Once you’re done surfing, you can use the pool, sign up for early morning yoga classes, or simply relax in the idyllic holiday spot.
If you’re looking for something particularly different and unique, look no further than TreeCasa resort.
For accommodation, guests are invited to stay in fairytale-like tree houses situated in dense forests.
These treehouses are particularly spacious and luxurious (not like the one your dad tried to build in the garden) and are linked to communal spaces and the swimming pool.
The mountain views are what separate this surf camp from the others, providing gorgeous views of the oceans as well as the rolling hills.
Though not directly on the beach, it is only a 15-minute trip to reach the coast, which you can make via TreeCasa’s daily transport service.
There is a range of surfing courses available, from lessons for beginners to guidance for those with more surfing experience, making this an ideal trip for couples or friends with differing abilities!
Included are delicious meals from their restaurant and poolside live music every week.
This hotel draws in families and singles alike, with something to satisfy everyone’s desires.
The undeveloped North part of the pacific coastline is home to a plethora of gorgeous surf spots.
Long travelling and uninterrupted Pacific swells, delightfully warm water, and refreshingly cool breezes make this a perfect surf spot.
If you’re looking for adventure, Northern Nicaragua might be the place for you.
With the perfect landscape for a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking, rock climbing and volcano boarding, this Nicaraguan treasure trove is fast becoming a Central American adventure hotspot.
If this sounds like an ideal getaway, check out our favourite surf camps situated in Northern Nicaragua below.
This surf camp is nestled within a small fishing village and welcomes surfers of all abilities who are on the hunt for authenticity and uncrowded waves.
There are a number of packages targeted to differing abilities, to ensure that your guidance is perfectly tailored to your requirements.
Sessions are also offered in:
- and French
With at least 5 great surf spots within close proximity, Los Clavos is an ideal place to hone your skills!
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive surf break, Los Clavos Surf Camp is for you. Surfing, yoga, and accommodation are all included in their rates.
Their accommodation is a beachfront bungalow with private bathrooms, each with an ocean view front deck so guests can truly soak up the beauty of the Nicaraguan north coast and fall asleep to the sound of lapping waves.
Los Clavos Surf Camp also prides itself on the relaxing, warm and social atmosphere fostered by the staff.
Trip lengths are very flexible, beginning at two nights and extending to two weeks.
Daily yoga sessions, wakeboarding, horseback riding, a boat trip, board hire, transport, all meals and beverages (including unlimited beer), are all included within the rate.
Booking Los Clavos Surf Camp is a great way to take all of the stress out of travelling and a perfect opportunity to truly immerse yourself within the beauty of the Northern coastline.
Last, but definitely not least, we have Rise Up Surf Camp.
If you’re looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life, and experience total immersion in a new culture, Rise Up Surf Camp is perfect.
Their intimate knowledge of, and connection with, the community, and their desire to share their perfectly isolated surf spot makes it a truly authentic surf experience. Staff are also known to really enjoy connecting with guests at Rise Up.
Whether over meals, during yoga, on excursions, or over a cocktail, they take pride in their friendly and relaxed atmosphere and hope to get to know each of the guests well.
At this surf camp, their coaching is second-to-none.
With ISA-certified coaches who know all the best surf spots, surfers of all abilities are welcome. Surf sessions are made up of very intimate group sizes, to ensure guests receive a personalized experience.
If you were hoping for some top-quality photographic evidence of your surf trip, also included in the rates are great videos of you surfing during your stay.
In fact, the rates include:
- all meals and beverages
- daily yoga classes
- and the use of a guest house full of useful amenities.
The accommodation is quite communal, a guesthouse hosting up to 7 people, with rooms which hold up to 4 people.
Each room has a private ensuite and air conditioning, however, if you were looking for something more private, you are able to book a room for yourself.
They also offer a range of extra activities, such as:
- volcano excursions
- horseback riding on the beach
- cooking classes
- and boat trips.
If you’re hoping to do something philanthropic, the team at Rise Up encourages guests to give back to the community, by getting involved with their NGO, called Rise Up Kids!
Things to Consider
Before booking your dream Nicaraguan surf getaway, there are a few things you need to think about.
Check out these suggestions below, to make sure you’re making the most informed choice possible.
Before booking any surf camp, it’s really important to think deeply about what you are hoping to learn from it.
Are you an advanced surfer looking to refine your skills and challenge yourself with some of the infamous Nicaraguan swells?
Or are you a complete newbie, hoping for a super supportive and encouraging atmosphere, and a gentle introduction to the sport?
Either way, we encourage you to compile a list of things you’re hoping to learn and ensure that the surf camps you’re considering can prove what you’re looking for.
If it’s not clear on their website, reach out to them via email!
Type of holiday
Nicaragua is a wonderfully colorful and varied country. Some surf spots will be full of fellow tourists, and others will be far quieter.
Also, some will be close to party hotspots, and others will be very far from towns.
As such, it’s important to consider what you need during a holiday:
- Are you hoping to have some fun in a bustling town, or are you looking to immerse yourself in the culture of a small village?
- Do you want to meet many tourists from all over the world, or would you rather have a more secluded, local experience?
Again, compile a list of your necessities, and ensure your preferred surf camps are in the perfect location for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nicaragua safe?
Though Nicaragua does have a high crime rate, the secluded and enclosed nature of surf camps ensures a safe environment.
Also, according to surf camp owners, violence is very rarely targeted at tourists and very safe for surfers.