Nicaragua is synonymous with offshore winds, A-frame peaks, and excellent cuisine. The country can be broken down into three regions: Southern, Central, and Northern, each characterized by its own little flares and specialties that make for the perfect surf trip.
The Southern region is identified by two prominent surf spots, one being San Juan Del Sur, and the other being Popoyo. For the social surfer who wants to party a bit and surf just as much, the San Juan Del Sur area is the perfect place. This party town is just steps away from both epic beach breaks and your next hangover – Sunday Funday is one of the biggest celebrations there that truly cannot be missed. The Popoyo area offers a wide array of surf spots in the Southern region, ranging from the reef at Popoyo with an A-frame peak to the outer reef that can handle 20 to 25 foot monsters breaking over a shallow reef – picturesque beach set ups to get you tubed out of your mind! The Popoyo area is generally better suited to a surfer who just wants to surf and relax; the nightlife there is somewhat nonexistent due to it being a small village with no major cities nearby.
The Central region of Nicaragua is undoubtedly holding so long as you can find it. As you venture out of the Southern region and slowly towards the Northern, the chances of finding remote waves without the burden of crowds increases – but it isn’t always so easy. Central Nicaragua boasts the longest wave in Nicaragua: Puerto Sandino, which is a mere ten minute boat ride from the La Barra camp. The ‘front yard’ of the La Barra camp reveals a multitude of other waves, including Chicken Bowls, Punta Miramar, and Launch Ramps, each complete with its own little quirks. I could go on to mention a few of the other secret breaks nearby, but then they wouldn’t be quite so secret, so let’s just say that they are out there and just waiting to be surfed.
(Photo courtesy of Alex Postigo and Thunderbomb Surf Camp)
Continuing northward past the Central breaks are some of the best beach breaks that Nicaragua has to offer, the main attraction being a beachy called “The Boom.” This beach break can offer up some perfect barrels when it is smaller, and when the swell comes up it can still hold some big tubes, making it a definite must see when traveling through this region. The rest of the Northern region holds a plethora of similar beach breaks that are definitely worth the woes once you find them. One of the primary difficulties of traveling through this area is the transportation system – roads are considerably underdeveloped and there is definitely no AAA to call to get you out of a bind. Additionally, the nightlife here is pretty nonexistent as well due to the remoteness and the lack of tourism that this region sees.
It is all fun and games in Nicaragua until a purple blob shows up and this outer reef monster awakes from a slumber. One word of advice: do not get cute with this monster, it does not play games.
(Photo by Roberto Garcia)
Ruler edge perfection at the La Barra camp meets sunny skies and surfer chicks that probably shred harder than you!
Desolate? Potential? Broken Boards? Yes, yes, and yes. Northern Nicaragua can leave without a couple of your favorite sticks, but is well worth the woes if you’re up to it!