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25 Incredible Central & South American Surfing Destinations

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Bucket List Worthy  

Much of Latin America lies between the tropics which means guaranteed sunshine almost every day of the year.

Looking for long days of sun and surf and even longer nights of salsa and sangria? Then look no further, Latin America is a paradise on earth. Think palm trees swaying in the wind on white sandy beaches, lush vegetation populated by exotic wildlife and warm, welcoming hosts. Ideal conditions, made more so by the multitude of beaches.

With Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean coastlines Central and South America offer some of the best surfing in the world. From point breaks to coral reefs to sandy and rock bottoms, conditions vary widely ensuring a swell time, no pun intended, for every level of surfer regardless of proficiency. While pro surfers will opt to take on the more challenging beaches, newbies will jump at the chance to improve their skills at one of the many surf schools or camps.

In this guide we drop in on some of the hottest surfing destinations south of Mexico. We feature a number of Latin American countries whose Pacific coastlines offer warm waters, uncrowded beaches and superb swells. We then make a short detour to the west of Central America where we pay a quick visit to five awesome Caribbean surfing locations.

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Central America

 

1. Surf Expedition Costa Rica – Pavones, Costa Rica | 2. Chica Brava – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua |

3. El Salvador Surf Camps – La Libertad, El Salvador | 4. Costa Rica Surf Holidays – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

5. Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica | 6. Dreamsea Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

7. Safari Surf School – Nosara, Costa Rica | 8. Nosara Paddlesurf – Nosara, Costa Rica |

9. Burnt Toast Surf Camp – Nosara, Costa Rica | 10. Two Brothers Surf Resort – Popoyo, Nicaragua |

11. Del Soul Surf School – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | 12. Pura Vida Adventures – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica |

13. Coco Loco Eco-Resort – Chinandega, Nicaragua | 14. Rise Up Surf  – Aposentillo, Nicaragua |

15. Miramar Surf Camp – Nagarote, Nicaragua | 16. Kelea Surf Spa – Mal Pais, Costa Rica |

17. Surf Expedition Nicaragua – Rivas & Leon, Nicaragua | 18. Riomar Surf & Skate Camp – San Carlos, Panama |

19. Giants Foot Surf – Playa Gigante, Nicaragua | 20. Somar Surf Lodge – Leon, Nicarangua |

21. Give & Surf NPO – Bocas Town, Panama

South America

 

1. Chicama Surf Camp – Trujillo, Peru |  2. Balsa Surf Camp – Montanita, Ecuador  |

3. Surf Camp Pipa Brasil – Praia da Pipa, Brazil | 4. The Mudhouse Hostel  – Mompiche, Ecuador  |

5. Sossego Surf Camp – Tibau do Sul, Brazil

Carribean

 

1. Swell Surf Camp – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |  2. Hooked Cabarete – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |

3. El Encuentro Surf Lodge – Cabarete, Dominican Republic | 4. Pauhana Surf School – Cabarete, Dominican Republic |

5. Eco Lifestyle & Lodge – Tent Bay, Barbados

 

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Central America

 

1. Surf Expedition Costa Rica

 

Location: Pavones, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: December – August

 

Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is dotted with popular beach towns some of which include Tamarindo, Nosara and Santa Teresa. We will visit each of these in turn, but first we stop in at Pavones, known for long waves and big swells in one of the most remote surf locations in Costa Rica.

Pavones is home to Surf Expedition which occupies a 20 000 m2 beach front paradise. This spot is within walking distance of two world-class breaks. Surf Expedition prides itself on semi-private tutoring in-which a three to one student/surf coach ratio is maintained.

They also offer cultural experiences such as horseback riding in the indigenous reserve, chocolate making with local artisans and swimming at the foot of a waterfall.

A one-week package will cost around $1450USD. Visit Surf Expedition’s website for more information.

 

2. Chica Brava

 

Location: San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: All-year (Except for October)

 

It used to be that Nicaragua was a secret getaway for avid traveller’s and even though the country has seen a steady increase in visitors in the last decade; it remains a scenic and tranquil haven, popular with celebrities. San Juan del Sur is situated on the countries Pacific coastline and is one of Nicaragua’s most exclusive coastal towns.

It was this crescent-shaped bay that inspired Houston attorney Ashley Blaylock to start a surf retreat exclusively for women. Chica Brava offers a fun filled, empowering and adventurous holiday of a lifetime. A seven-night retreat includes transportation, lessons and accommodation at one of three gorgeous locations.

A week-long stay costs anywhere from $1290USD for an affordable option, to $1900USD for private jungle hideaway, to $2100USD for a luxury beachfront villa.

These must view properties are featured on Chica Brava’s website.

 

3. El Salvador Surf Camps

 

Location: La Libertad, El Salvador

Best Time to Go: March-October (Intermediate & Advance, Nov-February (Beginners)

 

El Salvador is fast becoming one of the best surf destinations in Central America. With two hundred and ten kilometres of Pacific coastline there are numerous beaches with consistent surf and warm water all year round. World class point breaks include Punta Roca, Punta Mango, Punta Las Flores and Sunzal all of which are un-crowded and easy to access.

El Salvador Surf Camps home base is Sunzal Point Break in Playa El Tunco. It is a warm and friendly town with lots of restaurants, bars and live music parties on weekends.

El Salvador Surf Camps offers a variety of packages ranging from surf camps suitable for younger travellers to comfortable private accommodation and luxury surf resorts. Surf packages cost $70USD per person per day and include accommodation, surfing instruction from qualified ISA certified instructors or a surf trip. A weekly package costs $210USD per person. Other amenities include swimming pools, WIFI and surf gear rental. Alternative tours and activities can also be arranged.

Visit El Salvador Surf Camps website for everything you need to know about surfing in El Salvador.

 

4. Costa Rica Surf Holidays

 

Location: Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

As one of the top Central American travel destinations, Tamarindo needs no introduction. In fact Tamarindo is such a popular tourist mecca that locals refer to the town as “Tamagringo”.

While Costa Rica is known for its miles of coastline, Tamarindo is without a doubt the best place for beginners. It is also a great base from which to explore the more famous and challenging surf spots such as Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point. That’s where tour operators such as Costa Rica Surf Holidays come in. Not only do they offer lessons and surf packages for all budgets and tastes but thanks to their local knowledge they’ll be happy to direct you to the best beaches for your skill level.

Three night packages are available from $195USD and seven night packages from $455USD. Details can be found here.

 

5. Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp

 

Location: Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Blue Trailz is a fun and popular hostel and surf school in Tamarindo. It is run by European expats Koen and Alexander as well as a full staff including Tico instructors proficient in English and Spanish.

We could not depart Tamarindo without taking advantage of a few unique attractions the area has to offer, such as El Estero, a surfable river mouth just left of the main beach break. El Estero is suitable for advanced surfers.

The area is also home to the Tamarindo Wildlife Refuge and the Las Baulas National Marine Park situated a few minutes from Playa Grande where visitors can catch a glimpse of spectacular giant sea-turtles reminiscent of the Jurassic era.

A seven night surf camp in a shared dorm can be booked for as little as $455USD and luxury accommodation packages which include ocean view, adult only and family friendly options are also available. More information can be found at the Blue Trailz website.

6. Dreamsea Surf Camp

 

Location: Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

We just cant get enough of Tamarindo and head over to Dreamsea Surf Camp.  This Eco-friendly, self-sustained glamping surf and yoga camp is situated in the jungles of Tamarindo. At Dreamsea Costa Rica guests experience the Costa Rican way of life in a beautifully melded melody of surf, yoga, meditation and connection with nature.

A community dynamic with a view towards humanitarian efforts is encouraged. These relationships often outlast the trip and lead to lifelong friendships between guests. A typical trip consisting of seven nights and eight days can be booked from as little $595USD per week. Learn more about Dreamsea Costa Rica here.

 

7. Safari Surf School

 

Location: Nosara, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-Year (High Season is Nov-Apr, Low Season is May-Oct)

 

We finally leave Tamarindo behind and head down the coast to Nosara. While Nosara is one of the fastest growing surf towns in the world it remains more peaceful than other spots such as Tamarindo and Santa Teresa.

Playa Guiones, the town’s hottest surf spot is great for surfers of all levels but it is ideal for beginners and intermediate level surfers. The all sand bottom at Playa Guiones has a gradual descent creating a softer, more forgiving type of wave with no rocks or reefs. Waves have been known to break at distances of 75 to 100 yards out and roll all the way to shore.

Safari Surf School takes advantage of this great location offering customizable packages for surfers and non-surfers alike. They welcome couples, singles, families and groups, placing great emphasis on customer service. They also offer a special women’s package which includes luxury accommodation and coaching from 2-time Costa Rican National Champion, Andrea Diaz.

Packages range from $1580USD to $4500USD per week depending on the lodging option and time of year. Additional services such as ATV rental, private lessons and massage therapy can be added on. More information available here.

 

8. Nosara Paddlesurf

 

Location: Nosara, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: November-August

 

So what makes Nosara one of the top surfing destinations in the world? Well apart from warm water, good weather and awesome waves it would have to be quiet, unspoiled beaches. There are two main reasons why Nosara’s beaches are among the cleanest in the world.  First, the area is situated in the Ostional Wildlife Refuge, a protected sea turtle nesting site. Development in the area is therefore limited due to the reserve’s wildlife protection status. This means that Nosara, with its pristine beaches and empty line-ups is ideal for water sports.

Second, Nosara is notoriously hard to reach from either San Jose or Liberia, the capital of Guanacaste Province. Nosara Paddlesurf’s all-inclusive package includes transfers to and from the airport so guests need not fret over the two hour road trip. Packages consisting of seven nights and seven days start from $2490USD. Full package information is available online.

 

9. Burnt Toast Surf Camp

 

Location: Nosara, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

We just love Nosara’s Eco friendly, organic and natural approach to life. There are few places in the world that offer a better quality of life and that’s not just our opinion. The Nicoya Peninsula has been identified as a Blue Zone. Studies show that People in Nosara live longer and healthier lives. It therefore makes sense that a budding yoga community would take up residence in the area.

Yoga and surfing complement each other beautifully. Both require strength, flexibility and balance and not only does yoga improve a surfers skill, it also helps relax and energise sore muscles.

Burnt Toast Surf Camp offers surf and surf/yoga packages. Daily surfing classes start from $55USD per lesson and weekly packages are available from $300USD upwards. More information is available here.

 

10. Two Brothers Surf Resort

 

Location: Popoyo, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: April-September

 

Nicaragua’s western coast is the ideal spot to spend a few weeks learning to surf, improving your skills or revelling in the many large breaks. There is no place more exciting for the advanced surfer than Popoyo where Nicaragua’s most consistent point break can be found. A large rock shelf causes the wave to break in an A-frame with right and left swells. Head high waves can be found almost every day as a result of off-shore winds.

Two Brothers is situated on a 32 acre private hilltop estate. A weekly surf package, starting from $1299USD includes luxury villa accommodation, three fantastic meals a day and unlimited guided surf and fishing. Visit their website for more information.

 

Jump to another surf spot:

 

Central America

 

1. Surf Expedition Costa Rica – Pavones, Costa Rica | 2. Chica Brava – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua |

3. El Salvador Surf Camps – La Libertad, El Salvador | 4. Costa Rica Surf Holidays – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

5. Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica | 6. Dreamsea Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

7. Safari Surf School – Nosara, Costa Rica | 8. Nosara Paddlesurf – Nosara, Costa Rica |

9. Burnt Toast Surf Camp – Nosara, Costa Rica | 10. Two Brothers Surf Resort – Popoyo, Nicaragua |

11. Del Soul Surf School – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | 12. Pura Vida Adventures – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica |

13. Coco Loco Eco-Resort – Chinandega, Nicaragua | 14. Rise Up Surf  – Aposentillo, Nicaragua |

15. Miramar Surf Camp – Nagarote, Nicaragua | 16. Kelea Surf Spa – Mal Pais, Costa Rica |

17. Surf Expedition Nicaragua – Rivas & Leon, Nicaragua | 18. Riomar Surf & Skate Camp – San Carlos, Panama |

19. Giants Foot Surf – Playa Gigante, Nicaragua | 20. Somar Surf Lodge – Leon, Nicarangua |

21. Give & Surf NPO – Bocas Town, Panama

South America

 

1. Chicama Surf Camp – Trujillo, Peru |  2. Balsa Surf Camp – Montanita, Ecuador  |

3. Surf Camp Pipa Brasil – Praia da Pipa, Brazil | 4. The Mudhouse Hostel  – Mompiche, Ecuador  |

5. Sossego Surf Camp – Tibau do Sul, Brazil

Carribean

 

1. Swell Surf Camp – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |  2. Hooked Cabarete – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |

3. El Encuentro Surf Lodge – Cabarete, Dominican Republic | 4. Pauhana Surf School – Cabarete, Dominican Republic |

5. Eco Lifestyle & Lodge – Tent Bay, Barbados

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Del Soul Surf School

 

Location: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Further Down the Costa Rican coastline we visit Santa Teresa. A charming little coastal village which draws scores of surfers and other beach goers each year. Del Soul Surf School is situated in the heart of Santa Teresa. This family run establishment offers lessons for surfers at all levels from beginners to intermediate.

Enjoy a laid-back lifestyle in this sleepy little Costa Rican town where monkeys and other wildlife can be found along the white sands of unspoiled beaches. Conditions are perfect for surfing with warm water and wide beach breaks throughout the year. Lessons are provided daily and equipment is available for rent or purchase from the surf shop. Lessons cost $60USD per person. Book online now.

 

12. Pura Vida Adventures

 

Location: Santa Teresa, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: November-August

 

Still in Santa Teresa, we drop in at Pura Vida Adventures. Featured in Vogue, Shape, Elle and the New York Times, Pura Vida offers women’s retreats as well as co-ed retreats primarily for beginner and intermediate level surfers.

They are situated at Playa Carmen where diverse surfing conditions can be found. Surfers in the area have access to five different types of surf breaks, including point, reef and beach breaks.

A big part of their focus at Pura Vida Adventures is on unwinding, making friends and developing life long relationships. They offer yoga, surfing and luxury beachfront accommodation in beautiful Santa Teresa delivering an experience which is true to their name. Pura Vida is a popular Costa Rican term meaning pure life.

A one week retreat typically costs around $2895USD upwards. Check out their website for more details.

 

13. Coco Loco Eco-Resort

 

Location: Chinandega, North Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Northern Nicaragua is known for beautiful beaches, mellow crowds and a plethora of wave types.  Coco Loco Eco-Resort is a surf, yoga and wellness resort situated on a kilometre long stretch of sand from which a variety of wave types including mellow beach breaks, points and barrelling beach breaks can be enjoyed.

Stroll along the coast for ten minutes and the area’s premier beginner to intermediate beach break, Nahaulapa Bay can be found. But, that does not leave advanced surfers out in the proverbial cold, Nicaragua’s famous “tubo” the Boom is a mere fifteen minute car ride away.

But what else does Northern Nicaragua offer? How about a rum factory tour, volcano boarding or in-house chocolate making? Sound interesting? Check out Coco Loco Eco-Resort’s website for more information.

A weekly package can booked from as little as $1245USD.

 

14. Rise Up Surf

 

Location: Aposentillo, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

We have not yet explored all that Nicaragua has to offer. To the north of Chinandega the somewhat remote town of Aposentillo can be found. Rise-up surf offers surf lessons, guided surf tours, yoga classes and healthy home-made meals. Guests also get to connect with Nicaraguan culture through activities such as a tour of Leon, a Salsa night, horseback-riding, fishing, wake surfing, volcano boarding or an estuary boat trip.

A week-long stay will include seven nights’ accommodation, all meals including snacks and an early pre-surf breakfast, daily ocean view yoga classes, five surf lessons, surfing equipment and video analysis. Rates for weekly packages are $1350USD for shared rooms, $1550USD for double rooms and $1750USD for single rooms. More info here.

 

15. Miramar Surf Camp

 

Location: Punta Miramar, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: March to November

 

Miramar, home to Miramar Surf School, is situated to the west of Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. The area is rich with points and beach breaks and provides year-round sets for all levels of surfers. Offshore winds and warm coastal water make it a surfing hot spot.

But it’s not all surf, all the time in Miramar. Visitors to the area can take their pick from a host of recreational activities which include a skate park, exercise/yoga area, table games, fishing, eco kayaking, paddle boarding, horse riding, city tours and night parties. In between surf sessions and activities guests at Miramar Surf Camp love to hang out, watch the surf and marvel at the picture-perfect sunsets from the camp’s large communal area.

Miramar Surf Camp offers all-inclusive packages starting from $86USD per person per day sharing.  They also offer a nightly rate which includes breakfast and starts from $33USD per person per night sharing.

Visit their website for more details.

 

16. Kelea Surf Spa

 

Location: Malpais, Costa Rica

Best Time to Go: January, February, April, & December

 

Before we leave Costa Rica, we travel south along the coast to the little town of Malpais. A stones throw away from Santa Teresa, Malpais is home to the rich and famous. With notable celebrities such as Mel Gibson and Giselle Bundchen owning property there, what greater endorsement could the town need?

Named after Kelea, considered the goddess of surfing, Kelea Surf Spa combines surfing, yoga and massage and caters to an exclusively female clientele. They pride themselves on being the first-ever all-inclusive women’s surf and yoga retreat.  A 7-night package starts from $1795USD and needs to be booked in advance. Visit their website for more information.

 

17.Surf Expedition Nicaragua

 

Location: Rivas & Leon

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

From Leon to Granada and everything in between, Surf Expedition Nicaragua seeks out the best and least crowded surf spots in all of Nicaragua. They make it a point to travel far and wide hitting up secret locations so that their guests have the most time in the waves. In this way guests get to explore the country, its culture and customs while surfing the best breaks. They also provide adrenaline packed tours and activities (rappelling, cliff diving and volcano boarding to name a few) and custom trips for college students, spring break, bachelor parties and honeymoons. Surf Expedition Nicaragua offers eight-day and ten-day trips starting from $1190USD per week. See website for more details.

 

18. Riomar Surf & Skate Camp

 

Location: San Carlos, Panama

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Rio Mar Surf and Skate Camp (RMC) is situated in San Carlos. The town, located in the bay of Panama, is considered to be Panama’s Waikiki. The great thing about San Carlos is that it offers un-crowded left and right beach breaks and a world class point break. The beach break is a mere two minutes from the camp while the point break is a ten-minute walk away. Other breaks are situated within fifteen minutes driving distance and transfers are available on request.

The camp also has a pool, a 4’ mini ramp and skate bowl. Guests can combine skate and surf opting for lessons in one or both sports. At $10USD per bed per night, the dorm accommodation is very reasonable. Small rooms are available at $40 per night while large rooms are available at $70USD per night. San Carlos is home to hospitals, markets and restaurants where most creature comforts can be found and the town, being centrally located, is the perfect hub from which to explore Panama. Learn more here.

 

19. Giants Foot Surf

 

Location: Playa Gigante, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Giants Foot Surf, one of the longest running surf camps in Nicaragua, can be found in Playa Gigante, a few kilometres north of San Juan del Sur. Playa Gigante is a small surfing town, where a couple of hundred locals, a handful of expats, a few cows and plenty of pigs reside. Famous for epic beachfront sunsets Playa Gigante is what surfing dreams are made of.

Guests are housed in an airy, comfortable beachfront lodge which can accommodate ten people in six bedrooms. They also have an on site bar, hammocks for relaxation and plenty of entertainment.

Weekly rates start from $1350USD. Visit their website to learn more.

 

20. Somar Surf Lodge

 

Location: Leon, Nicaragua

Best Time to Go: September-February

 

Somar Surf Lodge is a utilitarian yet beautifully designed eco-lodge situated in Chicama, near León. León is a favourite amongst tourists for its incredible volcano hikes, visits to the ruins of one of the oldest Spanish colonial cities and the trendy university town that is New León. It is a hub of art, culture, natural bio-diversity and adventure. Somar Surf Lodge is situated on a virgin beach where there are no rocks and perfect waves every day. Alligators and exotic birds can be found along the river mouth and natural reserve where kayaking and horseback riding make for thrilling adventure activities.

Surf packages start from $490USD for three nights and four days. Longer stays with added benefits are also available, details of which can be found here.

 

21. Give & Surf NPO

 

Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama

Best Time to Go: Mar-Apr & Jun-Aug

 

Give & Surf Non-Profit Organization is unlike any of the surfing hot spots we’ve visited thus far. With a focus on volunteer work aimed at the long-term upliftment of local communities, Give & Surf takes on gap year students, interns and volunteers who commit their time and effort towards the organizations causes during working hours and surf during their free time.

Not a bad deal for individuals with a mindset geared towards Latin American studies, Non-profit management or education. The program is not only for seasoned surfers. Beginners can take lessons from Give and Surf’s partner Mono Loco Surf School. Full details are available online.

 

Jump to another surf spot:

 

Central America

 

1. Surf Expedition Costa Rica – Pavones, Costa Rica | 2. Chica Brava – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua |

3. El Salvador Surf Camps – La Libertad, El Salvador | 4. Costa Rica Surf Holidays – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

5. Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica | 6. Dreamsea Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

7. Safari Surf School – Nosara, Costa Rica | 8. Nosara Paddlesurf – Nosara, Costa Rica |

9. Burnt Toast Surf Camp – Nosara, Costa Rica | 10. Two Brothers Surf Resort – Popoyo, Nicaragua |

11. Del Soul Surf School – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | 12. Pura Vida Adventures – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica |

13. Coco Loco Eco-Resort – Chinandega, Nicaragua | 14. Rise Up Surf  – Aposentillo, Nicaragua |

15. Miramar Surf Camp – Nagarote, Nicaragua | 16. Kelea Surf Spa – Mal Pais, Costa Rica |

17. Surf Expedition Nicaragua – Rivas & Leon, Nicaragua | 18. Riomar Surf & Skate Camp – San Carlos, Panama |

19. Giants Foot Surf – Playa Gigante, Nicaragua | 20. Somar Surf Lodge – Leon, Nicarangua |

21. Give & Surf NPO – Bocas Town, Panama

South America

 

1. Chicama Surf Camp – Trujillo, Peru |  2. Balsa Surf Camp – Montanita, Ecuador  |

3. Surf Camp Pipa Brasil – Praia da Pipa, Brazil | 4. The Mudhouse Hostel  – Mompiche, Ecuador  |

5. Sossego Surf Camp – Tibau do Sul, Brazil

Carribean

 

1. Swell Surf Camp – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |  2. Hooked Cabarete – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |

3. El Encuentro Surf Lodge – Cabarete, Dominican Republic | 4. Pauhana Surf School – Cabarete, Dominican Republic |

5. Eco Lifestyle & Lodge – Tent Bay, Barbados

 

 

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South America

 

1. Chicama Surf Camp

 

Location: Trujillo, Peru

Best Time to Go: May-October

 

From spectacular sights such as the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu to amazing culture to mouth-watering cuisine, there are dozens of great reasons to visit Peru. However, in recent years Peru is also gaining popularity as a surf destination due to their long and consistent waves and up to 3-meter high swells. The country is a haven for both leisure and professional surfers who gravitate towards one of three places, namely Mancora for beach breaks, Trujillo (home to Chicama the longest left-breaking wave in the world) and the south where there are some great points.

Most surfers agree though that Trujillo offers a great selection of beach and point breaks and is number one for all round great swells. Chicama Surf Camp, in Trujillo, offers surf lessons for all levels. Their Learn-To-Surf package includes airport transfers, accommodation, meals and surf lessons.

Pricing starts from $30USD for a one-hour lesson and goes up to $100USD for a full day. A three-night, four-day beginners camp is available for $550USD. More information available here.

 

2. Balsa Surf Camp

 

Location: Montañita, Ecuador

Best Time to Go: December-April

 

Ecuador may be best known for its equatorial location and the Galapagos Islands but the country has plenty to offer tourists. Ecuador promises to be an exciting travel escape. Apart from the fact that this little country has dozens of beaches scattered along its 2237 kilometres of coastline, Ecuador’s capital city of Quito being the highest city in the world offers stunning views, an in-tact Spanish colonial centre, a rich and vibrant nightlife and excellent cuisine.

 

Nevertheless, we are headed to the coastal town of Montañita. For those in the know Montañita, famous for their balsa surf boards, is the epicentre of Ecuadorian surf culture. This is a bustling surf town which attracts both seasoned surfers and beginners. Balsa Surf Camp is the ideal spot to connect with nature, meet great people and learn from the best. Lessons start from as little as $25USD for 90 minutes and includes instruction and equipment. Weekly classes with additional facilities and accommodation are also available.

Visit Balsa Surf Camps website for more information.

 

3. Surf Camp Pipa Brasil

 

Location: Praia da Pipa, Brazil

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Along with well known tourist attractions such as Carnival, Sugarloaf mountain and the iconic image of Christ the Redeemer atop Mount Mt. Corcovado,  Brazil’s coastline is one of the country’s biggest draw cards. Brazil’s western border runs along the Atlantic and given the sheer size of the country (the biggest in South America) there are hundreds of pristine beaches all along the coast.

Praia da Pipa is situated in the north-east region of the country known as Rio Grande do Norte. The area benefits from southeast swells during winter and northeast swells during summer making it ideal for surfers at any time of the year.

Pipa was an unknown fishing village made famous by surfers during the 1970s. Today, it is a charming little surfing town with a great vibe and Surf Camp Pipa Brasil is the ideal place from which to explore the various beaches. They offer meals, accommodation, equipment and lessons. Check out their website for more information.

 

4. The Mudhouse Hostel

 

Location: Mompiche, Ecuador

Best Time to Go: November-April

 

Ecuadorian beaches are known for their fine white sand and glassy waves. Water temperature is generally between 25ºC and 27ºC throughout the year. Their equatorial climate also ensures that it is always warm and sunny. These pleasant and predictable conditions are just a few of the reasons surfers love Ecuador and keep coming back year after year.

If you want to surf Ecuadorian beaches but avoid the crowds of Montañita, head for Mompiche.  Mompiche is a quiet little town where the main pastimes are surfing and soaking up the sun, and if you fancy more adventurous activities, why not try a jungle tour, a mangrove boat tour or a trip to Jupiter Island where you can view various fish species in their natural habitat of crystal clear water?

The Mudhouse Hostel offers private or shared accommodation, a communal kitchen, board rentals and surf lessons. Knowledgeable guides are always on hand to direct visitors to the most exciting surf spots.  Their website offers a full list of rates and recommendations.

 

5. Sossego Surf Camp

 

Location: Tibau do Sul, Brazil

Best Time to Go: July-April

 

Tibau do Sul is another stunning spot on Brazil’s northeast coast. In fact, with white sand, coconut trees and tropical weather the area can be called a surfers paradise. It is the ideal location for surfing and family sporting acclivities.

Sossego Surf Camp is located in a 4000m2 garden a mere 200 meters from the beach. They offer surfing lessons, Stand up Paddle and kite surfing.

It has been said that this area, with water temperatures of 28 °C, is the best spot for surfing in Brazil. Whether it is or is not, we’ll leave that up to you to decide. Book your spot now to find out.

 

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Caribbean

 

1.Swell Surf Camp

 

Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

The Dominican Republic is the most visited island in the Caribbean and it’s no wonder why. White beaches offset by turquoise waves make for an idyllic holiday destination. Cabarete offers consistent waves and warm water throughout the year. There are also dozens of resorts catering to all manner of clientele, from those seeking basic accommodation to those in search of luxury digs.

Topping our list of the best surf spots in Cabarete is Swell Surf Camp. Not your typical surf camp, Swell is the first purpose built luxury surf camp in the Caribbean. Weekly packages consisting of accommodation, surf lessons, and (some) meals start from $999USD per person. Explore swell surf camp.

 

2. Hooked Cabarete

 

Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Best Time to Go: Mid October-Mid May

 

Cabarete is situated along the island’s north coast and has the highest concentration of surf schools in the Dominican Republic. The town is home to Playa Encuentro, the best surf spot in the Dominican Republic and arguably the Caribbean. Playa Encuentro receives good waves through the year but really rocks between November and April when ground swells from Canada reach the Dominican north shore.

Hooked Cabarete is situated within walking distance of Playa Encuentro making it a very desirable lodging location. Apart from surfing, Hooked Cabarete also offers kite surfing and yoga. They offer high quality studio apartments available from $28USD per night for three people sharing. Hooked Cabarete partners with Pauhana Surf School (see below) for surf lessons.

Have a look at Hooked Cabarete’s website for more activities and offers.

 

3. Pauhana Surf School

 

Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Best Time to Go: Mid October-Mid May

 

Pauhana Surf School, located on the beach at Playa Encuentro, is the go-to spot for surf contests, surf lessons and SUP tours in the Dominican Republic.

They also offer a very popular summer camp which provides a week of action packed fun in the sun. Weekly summer camps begin around the middle of June and run for the entire season. A five day camp costs $179USD per week.

Pauhana Surf School has expanded their operation with the opening Pauhana POP in Puerto Plata a few kilometres north west of El Encuentro, where in addition to surf and SUP lessons they offer activities such as Zumba, yoga and beach volleyball. A detailed price list for various equipment rentals, lessons and packages is available on their website.

 

4. El Encuentro Surf Lodge

 

Location: Cabarete, Dominican Republic

Best Time to Go: Mid October-Mid May

 

We have already established that Playa Encuentro is the number 1 surf spot in the Dominican Republic. We were however really impressed with El Encuentro Surf Lodge’s two-night Surf-Relax-Enjoy package. Stay in a tastefully decorated studio apartment with all the hallmark amenities and services of a luxury surf vacation for a fraction of the price. Wake up to delicious ready-made smoothies before embarking on a quick three-minute walk to the beach to commence lessons. Order a delicious breakfast from the à la carte menu before settling in for yoga, a massage or a swim before lunch. Then hike along the beach or hire a bike for an hour or two of exploration.  Package costs only $300USD for two adults. Book this amazing offer now.

 

5. Eco Lifestyle & Lodge

 

Location: Tent Bay, Barbados

Best Time to Go: All-year

 

Before heading home, we make a quick stop at a special little surf lodge in Barbados. Former New Yorker’s Kyle and Maryam, decided to trade up from the frenetic pace of the daily hustle and retreat to a calmer more meaningful life in beautiful Bathsheba. Their Eco-centred lifestyle lodge focuses on stress-free living, nutritious food and soul rejuvenating activities. Positioned next to the Soup Bowl which is one of the best surf breaks in the world they could not have chosen a better location. Apart from the Soup Bowl, Barbados offers year round surf and given the size of the island it’s relatively easy to explore the various beaches looking for the best waves. Enquire about online bookings here.

 

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Jump back to the best surf spots in Latin America:

Central America

 

1. Surf Expedition Costa Rica – Pavones, Costa Rica | 2. Chica Brava – San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua |

3. El Salvador Surf Camps – La Libertad, El Salvador | 4. Costa Rica Surf Holidays – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

5. Blue Trailz Hostel & Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica | 6. Dreamsea Surf Camp – Tamarindo, Costa Rica |

7. Safari Surf School – Nosara, Costa Rica | 8. Nosara Paddlesurf – Nosara, Costa Rica |

9. Burnt Toast Surf Camp – Nosara, Costa Rica | 10. Two Brothers Surf Resort – Popoyo, Nicaragua |

11. Del Soul Surf School – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica | 12. Pura Vida Adventures – Santa Teresa, Costa Rica |

13. Coco Loco Eco-Resort – Chinandega, Nicaragua | 14. Rise Up Surf  – Aposentillo, Nicaragua |

15. Miramar Surf Camp – Nagarote, Nicaragua | 16. Kelea Surf Spa – Mal Pais, Costa Rica |

17. Surf Expedition Nicaragua – Rivas & Leon, Nicaragua | 18. Riomar Surf & Skate Camp – San Carlos, Panama |

19. Giants Foot Surf – Playa Gigante, Nicaragua | 20. Somar Surf Lodge – Leon, Nicarangua |

21. Give & Surf NPO – Bocas Town, Panama

South America

 

1. Chicama Surf Camp – Trujillo, Peru |  2. Balsa Surf Camp – Montanita, Ecuador  |

3. Surf Camp Pipa Brasil – Praia da Pipa, Brazil | 4. The Mudhouse Hostel  – Mompiche, Ecuador  |

5. Sossego Surf Camp – Tibau do Sul, Brazil

Carribean

 

1. Swell Surf Camp – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |  2. Hooked Cabarete – Cabarete, Dominican Republic  |

3. El Encuentro Surf Lodge – Cabarete, Dominican Republic | 4. Pauhana Surf School – Cabarete, Dominican Republic |

5. Eco Lifestyle & Lodge – Tent Bay, Barbados

 

 

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