Surfing in Nicaragua isn't as well-known as other Central American locales, but that's why it's such a gem. Light on crowds and rich in killer waves, more surfing fans are looking to Nicaragua as an exciting destination worth checking out. Let's find out why.
Nicaragua is bounded by two great oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific. You can surf on either coast, of course, but the Pacific side has the greatest wave potential hands down, especially during the rainy season when seasonal tropical storms shake up the surrounding waters and generate lots of wave action.
Although you can surf in Nicaragua for most of the year, the best time to hit the waves is spring through fall. Surfboards start appearing in April, and the last of the steady south swells reach the Pacific Coast as late as December.
A unique characteristic of Nicaragua is the continuity of the Papagayo Wind, which buffets the nation's southern Pacific shore daily. The warm, tropical climate combines with the virtually constant offshore winds of the Papagayo to create ideal surfing conditions. On the southern part of the coast where the Papagayo dominates, it's possible to surf all day long, from sunrise to sunset, without interruption.
Unlike other Central American countries, Nicaragua remains a lesser-known destination, so its beautiful beaches and waters are much less crowded than, say, Costa Rica.
There are plenty of sites, such as Puerto Sandino and the PlayaÂ Astillero, which are both lightly populated and have phenomenal waves. You can read more about theÂ PlayaÂ Astillero here.Â In addition, the locals are considered friendly and welcoming toward visitors. Open-minded attitudes prevail, and the equatorial culture here is incredibly laid-back.
Although the practice is still young, surfing is slowly but surely becoming a popular sport in the country, for locals and foreigners alike. As the sport gains a firmer foothold, more competitive events are taking place on Nicaraguan shores to help draw attention to the country's immense potential as a hot spot for carving and ripping nearly year-round.
TheÂ Dakine ISA World Junior Surfing Championship, for example, was held on the beach break atÂ Playa Jiquiliste in 2012 and 2013 to wide acclaim. In the words of the president of the International Surfing Association (ISA)Â Fernando Aguerre,Â ÂNicaragua hosted one of the best and most exciting ISA World Championships ever last year, and I canÂt be happier to return to this beautiful country and its excellent waves.Â
To learn more about Nicaragua surfingÂ this year,Â get in touch with the beachcombing guides at Gran Pacifica. We have the local knowledge and helpful attitude to help surfers learn how to make the most out of Nicaragua's unique surfing culture and climate.