WhatÂs the hottest surf spot in Central America these days? No, itÂs not the sandbars off Playa Zicatella in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. ItÂs not Witches Point in Costa Rica either, made famous by the movie, ÂThe Endless Summer II.Â
ItÂs the world-class surf break off Playa Colorado on NicaraguaÂs Pacific Coast, where the ISA (International Surfing Association) Â held its World Masters surfing tournament July 14 Â 22, 2012.
The waves in Nicaragua are a well-kept secret among surfing fans who would prefer not to share the amazing swells and practically untenanted beaches with hoards of others but Nicaraguan surfing is really beginning to take off.
That southwestern swell that originates in the Southern Pacific washes up on NicaraguaÂs pristine, beach-lined coast. ItÂs whipped by the winds blowing in off Lake Nicaragua, the giant body of water that takes up almost half of the southern part of the country. NicaraguaÂs many rivers enter into the sea, creating sandbars and generating conditions that are perfect for surfing. Surfing in Nicaragua is an amazing experience.
Nicaragua's Best Beaches for Surfing
Playa Colorado is particularly famous for its barrels, that part of the wave thatÂs hollow when it breaks. As every surfer knows, riding the barrel is what itÂs all about. Although Playa Colorado is becoming increasingly famous in surf circles, itÂs hard to get to and that keeps the riffraff out. In order to surf Playa Colorado, you will either have to travel by boat or stay at the Hacienda Iguana, a private beach and golf resort.
The Playgrounds surf break is located close to Popoyo, a small city on NicaraguaÂs southern Pacific coast. It has amazing waves twelve months of the year. Strong offshore winds bring waves that are head high or over between January and March. The sea is colder in the winter months too, making wetsuits advisable. April through October are prime surfing conditions when the southern Pacific swells are perfect for surfers of all skill levels. October, November and December have changeable weather, generating swells that can range from head high to triple overhead.
Astillero Beach Break
Astillero is a tiny fishing village along NicaraguaÂs Pacific coast that is becoming better known as a surfing destination. Astillero is very isolated. You can enjoy its hollow waves and multiple peaks without crowds. The water can get quite murky during the rainy season from May to October, so it may be best to avoid this beach then.
One of the very best places for surfing in NicaraguaÂ is Playa Hermosa, just south of San Juan del Sur. The beach is only accessible by boat, which automatically rules out large crowds. The beach enjoys many different types of waves from swells, to peaks, to long walls, and even the occasional barrel, making it perfect for surfers of all different skill levels. The best months to surf here are April through September.
Surfing Expeditions and Camps
In the last couple of years, numerous surfing tour adventure companies have sprung up that will do all the legwork for you organizing your surfing in Nicaragua experience. An organized Nicaraguan surf adventureÂ may be the way to go for many surfing enthusiasts here.