Why exactly is surfing in Nicaragua becoming more and more highly rated? Firstly, Nicaragua's surfing is known for its consistency. Rideable waves appear virtually every day. This is particularly true in the southern part of the country where offshore winds blow for more than 300 days every year.
Nicaragua offers a balance between excellent surfing conditions and the limited awareness of those conditions. That is, the word has not really gotten out yet. Will certain hotspots get busy during peak conditions? Sure. However, relatively speaking, surfing in Nicaragua is still in its infancy.
Surfers often grade waves by whether they're good for barrels, longboarders, etc. Some of the top destinations in Nicaragua typically have waves that appeal to a wide range of skill levels. Waves that "barrel" are prized by experienced surfers. These hollow-type waves are what Nicaragua surfing is known for.
One of the most highly-rated spots for surfing in Nicaragua, and one of the lesser known ones, is the length of black sand beach at Aschunchillo. The waves here are a lot of fun, and they'll appeal to a large cross-section of experience levels. One can get to Aschunchillo by heading north from Gran Pacifica. Because it's just outside of the offshore wind corridor to the south, it's ideal to surf here in the mornings before the winds kick up.
The rippable waves here will generate an occasional barrel. Surf this area at low tide; the best surfing is found right at the river's mouth. The location is great. You can arrive on a flight at Managua's International Airport and be surfing after less than an hour's drive. See a map here. Gran Pacifica is a great place to stay while surfing here. For more information about bookings, click here.
Popoyo is the spot that first established Nicaragua as a worthwhile surfing destination. As a result, it gets a lot of attention from locals and ex-pats alike. The dynamic reef break can magnify even smaller swells. To enjoy less competition for waves here, try low tide or after a long period of good surf when the crowd is a bit tired and less active.
San Diego Beach
San Diego Beach lives up to the country's reputation for consistent surf breaks. This 3.5-mile stretch of white sand beach at Gran Pacifica is also a pristine spot for spectators. March to November is the prime swell season. Early or late surfing is recommended if you want the waves more to yourself.
Four-time world surfing champ Frieda Zamba has compared the waves off of San Diego Beach to those of Bali's beaches. All skill levels can enjoy this surfing destination, depending upon the swell. Gran Pacifica Resort even offers lessons for beginners.
Other popular surfing spots in the country include Playa Hermosa, Playa Colorado, Panga Drops, Playgrounds and the Astillero Beach Break. For conveniently located surfing, Nicaragua is worth some serious consideration.