Surfing in Nicaragua
Nicaragua is a Central American country that has more than 300 days a year of off-shore winds, less crowd than its neighbor to the south and extremely consistent waves throughout the whole year. Whatever your budget is Nicaragua should be high on your bucket list of surf trip destinations. The best months to surf are from April to September when the southern hemisphere starts producing powerful south swells which Nicaragua is directly exposed to. There’s a lot to look forward to when you think about a surf trip to Nicaragua. The consistent off-shore winds guarantee amazing surf conditions everyday and the warm water temperature around 27°C (82°F) make this a surfers paradise. The waves are usually around shoulder high to overhead, and the lineups are fairly uncrowded or sometimes even empty. Whether you’re looking to learn how to surf or in the search of perfect beach break barrels, Nicaragua will not disappoint you.
Climate in Nicaragua
The climate in Nicaragua is considered tropical with two distinct seasons: a wet season and a dry season. Usually the dry season is referred to as summer and the wet season as winter. Nicaragua's climate is influenced by being located in a very humid area between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. The rainy season is from May to October while the dry season is from November to April. The best time to surf in Nicaragua depends on what kind of wave you are looking for. For powerful waves the best time is between the end of March until November. This is when consistent southern swells are pumping generated by winter storms in the southern hemisphere. May to August is the best time to surf in southern Nicaragua because of the winds created by the lake effect. Down at the Rivas province, Lake Nicaragua creates steady daylong offshore winds more than 300 days of the year. From November on is the best time for beginner surfers since there aren’t many big swells coming at this time of the year.
Best surf spots in Nicaragua
Nicaragua has amazing surf spots scattered along the coastline of the country. These are the best surf spots in Nicaragua: Playa Maderas, Playa Hermosa, Popoyo, Playa Colorado, Panda Drops, Lance’s Left, The Boom, Playa Colorado, Punta Miramar, Salinas Grandes, Tamarind and many others.
Meal price range
Simple meals start at $4 USD. Mid-range meals start at $10 USD. Dining & drinking at high-end restaurants can cost anywhere from $30-70 USD
Board rentals start at $20 USD a day.
Prepaid SIM cards
Claro or Movistar are a good choice. SIM cards can be purchased from many locations --official shops, kiosks, supermarkets.
Prepaid packages start at $3 USD.
For buses you have the option of: the local bus where a ticket costs $1, or express (expreso) minibuses which cost a bit more and are faster, or the microbuses which are more like vans.
Taxis are easy to find. Short taxi ridesn cost $2–3 USD
Car rentals are around $40-60 USD a day.
$1.02 USD a liter.
Types of risks
Submerged rocks, reef, strong currents
How to prepare
Citizens from 92 countries, including EU, US, and Australia, can enter Nicaragua without a visa for up to 90 days. All visitors must hold proof of sufficient funds to cover their stay and documents required for the next destination.
Although it's not mandatory, it’s recommended that you have been vaccinated for hepatitis A & B, yellow fever, typhoid, rabies, meningitis, polio, Tdap, chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia, influenza, measles, mumps and rubella. You’ll be asked to show proof of your yellow fever vaccination if you come from a country with a risk of yellow fever.
Things to know
Language & Currency
The official language is Spanish.
The currency is Córdoba (C$), the US dollar is also widely accepted.
Best time to go
End of March to September
Checking Surf forecast
Checking the forecast about a week before your trip is always a good idea. Understanding what the waves will be like and knowing what gear to pack is essential. You can check the forecast for the waves here.
Do I need pack a pharmacy kit
You should bring a basic kit. Including ear drops, eye drops, bandaids, ear plugs, gaze, alcohol, mosquito repellent and broad spectrum antibiotic ointment.
World Nomads has great travel insurance packages that are not super expensive and they cover surfing.
Dial 118 for emergencies
Check surf pictures of Nicaragua at #surfingnicaragua.