What it's like surfing in Northern Nicaragua - The waves, vibe, and culture.
SURFING & THE WAVES
First of all lets talk waves - Being a passionate surfer it would be crazy not to start here! Northern Nicaragua has some of the best, most consistent waves that I have surf anywhere in the world. I was there for 3 months between November to February and it was an unforgettable experience.
Now first of all, let's be clear - this does not mean that the waves are pumping 24/7. I have heard stories of the perfect spot that 'always has pumping waves', but I am yet to see it (inc. Indo, Costa Rica, Morocco).
WHEN IS GOOD TO SURF IN NICARAGUA?
When you have high tides in the morning, you are almost guaranteed quality waves from sunrise to midday. Almost like clockwork, the wind typically picks up and switches onshore somewhere between 10am-12pm. So, the early bird very much gets the surf worm!
WHERE ARE THE BEST SPOTS TO SURF IN NICARAGUA?
I can't share those specifics, and you don't want me to! For one particular reason I will explain below.
A couple of spots I can tell you about are the two extremes - The infamous and appropriately named 'El Boom', named after the noise of the wave as it crashes! This is a wave that has a consistently barrelling section that is not for the faint hearted. Then, in contrast you have Aposentillo around the corner. That is more protected from the swell and has the most beginner friendly wave. You also have loads of beaches up and down the coast on offer to deliver some magical waves.
So, the reason why it wouldn't be right to share those surf spots? It would ruin the magic. Apart from the 3 main surfing beaches, most of the time we were surfing by ourselves! This is almost unheard of these days with so much access to internet and a booming industry. It was such a privilege to get untouched waves the majority of the time. No fighting for a wave or getting frustrated you keep missing out to others. Just good vibes and good fun!
Now admittedly, as I was working on retreats most of the time soI wasn't fully able to experience this as a solo traveller would. But, most of what I saw was very beautiful. Their culture is somewhat classic of Central America, with their own twist. They love their Reggaeton music and are honestly extremely loving and lovable people. It makes me smile just thinking of each and every one of the people I met.
Nicaraguan dishes include is the classic 'Gallo Pinto' - A rice & beans dish with some incredible flavour to it. This is almost always accompanied with plantain, side salad, and the option of meat.
There is a financial struggle in Nicaragua and there isn't much opportunity for them as a result. That is why tourism is currently so crucial to helping a positive shift. Of course education, Govt support, funding and projects may be far more beneficial but, unfortunately there simply isn't that option as things currently stand.
I made some amazing friends in Nicaragua and the locals we worked with always had a massive grin on their face and a playful demeanour. As you can imagine, it was such a joy to be around. There are lots of volcanoes, each one hugely different from one to the next and worth a visit. I was surprised at just how much I loved visiting each volcano and its unique and stunning natural beauty. Again hardly any tourists, which is always nice. Of course, there are also lots of beautiful beaches, lakes, and unique towns. My favourite town was Granada.
I would highly recommend this area if you're a keen surfer but be prepared for 'simple living' - It's not like other areas further south and hasn't been 'Westernised'. But, there is a beauty in that.
WHAT TO PACK - for surfing in Nicaragua
It's almost always hot in Nicaragua, so you don't need much. It tends to be a little chilly for sunrise surfs but, we are talking a 1mm sleeveless top and board shorts chilly! Equally, most people are fine without - I just like to always be warm.
- Suncream (waterproof for the ocean)
- Zinc for sun block
- Aloe vera aftersun
- Mosquito repellent
- 2/3 Pairs Board shorts / swimsuits (ladies make sure they aren't those suits that will be more revealing that intended when things move around surfing!)
- 1mm top / swimsuit (for cold sunrise surfs)
- Comfy outfit
- A few tank tops
- A couple of t-shirts
- A Hoodie / Jumper
- Aloe vera after sun of for the ocean)uito protection)
- Sun hat (surfing ones are great to have too!)
- Surfboard! - There isn't all that much to choose from
- Wax, leash etc etc.
- Book, Headphones, entertainment and any other hobby you like to bring along!
And that's pretty much it! Simple living to the maximum. Beautiful people, weather, waves & culture.
Check out our other blogs or Retreats if you want to be a part of what we do - Immersing ourselves in nature, connecting with each other and ourselves, slowing down, and having a whole lot of fun!
Rewilding Surf Retreats Founder.