Best Travel Time Nicaragua is quickly becoming one of the more popular surf destinations in not only Central America, but the world. The surf conditions are ideal all year with constant swell on the Pacific Ocean side and 340 days of offshore winds. Nicaragua has a tropical climate, with a dry season, which lasts from December to April, and a rainy season that goes from May to October, with variable conditions in November. If you decide to travel in the rainy season it won’t mean that it rains all day, every day, it just means there are daily showers, some of which are heavy, and the humidity is higher.
The offshore trade winds, named Papagayos by the locals, blow every month apart from October where you sometime experience an onshore breeze. We recommend travelling to Nicaragua anytime from December to April, its dry, its warm, the waves are great and the offshore winds aren’t too strong.
Air & Water Temperature The average water temperature is 27°C. It can drop a little below this with the strong offshore winds, so if you are sensitive to slightly cooler water temperatures you can bring a spring, or thin full wetsuit for your trip. The air temperature averages around 30°C throughout the year, including the rainy season.
Wetsuit If you want you can bring a spring suit, or thin full wetsuit when travelling to Nicaragua, but most people are fine with boardshorts or a bikini.
Surf Spots - Nicaragua
Playa Maderas In the town of Maderas you will find Surf Camp Nicaragua. The beach of Playa Maderas is located on the Pacific Ocean side of Nicaragua and offers great waves, consistent surf with barrel sections and long rides. The spot has a steady offshore breeze, which is generated by a huge lake inland called Lago Cocibolca. The beach caters to both beginners and advanced surfers.
Playa Hermosa One of the best waves in Nicaragua is at the beach of Playa Hermosa. This beach is only accessible via boat. Once you get there you’ll surf perfect waves, with zero crowds. The beach itself is about 1500 meters long with plenty of peaks that break both left and right.
Popoyo This reef break is also located on the Pacific Ocean side of Nicaragua. There are 2 waves here, the beauty, and the beast, that are generated by an inner & outer reef. The inner reef, “Beauty”, is closer to shore and is a fast left-hander that breaks on a shallow reef that is only good for advanced surfers. The outer reef, “Beast”, is 400 meters out to sea and gets huge. This spot is only for advanced surfers who are super confident out in the water.
Flights Most flights to Nicaragua stopover in Panama or the USA. Via Panama you can fly with KLM, Air France, Copa Airlines, Lufthansa and Iberia. United Airlines and Delta fly via the USA. If you stopover in the USA, make sure you familiarise yourself with the American ESTA stopover visa. Even if you’re layover is 10 minutes you need to fill out the ESTA form, pick up your bags, check in again and go through security.
Visa For your entry into Nicaragua you require a valid passport, that is valid for at least 6 months after that point of arrival, as well as a return ticket. Children require the same. If your stay is less than 90 days you don’t need a visa, but you do need a Tourist Card that you can purchase for 12 USD. Upon departure, you need to pay an extra 2 USD as a departure tax.
Vaccinations There are no special vaccinations required when entering Nicaragua. If you have been to any of the following countries you need a Yellow Fever vaccination certificate. The principal countries are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Panama, Venezuela, Paraguay and Peru. The measure also includes all African countries except the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Sao Tome and Principe, and Somalia.
Zika Virus, Malaria and Dengue Fever have been detected by the Nicaraguan authorities. All 3 are transmitted by Mosquitos. The best way protect yourself from these diseases is to minimise the risk of Mosquito bites by wearing long clothing, applying insect repellent, and sleeping under a mosquito net.
So that you’re trip to Nicaragua through Pure Surf Camps is a total success, we’ve put together a few tips.
Nicaragua is a hidden gem in terms of worldwide surf destinations. When you arrive you’ll be greeted by amazing surf with offshore winds, as well as dependable infrastructure and a quickly growing tourism industry.
Ometepe Ometepe is an island made up of two volcanoes in the lake of "Lago Cocibolca" or Lake Nicaragua. To get there you take the ferry, where we recommend getting a seat on the deck to enjoy the view. Once you arrive you’ll be welcomed by the super friendly locals. On the island you can explore the jungle with all its magnificent Flora and Fauna, hike up the active volcanos, or discover the visit whandte & black sand beaches. You can also try locally grown coffee.
San Juan del Sur San Juan del Sur is a backpackers’ paradise, the perfect to start, or end your visit to Nicaragua. Here you can meet travellers’ from across the globe, stay in super affordable accommodation, and enjoy the bars, nightclubs and restaurants of the area. You also have a stunning, sheltered beach where you can spend days chilling and soaking up the sun.
Don’t put yourself under unnecessary stress. Sometimes trips can take longer than you expect. The bigger bus companies use modern and comfortable busses that are equivalent to those we use in Europe and generally run on time. The local buses however are another story, they are much, much cheaper, but they don’t have a set timetable, are not super comfortable and known as the “Chicken Bus” by the locals.
Along the borders of Nicaragua you have corrupt money exchange companies that will exchange money at the wrong rates to generate themselves a large profit. Best way to avoid them is to get your money directly from the bank, cash machine, or airport.
If you know you have a slightly weaker stomach we recommend avoiding street food. There are mobile food stalls and trucks all over that serve delicious food, but you can pick the wrong one and get incredibly sick. Make sure you also clean the mouthpiece of any cans you buy.
Nicaragua has been flying under the radar as a surf destination, but recently it has started gaining popularity, and becoming recognised as a great place to go to catch great waves with empty line-ups, discover amazing landscapes, meet friendly people and eat delicious food. The best thing is you can travel to Nicaragua any time of year and score great waves & weather.
Nicaragua is located in Central America with El Salvador & Honduras to the north, and Costa Rica to the south. To the east you have the Caribbean Ocean, and west the Pacific where you have the most consistent surf conditions, with steady swell and 340 days of offshore winds.
As well as surfing, you have plenty of things to do including hiking through the tropical rainforest, climbing up an active volcano, checking out the wildlife both on land and in the ocean, or just soaking up the local culture. Nicaragua is an adventurers’ paradise where you will make amazing memories to last a lifetime.
Learn to Surf Nicaragua
What makes this Central American destination especially attractive to travelling surfers are the constant waves. You have the powerful Pacific Ocean at your doorstep with the Caribbean Ocean providing perfect offshore trade winds for the vast majority of the year. You also get to enjoy the tropically warm conditions both on land, and in the water.
There are perfect waves for total beginners and pros’ alike near the camp. You have the mellow beach break of Playa Madera to learn on and the heavy reef break of Popoyo to get your first huge barrel. If you are a more advanced surfer we recommend taking your own board as there aren’t a lot of surf shops in Nicaragua to provide high performance rental boards.
Surf Camps - Nicaragua
The newly built Surf Camp Nicaragua
Surf Camp Nicaragua
The perfect surf camp for your trip to Nicaragua. Surf guiding is included with your accommodation, there is an onsite infinity pool for you to use after your daily surf session, and you have a stunning view over the Pacific Ocean and Playa Maderas.
The camp is located on top of a hill in the middle of the Nicaraguan rainforest where you not only enjoy the lush tropical surroundings, but also a panoramic view out towards the Pacific Ocean with amazing daily sunsets. There are double rooms available at the camp as well as dorm rooms, and plenty of communal areas including a dining room, lounge area, tropical garden and an infinity pool.
Every day you are greeted with a wonderful breakfast to give you the energy to power through your surf session, and every evening you get to enjoy a wonderful home cooked meal with fellow guests. There are also surf courses available for beginner and intermediate surfers, surf guiding, private surf coaching, and plenty of day trip options to partake to discover Nicaragua.