Nica Vida

Nicaragua: Southern Nicaragua

Surf away the days in this fantastically located beachfront lodge and enjoy some world class spots are literally on your doorstep.

Low Pressure Stormrider Surf Guide says:

The bulk of Nicaragua’s coastline makes up the Mosquito Coast on the Caribbean side, where an extensive, shallow shelf drains what meager swells are available. Most of Nicaragua’s known surf spots are concentrated in the developed southwest corner where a narrow stretch of coastline separates Lake Nicaragua (the largest lake in Central America) from the Pacific. This huge body of water creates the perfect atmospheric conditions, causing winds to blow offshore for most of the year, around the San Juan Del Sur area. Surfing in Nicaragua started to grow a decade ago as the newly established democracy allowed the return of a bunch of self-exiled locals that had discovered surfing in Florida. They then started tapping into their own country’s wealth of excellent beachbreaks and left points.

Find more general info about when to go and statistics on the Low Pressure Stormrider Guide website.

Condition descriptions provided by the operator:

Thanks to the effects of Lake Nicaragua, this area is a surfer’s dream with offshore winds about 330 days a year. There are well known and unknown breaks along the whole region. Something for everyone; A-frame beach breaks, classic point breaks, and outside reef breaks. No matter what the tide is or the swell direction there is always a spot that’s working.

Nicaragua has a tropical climate with two seasons. A wet season from May to January and a dry season from January to mid May, both seasons have very consistent surf. The dry season is known for its offshore winds while the wet season brings massive swells from the pacific. Both seasons have their advantages with the exception of October which is typically the rainiest month of the year.

Nica Vida is all about getting everyone out in the waves to catch the love of surfing. When you book an all inclusive trip with us, surf instructions are provided complimentary. Our experienced coaches are trained to work with both adults and children and will ensure that everyone has a safe and fun filled experience. For our guests who are here for accommodations only, surf instruction is available for an additional charge.

Popoyo – A world class A-frame reef break with clean, long lefts and fast and powerful rights. This break located just to the left of our resort works best on mid tides during incoming tide and will hold anything from 2 – 10 foot. It’s definitely a local classic that put this area on the map for its amazing surf. It is known as being the most consistent break in Nica. Be prepared for the opportunity to spend some time in the green room!

Popoyo’s outer reef – If you have the huevos, you can always consider a 10 minute paddle from the main Popoyo break out to this Goliath of a wave. The outer reef starts working on an 8 foot swell and easily builds to a 25 foot monster. If anything it’s an awesome sight to sit and watch the experts do their thing. Many consider this the best wave in Central America!

Santana – The beautiful playa Santana consists of 3 sandy banks which work best on incoming high tide. Most prefer Santana’s rights for their perfectly pealing barrels. Santana’s works on a 3-4 foot swell and holds some hefty 8 foot spitting pits. A super fun, peaky, barreling beach-break with three well defined peaks. Santana is a very consistent wave that breaks on most days throughout the year but it also tends to get crowded by the local surfers.

Colorado – Expect to get one of the best barrels of your life. Playa Colorado is a private beach but is easily accessed by boat. This wave works well on all tides. It is a river mouth beach break with lots of stand up barrels.

Panga Drops – This wave is extremely consistent, producing fun shifty lefts and rights during all tides and swells, any time of the year. It is a deep water horseshoe reef break that is almost never crowded and is enjoyable for all skill levels. Named after an unlucky fisherman who went over the falls in a big swell in his Panga (local fishing boat), Panga Drops holds big swells and the ride is less intense versus the nearby Colorado barrel fest. Surf Panga Drops if you like carving up sizeable, long running walls.

Guasacate Beach break – This sandy bottom beach break also known as “beachies” has been more of a secret hot spot of the locals but is quickly gaining popularity. Located on the same stretch as Popoyo just a short walk down the beach to the right of our lodge, Beachies offers hollow tubular rights and lefts.

Playgrounds or Veracruz – This spot is as fun as it sounds. It is known for having the most rippable waves in Nicaragua. Breaking across a cobblestone reef, Playgrounds is often compared to a warm-water Trestles California. The left is usually longer than the right, but you can easily go both ways. Equally fun on long boards and short boards, Playgrounds is a wave that a broad range of people can enjoy. This wave starts getting fun at about chest-high and holds size up to double-overhead. Playgrounds is a boat-only spot and while there can sometimes be a few people in the line-up, often we’ll have this break all to ourselves.

Astillero –Just a quick drive down the beach of a sleepy fishing village lies a river mouth with one of the best and least surfed beach breaks in Nicaragua. Astillero, known for its hollow waves and lack of crowds, is best surfed when there is a little bit of swell in the water as it is usually a bit smaller here. Great beach for children and beginner surfers and definitely one of our family’s favorites!

Lances Left – Just North of Astillero, this long left point break easily accessible by boat or a walk from Astillero, provides you with a possible 200 yard ride of your life. It is named after our local hero Lance Moss who claimed this wave sometime long ago. Works best during times of bigger swell. It’s a friendly wave, great for longboards and funboards as well.

Nica Vida Backyard – We are fortunate to have a fun break right in our own sandy bottom backyard. Talk about convenience factor! When it’s not too big it’s a fun ride for the kids and makes for great boogie boarding as well. Waves to yourself all day long!

Secret sweet spots – Besides the ones mentioned, there are plenty more great surfing spots all up and down the nearby coastline. Many are obscure and don’t even have names. We will take our panga up and down the coast to these secluded breaks that are difficult or impossible to access by car. We’ll often end up having the whole spot to ourselves.