Best Surfing in Panama For Beginners and Advanced Surfers

August 24, 2022

Are you looking for the best surfing in Panama? Well, Panama offers some of the best surf spots in Central America. With its warm water and consistent waves, Panama is a great place to surf all year round.

With the beautiful coastlines bordering both the Pacific and the Caribbean and reliable waves, Panama has something to offer all levels of surfers. And with its great infrastructure and friendly locals, Panama is one of the easiest countries in Central America to travel to and surf in. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, here are some of the best surfing spots in Panama:

1. Playa Venao

Playa Venao beach, Panama

Playa Venao is one of the most consistent waves for surfing in Panama. Located on the Pacific coast, Playa Venao offers waves suitable for all skill levels– from absolute beginner, to intermediate, to pro-level advanced.

Closer to shore, you’ll find a beach break that is perfect for beginners. Paddle a bit further out and you’ll be able to catch some bigger, faster waves. With its beautiful, uncrowded beach and lush jungle surroundings, Playa Venao is a must-visit for anyone surfing in Panama.

At Beach Break Surf Camp in Playa Venao, we provide everything you need for the ideal surfing vacation. Our unique all-inclusive surf camp packages can include beachfront accommodations, surf lessons, board rentals, meals, fitness classes, eco-adventures, and even surf photography and video analysis!

Beach Break Surf Camp in Panama

We’re also unique in offering a modern beachfront fitness center, where you can take classes ranging from martial arts and jiu jitsu to yoga, group fitness, and more.

Beach Break is known for our peaceful, laid-back beach vibes and inclusive atmosphere of friendly surfers and travelers worldwide. It’s the perfect place to relax, learn to surf or upgrade your surf skills, and make new friends!

Beach Break Surf Camp pool area

We welcome you with everything you need to make your surfing adventure one of a kind, including:

  • Affordable all-inclusive surf camp  
  • Modern beachfront fitness center
  • Martial arts and jiu jitsu training
  • Video analysis
  • Best surf instructors
  • Peaceful laid-back beach vibes

2. Bocas del Toro

You can’t talk about surfing in Panama without mentioning Bocas del Toro. This group of islands off the coast of Panama is a magnet for surfers of all levels. With crystal-clear water, white sand beaches, and waves for days, Bocas del Toro is a surfers' paradise.

Bocas del Toro
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As a result, Bocas tends to get very crowded– especially during high season! The nightlife is hopping and can easily go til 4 or 5 AM. This can be a pro or a con, depending on the kind of experience you’re looking for. If you like to party, it’s great! If you’d rather get up somewhat early to catch the best waves, be sure to bring a good pair of earplugs.

3. Santa Catalina

If you're looking for some of the best waves in Panama, look no further than Santa Catalina. This small town on the Pacific Coast is known for its great surfing and diving. With a variety of breaks to choose from, Santa Catalina is a great place to surf, whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer.

Santa Catalina
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The main spot for learning and practicing is El Estero, where the waves are gentle and good for beginners. If you're looking for something a little more challenging, head out to one of the many outer reefs, where you'll find bigger, faster waves and more experienced surfers.

4. Pacific Coast Beaches

The best surfing in Panama tends to be a bit further from Panama City, the country’s capital where you’ll likely be flying in and starting your Panama experience. The Pacific coast beaches near Panama City can also offer great surfing, though they are much less reliable and not quite as year-round as the other spots on this list.

Playa Malibu beach
Playa Malibu Photo:

Still, these beaches offer a great quick getaway from Panama City, or a place to stop on your way to Playa Venao! The Pacific beaches include:

  • Punta Chame, in Chame
  • El Palmar, in San Carlos
  • Playa Malibu, in Nueva Gorgona
  • Playa Serena, in Coronado

If you're looking for an easy day trip from Panama City and are visiting between the months of April-June/July, the Pacific coast beaches are worth a visit. Surfers looking for more consistent, reliable, bigger waves – or are visiting during other times of the year– are better off driving out to one of the other spots on this list.

5. Morro Negrito

Morro Negrito is a bit more off the beaten track than some of the other spots on this list. The region has a variety of different breaks that offer something for everyone, from beginners to advanced surfers. The best time to surf here is between December and April, when the swell is at its biggest. While some beaches are best for surfing, others are better for swimming, snorkeling, or just relaxing on the beach.

Morro Negrito
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Surfing in Panama: You Can’t Go Wrong

Overall, these are the best spots for surfing in Panama. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, there is a beach here that will suit your needs.

If you choose to surf in Playa Venao, expect nothing but good vibes and great value when you stay at Beach Break Surf Camp. Browse our all-inclusive surf camp packages to find (or create!) your ideal surf vacation.

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