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The Unexpected Best Surfing in Central America

October 20, 2021

Where is the best surfing in Central America? If you’re an avid surfer, you probably know of popular spots like Playa Jaco in Costa Rica or Puerto Escondido in Mexico. 

While these go-to destinations are worth experiencing, there are plenty of lesser-known spots that offer the same incredible surfing with fewer crowds and less cost inflation. 

Read on to discover the unexpected best surfing in Central America, and start planning ahead to book your next great surfing adventure. 


Las Penitas, Nicaragua

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Located in Leon, Nicaragua, you can find the small, relatively undiscovered surfing spot known as Las Penitas. Widely considered “beginner to intermediate surfer” friendly, this gorgeous location is an excellent place to improve surfing skills while avoiding crowds. 

The waves are consistent all year long, so whenever you feel the call, Las Penitas is waiting for you. Local businesses offer surf lessons as well as other fun family activities such as horseback riding. Additionally, the restaurants in the area are well-reviewed and provide the perfect place to enjoy a meal and a cold drink after a day full of surfing.

Sipacate, Guatemala

Photo courtesy of Flickr CC

Just to the west of El Paradon, Guatemala’s most popular surf destination, sits Sipacate, a smaller and relatively quiet surf spot. The beach offers waves suitable for all skill levels just about year-round. 

While the beach may be quiet, the greater town of Sipacate is actually much larger than El Paredon and offers more infrastructure and services. This can be a pro or con, depending on if you’re looking to get away from it all or would prefer to have convenient tourist options (and prices) close by.

El Cuco, El Salvador

Photo courtesy of TripAdvisor

Moving on to El Salvador, we find the tiny town of El Cuco, which is home to a beach known as Playa Las Flores. If you are looking for consistency in your waves, Playa Las Flores is the place to go. The waves break like clockwork in relatively the same spot and with the same height. It’s a perfect place for beginners to learn the basics and for more experienced surfers to work on advanced skills.

Those in-the-know recommend that surfers visit this surf spot during the low season which is from May to October. During this time, the waves are as described above: consistent and perfect for surfers of all ability levels.  

Pavones, Costa Rica

Photo courtesy of GoVisitCostaRica

While it’s hard to say with sincerity that any surf spots in Costa Rica are not that busy, Pavones is about as close as it gets. The area is relatively difficult to access, and the waves are frequently described as “legendary”. 

Pavones is not considered beginner-friendly, which can help to cut down on the crowds for those more experienced surfers who are willing to make the trek. Surfers who come this far are the experienced die-hards who are looking to catch the big waves Pavones is known for.

Another reason people are drawn to Pavones is the incredible diversity of wildlife in the region. The animals that can be seen during a leisurely stroll are not the ones often seen in other parts of the world.


Playa Venao, Panama

Closing out our list is our very own surfing paradise in Playa Venao, Panama. Sure, we may be biased, but after traveling far and wide we can honestly say there is no place quite like Playa Venao.

Still somewhat of an undiscovered secret, Venao has been quietly growing in popularity within the international surfing community. Our beautiful, uncrowded beaches, pristine waves for all skill levels, and indescribable ambience brings surfers back again and again. 

Surfing in Playa Venao may be the main event, but here at Beach Break we offer plenty more amenities and experiences that are worth the trip. Our modern fitness center offers a full schedule of classes each week, ranging from yoga and group fitness to brazilian jiu jitsu, kickboxing, and even martial arts for kids.

If surfing is top priority, Beach Break is still the place to be. Surfers come back again and again to work with our world-class instructors, who can help beginners learn the basics and take more experienced surfers from pretty good to outstanding

We even offer video analysis to improve your surfing, allowing you to see exactly where you are making mistakes. If you’ve never seen yourself surfing on video before (for more than a few seconds), you will be amazed at how much you can learn and improve just by watching yourself take (or miss) a few waves. 

Of course, Beach Break also offers clean and comfortable accommodations, a restaurant with top-notch food, and affordable packages that you can customize for your ideal blend of surf lessons, gear rentals, delicious meals, and accommodations. 


The Unexpected Best Surfing in Central America

While the “best” surfing in Central America will always be somewhat subjective, we hope you found some value in this list of lesser-known surf destinations. 

If you’re dreaming up your next surf vacation, consider one of the aforementioned surfing beaches in Central America. Of course, we’re happy to help you plan your ideal surf vacation at Beach Break Surf Camp.

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