Popular Surf Spots in Nicaragua

Playa Maderas pic

Playa Maderas
Image: wannasurf.com

Longtime Bay Area resident Neill Sullivan leads SMC and REO Homes, LLC, as founder and president. Splitting his time between community improvement efforts and his professional responsibilities, he renovates and manages vintage and rental houses in Oakland, California. A surfer in his free time, Neill Sullivan has had the chance to surf in such places as Nicaragua. Despite not often being identified among the world’s top surf destinations, Nicaragua is home to several quality surf spots, including:

Playa Maderas – Located around 10 minutes from San Juan del Sur, Playa Maderas features hollow lefts and rights, along with some great long-period swells. It is a popular spot among both tourists and locals and is the location of several surf schools. Despite the area’s accommodations for beginners, experienced surfers also frequent the large beach.

Playgrounds – Frequently compared to Trestles, Playgrounds is a great spot for surfers with long and short boards. The waves break across a cobblestone reef to both the right and the left. Although left breaks are typically longer, surfers can still enjoy double-overhead waves without worrying about swimmers.

Popoyo – Split into inner and outer reefs, Popoyo is one of Nicaragua’s classic surf spots. The inner reef is typically calmer and is popular among local expats. Meanwhile, the outer reef features swells upwards of six feet and wide barrels. Given the shallow reef below, though, it is only used by highly experienced surfers.