Get Your Surfboard and Surfing Fins Out: We’re Going to Central America’s Top Surf Spots

Where the Wild Waters Are You?

With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other, the beautiful coastlines of Central America is home to some of the most popular surfing spots in the world. So get ready, take out your surfboards---and your spare surfing fins too. Here’s a quick rundown of five of the top surf spots in Central America

People in Body of Water, Jess Loiterton | Photo Credits |


Sunzal, El Salvador

Sunzal is your gateway to surfing in Central America. Its long wave is very well-known among surfers and it is favored by budding surfers and tourists looking to learn how to ride the waves. For the more passionate riders of waves, just a short ride from Sunzal is Punta Roca, your point break mecca.

A surfer catches some air during a lonely dawn patrol session. Mark Harpur |


Santa Catalina, Panama

Santa Catalina is known as one of the best surf spots on the Pacific coast of Panama. It has something for everyone: from steady waves that beginners, who have just figured out the best surfboard fins to use; to breakers that would challenge even the most advanced surfers.

Emjeii Beattie |


Playa Colorado, Nicaragua

Playa Colorado is widely considered by surfers from around the world to be one of the best surf spots. It’s popular for its consistently beautiful long waves, as well as breakers and tubes only the most intrepid wave riders would dare take on. Even better, Playa Colorado is blessed with perfect surfing weather, making it one of the few places in the world where you can surf for most of the year.

A local surfer shows how it is done in a secret spot in Nicaragua. Mark Harpur |

Another reason to visit Playa Colorado is that it sits between two equally popular surf spots: San Juan del Sur and Popoyo. While you’ll never tire of Playa Colorado, having three of the best spots in the world side by side means you can ride to your heart’s content.


La Barra, Nicaragua

Not quite as well-known, La Barra is somewhat hidden away---a quiet place, out of sight of the beaten path and tourist traps, with nothing but the sound of the crashing waves to keep you company. Nicaragua has always been known for its killer waves, but in La Barra, the reefs lurking just beneath the surface set the stage for some of the biggest tubes and barrels you’ll find on this side of the globe.

Surfer under a wave, Jeremy Bishop |


Pavones, Costa Rica

Grouchy like a hermit who loves his solace, Pavones is one of the most solitary surf spots on this list (probably, on any other list). Its waves are fickle and deceptive: they can be welcoming and beckoning at times, then quiet and sulking, next.

Costa Rica, Marcus Dall Col |


Pavones is raw and wild; it is willful and wonderful. It is not a place to venture into alone; you’ll definitely want to have a few friends around. And don’t forget your extra boards and surfing fins because those waves will break them to pieces if given the chance. Pavones is a seasonal visit and best between May and September. Who knows what you’ll find there; perhaps you’ll discover nirvana out in the blue and never want to leave.

Leaving the Waves; Bringing Back the Memories

When the sun sets and it’s time to come back in, we don’t say goodbye to the wind, the sand and the sea; we leave misty memories of yesterday's rides, and whisper prayers to the sea gods for high winds and even higher breaks.

Sundown on a day of surfing, Paul Biondi |



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