The Top Surf Spots in Central America

Surfing | © troy_williams / Flickr
Surfing | © troy_williams / Flickr
Photo of Jack Guy
31 January 2018

If you want to surf without too many crowds, head to Central America. There are great spots throughout the region, with the Pacific Ocean providing the top waves. Here are some of the best places to surf.

Surfing at Sunzal Point, Playa El Tunco, El Salvador |

El Tunco, El Salvador

Found just one hour from the capital, San Salvador, this spot is great for advanced surfers and beginners. There are also good hotels and restaurants where you can chill out between sessions. Come for a weekend and the place will be full of visitors from the city who want to party.

El Paredon, Guatemala

This quiet spot gets little attention from international surfers, but ask the locals and they’ll tell you this is the place to be. It’s a two-hour drive from Antigua Guatemala, so you can come down for a day if you like, but it’s best to book a stay at one of the surf camps on the beach. There is little else around, but you’ll probably be ready to relax after a long day in the waves.

Surf spot at Witches Rock, Costa Rica | © Dog4aday / flickr

Witches Rock, Costa Rica

This break was made famous by surf film The Endless Summer II, and it’s not hard to see why they filmed here. There are lefts and rights to be surfed, and amazing photos to be had with the rock in the background.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

While most of the best spots are on the Pacific coast, Bocas del Toro is found on the Caribbean. It’s great for surfers of all levels, and the town has a reputation as a great spot for partying too.

Surfing at Playa Colorado, Nicaragua |

Playa Colorado, Nicaragua

Spots in Nicaragua are so far fairly undiscovered by outsiders, and Playa Colorado tends to be quiet. Book in for a stay at the Hacienda Iguana on the beach and enjoy some of the best waves in the hemisphere.

San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

This town was once a quiet surfing spot, but it soon became popular with backpackers looking to party. It’s now a firm favourite on the backpacker trail, but there are some great spots just outside town that are still fairly quiet.

Playa Jaco, Costa Rica

Come here if you’re in a mixed group of different surfing abilities. There is a variety of waves for beginners and experienced surfers, and the break is famous for its consistency. Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast is also a great place to hang out on amazing beaches, so you don’t even have to surf to have a good time.

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