Nicaragua is fast becoming known as one of the most consistent places on the planet for quality waves. Due to the interior lake, the west coast of Nicaragua has off-shore conditions more than 300 days per year. Punchy beach breaks, outer reefs & point breaks, Nica surf is epic. Daily flights from Los Angeles. World Surfaris ambassador Shaun Levings travelled there and has hand picked 'Popoyo Surf Lodge' as our base in Nica. Amazing guides, comfortable accommodation, good trucks and boats, excellent food and more. You will be up at dawn and surfing till dusk on the ultimate Central American surfari...SURF, EAT, SLEEP, REPEAT!
Popoyo Surf Lodge is located at Playa Guasacate and was the first 'surf camp' established in all of Nicaragua, hosting surfers since 1999. Chris Connor has been there the last decade, along with Kymberley Jemma, and they run a slick operation. As the first surf hotel in Nicaragua, the crew at Popoyo Surf Lodge has an unparalleled knowledge of the waves, the breaks and the local community. With years of experience living there and surfing the breaks year-round, they really do have the area wired. They use this experience to ensure that guests are on the best surf breaks possible, considering swell size and direction, crowds and waves suitable for each guest’s skill level. With two boats, a fleet of 4×4 trucks and daily detailed surf reports, Popoyo Surf Lodge has a proven track record of getting their guests to the best waves possible every day of their trip.
With World Class surf guides, friendly staff, superb meals and buffets, and modern facilities (10 acres right in the centre of the best surf in Nicaragua) Popoyo Surf Lodge pride themselves on being more than just a place to stay while you are in Nicaragua. Popoyo Surf Lodge's main focus is having people experience the real Nicaragua. Everything is taken care of, so that you can just sit back and really take in all that this diverse Central American region has to offer.
It seems like there are a lot of people wondering if they should just rent a house and do it themselves. Well, we think that anywhere you are in Nicaragua, you will have a great time. The problem is - have you ever been somewhere that had swell but wasn't really working, maybe the wrong tide or swell direction? Of course you have. This is what Popoyo Surf Lodge specialize in. The area has 17 breaks that can all be world class with the right tide and swell direction. Now add the fact that during their pursuit of putting you in the right place at the right time, they have great food, snacks, water, first aid, boats, trucks and nothing but smiles and Brazos Abiertos...open arms.
Popoyo Surf Lodge caters to surfers of various ability levels from advanced beginner to the most experienced of surfers and welcomes both shortboarders and longboarders (as well as boogieboarders and kneeboarders). Expert guides offer hands-on surf coaching throughout the tours to help bring your surfing to the next level! Although Popoyo Surf Lodge is not a learn-to-surf school, it is possible to learn to surf in Nicaragua but best to come during the smaller wave season from November to March and make a special request for instruction.
If the focus of your trip is surfing and/or seeing and experiencing real Nicaraguan countryside, beaches, community and people, and you're not looking for a tourism resort or a party scene, then Popoyo Surf Lodge is the right trip for you. The surfer accommodation and facilities (restaurant, bar, lounge, pool) are the best in the Popoyo area. The waves, surfing tours and surf guides are the best in Nicaragua.
Very comfortable accommodation with 2 styles of rooms. The spacious Casitas and the more basic Cabinas. You won't spend much time in your room apart from sleeping.
Casitas (5): Poolside, nice decor, modern construction, AC, full sized double beds, TV w/Satellite, designer bathroom with hot water, sitting area. The floor plan of the Casitas is open with spacious living and sleeping areas. Accommodation is on a Private or Shared basis.
Cabinas (2): Renovated original Popoyo Surf Lodge accommodation for the traveller on a budget including AC, 2 single beds and private bathroom with hot water.
The food is a real highlight and the amazing kitchen staff work around the clock to ensure you are well fueled for a long day of surfing.
A light breakfast of cereal, fruit, toast, juice, tea & coffee is available from 5.00am and then a cooked breakfast is available if you return after a dawn session. Often you will stay out till lunch, so they'll pack you an esky of food to take in the truck/boat.
Lunch is plentiful and varied. Dinner is either a buffet (the weekly Lobster feast is famous) or a choice of a few dishes.
World Surfaris boss, Shaun Levings noted the food was certainly top notch and the bar was exceptional too, with Xavier ensuring the local beer is always ICY cold and the Flor de Cana rum (world renowned) was flowing. Drink prices are very reasonable!
At Popoyo and in the vicinity you will find a plethora of surf breaks, both lefts and rights including A-frame beachbreaks, rock reefs, and even a few points (lefts), as well as some massive outer reef breaks that come alive on the biggest swells. These surf breaks along Nicaragua's southernmost Pacific coast enjoy offshore winds over 300 days per year due to effect of Lago de Nicaragua. The near constant offshore winds groom the swells into clean hollow lines and almond-shaped barrels, and even when the winds are slack or slightly onshore, there can be some great waves to be had!
The surf here is often good all day, so plan on surfing 2-3 sessions per day, bring plenty of sun protection, and arrive in good physical fitness. There are surf breaks here which work on all tides, high, mid and low, so the action never stops!! Popoyo Surf Lodge's surf guides are ON IT, and will make sure you get into the waves suitable for your ability level.
The local surf shop now offers a decent selection of rental surfboards, if you are having trouble bringing your boards with the airlines, or are not sure about your equipment.
Popoyo Surf Lodge is now open year round.
Almost any time of the year can get really good surf in Nicaragua. Although commonly misunderstood, the South swell season is not limited to just a few months a year and runs year-round. The biggest swells normally occur from April to October, but March or November can also pump. November to March traditionally has more moderate sized surf and is a great time to visit for less advanced surfers who are not seeking bigger waves.
Mar/Apr: Dry season months with moderate to strong offshore winds blowing all day and consistent swell usually moderate+ size and sometimes big, especially in April.
May/Jun: Big south swells frequent and swells very consistent. Transitional months between the dry and wet season. Still lots of offshores but not as strong as Mar/Apr, with possibility of some on-shores developing (mostly in the afternoon).
Jul/Aug/Sep: Continued peak season south swell similar to May/Jun. Lots of moderate offshores. Some possibility of on-shores (mostly in the afternoon) which can become more prevalent during tropical weather fronts which are more likely towards the later part of this period.
Oct: This is the rainiest month of the year in Nicaragua normally. The Lodge can sometimes close due to volatile weather, flash floods, and periods of unabated onshore winds.
Nov/Dec: This is the beginning of the dry season. Sandbars at their best and many new surf breaks form. Consistent S swell still hits Nicaragua throughout this period but more moderate in size typically compared to peak season. Ideal time for beginners and intermediates. Generally completely uncrowded.
Water temps: Range from 24-28C, with the coolest water temps likely during the period of the heaviest offshores from Dec-Apr and the warmest temps likely from May-October.
Head Guide: Jamil Amador A La Salinas: Local, Jamil has worked as Popoyo's cook, gardener and now head surf guide, after being a guide for the last few years. This is by far his best job ever and it shows with his dedication to show guests the best of what his country has to offer. Jamil is one of Nicaragua's best surfers and his local knowledge of waves and conditions speak for themselves every week when you see the guys coming back smiling from ear to ear. When asked, where did you surf? "I don't know, we were sworn to secrecy..."
Nicknamed: 'Nica Occy' by World Surfaris owner Shaun Levings during his trip in Aug 2015. Shaun quotes "Jamil was amazing...non stop energy with the 5am wakeup call, quick breaky, load boards in the truck and hit the beachies or head to the boat and head up or down the coast...surf, fish, eat, drink, sleep...repeat! Jamil is featured in the photos on this page.
Gustavo Noguera: is an amazing surfer from Playa Santana and the newest edition to the PSL crew. Gustavo Rips. It’s always good to be with a local whenever you show up somewhere. He is a huge blessing in his community and is very respected in the Nicaraguan surf community. Gustavo loves to see people smiling and his smile is contagious. After a full year in training, Gustavo has more than proven his ability in all conditions to make the right call.
John Matthews: started out as surf guide and has now taken his knowledge of the ocean and dedicated it to way too many hours behind the lens in the hot sun to make sure you get the best surf photos of yourself that you have ever had. John completely charges when it gets BIG. He is extremely good at critiquing your photos and helping you to fix some of those style point things you have always wanted to fix. He documents your trip with the newest and best equipment.
Renato Renato: is PSL's Brazilian brother who came down 4 years ago and just never left. He has the biggest smile ever. Renato is a surf photographer/ guide/anything that needs to be done. He has a huge heart for the local youth and local surf community. Anywhere you ever go with him, you feel as if you were part of the community. People just love him and so do we. You will love your time with him. Offers great encouragement always...
Casita guests may substitute Surfing lessons for Surfing Tours.
Cabina guests will pay an upcharge of US$50 per person per tour.
Popoyo Surf Lodge has been hosting hard core surf trips since 1999. However, the interest in learning to surf and in Nicaragua as a tourist destination has grown substantially in the last several years. At Popoyo Surf Lodge, the tools and knowledge are already in place to offer a world class surf school catering to beginning surfers and families of all ages.
The surf school pairs surf students with one of Popoyo Surf Lodge surf guides / instructors who will be there to help guests learn to surf and guide them during surf sessions. There are beginner friendly waves in the area and guests can start off at easy surf breaks suitable for learning. As guest’s skills improve throughout the week, they can progress to more challenging waves if desired.
Popoyo Surf Lodge is the most experienced and well known surf camp in Nicaragua. Why not learn to surf with the BEST and start your surfing skills right?
**Entry fees and meals on Adventure and Outreach tours are not included. PSL provides transportation and guide only.
Casita guests may substitute Adventure & Outreach Tours for Surfing Tours. Minimum 2 persons required.
Cabina guests will pay an upcharge of US$50 per person per tour. Minimum 2 persons required.
Option #1: Community Outreach:
Spend the day in rural Nicaragua giving out rice and beans to needy families and visiting their homes. Get off the beaten path and see the beauty of Nicaragua. This is an excellent option for families who would like to experience some of the Nicaraguan culture while giving back to needy families.
Option #2: Trip to the colonial city of Granada and boat trip through the beautiful island chain of Las Isletas.
Option #3: Trip to Volcano Mombacho. Enjoy zip lining through the coffee plantation of Las Flores, a tour of Nicargua’s finest working coffee plantation and adventure hike though the dwarf cloud forest of Mombacho Volcano.
Option #4: Trip to San Juan de Sur.
Visit the seaside bay of San Juan del Sur. Enjoy shopping and restaurants along the beautiful bay. Fantastic zip lining and adventure at “Da Flying Frog”.
Option #5: Trip to the famous market in Masaya. Have lunch in beautiful Catarina overlooking Laguna de Apoyo.
Option #6: Horseback riding on the beach.
Option #7: Beach day. Boogie boards for kids, picnic lunch. A great option for a relaxing day for the family.
Popoyo Surf Lodge guests will be met at Managua International Airport by Popoyo staff and transferred directly to Popoyo Surf Lodge which is 2.5 -3 hours away depending on road conditions. Packages include fully air-conditioned Casita or Cabina accommodation, 3 meals per day, most non-alcoholic beverages and daily surf tours with morning and afternoon sessions, as well as fishing.
Popoyo's hardware includes a fleet of LandCruisers and Toyota 4x4 trucks and 2 boats, a 25ft boat w/soft roof and 85hp Yamaha outboard, and a 26ft boat w/hard roof and 150hp Yamaha outboard. Both boats are fully outfitted for surfing and fishing.
A typical day for a surfer staying at Popoyo Surf Lodge goes a little like this. Your guide knocks on your door around 5am, grab your gear, light breakfast, jump in the truck and head to the best beachie on offer or drive to the harbour and jump in the boat and motor down the coast. If you surf a local beachie you'll return for a cooked breakfast or if you go further afield by truck or boat you'll take a cooler with food and drinks and surf all morning and return for lunch. Lunch and a bit of time at the resort for a laze in the hammocks by the pool, dip in the pool and/or siesta. Your guide won't let you laze around too long as there are waves to catch and by mid afternoon you're on the hunt again and you'll stay out till dusk and maybe have a post surf beer at a local watering hole before returning back to Popoyo surf lodge to freshen up. Pre dinner drinks at the bar with the very entertaining barman followed by a feast, some post dinner drinks and then you're ready to crash out and sleep soundly in your comfy room and do it all again tomorrow.
Surf, Eat, Sleep repeat!