Playgrounds Surf Camp Review

Nicaragua, the largest country in the Central American isthmus which is boarded by Honduras to the Northwest, the Caribbean to the east, the Pacific Ocean to the southwest, and Costa Rica to the south, is slowly but surely becoming one of the most popular surf spots Central America.

With 250km of luxurious coastline, the surf season in Nicaragua is unbeatable.

Although the season runs primarily from May to October, Nicaragua also offers some gentler waves in the winter, making it the perfect place for beginners, especially as the water stays warm throughout the entire year.

Playgrounds Surf Camp Review

If this sounds like the perfect place, we’ve written this article to tell you to look no further than Playgrounds Surf Camp, which you’ll find nestled deep in the heart of the jungle in one of Nicaragua’s most unspoiled regions.

A tropical paradise and the only land-based surf resort in the Chacocente Wildlife Refuge, this surf camp is an all-inclusive surf resort and promises some of the greatest scenery, biggest waves, and friendliest coaches around, so why not come on down and take a look.

Surfing

The Chacocente Wildlife Refuge has some strong offshore winds, meaning you’ll be guaranteed some of the best waves 300 days a year.

You’ll also be able to meander down a beautiful jungle path to the secluded Veracruz de Acayo beach, which is also home to some of Nicaragua’s best waves.

Solo surf sessions on these world-class waves are available throughout your stay and all the guides speak English to help you understand and get the most out of your lessons.

They’ll specifically plan each day for you so that you are surfing some of the best waves in the best conditions to suit your ability and previous knowledge of surfing. Playgrounds have even split the beach into different wave breaks which we will explain below.

Waves

Playgrounds have split their waves up along the beach to ensure you are surfing the right waves for your board, ability, and preferred conditions, so let’s take a look.

Playgrounds Left

Similar to the right, yet with warmer water, smaller crowds, and a tube. The lefts are long and rip-able with big shoulders and a speedy inside section and are great for all skill levels.

Playgrounds Right

The right is a steeper peeling wave with lots of barrels and high-performance areas. It is much shorter and much shallower than the left and is much less crowded if you after a more peaceful surf.

Mata Nino

Mata Nino is one of the secret beach breaks.  This multi-peak right and left beach break is an A-frame tube and breaks close to the shore over a shallow sand bar.

Jubos

Another secret beach break, jubos is located right out front of the camp. A fickle wave but when it breaks it is one of the finest waves around. 

Chococente

This is another beach break with multi peaks that can be accessed by boat or buggy. It is one of the best beach breaks in the area and can be very rippable with barreling rights and lefts. It is only opened at certain points through the year however as is a large nesting area for sea turtles.

Lances Left

This is a long point break but the wave needs to be low tide and have a huge swell to shine. Surrounded by big cliffs on the shore, it offers great wind protection. However, it can get crowded due to its close proximity to Astillero, a nearby village.

Mata Polo

The final secret beach break, this break can get heavy and it is a much bigger option for when Playgrounds is too small. It can only be accessed by boat or buggy.

Random Waves

Random waves in the area depend on the direction, swell, rain and size.

Accommodation

The inspiration for Playgrounds Surf Camp comes from a Nicaraguan architectural tradition along with a hint of Hawaiin aloha. The whole resort is handcrafted using different tropical woods and its landscaping design was both native to the country and sustainable.

The resort is 100% eco-friendly and runs on over 3.5k.w of solar power when possible.

The different types of rooms include the casitas, themed rooms, and the private beach house. Wherever you stay, however, will be clean, spacious, and feature queen-sized beds, private bathrooms, wifi, and air conditioning.

The four private casitas which include Mango, Coco, Jungle, and Rancho Casita are adjacent to the swimming pool and offer a rustic interior. They are modern and offer a pool view from the front porch.

The four downstairs single-themed rooms are called Tiki, Cave, and Creation, and the double room is called Wonderful World. The whole Surf Camp can hold up to 11 guests every week.

Restaurant

Not only does Niagara offer some of the best waves in Central America, but also some of the best food, and the kitchen staff at Playgrounds want to ensure you experience this.

They work around the clock to provide healthy, delicious meals using responsibly sourced and fresh ingredients.

The friendly and talented head chef has 20 years of culinary experience and believes good food brings people together.

The camp has been developing its menu over the last decade and has come up with some great dishes that are a fusion of Nicaraguan, Mexican, American, and Hawaiin traditions.

All their fruits and vegetables are sourced locally along with their pasture-raised eggs, free-range chickens, and even grass-fed beef. All of their special seafood dishes are served fresh and some fish is even caught from the Playgrounds reef!

The restaurant and bar are located upstairs in the Rancho house and truly are the heart and soul of the resort. It is where people congregate to share surf stories, laugh, and eat some great food after a long day on the waves. 

Amenities

Not only does the resort offer a great surf experience, but they want you to have an all-round great experience and that’s why they go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy and comfortable for the duration of your stay as well as ensuring everything remains as smooth as possible, from an airport pick up and drop off service to a massage therapist and endless relaxing yoga sessions. 

Other amenities include…

  • Beach Buggies
  • Boat (Panga) Trips
  • Tide Pools
  • Upstairs Rancho
  • Warm-Up Room
  • Chacocente Wildlife Range
  • Staff Photographer
  • Beach Palapa
  • Ocean Fishing
  • Pool/Outdoor Lounge

Final Thoughts

With some of the best waves in Central America, Nicaragua is the place to visit if you’re looking for the ultimate surf experience, and we hope we’ve convinced you to visit Playgrounds Surf Camp if you decide to take the trip.

Not only do they offer high-quality surf lessons on the beautiful coastline but their friendly staff ensures to look after you throughout your entire stay so that you can relax, unwind and focus entirely on scoring those unbeatable waves.

Their amenities guarantee you’ll be staying in true comfort and with the airport drop off and pick up, you’ll not have to worry about anything but the board. So grab your suncream and swimming costume, hop on that plane and we’ll see you there soon!

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