Nicaragua is becoming an incredibly popular place for surfers from around the world. With more than 350km of Pacific coastline, warm waters, and some of the most year-round consistent swells on the globe, it’s not hard to see why Nicaragua is gaining notoriety amongst the surfing community!
If you fancy learning how to surf in Nicaragua, or you’re just looking to exercise your skills, there is a huge number of surfing schools and surfing lessons available! We’ve constructed a list of the 10 best surf lesson providers below, each hand selected according to the range of experiences they offer and the quality of their surfing instruction. Be sure to check them out!
1. Barefoot Surf Camp, San Juan del Sur
At Barefoot Surf Camp, there is a maximum of just 12 students staying there at one time. For those 12 students, there are 6 expert coaches, meaning surf lessons are personalized and tailored exactly to the guests’ needs. The guys at Barefoot are also happy for you to customize their surf program, making it an ideal spot for beginners and intermediate-level surfers alike!
Guests stay in their luxurious villa, situated walking distance from the beach, restaurants, cafes, and beach bars. The villa is for all 12 travelers, although there are 7 different rooms, each with air conditioning and Wifi access. It boasts a large infinity pool and some great communal areas, ideal to meet other like-minded surf enthusiasts!
- 2-to-1 lessons – surf lessons are personalized to your needs.
- Customizable program – great for beginners and intermediate-level surfers.
- Partially inclusive – accommodation, 5 surf lessons, 5 surf-theory lessons, daily breakfast, 2 group dinners, 2 restorative yoga classes, transportation to different beaches, and airport transfers are included.
- Meals – not all meals are included in the package.
2. Nicawaves, Popoyo
Nicawaves is considered one of the best surf camps in Nicaragua, particularly in the region of Popoyo. Their all-inclusive surf package includes daily surf lessons or unlimited surf trips for the more experienced surf guest. The owner of Nicawaves is Mike, a two-time US Surfing Championships finalist, so these guys really know what budding surfers need!
Their Supreme Surf Package is extensive and unbeatable. It includes seven nights in private, air-conditioned accommodation, three meals a day, unlimited surf trips, and more! The guys at Nicawaves are also more than happy to customize the surf package to your own personal needs, you just need to get in touch!
- Run by professional surfers – ensures quality and authentic experience.
- Customizable program – ideal for all surfing abilities.
- All-inclusive – Airport transfers, accommodation, up to 3 surfing boat trips, three meals a day (each with one free drink), cultural tours, unlimited coffee and bottled water, unlimited surf trips, and full use of Nicawaves facilities (pool, WiFi, hammock, etc) are all included.
- Price – not very budget-friendly, but you can bring the price down by customizing the package or inviting a few more people.
3. Surf Popoyo Lessons, Popoyo
If you’re looking for surf lessons in Nicaragua, rather than a surf camp or school, Surf Popoyo Lessons are some of the best. Rather than simply throwing you in the deep end, Surf Popoyo Lessons provide a one-hour dry land, wave knowledge, and safety class, to ensure all beginners are as clued up on the necessities as possible.
Their 3 hour-long sessions consist of 2 hours of surfing, and 1 hour of dry land teaching. They also provide a surfboard and rashguard, and have an on of great options to choose from! Surf Popoyo Lessons can be taught in English, Kiwi, and Spanish, and do also offer one-to-one private lessons if you would like a more intense learning experience.
- Dryland lessons – ensure safety and necessary understanding of the ocean.
- Multiple languages – English, Kiwi, and Spanish.
- Customizable lessons – private lessons and multi-day packages available.
- No extras – just surfing lessons available.
4. TreeCasa Resort, San Juan del Sur
If you’re looking for a particularly unique experience, look no further than TreeCasa resort in San Juan del Sur. The guys at TreeCasa provide transport to-and-from the coast every day, with some of the best breaks for beginners and pro surfers alike only a 15-minute journey away.
They also offer a range of surfing courses, from daily beginner lessons to assistance whilst exploring larger breaks for more experienced surfers.
However, it’s the range of other available activities and the beauty of the accommodation that sets TreeCasa Resort apart from all the rest. The treehouse accommodation spreads throughout the dense forest and boasts a number of fairytale-like spaces, ideal for meeting new people, or completely relaxing with your partner whilst appreciating idyllic, peaceful views.
- Daily surf lessons – suitable for beginners and more advanced surfers.
- Accommodation – idyllic and unique.
- Extra activities – horseback riding, cycling, cooking class, sea turtle expedition, massages, organic guardian tour, adventure park, salsa lessons, yoga sessions.
- Not all-inclusive – activities, lunches, and dinners are not included in the price.
5. Alex’s Surf School, San Juan del Sur
Alex’s Surf School was built on an unrequited passion for surfing, which they hope to share with guests of all ages and physical abilities. They are firm believers that surfing is for everyone, and should ultimately be a fun way to de-stress and enjoy the Nicaraguan ocean and sunshine.
They have a range of lessons available. For beginners, they provide a two-hour lesson, which focuses on the basics of surfing, water safety, and having fun. Either you can enjoy these lessons privately, or you can be a part of a small group of 3 people per instructor.
Their advanced surf lessons are two hours long and perfect for people looking to hone specific skills. Finally, they also provide two-hour surf lessons for children with extra instructors to ensure they’re safe.
- Customizable lessons – ideal for beginner, intermediate, and advanced level surfers.
- Family-friendly – they provide especially safe lessons for children of all ages.
- Max 3-to-1 – small groups ensure safety and all needs are being met.
- No extra activities – just surfing lessons available.
6. Surf With Amigas, Northern Nicaragua
If you are looking for somewhere to learn to surf or to simply hone your skills, that has a welcoming, female-centric environment, Surf with Amigas Eco Resort in Northern Nicaragua is ideal. Included within their package are daily individualized in-water surf coaching or guidance, followed by daily one-on-one post-session video coaching with one of their instructors.
Though, Surf with Amigas is far more than just an all-inclusive surf school. They also include daily yoga classes and adventures, such as horseback riding, chocolate making, and a ladies’ night out, within the package. However, their most important mission is to bring together women from all walks of life and create a supportive and inclusive space to share experiences together.
- Daily individualized surf lessons – safe and very informative.
- Women only – fosters a safe, supportive environment.
- All-inclusive – Airport transfers, 7 nights accommodation in a shared cabana, 4 meals a day, daily surf lessons, video footage from surf sessions, surfboard rental, daily yoga classes, horseback riding, chocolate-making class, and ladies’ night out are all included within the package.
- Women only – not suitable for groups of mixed genders.
7. Dreamsea Surf Camp, San Juan del Sur
Dreamsea Surf Camp is perfect if you’re looking for great surf coaching combined with contemporary, eco-friendly accommodation. They provide daily lessons on surf theory and 10 hours of in-water coaching. Dreamsea is positioned well for both beginners and advanced surfers, and provides group lessons, private lessons, or free-surf sessions, depending on your ability.
If you don’t want to stay on-site at Dreamsea Surf Camp, they do provide surfing lessons separately from the surf camp package. However, you’d be missing out on a whole lot of fun! Dreamsea Surf Camp provides gorgeous private or dorm accommodation, 2 meals a day, and 3 hours of yoga sessions to restore and relax your mind and body.
- Daily in-water and on-land lessons – provide a full understanding of the sport.
- Choice of accommodation – great for different budgets.
- Partially inclusive – Welcome pack, daily room service, breakfast & dinner, daily fresh fruit & water, 10 hours of surfing lessons, daily surf theory, 3 hours of yoga lessons, free access to equipment, 7 nights accommodation, and transfers to the surf spots are all included within the package.
- Airport transfers – available but at an extra cost.
8. Coconut Surf, San Juan del Sur
The aim of Coconut Surf is to truly immerse their guests within the local culture, and provide an authentic experience. At Coconut Surf, you will be encouraged to surf like a local, eat like a local, and live like a local!
Their Surf and Discover package includes 4 professional surf lessons with a 1-to-3 instructor-to-student ratio, 2 surf theory classes, 2 surf trips, and the use of surfboards. They also include activities, such as BBQ parties at the local beach and two local dinners, in order to encourage their guests to immerse themselves within the local culture.
If this package sounds a little too restrictive, you are able to design your own. You can alter the length of your stay, the activities you want to engage in, and the type of accommodation you would like.
- Focus on local culture – encourages an authentic experience.
- 1-to-3 in-water and on-land lessons – provide personalized, safe surf coaching.
- Customizable packages – something for every budget/group.
- Not all-inclusive – accommodation, airport transfers, daily breakfast, 2 dinners, WiFi, surf lessons, beach expeditions, BBQ party are included.
9. Popoyo Surf Camp, Popoyo
Popoyo Surf Camp provides excellent surf trips for beginner and intermediate-level surfers. They also offer a range of surf packages for each ability. Their standard pack for beginners includes 5 surf lessons, although, if that’s not quite enough for you, their full pack includes 6 surf lessons, a surf boat trip, and surf photos.
They have two choices of accommodation. Either you can stay in Shaka Popoyo Surfcamp, located strategically in a rural surfing area, or you can stay in their beach-front house, which is a mere walking distance to the main surf spots in the area. The latter of the options is great if you’re looking to really soak up surf culture, as it has a true surf-house atmosphere.
Though their packages focus on surfing, the guys at Popoyo Surf Camp encourage you to reach out to their team before booking. They are happy to personalize your trip and include activities that you would like to experience. For instance, you can take part in yoga classes, or take a visit to an active volcano!
- Customizable surf packages – ideal for every ability and budget.
- Choice of accommodation – something for every group/budget.
- Extra activities available – Yoga classes, natural pool sessions, hot springs sessions, bonfires, BBQ nights, pizza nights, skate sessions, visit active volcanoes.
- Partially inclusive – 2 meals a day, surf lessons, accommodation, 1 BBQ night are included. Airport transfers and other activities can be added on for an extra charge.
10. Amarillo Surf Camp, Amarilla
Amarillo Surf Camp uniquely offers its guests direct access to an untouched, beautiful beach, boasting crystal clear water, fine white sand, and a huge range of consistent waves. Surf classes are given by locals with a proven high surfing ability who often compete at a national level. For instance, pro-surfers such as Jackson Obando and David More provide guests with both basic and advanced coaching and advice.
There are five exclusive lodges that house guests, which sit within nature perfectly. The lodges are built with a combination of modern and traditional materials, with the hope of providing guests with a unique, high-quality stay that is also as environmentally friendly as possible. Amarillo Surf Camp is all about using the raw materials available and providing a simple, high-quality, Nicaraguan experience.
- Untouched beach – situated on a very quiet beauty spot.
- Local pro-surfer instructors – provide a high level of coaching.
- Environmentally conscious – a place to visit with a good ethic.
- Contact – The range of information available online is limited. To know more about what they offer, and how they can provide a tailored experience for you, be sure to get in touch via email.
If you plan on learning to surf in Nicaragua or even just hope to hone your skills in a warm, beautiful environment, be sure to check out our handy buyers guide below. It consists of a number of things to consider as you look for the perfect surfing lessons for you.
If you’re traveling with a group of friends, or even family, it’s important to make sure that the surf lesson or school that you opt for can cater to everyone’s level of experience.
If your group’s experience varies from beginner to advanced, contact a few surf schools or camps to make sure that everyone will get exactly what they need from the experience. Likewise, not all surf schools or camps can cater to children, so if you’re traveling with family, make sure you opt for a self-proclaimed family-friendly surf lesson provider.
If you’re planning on traveling to Nicaragua from far away, it might be a good idea to choose an all-inclusive surf camp rather than stand-alone surf lessons. That way, your airport transfers, meals, accommodation, and surf lessons are all included in one handy package.
On the other hand, if you want more freedom as a tourist, just opting for surf lessons might be right for you. That way, you aren’t tied down to a particular area or hotel, and are free to explore wherever you desire!
Either way, it is necessary to factor in the cost of flights when you’re planning your trip. If your accommodation provides airport transfers at specific times, make sure that your flight arrives at an appropriate time!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Nicaragua Safe?
Generally, Nicaragua is safe for tourists as long as you keep an eye on your belongings, and travel in groups when it’s dark.
Also, surf camps tend to be in quite isolated, protected locations, and so are generally much safer than busier towns and cities.
Do I Need To Bring My Own Equipment?
No. All of the lessons and camps above provide all the equipment you will need to learn how to surf.
However, that doesn’t mean you cannot take your own equipment if you would prefer to use it. If you would like to take your own board, for instance, it is perfectly acceptable to do that.