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Nicaragua: THE SURF

Nicaragua is home to more than 30 volcanoes. The entire Pacific coast is notched like a jigsaw puzzle, full of nooks and crannies, rock structures, beaches and coves creating nearly every type of wave imaginable. There are peaky beach breaks, big offshore reefs, slabby rockpiles, river-mouths and points.

Nicaragua has a lot of surf potential, but a small 15 miles stretch known as the Popoyo Surf Zone is a must see surf destination. It offers year round deep-water swell and over 300 days a year of all day offshore winds.

The Popoyo Surf Zone is on the southwest coast and runs from Manzanillo in the south to Playgrounds in the north. It is to Nicaragua what the North Shore is to Oahu, or Punta Hermosa is to Peru.

Unlike Costa Rica to the south and the other breaks to the north in Nicaragua and El Salvador, the Popoyo Surf Zone is a miracle of points, beach and reef breaks that capture the power of the frequent south swells and adds an all day dose of offshore winds funneling in from Lake Nicaragua to create great surf.

The combination of tropical conditions, near constant offshore wind and deep-water swells means you will have plenty of chances to get barreled. The surf is typically shoulder to head high. There are 12+ quality breaks in the area and there is usually something fun for most skill levels. With the exception of powerful, “overhead plus swells and “pros only” days at the Outer Reef, most surfers ride their “everyday” board and bring a back-up that is a little bigger just in case.