Panama Surf School, Surf Camp Panama, Azucar Surf School- Waterways Travel Images

Panama Surf School, Surf Camp Panama, Azucar Surf School- Waterways Travel

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Until now, if you are like most surfers, you probably weren’t aware that the Caribbean coast of Panama had good surf. Bocas del Toro is a group of tropical islands on the east coast of Panama, a little slice of Indonesia or Tahiti with a Pana-Rastan, Caribbean flavor.  This is a new place to explore and a great place to learn to surf.

Located on the main island of Bocas Del Toro, the lodge is a fully renovated fan-cooled boat house with three separate accommodation cabinas.  The main common living and dining room is the original over- water boathouse which leads down to a private dock and covered rancho with hammocks for mid-day siestas or watching the sunset.

Previously an all-girls surf camp, by popular demand the operation was opened to one and all in 2007. Offering the original learn to surf program in addition to fully hosted surfing packages for more advanced surfers, this is an excellent option for anyone looking for a private retreat Caribbean getaway. The owners and operators Jessica and Mike ran a surf school in Hawaii for many years before relocating to Panama.  Their focus is on teaching proper techniques and giving guests a solid foundation to build upon wherever they go. Whether a group of 2 or 6+ Mike and Jessica host only one group at a time making this an perfect trip for couples or those looking for the highest level of personalized service.

This side of Panama has two distinct surf seasons: winter wet season is from November- March, when the waves can be the biggest, and the short summer season from June – August. These two periods are best for those looking for more advanced surf.  The remaining months of April, September and October generally have beautiful weather with small surf, but not matter what the swell brings, there is almost always a safe haven break for the Learn to Surf Clinic.  This is the tropics, located around 9° north of the equator, so air temperatures range from the 73 - 85° and water temperature is just about perfect – year around.

A typical day at Azucar begins early, because the weather is warm, the tropical birds are calling and so is the ocean. After a strong cup of coffee and healthy breakfast for fuel, it’s out to the local beach or gentle reef where easy waves break in warm water with hardly a soul around: a perfect situation for a beginning surfer who wants to learn how the ocean moves and how to move in it.

The morning surf session is followed by lunch and a lazy nap, then in the afternoon guests can surf again, or go off on any number of other adventures: spa treatments, yoga, a massage, snorkeling a coral reef, dolphin watching, a visit to the butterfly farm, or a jungle hike. If you have any energy left at the end of the day, there is fun casual nightlife in town where you can meet the locals and other travelers moving through Central America.

Rinse and repeat the following morning, or for the rest of your life.