Popoyo Surf Spots

Located on the western coast of Nicaragua’s Costa Esmeralda lies a piece of surfing paradise. Popoyo is slowly making its mark in the world as a haven for natural beauty, tranquility, and unparalleled surfing with very few flat spells throughout its entire season. Created by the gaping space brought about by Lake Managua, the western coast of Nicaragua generates unparalleled off-shore conditions for the greater part of the year. That’s right. Out of 365 days, there are 300 or so days of offshore and pumping days.

Just 300 meters away from the break of Playa Santana lies Calalas Collaborative Hostel, strategically located for some of the best surfing in the world francepharmacie.fr. With over ten different surf spots either within walking distance or less than a 50-minute drive away, we can help you identify and explore the spot that is best for your skill level. To enjoy the waves, anywhere in the world, we recommend having a positive attitude and behaving according to the ocean safety standards and surf etiquette.

Popoyo Area

Playa Santana (Home Break)

Located just 900 feet from Calalas, Playa Santana is a highly consistent A-frame beach break with sand and rock bottom. This wave is fast and barrels. Often hollow, it starts to work at a swell size of 1 foot and holds perfectly up to 5 feet. On smaller days (3 feet or less), this wave is recommended for all skill levels, however, once it gets sizable (4 feet or more), it can get pretty heavy, and is recommended for experts only. You can go either left or right. On good days, you can ride up to 350-feet while on bad days when it’s small or mushy it’s more like a 150-feet ride.

Playa Rosada

Just walking distance from the beach break of Playa Santana, Playa Rosada sits by the mouth of El Limón river. It’s a fast and heavy beach break that is characterized by its wedge-like wave that breaks on shallow water. This wave is heavy and punishing, and recommended for experienced surfers only. Playa Rosada is located within a 10-minute walk south from Calalas.

Beginners Bay

On the south end of Popoyo, Beginner’s bay is where beginners and intermediates alike take their first shot at surfing. This spot is perfect for longboards and foamies. Located on a sheltered bay,  it’s a slow rolling left hander that extends all the way to the beach and is best when the water is from low to mid tide. At any time of the day, this spot is always breaking but is best accessed at a swell size of 3 foot or more. From Calalas it is a 15-minute walk away.

Popoyo Point Break

Perhaps Nicaragua’s most well-known surf spot and home to the 2015 annual International Surfing Association contest, Popoyo is known for its peeling lefthander that is super rippable. It’s approximately 30 minutes by foot or 5 minutes by car from Calalas. While the crowds aren’t as California crazy, in a place like Nicaragua, this spot is considered busy. The bottom is composed of sand and reef, so caution is advised. And due to the competitive atmosphere, it would be best if beginners kept their distance. It is 30 minutes on foot from Calalas, or you can ride a vehicle and be there in less than 5 minutes.

La Lejana

Popoyo’s little sister is located between the beauty (Popoyo) and the beast (Outer Reef). Less crowded than Popoyo but it needs a bit of swell to start working properly. It can be really fun and a good alternative for intermediates in the middle size days and also it is a good place for longboarders.

Popoyo Outer Reef

Attracting big wave surfers all over the world, Outer Reef is Popoyo’s big wave spot. It’s 400 meters from shore so the paddle out can take quite a while. It can hold sizes of up to 10-meter faces with a tremendous wall and a serious force to reckon with. Not to be toyed around, but this wave can cause severe pounding, not to mention, the rocky bottom. Like Popoyo Point Break, all the waves in this area are also 30 minutes on foot or 5 minutes by car

La Piedrita

100 feet towards the north of Popoyo point lies La Piedrita. While not quite as forgiving and rippable as its more famous neighbor, La Piedrita is a hollow, heavy, right-hand slab. The take off is steep and immediate but the ride is quick and you’ll get barrelled off your hinges. La Piedrita is the most hollow wave in Popoyo and clearly not for beginners.


Guasacate is the most accessible spot in Popoyo, located just north of Rio Nagualapa. It’s approximately 45 minutes by foot or 10 minutes by car from Calalas. As a beach break, the peak can change frequently. Rides are long, about 150-400 feet, and you can go either left or right. Its accessibility can result in high crowd levels, especially if you’re looking for peace and quiet, but mostly, everyone is mellow and there are numerous peaks to choose from. It’s a fickle wave and one of the few waves that break in season from May – October.

Adjacent Surf Spots around Popoyo


The plethora of surfing around Popoyo is unmissable. Within 20 to 40 minutes of Calalas by car, you can access even more world class breaks. After Popoyo, Colorado is another spot with worldwide acclaim. It is located on a private beach, but you can also get there by hitting the walk from the nearby town of Gigante or go by boat. Colorado is a hollow, barreling right-hander, with a near perfect consistency. This spot is a gem in the surfing world.

Panga Drops

While most Nicaraguan waves are known for their fast takeoffs, and hollow tubes, Panga Drops is more of a shifty and sectiony wave that offers the perfect training ground for hacks, carves, and airs. Due to the deep-water horseshoe reef, which creates a softer, less intense wave, Panga Drops can be ridden by all levels in the right conditions.


Having "fun wave" withdrawals.. Got spoiled in Nicaragua last week ??

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Aptly named Playgrounds for its long rides and ultra-rippable waves, this spot is a favorite because it can accommodate a large enough crowd and beginners and experts a like. Similar to California’s Lower Trestles, you can actually go right or left on this wave, but be careful though as the bottom is all rocks.

El Astillero

Located right in front of a river mouth, this wave can get pretty hollow given the right swell size and direction. Wind conditions are pretty consistent year-round. This wave is best surfed from mid to high tide and like most waves in Nicaragua, it also gets pretty hollow at overhead to double overhead. Since it’s an isolated and quiet spot, there have been incidences of petty theft. Always keep your belongings in a safe place!

El Peñón / Lances Left

A long left-hand point break, located in the town of El Astillero, the ride at El Peñon (also known as Lances Left to most foreigners) can reach up to a pretty long ride from takeoff to kick out. It can work at any tide but is best from mid to low tide. It is best accessed by boat due to the strong currents and the long paddle out required to reach the peak. While some intrepid surfers try to shortcut their way to the line up by traversing and jumping off the rocks, it’s ill-advised as it can be dangerous, especially if you are new to the area or an intermediate surfer.


funnie days

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A sandy-bottomed beach break with both left and right rides, Chacocente is equally known as an Egg-laying ground for sea turtles. A quiet spot, but kind of inconsistent. Best at low tide for quick and hollow barrels but rideable at all tides.

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