Not a fan of hostels, but eager to travel to one of the biggest surf spots in the world? You came to the right guide. At Playa Maderas you can surf at sunrise, mid-day, afternoon and nighttime. Wave-consistency is the best thing about this place.
To surf at Playa Maderas in Nicaragua can really help you work on your surfing skills. The wave-consistency allows you to keep your focus and get better in battling the waves. Surf, eat, sleep, repeat. In this guide you will get tips on how to get the perfect surfing experience at Playa Maderas in Nicaragua.
Surfing at Playa Maderas
If you have a little interest for surfing, no matter the level, plus you wanna see pro-surfers in action and have great waves to surf on all day long, you should visit Playa Maderas in Nicaragua. This is one of the many destinations pro-surfers from all around the world travel to, especially the best ones in Central America. The reason is mainly because the breaks and waves are both bigger, better and more consistent here. Plus it is one of the cheapest destinations in Central America.
You can stay on the beach at one of the hostels or rent your own house just a few minutes walking from the beach. The most savage ones bring a tent and sleep on the beach. If you are one of them, remember that the tide is pretty unpredictable and changes a lot from day to night. Make sure you know if it will go from high to low og low to high during the night, before you go to sleep. Nobody wants to wake up in a soaking wet tent…
The seasons in Nicaragua are pretty much the same as Costa Rica. The peak season is from November to April, with no rain and perfect waves for both beginners and pro’s. In April/May it’s perfect surfing conditions for advanced surfers, but it can be a little dangerous for beginners. Take precautions and listen to the locals at Playa Maderas, they know the ocean. September and October is rain season, which means you can experience some massive tropical rainstorms.
Where to eat and drink
- Excellent seafood at Donna Chilio, Playa Marsella . You will need to ask locals at Playa Maderas or Marsella about this place to be able to find it. It’s like being invited home to a Nicaraguan family for dinner. The mother of the kitchen uses her time properly in the kitchen to make the perfect meal, but the wait is definitely worth it. One of the most memorable seafood meals I’ve ever had.
- For lunch, fresh juices or just a snack on the beach, go to Maderas Sunset, Playa Maderas
- Ice coffee shake at day, Italian pizza at night at Pueblo, Playa Maderas
- Lunch at Del Barrio, SJDS
- Ice coffee at El Gato Negro, SJDS
- Nicaragua is the country of passion fruit! You find many different types of passion fruit, and fresh squeezed juices everywhere
Beaches to explore in San Juan del Sur region
- Playa Maderas – pretty crowded surf beach. One of the best surf points around San Juan Del Sur. Magnificent sunsets with the famous shark tale.
- Playa Mathilda (Maderas) – more tranquil beach further right on Playa Maderas, about 10 minutes walking. You can find a place to be alone and it feels like you are on a deserted beach. You are closer to the shark tale and the sunset is just stunning!
- Playa Marsella – big beach about 15 minuets walk from Playa Maderas. Just one place to buy something to drink, so make sure to bring water. Beautiful sunrise.
- Playa La Flor – the turtle beach of Rivas. Huge, elongated beach, you need to pay around 20 córdoba to park here, but it is for the people working to protect the area and the turtles. Come early in the morning to see turtles (maybe), but you will definitely find prints and holes. Just a side note, there is no beach bars here, so don’t plan a whole day without bringing food and drinks
- Playa El Coco – more crowded, family beach with two beach bars. When you visit Playa La Flor it’s perfect to drive here for lunch.
What to do besides surfing
- Visit Ometepe Island – a beautiful Island in Lago Nicaragua with two active volcanoes
- Visit the cool and chill HulaKai Hotel. Its located about 10 minuets walking up the hill from Playa Maderas. You can pay 10$ for a day pass and chill here all day. They offer great food and drinks, good Wi-Fi (which is not common in this area) and a spectacular view of Playa Maderas from the pool.
- A day in San Juan del Sur where you can visit Auric Surf Shop that sells cool, authentic beach wear for men and women, made in Nicaragua
- Visit the biggest city of the region, Rivas. It’s about one hour drive from Playa Maderas surf spot.
- Get a ride to different surfing beaches with O’Shop San Juan del Sur
- Every Tuesday and Friday the fruit truck comes to Playa Maderas with fresh fruit and vegetables. Do your grocery shopping for the week – it is always better than the supermarket.
Where to dance
Playa Maderas may seem like a place for backpackers who like to surf and party, but it’s absolutely no party beach. After dark you can get a drink down at the beach, but before midnight it’s closed everywhere. Yet Playa Maderas Surf can make your day joyful.
Go to Hulakai Hotel on Tuesday’s for Taco Tuesday – tasty food, music and dance performances and good vibes!
To dance and party you need to go to SJDS – Lost in Translation play good music Thursdays and Fridays (hip hop, reggae and R’n’B).
Where to stay in Playa Maderas, Nicaragua
We had a perfect stay in our little tree house at Playa Maderas. It’s just 3 minutes walking to Playa Maderas, but you have your own little tranquil place that you can retreat to after a day of surfing. Nicaragua is known for almost just offering hostels, especially at surf spots like Playa Maderas, so this place is pretty unique.
Nicaragua is not as well developed as other countries in Central America, so don’t expect good Wi-Fi everywhere. The electricity disappears sometimes at night and will not be back until noon the day after. But that’s life sometimes when you live in the jungle…