The “Surfer’s Guide” To Enjoying San Juan del Sur (Even if You’re Not A Surfer)

I think you’ll agree with me when I say:

Surfing is one of the major attractions of the San Juan del Sur area.

But while I’m sure that many of you reading this do enjoy surfing, there will also be a group of you who have no interest in surfing at all.

Don’t worry, whatever your relationship to surfing, you’re in the right spot.

Here’s your “Surfer’s Guide” to enjoying San Juan del Sur – whether you’re a great surfer, you’re just starting out or you’re not interested in surfing at all.

If you’re a great surfer:

You already know about surfing. It’s in your soul. While we can’t tell you anything about the sport that you don’t already know, we can tell you that the surfing in San Juan del Sur is world class.

There are waves to suit all styles of surfing. The water is warm. The breaks are un-crowded, And best of all, the region receives an almost ever-present offshore wind which grooms the waves into perfect shapes.

Here’s a summary of what’s offer in the region.

  • Maderas –The most consistently clean break in the region but also the most crowded beach. Suitable for all levels of surfing on most days. Offers several peaks to choose from with both left and right breaks. Maderas will hold up to double overhead. Best at mid to high tide.
  • Remanso – Considered by locals to be a “beginners wave” but it can hold a large swell depending on swell size and direction. Best known for its left but there are rights to be had if you’re patient – including some long rides when conditions are right.
  • Hermosa – An over mile long sandy bottom beach. Multiple peaks with left and right breaks. Works best on a mid to high incoming tide. $3 per person entrance fee required to access beach.
  • El Yankee – Recommended for technically advanced surfers only. A hard fast wedge that surfers either love or fear. Much less frequented. Best at medium to high tide. Will hold up to overhead waves. $4 entrance fee required.


If you’re just starting out:

Practice makes perfect, right?

Well the practice of surfing is simple to describe. The instructions go something like this:

  1. Identify a wave.
  2. Get in position.
  3. Paddle hard.
  4. Paddle harder.
  5. Pop up.
  6. Enjoy the ride.

Of course these steps take a little practice. As with everything in life, the secret to getting better at surfing is to surf more.

The best advice we can give you is to take a couple of lessons with a local surf instructor. They’ll check the conditions, take you to the best spots to suit your level, help you choose a board, identify hazards to avoid on the ocean floor and provide you with the precise guidance you need to take you to the next level of surfing.

But more than that, a good surf instructor will get you standing up on your board. Stand up a couple of times and you’ll be hooked.

If you’re not interested in surfing:

Surfers don’t have a monopoly on blissful times in San Juan del Sur. But you may find fresh angles and ideas if you look at what surfers are doing and bring it to your own experience of the place.

Here’s what we mean:

1. Great joy comes from deep immersion in nature – Bobbing around on a surfboard in a giant ocean of blue is often enough to regain a sense of awe at the beauty of this world.

How you can apply it: Find other ways to get into the great Pacific. Possibly a boogie board, a stand up paddleboard (SUP) or even a sailing charter. Then stop what you are doing and look around.

Which leads us directly to the next point:

2. Feelings of tranquility and calmness come from being in the moment – Surfing has the ability of planting you in the moment and switching off the endless chatter of your mind.

How you can apply it: You can access the present moment at any time. Don’t think about what you’ll be doing later or what you should have done yesterday. Open your heart and mind to whatever you are doing right now, and you’ll have a great time.

3. Better health (and better sleep) come from challenging yourself physically – To be a good surfer you have to be physically strong.

How you can apply it: At the risk of stating the obvious, get your body moving.

Are you ready to drink the surfing Kool-aid?

Have we convinced you? If so, just contact us if you need help with incorporating surfing (or the spirit of surfing) into your vacation.