Picture perfection. Photo: Cory Grandfield.

Words by Craig Grandfield.

A surf trip to Central America with eight travel partners possesses the potential to be a stressful experience. In addition to the hassles of traveling with such a big group — Where you wanna eat? How are we all fitting in that cab? Etc. — there’s always the possibility of getting skunked. However, our positive outlooks, southern Nicaragua’s consistent offshore winds and plenty of rideable swell ensured great times for the crew!


Room with a view. Photo: Wes Johnson.

We headed straight to Playa Jiquiliste, known better as Santana. With $10 beds and a barreling beach break out front, we were set! The waves breaks mainly at high tide, and is consistent with a small to medium swell.  If it’s low tide with a swell bigger than 3 feet, you can walk around a point and get a rocky lefthand pointbreak called Rosadas. Just north, there is an amazing hostel called Magnific Rock and a reef break called Popoyo — a very consistent A-frame. This place can get very crowded when there isn’t much swell elsewhere. But honestly, there are so many great waves in the area that I could write for pages.


Craig Grandfield off the top. Photo: Ryan Kenny

Another favorite place on our trip was Gigante, a small town with several American run businesses that are good to the locals. The food is a bit more expensive, but the key is its short proximity to my favorite wave, Colorados. It’s a barreling beachbreak with both lefts and rights, but on a solid swell, the lefts are all-time.


Wes Johnson getting some shade. Photo: Cory Grandfield.


Craig Grandfield, tunnel vision. Photo: Cory Grandfield.

Up the beach is a more playful wave called Panga Drops, which holds some size even on the small swells and can nearly always be ridden on a longboard. If you choose the right wave, you’re riding for about a minute all the way to the beach!


Craig banking off the bottom on a small-but-fun day. Photo: Cory Grandfield.

After the rest of the crew departed except for me and my lady, we traveled to Hotel Chancletas, which was most recently written about in the last “Local Sessions” magazine. The wave is called The Boom, due to the sound it makes all day and night as it slams into the sand. It constantly barrels left and right and breaks fairly close to the beach. The only unfortunate thing is that you have to get it at high tide and in the morning, as the wind can pick up fierce and onshore here… forcing you to spend the rest of your day either sitting in hammocks or fishing. Rough life!


Pacific sunset. Photo: Cory Grandfield.

Nicaragua is cheap, consistent, and growing in popularity.  I would try to get there sooner rather than later — you can’t beat uncrowded surf and offshore winds all day!


Nicaragua: A land of picturesque set-ups. Photo: Wes Johnson.


Local transport. Photo: Cory Grandfield.


The backyard. Photo: Cory Grandfield.


Hangin’ loose is easy in Nica! Photo: Cory Grandfield.

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