The Location: On the southwest coast of Nicaragua, you’ll find a funky little beach town called San Juan Del Sur, where the streets have no names, the surfers practice yoga, and fruit vendors hawk mangos and avocados; two for 20 cents. Take the dirt road six miles north of town to Playa Maderas, a small low-key beach with one of the most beloved surf breaks in Central America.
The Activity: Surfing
Playa Maderas is blessed with the most consistent surf in southern Nicaragua (think 300+ days of offshore winds), and a fun, versatile beach break. The inside section has a re-form that’s perfect for beginners, and an outside section that caters to experienced surfers with both lefts and rights, and hollow tubes on many of the swells. Medium to high tide will get you the best waves, but thanks to the area’s topography and the offshore winds, there are good waves to be had at any time of day.
What Else to Do: It’s a blast to stay in San Juan Del Sur, but the drive down the dirt road can be an adventure in itself, especially during the rainy season, when the steep hill just before the beach turns into a mudslide. Consider staying at Playa Maderas, which has its own small community that includes a few restaurants (don’t miss the fish tacos at Taco Locos, located right on the beach), bars, rental villas and casitas, a hostel with a surf shop, several eco-lodges, and a boutique resort.
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