Panama Surf Vacations

Book Your Surf Trip to Panama

If you’re planning a surf trip to Panama, you’ve come to the right place.

Panama is a great destination for a surf vacation.

Like it’s more popular Central American neighbor, Costa Rica, Panama has a wide variety of high quality, warm water surf spots and beautiful scenery for surfers of every experience level to enjoy.

Whether you’re going solo, with a friend, or with your family, you’re sure to have a memorable trip.

You’re sure to find some good waves for surfers of all levels – from beginner to expert.

This page is your guide to planning the best surf trips in Panama. You’ll find information about where to stay, where to surf, best times to go, and more!

What are you waiting for? Book your trip!

Top Destinations for a Panama Surf Vacation

If you’re not sure exactly where you want to stay and surf in Panama, some of the best destinations for a fun surf trip include:

  1. Bocas del Toro
  2. Chiriqui
  3. Los Santos Province
  4. Santa Catalina

Surfing in Panama: What to Expect

Here’s what you need to know about the surfing in Panama.

With a curvy, varied coast line on both the Pacific and Caribbean sides of the country, there is no shortage of surf spots here.

You’ll find everything from point breaks, reefs, and beach breaks all ranging from hollow barrels to mellow peelers.

Much of the country remains unexplored, or at least undocumented, in terms of surfing – so if you’re looking for a more adventurous surf trip with empty waves, Panama may be one of your best choices.

When is the best season to visit Panama for a surf trip?

On the Pacific coast, the best season for surfing is from about April to Novemember.

The Caribbean coast has its best surf from December through March.

However, you can still find fun waves year-round on either side.

Do you need a wetsuit to surf in Panama?

Panama has a warm climate all year long. The water doesn’t really drop below 80°F.

You will not need a wetsuit to surf here. Though a rash guard or top is always smart for sun protection.

Bocas del Toro Surf Vacations

Bocas del Toro is another one of the best destinations for your Panama surf trip.

Where to Stay in Bocas del Toro

Some great places for surfers to stay in Bocas del Toro include:

  • Somewhere Hotel.
  • Selina Surf Red Frog Surf Camp.
  • Selina Surf Club Isla Colon.
  • Nowhere Hotel.
  • Saigon Bay Bed and Breakfast.

Where to Surf in Bocas del Toro

Located on the Caribbean side, Bocas del Toro has some of the best spots in the country when the swell is right.

Some great spots for surfing here include Playa Bluff and Red Frog Beach.

There’s also no shortage of surf camps and guides in this area.

Chiriqui Surf Vacations

Chiriqui is one of the best destinations for your Panama surf trip.

Where to Stay & Surf in Chiriqui

Surfers may enjoy staying at the Surfer Paradise Surf Camp when visiting Chiriqui.

Located on the south coast near Costa Rica, this region has a lot of natural landscape and surf to be explored.

Near David, Playa Las Lajas is a good beach break that offers a good mix of waves.

Boat tours to the small islands nearby can also help you find some excellent waves.

Los Santos Province Surf Vacations

Los Santos Province is also one of the best destinations for your Panama surf trip.

Where to Stay in Los Santos Province

Some good places to stay include:

  • Selina Surf Club at Playa Venao.
  • Beach Break Surf Camp and Hotel.
  • Club Venao Hotel.
  • El Ranchito Surf Camp.
  • La Choza Hostel.
  • Samsara Surf and Yoga Resort.
  • Surf Camp Guanico.
  • Venao Cove Hostel.

Where to Surf in Los Santos Province

Here you’ll find a good mix of river mouths, point breaks, beach breaks, and reefs.

Popular beginner spots here include:

  • Cambutal.
  • Playa Venao.
  • Boca de Oria.

There is something here for every level of surfer.

Santa Catalina Surf Vacations

Santa Catalina is another one of the best destinations for your Panama surf trip.

Where to Stay in Santa Catalina

Some good places to stay in Santa Catalina include:

  • Vista Coiba Hotel.
  • Santa Catalina Panama Hotel.
  • Las Hamacas Hotel and Surf Camp.

Where to Surf in Santa Catalina

Some of the best spots in this area can be found very close to the town of Santa Catalina itself.

Popular spots include the town’s main point, Estero beach, and spots around Isla Cebaco.

Airports in Panama

The main international airport you can use to travel to and from Panama is Panama-Tocumen International Airport located in Panama City.

If you’re flying with surfboards, be sure to compare the airline baggage fees before you book.

Travel Insurance for your Panama Surf Trip

It’s always a smart choice to get insurance before any surf trip.

Depending on the package and coverage you choose, you can be covered for things like:

  • Major and minor injuries.
  • Transportation to the hospital.
  • Emergency services.

Check the full description and disclosures of your travel insurance policy to make sure you get the right coverage for you and your trip.

Tips for Having the Best Surf Trip to Panama

Making sure your have the best surf trip no matter where you go or what the conditions are like when you get there comes down to some simple planning and preparation. Use these tips to make the most of your Panama surf trip:

  • If you’re flying with your own surfboards, make sure you pack them securely in a good surfboard travel bag.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months from when you’re traveling, and that you’ve satisfied any visa requirements that Panama may have for travelers from your country of origin well before you leave for your trip.
  • Where a decent surfing sunscreen no mater where you go and use extra sun protection like surf hats, wetsuit tops, or rash guards if you’re visiting a warm water destination that won’t require a wetsuit.
  • If you’re uncertain about a wave or conditions you encounter, don’t risk a serious injury by surfing well beyond your abilities. Ask a local or find a wave more suited to your skills.
  • Be respectful of the local community, other surfers you meet, and the local environment.
  • Be mindful of the environmental and cultural impacts your travel may have on the places you visits. Consider how you can make your surf travel more sustainable.
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