Learn to Surf in Panama! (Beginner and intermediate levels)

Surfers represent a diverse culture based on riding the waves. Some people practice surfing as a recreational activity while others make it the central focus of their lives.  For those who currently surf, or wish to learn to surf, Panama offers to the surfing enthusiast two oceans from which to choose, the Atlantic and Pacific. This allows locals and visitors to take advantage of currently weather and wave conditions, not to mention that some of the most popular surf spots are within an hour or two from the cosmopolitan Panama City.

Day 1 – Welcome to Panama!

Today at the appropriate time an EcoCircuitos guide will be meet you at the Tocumen International Airport to assist and transfer you to your hotel located in Panama City. You will also receive an EcoCircuitos information kit. Once you arrive to your hotel, please check. Your transfer will take 25-30 minutes approximately.

Day 2 – Surfing the Pacific

After breakfast you will be transferred to El Palmar Beach located an hour and 15 minutes away from Panama City in San Carlos, Panama. It is one of the most renowned surf spots on the Pacific Coast of Panama and features waves ideal for both beginners and advanced surfers. The lessons are designed to teach you the fundamentals of surfing. Whether you have never surfed before or tried a couple times, professional instructors will teach you the secrets to speedy progress while having lots of fun.   This course starts with on the beach instruction. Then you will hit the water with an instructor, who will guide you through the different techniques to help you catch and ride waves on your own. Surfboards are included and we have special boards for beginners. Lodging will be in a hotel nearby, (B,L)

 Day 3 – Surfing the Pacific Part 2

After breakfast you will be heading to one of the several surf spots of Rio Mar or another nearby surfing spot to continue with your surfing lessons. Rio Mar suits beginners and surfers of all levels. There are consistent beach breaks – lefts and rights, and a world class right point break. Other breaks close are within 15 minute driving distance. Transfers to other surf spots are available upon request. At the appropriate time in the afternoon, you will be transferred to your hotel in Panama City. Hotel in the City, (B,L)

 Day 4 – Caribbean Coast of Bocas del Toro Archipelago

Early in the morning you will be transferred to Albrook domestic airport for an one-hour flight to the Bocas del Toro Archipelago located in the Caribbean of West Panama near the border of Costa Rica and has become an outdoor lover’s paradise. Surfing in Bocas Del Toro, is different from surfing in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Nicaragua or other places in Central America. The surf here is island/reef surf, similar to what a surfer might find in the South Pacific or Indian Ocean. Upon your arrival, you will be pick up by our representative and transferred to you hotel. After lunch in the afternoon, you will have a yoga class with a certified instructor to get ready for your upcoming surfing adventures. After yoga you can organize a tour or activity to get to know the Bocas area. Depending on the time we may be able to sneak in a quick visit to a nearby beach. Hotel in the area, (B,L).

Day 5 & 6 – Bocas del Toro Archipelago

After breakfast you will meet your surf instructor that will give you a theory class about surfing Bocas del Toro. The instructor will explain to you all different wave details including where the peak and channel are. According to your level, stance and personal preference the instructor will select the most suitable spot for your session. All sessions include theory class, bilingual certified teacher, surfboard, rash guard and transport to and from the break. Hotel in the area, (B,L).

Day 7 – Return to Panama City-Full Day City Tour

In the morning you will be transferred to the Bocas local airport for your flight back to Panama City. Upon arrival an EcoCircuitos representative will take you on a tour to visit the ruins of Old Panama and continue to Casco Antiguo (the old city compound), which dates from the late 1600’s.
A bilingual historical guide will describe the events in history leading up to the movement of the capital city founded by Pedrarias to its present location. Casco Antiguo is home to monuments of Ferdinand de Lesseps and other important historical Frenchmen that attempted to construct a canal through Panama. The full day tour continues with a visit to the Miraflores Locks at the Panama Canal where large ships can be seen transiting the Canal.
Enjoy a presentation by the Panama Canal Authority about the history of the Panama Canal and marvel at the workings of this feat of human engineering. Lunch will be served at a local restaurant. The tour will continue to the Panama Canal area, including the town of Balboa, formerly part of the Panama Canal Zone. In the late afternoon you will return to your hotel in Panama City. Hotel in the City,(B,L).

Day 8 – Departure

At the appropriate time, you will be transferred to the International Tocumen Airport for your departure. (B)

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Where to Surf in Panama, Central America

Surfers represent a diverse culture based on riding the waves. Some people practice surfing as a recreational activity while others make it the central focus of their lives.  For those who currently surf, or wish to learn to surf, Panama offers to the surfing enthusiast two oceans from which to choose, the Atlantic and Pacific. This allows locals and visitors to take advantage of currently weather and wave conditions, not to mention that some of the most popular surf spots are within an hour or two from the cosmopolitan Panama City.

We want to let you know about the most popular surf spots in Panama, we have listed below those areas that are most frequently visited. Once there, you will not only be able to enjoy the waves, but the natural beauty that surrounds them.

Chepillo: This beach is located on the island with the same name, and is near the capital. The waves break left over a
rock face. Generally speaking one can expect good waves and swells here.
You have to take a launch from the city or drive to the port of Chepo, from which point you have to take a small launch to the island. There are no facilities available for those interested in staying on the island.
Malibu: Located in Gorgona, and it has some of the best waves on the western portion of the Panama Province. The sandbar that exists here creates impressive tubes that break to the right. Very fast waves with force, thus it is not recommended for those venturing out for the first time. To arrive you have to drive on the sand, which requires a 4×4 vehicle. There are no facilities available here.

Serena: Situated in Coronado Beach, this spot is known for it’s right breaks and spectacular tubes. When there are good swells one can expect to see 4-6 ft. waves.  The waves tend to break to the right after hitting a rock wall.  Great for long boards.
Teta: This spot is preferred by many Panamanians for it’s excellent waves. The point breaks over a rocky bottom, and produces both right and left breaks; this varies depending on the wind and water current. With adequate conditions, Teta can produce great waves. It’s located in Punta Barco, after Coronado.

El Palmar: One of the favorites surf spots for families and beginners.   Situated in the western portion of the Panama Province. The waves here can reach 7-8 feet, and can have  considerable force, however, the face will accommodate both beginners and those with more experience. It is located at the beach with the same name.  There are several surfing schools in the area.

Rio Mar: This  used to be  a popular beach spot not only for surfers, and as the same as with  Malibu, there are usually constant waves. The point breaks over a rocky bottom, which produces a very large right break. It is located at the beach with the same name.  It could be hard to reach due to the over development in the area.
Playa Venao: One of the most famous surf spots in Panama, as this particular spot has held numerous international surf competitions. It’s located in the Los Santos Province, and enjoys very impressive scenery. Waves of 8-10 ft. are not uncommon. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.  We recommend EcoVenao.
Guanico: Situated in the town of Cambutal, Los Santos Province. Much like Playa Venao, there is a beach break with various peaks, many of which can generate waves of 6-8 feet. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.

Cambutal: Also located in the Province of Los Santos , but after Tonosi. A rocky bottom produces a wide variety of waves, oscillating between 4-11 ft.

Playa Mariato: Situated in the province of Veraguas, en route to the historical town of Atalaya. There are numerous surf spots here, some producing waves easily up to 5-7 ft.in height. There are several lodging options to enjoy a good weekend stay.

Santa Catalina:  This is one of the most popular surfing spots in Panama.   World class surfing and considered one of the best waves of Central and South America. About one hour from the town of Sona, located in the Province of Veraguas. Breaking on a rocky bottom, it has earned the reputation for producing tremendous, perfect tubes that may reach 20 ft. Surfers worldwide have visited this beach. There are several establishments that provide all the services necessary to enjoy a good weekend stay.
Isla Grande: Situated in the Colon Province, this tropical beach enjoys a typical Caribbean wave, which breaks over a coral bottom. Located on the right side of the island, just in front of a cabina style hotel, this island is a popular island getaway for Panamanians on weekends and holidays.  Don’t miss the amazing Caribbean food of the islands.
Dumper: Can be found on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, Panama’s most popular tourist destination. The wave breaks perfectly to the right, allowing surfers to enjoy incredible tubes. One must take a taxi or ride a bike from the town of Bocas. There is nothing else around this surf area.

Bluff: Also be found on Isla Colon, Bocas del Toro, but much closer to Bocas town and can be accessed right off the road. With a sandy bottom, right and left breaks are the norm, some of which can be quite strong. It is a strong shore break, as there is not much depth here. It is a perfect place to practice bodyboard.

Let us organize your surfing adventure.  Let us know about your interest and if you are an avid surfer or want to learn how to ride waves.  We can organize an itinerary for your including great lodging options, surfing classes and boards rentals.
For more info, please check: http://www.ecocircuitos.com or call us at (507) 315-1488