A number of our surf destinations here at Errant Surf are lucky enough to boost up to and over 300 days of sunshine per year, but not many can stake a claim to the fact that they are on the receiving end of 300+ days of consistent offshore winds every year! A well-planned trip to Nicaragua, with its untapped beaches and world-class peeling point breaks, powerful beach breaks, slabby reef barrels and every wave in between, can take you right back to the heyday of surf exploration the likes of California and Baja in the 70’s.
With our selection of new partners now available in Nicaragua here are a few things you should know before you go!
Visas & Tourist Cards
Citizens of many countries (including Britain) can visit Nicaragua for a period of up to 3 months without a visa, although (however unlikely) you may be refused entry if do not have an onward or return journey planned, or if your passport is not valid for a minimum of 6 months from the date of your arrival.
When you do arrive in Nicaragua, you will be required to purchase a tourist card as you pass through customs. These cost US$10 which is payable only in cash, and is valid for 3 months
Currency & Customs
The local currency in Nicaragua is the Nicaraguan Córdoba, you will be able to withdraw this from the cash machines for a small charge. Alternatively pretty much everywhere in Nicaragua also accepts US dollars which the cash machines will also dispense, so the choice is yours.
It is also worth noting that tipping for the service in restaurants, cafes, bars etc. is customary in Nicaragua, normally around 10-15% will be very welcome and help get that extra smile from the friendly locals
Travelling with Surfboards
If you are heading out to find some big swells then you may want to bring more than one board with you, just in case. It is worth bearing in mind that you are limited to bringing 3 boards into Nicaragua for personal use, any more you bring will be considered imports and you will be charged around US$100 per additional board.
Some other equipment we recommend adding to your packing list includes:
- Spare leash, fins and a tube of sun cure in case your board has a run in with the reef.
- Sun Cream and Zinc, the sun in Nicaragua is very strong, don’t get caught out on the first few days and regret it for the rest of your trip.
- Backup, Backup surf wax; despite Nicaragua’s incredible surf, it’s not the kind of place where you can pop into the local surf shop on your way to the beach, our tip: assume you won’t find a surf shop out there and pack accordingly.
When to Go?
The Dry Season
If the sun is as important and the surf for your trip you’re best heading out from Late November through until April. This marks the dry season in Nicaragua where the wind is reliably (and almost constantly) Offshore, and the swell drops off slightly giving way to some mellower surf and cleaner conditions, making it the perfect time of year for learning….
Top Tip! – If you can, It is best to plan your trip around the week leading up to Easter. In Nicaragua this is the Semana Santa or Holy Week, which can see thousands of Nicaraguans heading for a holiday at the beach.
The ‘Wet’ Season
From May through until November is Nicaragua’s’ wet season (with September and October being the wettest months), or for the optimistic the ‘Green’ season, where the exotic jungle surroundings are incredibly lush and green. The rain, particularly in southern Nicaragua, is often light and does tend to pass over pretty quickly, but with the biggest and most consistent swells hitting the Pacific coast during this time and most of the crowds opting for the dryer months, this can be the perfect time to hunt down those perfect points and reef breaks you’ve heard so much about with almost empty lineups.
“The whispers are on the rise!”
You may not have heard much about Nicaragua as a top surf destination yet, but you are sure to soon and to quote our partners in Miramar “The whispers are on the rise!” so get in touch with us here at Errant Surf and start planning your unforgettable Nicaraguan surf trip before the rest of the crowds.