Surf trip in Nicaragua
7-day surf camp in San Juan del Sur
We believe that you should experience an authentic surf journey. During this week, you will get the chance to dive deep into the world of surfing, like no other place on earth.
- Exclusive villa for our groups of 12 surfers, with panoramic views on the Pacific
- Some of the world’s most consistent quality waves for beginners & intermediates
- Walk to cafes, restaurants and beach bars
- 330+ days of “offshore” wind, creating extremely fun and clean waves
- Learn to surf with members of the National Surf Team
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Every day is a new adventure around San Juan del Sur. Explore these amazing surf beaches:
- Maderas beach
- Hermosa beach
- Remanzo beach
- Possibility of surfing other beaches, depending on surf conditions
Personalized surf program
for your level
On all surf trips
Level 1: beginner surf coaching
Never tried surfing before? Or have you tried a few times, taking a few lessons here and there? If you still need to master basic techniques, this surf coaching level is for you.
Level 2: intermediate surf coaching
Have you been surfing for many weeks, months or years? Can you paddle through the white water and catch unbroken waves by yourself? This coaching will take your surfing to the next level.
Is this surf trip for me?
Your surfing level
- You have never surfed and want to learn the right way, in a safe environment
- You have tried surfing a few times & you want to master the basic techniques
- You are an intermediate surfer looking to progress & bring your surfing to the next level
- You’re looking for consistent, quality waves in a tropical climate
- You want to learn how to coach yourself to improve your future surf sessions
San Juan del Sur is the perfect village to get immersed in the surf lifestyle with its beach bars, great food, breathtaking sunsets and tons of things to do.
- You are a lone traveller, travelling with friends, or as a couple
- You’re looking for tropical weather & surf beaches with sand bottom
- You enjoy having access to great restaurants, cafes and beach bars
- Average traveller age: 25 – 55
Our Surf Program is specifically designed to develop your surfing skills rapidly, so you can enjoy the thrill of riding on a wave as soon as possible. Combine our 10+ years of professional surf training, local coaches from Nicaragua’s National Team, and some of the best beaches for beginners & intermediates, and you get the perfect recipe for your progression and enjoyment in the water.
- 5 personalized surf lessons, 2:1 student/coach ratio
- 5 surf workshops – theory & technique
- Professional surf videos sent to your email
- Surf clinics including technique analysis with your surf videos
- Coaches from the National Surf Team
You will be living in a luxurious 7-bedroom villa, exclusive for our group of 12 surfers. Picture yourself switching off your phone, giving in to the simple life surrounded by lush tropical forest and the ocean.
- Exclusive villa for 12 surfers only
- Spacious & chic rooms for 1, 2 or 3 travellers maximum
- 10-minute walk to San Juan del Sur’s cafes, restaurants & beach bars
- Large infinity pool overlooking the Pacific
- Spacious common areas, kitchen, air conditioning & Wifi
Lifestyle & Yoga
- Fresh, healthy breakfast every morning
- 2 group dinners
- Transportation to different surf beaches
- Private airport shuttles
- 2 X restorative yoga sessions
If you wish to maximize your experience by surfing quality waves, San Juan del Sur is where you want to be. The beaches are a dream playground for beginner and intermediate surfers. This is one of the few (if not only) places in the world that almost guarantees both good waves and offshore winds for more than 300 days of the year.
In addition to uncrowded and consistent surf conditions, you can feel safe knowing that you are gliding above a sandy ocean floor.
Every day, you will benefit from our team’s local knowledge and surf the optimal surf spot according to the daily conditions. We consistently find great waves for beginners and intermediates, thanks to the many surf spots surrounding the village.
Waves are usually between 2 – 4 feet high from December to April, and 3 – 6 feet high outside those months. Wave size and power strongly depend on the surf spots. Our surf guides will make sure to take you to the best spot for your level.
If you wish to maximize your experience by surfing quality waves, San Juan del Sur is where you want to be. The beaches are a dream playground for beginner and intermediate surfers. This is one of the few (if not only) places in the world that almost guarantees both good waves and offshore winds for more than 300 days per year.
In addition to epic, uncrowded and consistent surf conditions, you can feel safe knowing that you are gliding above a sandy ocean floor.
Every day, you will benefit from our team’s local knowledge and surf the optimal surf spot according to the daily conditions. What makes San Juan del Sur such a great surfing destination is that the village is surrounded by many surf spots. You can consistently find great waves for beginners and intermediates.
Waves are usually between 2 – 4 feet high from December to April, and 3 – 6 feet high outside those months. Wave size and power depend strongly on the surf spots. Our surf guides will make sure to bring you at the right spot for your level.
Things to do in San Juan del Sur
Take a five hour Catamaran (All you can drink/eat) cruise along the southern coast of Nicaragua, and try your hand at snorkelling.
Improve your breath and flexibility. Yoga is the perfect compliment to surfing (2 yoga sessions included).
The longest canopy tour of Nicaragua is located in San Juan del Sur. It offers 2.5 km of zipline.
San Juan Del Sur
Through the years, San Juan has held on to it’s unique cultural charm. Enjoy amazing food, friendly locals, and marvel at the majesty of the world’s second largest Jesus statue.
Improve your breath and flexibility. Yoga is the perfect compliment to surfing (2 yoga sessions included).
San Juan del Sur
Through the years, San Juan has held on to it’s unique cultural charm. Enjoy amazing food, friendly locals, legendary parties, and marvel at the majesty of the world’s second largest Jesus statue.
FAQs | Surf & Lifestyle
To give you an idea, about 80% of our guests are between 25 and 55 years old, with the most significant concentration being in their 30's and 40's. This is, on average, each trip is a bit different.
We are firm believers that age is just a number! If you are under 25 or over 55, you are certainly welcome in our retreats. What is important to our organization is to be transparent in the type of experience we deliver. Our guests come to focus on their surfing progression and to have a great time. Some of them enjoy a beer or a cocktail at sunset and might go out once or twice during the retreat, but if you are looking for a place to party all week, this is not the right experience for you.
Unless you don't know how to swim or if you wouldn't be comfortable swimming at least 40 meters without a floating device, you can join our coaching retreats in Costa Rica, Nicaragua or Bali. For the Mentawais and the Maldives, only intermediate level surfers will be able to enjoy those experiences.
Predicting surfing conditions is a bit like predicting the weather, we can only have a good idea of what the waves will be like a few days before a retreat. Therefore we can not guarantee you that waves will be a certain size or shape on any specific week, months in advance. This being said, your chances of getting quality surf are very high as each surf season is specifically chosen according to average surfing conditions. Since we opened in 2012, we have not had one "flat day"!
We avoid opening during the rainiest months and choose the best surf spots around, according to your level. For example, if the waves are big, we will take you to a bay or a sheltered break, where the waves are smaller and conditions are safer.
If you are an intermediate surfer:
For Bali and Costa Rica: there are plenty of quality surfboards on-site, and they are included in your package. Whether you want a longboard, funboard, fish or a hybrid surfboard, there is plenty of choices. Small, performance shortboards are harder to find, but usually, those are for advanced surfers. If you have "the magic surfboard" or if you are very precise in what you are looking for (example looking for 34.5 litres board with medium rocker), you might consider bringing your own boards.
Nicaragua: Surfboards are also included here. This is the most remote location of our "main retreats." We do have a good selection of surfboards, but the selection is not as large as in Bali or Costa Rica for performance, fibre-glass fishes and hybrid boards. You might consider bringing your own boards if performance, fibre-glass fishes or hybrids are what you want to surf and you want a precise shape and volume. If a NSP type of funboard or fish is something that you would like to surf, we do have those types of boards available.
Don't hesitate to contact us if you are an intermediate surfer and want to check if we have the board you are looking for before booking your trip.
In the Maldives and in the Mentawais, we recommend bringing the type of surfboards that you are used to ride and that you feel comfortable with (minimum 2, preferably 3). Bring at least one board on which you feel you have plenty of paddle power and length. Too often, we see intermediate surfers on the latest 5'6" "Hypto Krypto" because that is what the marketing says they should be on, and they only get onto a couple of waves each session. That's no good for enjoyment. Or improvement. In the Maldives, there's the possibility to rent with Awayco, contact us for details.
In our "main retreats" (Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Bali), you could bring, for example, $200 - $300 USD with you and your bank cards if you need to withdraw in the ATMs on destination. For the intermediate retreats, these are remote locations with no ATMs. You will need to refer to your travel guide for more information (provided when you book your spot).
Almost everything will be covered: accommodation, surf lessons, surf equipment (except for Maldives & Mentawais retreats), airport shuttles, your surfing footage, transportation, some activities, breakfast each morning and more. Here are some things you might need cash money for:
Apart from welcome meals, lunches and dinners are not included in our "Main Retreats (Costa Rica, Nicaragua & Bali)" because we believe it is part of the travel experience to try different meals and restaurants. Meal prices will vary significantly according to your preferences. In both Central America and Asia, you can still eat great local food for 5 - 8 USD per meal, and you can also spend 15+ USD on food in international restaurants.
For the intermediate retreats (Mentawais & Maldives), all meals are included because those are offered in remote locations that have very little or no other meal options.
Also, bring cash money if you bring back souvenirs for friends and family. Sometimes, freelance photographers could take in-water surf shots of you if you are lucky, you might want to purchase those!
Tips are not mandatory and are to the discretion of each traveller. If you want to tip, you can either give tips directly to your surf coach, cleaning or cooking staff.
Intermediate retreats in the Maldives & Mentawais are usually closer together, with 0, 1 or 2 days between trips.
For the "intermediate only" trips in the Mentawais and the Maldives, only intermediate level surfers can join (level 2.1 and 2.2) You must be able to:
-catch unbroken waves by yourself
-angle your take off to go either left or right
-draw your line on a “green wave” with a minimum of control
-feel comfortable in shoulder-to-head-high waves
For more information on "what is your surfing level", click here.
This means that during the day on the 4th, nothing is planned other than your transportation to our villa or hotel. There is often a welcome group dinner, usually between 6:30pm - 8:00pm on the night of the first day. If you fly in later at night, you might miss it. On the last day of the retreat (January 11th in this example), only breakfast is organized plus transportation back to the airport.
For the intermediate only retreats (Maldives & Mentawais): The first and last days of a trip are also travel days (no surfing planned). For example, if a retreat goes from October 11th – 20th, there is nothing planned other than transportation and a welcome dinner on the 11th, and breakfast plus transportation back to the airport on the 20th. Please wait for us to send details of the itinerary before booking your international flights. Your flight schedule will need to work with the private fast boats in the Mentawais, or domestic flights in the Maldives.
FAQs | Travel
If you arrive in advance to one of our destinations, the hotel or villa we collaborate with can sometimes accommodate you if there is availability (additional fees). We can also advise you on places to stay before your trip with us. Just write to us if you are interested.
*You can land at any time on our retreat dates, and we will send an airport shuttle for you. For the intermediate only retreats (Mentawais & Maldives), you will need to catch either a speed boat or a domestic flight after landing from your international flight (those are included in your package). Therefore you need to wait for us to send you those details by email once you have secured your spot before booking your international flights.
Nicaragua: No. Just a $10 USD fee to pay at the Managua airport.
Indonesia (Bali & Mentawais): Yes. You can get your visa directly at the airport in Denpasar, Bali. Since 2015, it is free for Canadian and American citizens, and for citizens of most European countries. If you plan to travel for more than 30 days, we recommend you to apply for a visa online. Depending on where you are from, you might be able to apply for a 60-day visa.
Costa Rica: No.
Maldives: A free 30-day tourist visa is granted on arrival for most nationals, including citizens of USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, UK and many European countries.
We accept 15, 16 and 17-year-olds when travelling and surfing with a parent.
For intermediate only retreats (Mentawais & Maldives): These are very remote locations. Please refer to your travel guide for more information (given to you after you reserve your spot).
Different accommodation types:
Costa Rica (2021): Bungalows for a maximum of 3 guests (see accommodation)
Nicaragua: Rooms for 2 or 3 guests (see accommodation)
Bali: Rooms for 2 – 4 guests (4 guests only in two-level studios in Canggu, see accommodation)
Mentawai: Rooms for 2 guests. No private room for 1 guest available.
Maldives: Private room for every guest. Couples or friends sharing a room have a slight discount on the package.
We do our best to separate men and women in the shared rooms. This is possible in the majority of our retreats, but not in all of them. If you want to make sure you are in a women-only or men-only shared room, please specify it when you contact us.
This being said, we leave our travellers the freedom of exploring and experimenting with each destination as they wish, as we believe in the beauty of travelling. We give the necessary security advice for each trip. If these are respected, the risks of any trouble are very low (robbery, accidents, etc.).
Bali: Denpasar (DPS)
Costa Rica: Liberia (LIR)
Mentawais: Padang (PDG)
Maldives: Malé (MLE)
* The Liberia airport in Costa Rica (LIR) is actually geographically closer to San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua, than Managua is. If you choose to land in Liberia to go to our Nicaragua retreat in San Juan del Sur, you will need to cross the land border which is 1 hour North of the Liberia airport. This process can be a bit complicated and take some time if there are line-ups. It will cost around $10-$20 USD of taxes and entrance fees. When adding the time at the customs, landing in Managua is quicker and more simple, but sometimes our guests find much better flights for Liberia, which could make this worth it.
Unless you are an experienced traveller with Spanish basics, we strongly recommend booking a shuttle with a transportation company that has drivers and vehicles in both Costa Rica and Nicaragua. This way they will pick you up in Liberia, drive you to the border, help you cross the border (which can get complicated the 1st time), and then have another driver waiting for you on the Nicaragua side to take you to our villa in San Juan del Sur. We use this company and have always had good comments.
“The best part of my trip with Barefoot was how much I improved my surfing. I’d done a bunch of single surf lessons before & this was the first time I actually felt like the surf guides were instructing, critiquing & pushing me to get better at surfing.”Katherine G. 31 / Toronto, Canada
“The total experience exceeded expectations, staff was knowledgeable, professional, and gracious. Accommodations were very welcoming and comfortable. Everything was top notch!”Rick Osgood, 53 / Napa, USA
“Created some great friendships, and experienced a beautiful country in the best week possible. Already trying to figure out when I can plan my next trip with them!”Emily P. 26 / Ventura, USA
“I couldn’t ask for time spent with more friendly, truly awesome people. The team is very responsive and well organized. My surfing was pushed to another level”Brittany M. 34 / Calgary, Canada