Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas

Greetings Kelly:

You’ve already got some very good advice here, so I’ll just add my dos centavos. For your surfing, I would recommend Popoyo more than Maderas. There is a beginner’s break right in front of Magnific Rock and just to the north is Popoyo reef, but it’s not super sharp or anything. If you go out on the higher tides you’ll be fine. Plus if you are coming in January, the surf won’t be real big anyway… Now if you do want the option to go to San Juan del Sur, then Maderas is the call. I’ve dropped folks off at Hulakai and when they came back to stay with us again they said it was really nice. There is a little bit of a dining scene at Maderas whereas while Popoyo/Playa Guasacate has fewer restaurants albeit some much better and more international flavors then in past years.
For your transportation budget, you might save a bit if you stay at Maderas as you can bus to SJdS then take a taxi which won’t cost too much, max $20 as it’s only fifteen minutes away.
That’s it from me, have a great vacay!
Cheers, Mike @ El Portón Verde, Managua

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

The power of the Popoyo waves is attractive for surfers.

Source: Accommodation: Granada, Mombacho, popoyo vs playa maderas

Nicaragua attracts more tourists with its waves

Yohany Lopez 07/14/2016 663

Pacific beaches of Nicaragua have become attractive enough for most tourists come to surf. The data from the Nicaraguan Institute of Tourism (Intur) show that between 2013 and 2014 the percentage of tourists who entered the country and made surfing increased 28.1 percent. Statistics confirm that in 2013 the 1.22 million tourists who came to Nicaragua, 25.2 percent surfed in the Pacific beaches mostly while in 2014 this share increased to 32.5 percent of the 1.32 overnight visitors National territory. Read: Waves catch more tourists in the country Lucy Valenti, president of the National Chamber of Tourism (Canatur) explains that this is one of the main activities that places the country on the global map, not only have good surfing waves, but because it attracts investment and other tourists interested in domestic supply. “It’s coming people willing to invest. Thirty percent of those who have homes in the first developments in the area of Rivas are surfers and we believe that this activity increases the stay and spending, “Valenti said.




Intur data, updated to 2014, clearly indicated that the 429.481 tourists who made surf on that date, 46.6 percent came from North America, followed by South Americans, with a share of 42.6 percent. For Valenti, Nicaragua “has tremendous potential to focus on surfing and not only that, but it attracts new business investment, tourism development in areas and expansion of residential ranging from Chinandega to San Juan del Sur in Rivas “he added after being consulted yesterday at the Superior Council of Private Enterprise (COSEP).

You can read: Five tourist destinations that can explode Nicaragua


In this context will take place this Saturday Claro Nicaragua Latin Pro Surf Classic 2016 on the shores of Playa Hermosa, in Rivas, and is organized by the Latin American Association of Surfing Professionals (ALAS). Pre-registration can be made on the web until today July 14 at 9:00 pm (local time in Nicaragua). For his part, the president of COSEP, Jose Adan Aguerri, said it is a private effort and only coinciding with the arrival of 18 models for Maxim magazine. “The models come from Europe, Australia, United States, Canada and in their social networks together total more than twenty million followers, with whom we can have a high impact, because they will shoot” Aguerri said.



Good weekend

For the president of the National Chamber of Tourism, Lucy Valenti, the fact that the next July 19 is a national holiday and for workers in the States is day off on July 20 and those dates are near the weekend, they represent an opportunity for entrepreneurs across the country earning more income. “We believe that all those weekends that are close to holidays are very good for the dynamics of hotels and restaurants that welcome visitors, mostly nationals,” said Valenti. See:

Source: Nicaragua seduce a más turistas con sus olas – La Prensa

Nicaraguan Surf Spot: Name ’em

Name that Nicaraguan Surf Spot!

There are lots and lots of really good surfing spots in Nicaragua. The Pacific coast receives lots of swell, primarily from the southwest direction. The best surf season is from April through October. Even in the off-months there is usually some swell in the water. For example, this November 2015 it has been really excellent surf.

If you are interested in actually surfing any of these spots, just contact us! We manage three different beach front homes that you can rent for a week or longer, including spots where you and your friends will be the only people out, surfing excellent waves!

So let’s see if we have any takers, shall we, in the comments section name any one of these four surf spots or give a try for all of them!

Surf spot number one: Here are some clues for you…

This spot is accessible only by boat. It is located about one hour from Nicaragua’s fifth largest city. A nearby town is known for its production of the best rums in Nicaragua. Can you guess the town at least?

Surf spot number two: Here are some clues for you…


This surf spot is an excellent beginner’s spot and surfcamps often take advantage of the fun waves, sandy bottom, and lack of serious riptides in the bay. This locale provides a great place to start out your surfing experience and is near a booming beach break where tubes are almost guaranteed! A former professional woman surfer also frequents this surf spot with her amigas.

Surf spot number three: Here are some clues for you…

This surf spot is a sand-bottom left point break accessible only by boat near a port. I think I just said too much… 🙂

Surf spot number four: Here are some clues for you…


This Pacific surf spot is on the grounds of a residential and vacation community that is “gran” and if you go surfing here, you’d better make sure you go out on the high tide!


2015 ISA World Surfing Games Official Teaser – Popoyo Beach, Nicaragua

Video teaser for the 2015 ISA World Surfing Games to be held in Popoyo, Nicaragua 31 May to 7 June, 2015. This is some great news for surfing in Nicaragua, the International Surfing Association has decided to host a third world championship contest here in Nicaragua! I have been to both of the previous events and they are really fun with a great team spirit to be found amongst the competitors and some really good waves too!

This year the event will be held from May 31st to June 7th, giving a week during which we can only hope that a great big south swell shows up! Popoyo is a really fun wave and when it gets bigger it is a challenging spot, offering both a left and a right breaking off of a rock reef. The lefts are generally longer and better but the right can sometimes be great too, albeit a shorter ride. If it get really huge (like a 3 meter swell) they might be moving the contest to the big wave spot at the same location, Outer Reef.popoyoouterreefWhile the odds of that happening aren’t great (as a commenter pointed out, actually purt near impossible), it is a real possibility that the wave might be breaking and would be even more awesome than the regular break. So that first week of June is a great week to come down for a surf vacation and to see some of the best in the world have an exciting competition!

If you are coming down, consider using the Farmstay as your first night place to stay. While we’re not on the beach, flying in at night usually means an expensive night at a chain hotel that does not have the location and ambiance that FEPV does. So if that’s you, let us come and pick you up at the airport and take you to our comfortable bed and breakfast that first night. The next morning you can enjoy a fresh farm breakfast and head on down to Popoyo to start the competition. We can host groups of up to 16!


Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua

Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana, Rivas, Nicaragua

This breezy new retreat on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua is equal parts rustic and regal.

Seventeen years ago, Nicaragua was still more likely to turn up on the agenda of the State Department than the itineraries of American jetsetters. Matt Turner waved off the decades of civil unrest like an annoying mosquito. “Buy on the sound of the canons and sell on the sound of the trumpets,” says the CEO of Tola Development Corp., quoting financier Nathan Rothschild. “I always thought it was sound advice.”

Sound. Get it?

In 1998, Turner began carefully chiseling out sites for luxury sea castles on a ridge-backed viridian swath of Nicaragua wedged between the country’s eponymous lake and the cultish surf breaks of the Pacific Ocean. “I connected with this land. [It resembled] the California coast that I had been familiar with as a teenager, but without all the madness of late 20th-century development. No highways. No McDonald’s. Just gorgeous rolling hills and untouched beaches. It was too hard to resist.”

The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua.Courtesy: The Inn at Rancho Santana

via Opening Report: The Inn at Rancho Santana in Rivas, Nicaragua.

This is by my count the third four or five star resort in Nicaragua to have opened. The first one was Mukul Resort at Guacalito de la Isla, owned by the Pellas family, the second was Yemaya Island Hideaway & Spa. I’ve spent some time at Rancho Santana and definitely can say it is a lovely stretch of coast and it is great that there is a small boutique hotel offering at this location.

Before the inn was built, if you wanted to stay at Rancho Santana you had to rent a whole house or a small (albeit very nicely furnished) cabina, so having a small hotel with the spa services that clientele for these types of resorts demand definitely fulfills a need.

According to the Inn’s website, rates start at about $250 per night and go up to $350 depending on room type and amenities. So if you are coming to Nicaragua and want to stay in some luxurious hotels, spas, and resorts, all I can say is ENJOY!

World Surf Competition will be held at Popoyo beach • El Nuevo Diario

 Lésber Quintero

The power of the waves is attractive for surfers.

The power of the waves is attractive for surfers.

  •  Rivas
  •  March 6, 2015

Nicaragua’s Pacific beaches are back in the eyes of the world between May 31 and June 7, with the realization of a world of surf organized by the International Surfing Association (ISA, for its acronym in English).

The sporting event ISA announces on its website, which highlights that the location of the event will be the paradisiacal beach Sardina, the municipality of Tola, which is also known as Popoyo.

This will be the third surf event organized by the ISA on the beaches of Tola, and the fourth to be staged in Nicaraguan waters.

Lucy Valenti, honorary president of the Nicaraguan Federation of Surf, explained that these international events have made surfing one the core activities for tourists entering the country. He said that this has allowed the earning of better income for people in the coastal areas.

“According to the Central Bank of Nicaragua, surfing has become one of the main activities of tourists and on average these athletes spend about $100 per day, which is twice the average spent by tourists coming to perform other activities,” he said.

At the same time, he said that these world-class events have placed Nicaragua as one of the top surfing destinations, “due to media impact.These championships that have been made have reached more than 150 countries and 250 million people who now know about Nicaragua thanks to the transmissions that are made,” he said.

Similarly, it was reported that a delegation from ISA, commanded by Vice President Karin Sierralta, and conducted an inspection at Sardina beach to see the conditions of waves and logistical issues.

“Here the waves are constant and that they liked, because it is a pristine beach, which is ranked as one of the best in the world for surfing. Therefore, we are already preparing for the wave of surfers coming,” said Gerald Membreño, general manager of the Finca Popoyo tourism project.


According to Membreño, on a hilltop farm Popoyo him into the sea-which is opposite the broadcast booths and judges will be installed and bleachers for public office ISA and other area will be allocated for parking vehicular.

“We as hosts are already working to provide good logistics and now we have hired 16 workers, because these global events promoting tourism dedicated to surfing and generate interest in acquiring coastal properties,” he said.

The three global surf contests that have been made in the country have allowed the entry of more than a thousand people between competitors and family, said Valenti, and the greatest impact has been the town of Tola.

The first event was staged on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast was the World Masters Surfing Beach held in Colorado, Tola, in July 2012. The following year he moved to stage Jiquiliste Beach, Tola, and World occurred Surf with Remo at Spa La Boquita, Carazo, and the Lake Nicaragua.

Competencia de Mundial de Surf se realizará en playa Sardina • El Nuevo Diario.

This is an additional data point for those looking at Nicaragua as a real world-class travel destination. At least for surfers, Nicaragua is a proven, consistent destination for excellent waves and fantastic conditions to hold the surf contests. These contests bring in teams from all over the world, and expose Nicaragua to the eyes and ears of millions of people.

First the hard-core surfers come down and fall in love with the place, then they bring their wives, girlfriends and family. Pretty soon they have a regular thing going with Nicaragua, they may buy properties, or even move down here to start their own businesses. Nicaragua is well into that cycle.

I attended the first event at Playa Colorado and the second event at Jiquiliste (Santana) and both were very well-run, had good local turnout, and had really good surf for the contest. If anyone wants to get this experience of seeing the surfing scene at these contests, I highly recommend attending this year’s ISA World Championship!

The impressive “Marine Phenomenon” that happens between Chacocente, Nicaragua and Salinas Bay, Costa Rica!

The impressive “Marine Phenomenon” that happens between Chacocente, Nicaragua and Salinas Bay, Costa Rica!

wqeadeseresssBy: David Quintana -Occuring between December and March; vacationers who frequent the beaches between Casares, Chacocente, and San Juan del Sur to the Bay of Salinas in Costa Rica, during the season of Easter, do not realize the phenomenon of “Upwelling” as oceanographers call the upward displacement of sea water.

“It’s happening right now, and because the waters coming down to the seabed by high winds pushing, pushing up to the surface typically colder waters, causing major nutrients”. Stresses Rosario Ruiz Sáenz, the Coordination Committee Corridor Coral A Investigative and Sustainability Program, which develops in the Pacific Nicaragua.

Peltier Barahona, a prominent Nicaraguan biologist, explains that winds from the east-entering the country towards Lake Nicaragua – increase in speed as it crosses the thin and narrow Isthmus of Rivas, pushing surface waters seaward in the area between Chococente and Bay Salinas in Costa Rica.


“In the entire region the phenomenon is generated by the push of cold water from the bottom of the ocean, moving the hot water from above”, which forms a kind of swap as the water from down below comes up and the water above goes below. This requires that certain species leave their normal deep ocean habitats as they are heated by the sun to the surface of the water column, invigorating the marine food chain in its entirety.” He explained.

But what makes it more important to this phenomenon? Barahona said that because the phenomenon allows the movement of large banks of “Krill” (crustaceans on which whales feed), they go near the sea coast, causing immense importance as it allows the sighting of this species. “Everything happens from December to March and so – for example in San Juan del Sur – the waters are cold.”

“With the change in the food dynamics during that time period throughout the ecosystem, there is a bonanza for fishing, and of course that is why the fishing wealth or potential throughout this area.” Said the biologist.

¡El impresionante “Fenómeno Marino” que sucede entre Chacocente Nicaragua, y la Bahía de Salinas, Costa Rica! | Boletín Ecológico Nicaragua.

An explanation of the phenomenon called “upwelling” along the Rivas coastline and how it greatly improves fishing conditions and brings up the krill on which the whales dine on during the whale-spotting season, December to March. What’s not mentioned is the excellent surfing conditions that these winds also create, where they are offshore nearly all day every day of the year.

Mukul, Nicaragua – In Photos: How To Vacation Like A Billionaire – Forbes

How To Vacation Like A Billionaire

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How to Vacation Like a Millionaire-Carlos Pellas' Mukul Resort

How to Vacation Like a Millionaire-Carlos Pellas’ Mukul Resort

Avid angler Carlos Pellas, a Nicaraguan industrialist, philanthropist and the nation’s second richest man, saw stunning Guacalito de la Isla from his fishing boat, and just had to have it. He built Mukul, a luxury boutique resort with individual plush casitas, an off-the-charts spa, an instantly famous and photogenic golf course by David Kidd, and world-class surf breaks right off the beach. The unrivalled combination of great golf, surfing and lodging has drawn surf-loving pro golfers like world number two Adam Scott and US Open Champ Geoff Ogilvy.

via Mukul, Nicaragua – In Photos: How To Vacation Like A Billionaire – Forbes.

They say the rich are different from everyone else, but that’s not completely true. They have hobbies, enjoy vacations, and are passionate about many different things, from conservation to golf to food, just like other people. The difference is that they do it at a much different level, pulling out all the stops to make these experiences the best possible. The good news is that in many cases, some of the richest individuals in the world are eager to share the way they enjoy their travel, hobbies and passions with others, people they don’t even know. More often than not, this means turning their personal dreams into personalized dream resorts, destinations where they can showcase the things they love to vacation travelers. Since the rich have diverse interests, this offers many different attractive travel options, all around the world.

In this case, the richest man in Nicaragua and one-and-only billionaire, Carlos Pellas (don’t worry Presidente Daniel Ortega, you’ll get there soon!) has created the wonderful Mukul resort in Guacalito de la Isla, an exclusive enclave located in the Tola, Rivas area of southwestern Nicaragua. Located approximately 2 1/2 hours from the Farmstay, Mukul offers the only true five-star resort and spa setup in the, country. You get your own oceanfront casita, have people there to attend to your every whim, and have the whole spa package available.

This short write-up from Forbes magazine also focuses in on the golf course and surfing opportunities on-site. I don’t know about the golfing, but the surfing can be very good on the southern point of the cove on which the resort is located. I have a friend in the States whose lady loves the luxury resorts and we have a sort of a teasing name for her, “Five-Star” and I think that Mukul would suit Five-Star very well indeed.

Surfing Vacation – Cheap – Family Vacation – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor

3. Re: Surfing Vacation – Cheap – Family Vacation

Aug 24, 2014, 2:01 PM

Greetings Colleen:

I think the best setup as far as comfortable beach vacations for a surfing family would be renting a house. The first place that comes to mind is Playa Iguana near Tola. There are several rentals there on offer. In addition to vrbo, flipkey, etc. check the local craigslist too. There are two great breaks right there and it is close to several more. Another similar place that in my mind is even better as the views are outstanding is Rancho Santana.

More of the obvious possibilities are San Juan del Sur, Popoyo, Playa Gigante, etc.

Then there are the Top Four Off-the-Beaten Path Surfing and Fishing Villages……

Cheers, Mike @ Farmstay El Porton Verde, Managua

via Surfing Vacation – Cheap – Family Vacation – Nicaragua Forum – TripAdvisor.KoaSmith_WP_6966Watts

Best Nicaragua Surfing Vacations

Some of the best Nicaragua surfing vacations can be booked right here with El Porton Verde! With our extensive network of small beachfront inns and private homes to rent, your dream tropical surf vacation can be made into a reality!

For more surf vacation ideas, see Top Four Off-the-Beaten-Path Surfing and Fishing Villages. As I wrote on that post, there are some really nice surf spots in Nicaragua that are not very well known and most of the surfers do not make it to those areas.

A little secret from one of the “Nicaragua Insiders” is that even though I wrote about four different places, there are at least a half-dozen more that I did not mention that meet the same general criteria! You can’t expect me to leave it all out there hanging in the wind so-to-speak, did you?

Okay, I will give you one more not in the “Top Four.” Salinas Grandes, in the department of Leon. A really fine open beachbreak when on, smaller surf preferred. Another “end-of-the-road” type of place. There are a few places to stay now and a gorgeous sunset is practically guaranteed!

As puts it:

Salinas Grande Beach can be the best choice for those who are looking for a rarely frequented beach with great waves and wants to be in touch with nature.

We can’t (and won’t!) argue with that!



Koa Smith tucks into a long, sand-bottomed tube at Colorados, Nicaragua’s best-known beachbreak. The proposed canal would come out just south of this zone. “This project is a disaster from a surfing standpoint, as well as an ecological standpoint,” says Nik Strong-Cvetich of Save The Waves. Photo: Billy Watts

Parts of wave-rich southern zone could be threatened by $40-billion project

By Jake Howard

Published:August 5, 2014Views:4,514Comments:0Share This Article:

As Nicaragua continues to evolve as a world-class surf destination, its premier wave region may be threatened. Hong Kong-based development company HK Nicaragua Canal Development Investment Co. Ltd. (HKND Group) has a planned and approved a canal route that would cut a 173-mile swath through the country. The proposed route, which would take approximately five years to construct, would begin at Punta Gorda on the Caribbean coast, run through Lake Nicaragua and come out near Brito on the Pacific coast.

To the north of Brito sits one of Nicaragua’s most wave-rich regions. Areas like Manzanillo, Gigante, Rancho Santana and Popoyo, which lies about 15 miles away, could all potentially be affected.

“This project is a disaster from a surfing standpoint, as well as an ecological standpoint,” says Nik Strong-Cvetich of Save The Waves. “The Nicaraguan coast holds some of the world’s highest biodiversity, and of course, some of the best waves. The proposed route will cut right between Playa Maderas and Playa Gigante, potentially endangering several amazing waves, and destroying critical marine and dry-forest habitat.”

But there is skepticism the project will get off the ground. The estimated cost is in the neighborhood of $40 billion, four times the annual GDP of Nicaragua.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” says JJ Yemma, who runs the Popoyo Surf Lodge. “But I do have a couple of ideas of how it could affect our area both positively and negatively. Positively it appears to be bringing solid infrastructure to our area even quicker. Better roads and the municipality of Tola really seem to be gearing to put a lot of people to work. Negatively, none of us want to think about dirty water or possibly more crime. And there are obviously all the environmental concerns.”

While one of the safest countries in Central America, Nicaragua ranks as the second poorest country in the Americas, only slightly better off than Haiti. In the last 30 years, the country has suffered from civil war, devastating earthquakes, and a ravaged infrastructure. For many Nicaraguans, construction of the canal is a chance to rebuild the country. But many surfers don’t necessarily see it that way.

“You have to understand, in Nicaragua, people are starting to see surfing as something much more than riding waves,” says Armando Segura, owner of surf tour operation NicaSurfing. “It’s not just a pastime for kids. We have a beautiful country and good waves, so people come down to see it. They surf, but they also travel through the country, see the lake, the volcano, the coffee fields in the mountains. They come here because it’s unspoiled and they miss that in their normal lives. It’s not like Costa Rica.”

“On top of grave environmental threats, this canal is a humanitarian issue,” adds Save The Wave Environmental and Program’s Director Nick Mucha. “It will uproot entire villages that are dependent upon the health of their surrounding natural resources for sustenance. Traditional fishing villages along the Caribbean and Pacific coasts will fall victim to this project as their fish stocks will surely be negatively impacted. The recent advances made in small-scale, sustainable surf tourism that provide income for local families will be reversed by this mega project as the waves and surfing experience of southern Nicaragua will be irreversibly altered.”


I would not be too surprised if this project comes to fruition. When it does, Nicaragua will be forever changed. This article is about the effect it will have on the surfing community and how surfers do not only come to surf. They come to see the volcanoes, lakes, Colonial towns, etc. They generate income for all of us in the tourism business. What do you think? Will the canal affect us positively or negatively?