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Surfing Maderas Beach, San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua

The Barreling Wave Of Maderas Beach, Nicaragua
An empty right barrel at Maderas

Central America is full of empty beaches with great waves, you just have to know where they are. While travelling Nicaragua recently I booked a shuttle from my hostel in San Juan Del Sur to Maderas Beach. The posted surf report said 4-6 foot waves with light offshore winds. Not sure exactly what to expect, I arrived to find exactly that, perfect 4-6 foot barrels with a light offshore wind, and for some reason the water was empty.

I quickly paid the $10 to rent a board from the beachfront board shop (a quiet local man in a shed) and rushed into the warm water. You look around Maderas and see its surrounded by large jagged rocks on all sides. Knowing nothing about the beach, and being the only one in the water I was a bit nervous of what might be hidden out there, but there didn’t seem to be any hidden rocks or anything. I got about 30 minutes of waves to myself before a couple locals came out, and by the time I got out of the water 2 hours later there was about 20 people out with more showing up constantly. The beach is not huge, its a small cove in amongst the rocks at about 200 yards long. It breaks both right and left, but has better lefts. Maderas is a sand bottom beach with great barrels.

If you’re staying in the center of San Juan Del Sur, you can catch a shuttle from Hostel Casa El Oro for 100 cordobas (about $5 US) round trip. It takes about 30 minutes each way; you drive through the jungle on extremely bumpy roads amongst local farms and villages, and it drops you straight onto the beach.

I surfed 2 mornings in a row from 10:30-12:30, the second morning was not as good, but still fun, and not nearly as crowded. I can’t vouch for what the beach is like year round, but it seems to get pretty consistent, at least around July. Even if you don’t like to surf, you can spend the day walking along the beach; they have some tide pools at low tide, nice rock formations, the jungle comes all the way down to the beach, its scenic. Theres a taco shop and restaurant on the beach, connected to the board shop, and down the next cove there are a couple beach front hotels if you wanted to stay over night. Do your own research if you’re visiting a different time of year or day, but for mornings in July Maderas is a great spot.

A barreling right at Maderas, Nicaragua
Side view of the right barrel at Maderas
The peak of a perfect wave breaking both left and right at Maderas
Another Maderas barrel breaking both right and left
A panoramic view of Maderas Beach, with a dog roaming around in the waves
Jagged Maderas Rocks
The jagged rocks along the beach
A crab and his nest on the beach at Maderas
One of hundreds of crab nests tucked up on a sandy hill
Accomodation on the beach at Maderas, San Juan Del Sur
The next cove down where you can get a room on the beach

One good comment on "Surfing Maderas Beach, San Juan Del Sur – Nicaragua"

  • Will  @ Sunday, November 14, 2010 at 8:44 PM

    This is where they filmed Survivor Nicaragua!

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