If you’re traveling to Panama for the first time looking to ride some waves, you’ll be glad to know that you’ll be spoiled for choice of surfing spots!
To make the selection easier, we have rounded up a list of best surfing spots in Panama for reef, beach and pointbreak break surfing:
Santa Catalina Beach
Santa Catalina Beach is located in the province of Veraguas (on the Pacific Ocean side), and it is without a doubt, one of the best surfing spots in Panama (if not the best!) for point break surfing.
The beauty of Santa Catalina Beach is its constant waves which allow for incredible long surf rides which can last up to 25 seconds.
Santa Catalina also boasts lots of places to stay and eat, and two diving school centers, which is great if you're looking to get open water certified.
Venao Beach is located in the Azuero Peninsula overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it’s one of the best surfing beaches in Panama for beach break surfing
Venao Beach is definitely one of the best beaches in Panama for learning how to surf, and the best thing is that you won't have to worry about crowds.
Isla Colon is located on the famous surfing hot-spot of Bocas del Toro (facing the Caribbean waters), and it’s no doubt one of the best surfing spots in Panama for all types of surfing breaks.
Isla Colon boasts great surfing breaks such as Bluff Beach and Punch Beach, though Bluff Beach draws fewer crowds than punch and it’s located nearest to the town of Bocas where you’ll find plenty of accommodation options.
By the way, Bocas del Toro boasts other great surfing spots such as Bastimentos Island. However, Colon Island boasts a livelier scene, better road connections, an airport and a handful of hotel resorts.
Morro Negrito is by far one of the best surfing spots in Panama for a fun but relaxing surfing vacation.
Morro Negrito consists of two islands, and it's a nice spot for fun surfing breaks. The big island is where the surf school is located, while Morro Negrito’s smaller island is popular for its left and right breaks.
If you’re wondering how to get to Morro Negrito from Panama City, you can either catch a plane or a bus though the latter one will take about 6 hours and cost around $30.
The plane will cost around $90 though it’s much more convenient than the bus. If you choose the plane option, you'll need to fly into Enrique Malek International Airport in David, then hop on a taxi to Yurre Port where you can catch a ferry boat.
Rio Mar Beach
Rio Mar Beach is also located overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and it’s one of the best surfing spots in Panama for beach break surfing.
If you’re a beginner surfer, you’ll be glad to know that Rio Mar boasts a surf camp where you can book surfing lessons or hire surfing boards.
Having said this, one of the best things about Rio Mar Beach is that it’s located 60 minutes drive from Panama city.
Carenero is located on the Island of Carenero and it is probably one of the best surfing spots in Panama for reef break surfing.
Carenero is certainly one of the crowdiest surfing spots in the country, though if you love power surfing and fast long surf rides, Carenero is the spot for you!
Another reason why Carenero is also popular with surfers is because of its close proximity to Bocas town in Isla Colon.
Isla Grande is located a few miles off the coast of Panama's Caribbean side. If you’re looking for an uncrowded beach for challenging reef surfing, Isla Grande is definitely one of the best surfing spots in Panama for experienced surfers.
Also, if you aren't bringing your surf boards, or want to do other water sports, Isla Grande does boast a few resort hotels where you can hire water rentals like surf boards, kayaks and snorkeling gear.
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