Morro Negrito, Panama
I spent five nights at Morro Negrito surf camp on the pacific side of Panama earlier this month, had solid surf and great spearfishing, will definitly return.
February does not see the biggest or most consistent swells on the pacific side of central america but i was taking 3 week trip (also went to Bocas Del Toro and Playa Guiones in CR) and since i was down there allready figured id check out Morro Negrito. As per the website http://www.morronegrito.travel there are a lot of outer island reef breaks and different beach breaks to hit that get double overhead during the summer/wet season, but none were working when i was there. However even with minimal amount of swell i.e. 2-4 feet, the "sandbar" was working 4 out of five days.
Sandbar is a rivermouth beach break about ten minute boat ride from the camp. The rivermouth deposits a lot of sand which makes the wave break several hundred yards out from the beach so pretty long rides can be had. First two days was peeling shoulder high, last day was firing head high/slightly overhead walls. Very punchy wave, a lot of fun, sets rolling in every few minutes and more importantly no one else around for a hundred miles which for me coming from NYC area was pretty epic. Not to mention very clear 82 degree water. Emily's, the reef break right in front of camp started working on low tide one day which was fun esp since i surfed right over a spotted eagle ray.
Even with minimal surf there was plenty to do, like read in a hammock overlooking the ocean while drinking coco water from the unlimited supply of fresh coconuts. Another reason to visit was the spearfishing. There is pretty decent snorkeling right in front of the camp (rocky bottom with lots of tropical fish/turtles). We also hit some rock pinacles near the rivermouth every day where the guide was taking a few snapper and snook every time, which we ate for dinner each night. Good visibility and nice fish, i took some lobster which we had for lunch.
Food was great, see above. Fresh fish daily, accomodations are no frills but more than adequate for any surf traveler. It was well worth the $$$ and I will go back. Next time i will def be during the summer when there is more swell and all of the breaks are working (there are about 12 different waves ranging from reef to beach) and no one surfs them besides the camp.
FYI Morro Negrito is now operated by Glen Thompson, as opposed to Steve Thompson who now owns and operates an independent outfit on the mainland. Steve is no longer even located in Panama, he is based in California and works remotely. Do not book with him via http://www.surferparadise.com/ or http://www.panamasurfcamp.com/. I did and tried to cancel once i found out he was no longer part of Morro Negrito and he refused to refund my deposit. I went anyway and despite losing some $$$ to Steve had a great time, awesome secluded surf and really liked Glen Thompson's camp. Make sure you book through http://www.morronegrito.travel. This sounds confusing but it really isnt, feel free to PM me for more info.
Morro Negrito, Panama
Thanks for the info. I was wondering about all the controversy of late with Steve so I am glad you cleared that up and things are going smoothly again. I was in El Salvador during this same time period and had fun surf like you got.
My name is Steve Thompson, owner and founder of Morro Negrito Surf Camp www.panamasurfcamp.com and founder of Panama Spearfishing www.panamaspearfishing.com
This morning, I spoke to a customer on the telephone and realize after our conversation that it was urgent that I do this posting. It isn’t the most pleasant of subjects to speak about, but it is necessary as there is a great deal of confusion about the subject.
So, let me begin:
I started the Morro Negrito Surf Camp in 1998. I worked hard building and promoting this business over the years. I have had over 5,000 people come and stay at my surf camp.
This next part of the story is a very sad one for me to tell, but it is necessary. Many people have stumbled across another website called www.morronegrito.travel and have thought that this alternate website was also my website. They have booked trips with this other operation, many thinking that it was the same operation they had gone to previously. However, it is not the same, there are some big differences, which I will explain here:
My son, Glen Thompson, recently graduated from college this past year (2011) with a degree in Information Technology. He wasn’t having much success finding a job in the computer field, so I offered him the job of marketing my websites, www.panamasurfcamp.com and www.panamaspearfishing.com , which he agreed to do. I gave him my user names and passwords to my websites to rebuild it so it would be more up to date. He told me my website looked like it was from the 1990ies and he would bring it up to current standards. This is where the dirty part starts. He built the websites www.morronegrito.travel and www.spearfishingpanama.com without my knowledge. While he worked on my websites, he linked all the photos there back to his websites. So, people reviewing my websites, would unknowingly be sent over to his websites and in many instances, would make a reservation with Glen. In many cases, even my former customers would make the mistake of signing up with him. So, my own son had deceived me and was stealing from me, his own father. I guess he thought, “Why make a 15% commission, when you can make 100% without spending any advertising money?” So, how was Glen able to pull this off and provide a nice boat to be able to provide this service? This is how: I paid for all his college education, housing, living expenses, a car to drive around in, his cell phone, etc., Glen graduated from college debt-free. At the end of his college career, he applied for a large student loan guaranteed by the Federal Government. Since he had no expenses or debt, he was able to buy a nice boat for surfing and spearfishing immediately compliments of U.S. taxpayers. He never had a regular full time job in his life, never had to work and sweat. He immediately had a business ready to go. By tricking me to let him work on my websites, he immediately was able to establish a nice customer base. He continues to operate out of the surf camp with the permission of my ex-wife. My ex-wife and I are in the middle of the division of our properties and the surf camp is one of the properties. My son and ex-wife are also trying to kick me out of the Panama by making up false charges against. Fortunately for me, the Panamanian justice system is seeing through these lies and are dismissing all of these fraudulent charges.
Bottomline, I am 57 years old surfer, worked hard my whole life, put two kids through college and a daughter that is about to graduate. Glen is 24 years old, just graduated, never worked for anyone or saved any money of his own. I tried to be a good father to all my kids, so it was certainly a shock and very sad that my own son would do this to me. Please do not give your business to Glen at www.morronegrito.travel or www.spearfishingpanama.com , but please consider me (Steve) www.panamasurfcamp.com and www.panamaspearfishing.com . I would really appreciate your business and I and my staff will do our very best to provide you with an excellent surfing or spearfishing experience.
wow. can of worms. caveat emptor...