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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    484

    Panama...not the song

    http://www.morronegrito.travel/surfbreaks.shtml
    Anybody here deal with these folks? I realize this is the mid-atlantic thread, but...that why I'm asking here. Let's face it, we make the most out of surf trips because we get skunked so often back home. I'd rather hear the scoop from someone like me.

    If you have experience with Panama, I'd really appreciate the help. My buddy and I are piecing together a trip in late May. I know a little espanol, buddy doesn't know any. Neither of us has ever been there. Basically just want to get as many good waves as possible, hang out with some cool people, the usual.

    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about "planning your surf vacation in Panama!!"...honestly I don't care if it's comfortable or has wireless internet. I just want to get barreled off my arse for 10 days and not spend a ga-gillion dollars in the process. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
    Last edited by live aloha; Apr 19, 2011 at 10:18 PM. Reason: additions and type-o's!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Arlington, Va
    Posts
    5
    You'll score for sure. I have never been to Morro Negrito but it looks like the resort knows how and where to get you into good waves. I've been further south (or is it east, ha ha) to areas way more exposed than Morro Negrito but in the middle of nowhere. Its a commitment to get there. If you are going to drive around the country solo be prepare to hit many roadblocks where you have to get out your Spanish better be sharp or you'll be there a long time. If you're with a guide/local, you're straight. Panama is great, the highways are solid and its all USD$ and I got great waves. I want to get back badly but friends are always calling from CR which is just easier and cheaper for me.

  3. #3
    I think Chiriqui is the Caribbean side and I think the swell season would have ended by May. I'd hit up the Pacific side cuz the southwest swells start cooking around that time of year. If you don't mind the crowds go to Santa Catalina; its about a 6 hour drive from Panama City. Or, hit up the Azuero Peninsula which is a very overlooked place. It too is about 5 to 6 hours from Panama City but it stays pretty uncrowded. The spots in Cambutal are just as good as Santa Cat but you'll need 4x4 to access all of them cuz the road gets pretty nasty after 411 and Dinosaurios. If you wanna save some money do some research on the spots at wannasurf.com before you go and don't bother having a guide; the spots are pretty easy to find with this resource. Every day on the Pacific coast you're at least guaranteed some clean chest high surf until about 10 or 11 am. Went last year and had a blast. We stayed at Residencial Pedasi and the guy that ran it was very helpful and surfed with us and got us everything we needed.

  4. #4
    Nevermind, Chiriqui is not the Caribbean. I just looked but it is not too exposed compared with other places and it looks pretty damn far away from the airport.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    in the grace of the most holy FSM
    Posts
    2,783
    Quote Originally Posted by live aloha View Post
    http://www.morronegrito.travel/surfbreaks.shtml
    Anybody here deal with these folks? I realize this is the mid-atlantic thread, but...that why I'm asking here. Let's face it, we make the most out of surf trips because we get skunked so often back home. I'd rather hear the scoop from someone like me.

    If you have experience with Panama, I'd really appreciate the help. My buddy and I are piecing together a trip in late May. I know a little espanol, buddy doesn't know any. Neither of us has ever been there. Basically just want to get as many good waves as possible, hang out with some cool people, the usual.

    There's a lot of stuff on the internet about "planning your surf vacation in Panama!!"...honestly I don't care if it's comfortable or has wireless internet. I just want to get barreled off my arse for 10 days and not spend a ga-gillion dollars in the process. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks.
    i've been there twice...scored great surf both times! the cool thing about morro negrito is that they are fully dialed in to how everything works in panama...they pick you up at the airport, take you to the bus station, pick you up when the bus drops you off, take you to the port, & motor you out to the island.
    if you don't care about nightlife or 5 star pads, this is the place for you..."rustic" would be a good word for it...
    it's a full-on mission, even w/ how dialed in everything is, to get to the island. prob. close to 36hrs door to door the last time i went (july '09). avoid miami int'l if you can, btw...worst f--king airport in the world!!
    pack ding repair stuff (some suncure will be fine), reef booties (unless you like cut feet), maybe some basic suture materials...some spots are shallow & pointy on the bottom! & some spots get pretty heavy...i broke a step-up board there my first trip back in 2005.
    i think it's a great place & would love to go back...pm me if you have any other questions! otherwise, have fun & post pics when you get back!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    kailua-kona
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    422
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    I went a few years ago, was good and bad.
    The good:
    no crowds, unless you bring them with you or 13 venezualans happen to be there at the same time. isolated setting
    fun/ok beach break, little left point right in front of the place
    The bad:
    The airport pickup never happened, we ended up getting a cab to the airport, getting tickets for the wrong bus (we found out after the airport pickup showed up hours later and let us know the right bus was sold out). Leaving in the evening after sitting in a hotass bus station, the buses electrical system shorted out. No biggie except it was nighttime, no headlights. Got pulled over by the policia. Everyone out of the bus, sit by side of road in dark until a minibus shows up hours later..you get the picture. It was an ordeal.
    The billing seemed a little suspect, like you never knew exactly what everything (beers, drinks) was going to cost.
    If theres a lack of swell, the offshore islands aren't an option. See beachbreak above.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    in the grace of the most holy FSM
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    2,783
    Quote Originally Posted by oipaul View Post
    The bad:
    The airport pickup never happened, we ended up getting a cab to the airport, getting tickets for the wrong bus (we found out after the airport pickup showed up hours later and let us know the right bus was sold out). Leaving in the evening after sitting in a hotass bus station, the buses electrical system shorted out. No biggie except it was nighttime, no headlights. Got pulled over by the policia. Everyone out of the bus, sit by side of road in dark until a minibus shows up hours later..you get the picture. It was an ordeal.
    The billing seemed a little suspect, like you never knew exactly what everything (beers, drinks) was going to cost.
    If theres a lack of swell, the offshore islands aren't an option. See beachbreak above.
    the beachbreak can be fun on the swell angle & size...& a lot of the stuff you mentioned as "bad" i would chalk up as "part of the adventure." but that's just me. i know most people prefer that things go by the book exactly as they're supposed to.
    the billing for drinks other than water & coffee is done on an honor system...each time you take something...a beer, soda, juice, etc...you're supposed to put a little hash mark on a chart w/ everyone's names on it. i think both times i've been there, each drink was $1 & you paid your total at the end of your stay. it was the same system in the maldives when i was there this past summer. i guess it's a pretty common thing.

  8. #8
    Bring reef booties (santa catalina), rent a 4x4, and you're straight...Panama is good surf, no crowds, and good times.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    milton delaware
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    Quote Originally Posted by live aloha View Post
    http://www.morronegrito.travel/surfbreaks.shtml
    Anybody here deal with these folks?
    My friend and I went to Morro Negrito a couple years ago in April. There are plenty of decent waves within a short boat ride from the camp, and a fun small left pointbreak setup right out front that ONLY breaks at low tide and will be small unless theres a real swell running. (The tidal range there is up around 8-10 feet so spots typically dont work for more than a few hours at a time.)

    We found cheap direct flights from DC - Panama City the camp itself is reasonably priced so you can do this affordably.. Food was ok, the camp itself is alright. I've got some other issues that i'll share by PM if your interested...we had some logistical headaches that i can tell you how to avoid.

    Oops! I see Paul already posted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    milton delaware
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    The left out front at dawn with too much tide on it:



    Me dropping in at the nearly beachbreak: