Need help picking surf destination for December

Discussion in 'Surf Travel' started by ninja323, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. ninja323

    ninja323 Member

    Oct 6, 2013

    Every December I travel and this year it will be a surf trip for 2-3 weeks.

    I am at the beginning stages or intermediate I guess. I have surfed San Diego, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.

    I am not looking for huge or epic surf, more of waist to shoulder height, smaller and I can work maneuvers or a little larger for fun.

    Have narrowed it down to a few locations and would like opinions. Some places are cheaper to stay but cost more to get to, some are cheap all around. Money isnt too much of a concern, but since I am traveling solo I would like to keep the nightly lodging down. Would like to be around good surf, but some other stuff to do like restaurants, a little nighlife, etc.

    Costa Rica- been to WRSC, thinking about going to Playa Grande. Close to Avellanas and other spots I like. Has anyone stayed at Hotel Las Tortugas or recommend any other awesome spots to stay on the Guanacaste side?

    Nicaragua- Saw I could stay at Playa Maderas and surf everyday and not be too far from stuff to do in SJDS. Buena Vista surf club looks nice, but it is $90 a night, double of other spots in the area. Anyone been there?

    Morocco- Surf Maroc comes highly rated on other surf forums. Would cost more to get there but surf looks good.

    Philipines- Siargo island- possibly at the Kermit surf place or somewhere else on the island that is recommended.

    Puerto Rico- easy to get to. I am not sure about intermediate surf options. Also, some people say it is awesome there, others say it is dangerous, dirty, problematic.

    Are there any obvious destinations I am not including in my search?

    thanks for the help!


    Sep 17, 2013
    Morocco is expensive to get to and can get huge, there might be some user friendly waves, I hear locals are weird and VERY possessive, like princes who think they own waves and sheete, just what Ive heard, no facts to back this up
    Philippines is expensive to get to, don't know about the details for the waves, I would like to go myself somday
    puerto rico is filled with aggressive body boarders , I scored and had a great time, but personally would never return, some people swear by it, if you haven't been, maybe check it out
    Nicaragua will be windy and smallish in December, but might be what you are looking for

    Personally, I would love to return to southern Spain, topless beaches (not so much in December), great beachies, a few points and nightlife for even the most hardcore partier

    then again, I am assuming you dont want to go big but just have fun
    Cadiz in Andulucia Spain is a great 3000 year old phonetician trading (now a boisterous town) outpost and El Palmar 45 min south GOES OFF, like a warmer more consistent OBX

    Also, Lisboa Portugal has THE GOODS, but might be more than you are looking for, word class waves and a 6 story nightclub. its balls out

  3. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    Playa Madera gets very crowded. Yes, it's close to SJDS & that's why it gets crowded. There are other spots in Nica but you'll sacrifice the nightlife because they're a bit off the beaten path. Nightlife in SJDS is pretty lame, btw.

    If you catch a good swell at Playa Grande in the DR or even at Encuentro, that's the combo platter surfing & nightlife - - perhaps the wildest nightlife in the Caribbean. Si papi, si....
  4. Dawn_Patrol

    Dawn_Patrol Well-Known Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    PR is all about shoulder high intermediate surf, if that's what you're looking for.
    Its not particularly dangerous, dirty or problematic unless you leave something valuable in plain sight while your out surfing.

    Barbados is a good December destination that has more easy options to get out of the onshore trades than some of the other Islands, like DR
  5. Vince Fontane

    Vince Fontane Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2013
    Playa Grande was cool last time I went to Costa Rica. Stayed at Playa Grande Inn(but that was a few years ago,dnt know how much has changed if at all). Not alot to do in Grande at night aside from Kikes. Didnt have any problems. Nica, is rad. But you might have to sacrifice alittle night life/tourist amenities for the shot at decent surf. You could always book a room for the first night or 2 somewhere and get the feel for the layout and whats available. Often once you get there you can find nice places to stay for pretty cheap. Spend as much as you can to get to where you want to go. Its a vacation! Max the budget out. .... But keep in mind, if you are going with the intent to surf, even at height of swell season, you still might get skunked on surf.
  6. Vince Fontane

    Vince Fontane Well-Known Member

    Sep 27, 2013
    You could always split your time up between places. A week or so in one place and a week or so somewhere else. The Costa/Nica combo would be easy to do.
  7. ninja323

    ninja323 Member

    Oct 6, 2013
    Thanks for all the responses.

    I forgot to add Panama to the options. Will look into DR and Barbados. ( Just checked Barbados. Looks nice, but dont really see the prices for accommodations that I would like. Seems to be $125+ a night)

    Would really like to pick one location. Last time I did the border crossing from CR to NIC and it was a pain, and I wasnt even carrying boards.

    I dont need much nighlife. But would be nice if there was even a little bar to kill some time at. Nightclubs and happening scene would be nice, but not necessary
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
  8. dudeclimbing

    dudeclimbing Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    PR is nice n friendly and cheap as ya want. Two weeks n counting.
  9. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    Remember, for Panama its Carib side only in December.

    The Pacific side of Panama gets very little swell in the December-January time of year.
  10. srfman11

    srfman11 Member

    May 14, 2012
    Hey if you want any morocco surfing info, PM me. I lived there for two years. I'm not actually a huge fan of surf maroc. You can do better on your own with a car in my opinion.
  11. EmassSpicoli

    EmassSpicoli Well-Known Member

    Apr 16, 2013
    Cádiz is a sick place. I went there a few years back before I was surfing and it's a classic small Spanish port town. Down to earth and way laid back. You better know some Español there and the dialect is much different than most any we've heard or learn here in the states. Flew into Jerez. Some awesome beaches in PDSM and they're sans tops.
  12. yankee

    yankee Well-Known Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    That being said, I'd bag the DR: surf isn't that great there, and the trade winds kill it all too often.

    Also might want to bag Barbados unless you know it will be firing when you're there. Yes, the island usually has swell somewhere but it can go small-to-flat for extended periods of time. And everything on Barbados, except the fish sandwiches at Oistins, is pricey.
  13. ninja323

    ninja323 Member

    Oct 6, 2013
    Thanks for all the replies! Keep em coming. lol.

    After looking at Barbados it looks really nice, but I am thinking I will save that for a trip with my family where surfing isnt the main priority.

    To the guy who said I can do Morocco better with a rental car on my own. I am really not trying to drive anywhere and find breaks by myself. I would rather stay at a spot in front of or walking distance to the breaks, or at a place where they take me over and know where to go.

    Puerto rico is still on the table. can anyone give me places to stay that I can google and look up that are close to breaks for intemediates, or even fun small waves. PR and Philipines I have not excluded yet. I love exotic girls with dark skin, and I love Asian girls. LOL, so I will def give both spots attention.

    Peru is another location I forgot to mention. That could be a possibility. I prefer warm water and sun, but it isnt too cold there, plus I have been meaning to see Macchu picchu for years, so I may be able to kill two birds with one trip.

    So far the easiest seems to be SJDS and CR. CR being about $300 more since I would have to fly to Liberia.

    A brief search looks like this for flights. Panama, San Jose, Managua, and Puerto Rico- $600ish , Liberia $900, Peru/Morocco/Phillipines- $1300+

    There is always hawaii, but not sure with the locals and if there are places to surf for my level on the different islands, plus I like to visit other countries and lodging I think would be much cheaper at the other destinations.

    I looked into the Playa Grande Inn that was posted on the last page. Looks good. If the price is right it looks to be better than Hotel Las tortugas in playa grande
  14. ukelelesurf

    ukelelesurf Well-Known Member

    Apr 25, 2007
    Note if you go to Peru you will be surfing the spots lobitos and north since you will be in north swell season. This means warm water and sunny weather / no wet tie but less consistent. Mancora is a great party town lots of hot ties and some of this northern spots get insane on a huge nw swell ..... Cabo blanco,. Peru is awesome and cheap once you get there. PR is great but can be crowded and flat as heck.....but still awesome . IMO nic a is great but not for nightlife besides sjds. Dr has great partying but can be very flat. Bocas in panama is awesome for partying and that's prime swell season so go there !!!!!
  15. chicharronne

    chicharronne Well-Known Member

    Jun 22, 2006
  16. africaextremsurfcamps

    africaextremsurfcamps New Member

    May 20, 2015
  17. Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor

    Riley Martin's Disgruntled Neighbor Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Someplace where the MERS is raging. Lineup will be empty. Just don't breathe that much. Or eat or drink.
  18. pussy

    pussy Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    What is that?
  19. pussy

    pussy Well-Known Member

    Mar 19, 2015
    None of this, Oh I don't talk to people who don't have profile pics B.S. either.
  20. Speed Bump

    Speed Bump Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2014
    Atlantic side only that time of year.
    High season. Should have some epic days. Pick a sheltered spot if you don't want to drive or travel for surf.
    Should have solid tradeswell your whole visit. This sounds right for what you want. You're off Typhoon season, so it won't be nuts, just consistent CH-HH surf. Also check other Asian islands this time of year--Japan, etc...

    Just go to Mundaka (Spain), dude. Cheap hotels just down the street from the break. No nightlife, but you can ride the Basque rail to party and surf spots around San Sebastian. It will blow up a couple of days for sure in December, but you should have awesome groomed manageable surf between Atlantic storms. Hope you're goofy.