The best surf spots in Panama
As surfing makes its official debut at the Summer Olympics, beginners and pros alike can experience world-class surf breaks in Panama.
The destination is one of the best year-round surfing destinations in Central America.
It offers over 1,500 miles of beautiful coastline, creating idyllic conditions and stunning tropical backdrops to catch the perfect wave.
It is also one of the few places in the world where you can surf both the Pacific and the Caribbean on the same trip.
Panama is a true surfer’s paradise, offering a mix of reefs and breakpoints as well as a variety of impressive beaches for all levels of surfers.
Panama’s Caribbean and Pacific coasts pump incredible waves with offshore winds all day and constant swells, depending on the season.
Surfers can even spot Panama’s diverse marine life, including migrating humpback whales, sea turtles, sharks, rays, and colorful fish.
Travelers coming to surf Panama’s beautiful waters can feel good knowing that the country is firmly committed to preserving its oceans and natural heritage.
With 30 percent of the country’s marine area protected, ensuring the destination remains at its best for everyone is part of Panama’s Master Plan for Sustainable Tourism (PMTS).
PMTS offers a network of tours that showcase the extraordinary richness and diversity of Panama’s natural and cultural heritage.
The routes focus on three main areas: cultural heritage (multi-faceted culture), green heritage (extraordinary biodiversity) and blue heritage (wonders of the ocean).
Here are the must-see surf spots in Panama:
Escape to Riviera Pacifica, offering an array of white sand beaches on the Pacific Coast.
These beaches are the closest to town and easily accessible for travelers via a short drive.
Chame and El Palmar invite surfers to dream of long walks and big tubes in its sparkling waters.
The area offers various accommodation options, restaurants and other water activities such as kitesurfing, boating and fishing.
Bocas del Toro
The colorful and lush islands of Bocas del Toro in the northern Caribbean are some of Panama’s best surfers due to their diverse surf spots and constant, powerful swells, especially during the dry season.
Playa Paunch, Dumpers and Playa Bluff are some of Isla Colon’s favorite surf spots, with long waves perfect for all skill levels.
Due to the region’s relatively untouched and underdeveloped landscape, travelers can expect a relaxed and relaxed environment to explore Panama’s natural wonders, including tropical rainforests, bioluminescent waters, the Nivida Bat Cave, and the diverse reef life.
Bocas del Toro is home to most of the Caribbean’s coral species, and travelers may spot various reef creatures including nurse sharks, crabs, and lobsters.
The province of Veraguas is known for its welcoming seaside towns on the Pacific side of Panama.
La Punta de Santa Catalina, located right in front of Coiba National Park, has one of the longest beaches in all of Central America.
Playa Morrillo is another surf spot known for the famous “Morrillo Break”.
It is considered one of Panama’s most regular breaks, regularly hosting international competitions in its warm waters all year round.
The waves here can reach up to 15 feet in height with incredible tubes. Not far from Santa Catalina is also El Estero beach, an ideal place for those who have just learned this sport.
Travelers can also find a range of eco-friendly accommodations to experience the natural surroundings and local Panamanian culture and cuisine.
Playa Venao, located southwest of Pedasí in the province of Los Santos, is one of the best surf spots on the Azuero peninsula.
Playa Venao is a quintessential surf town, boasting the best waves in the area, thanks to a constant southerly swell, two-way breaks and a sandy, safe bottom.
Playa Venao is a rapidly growing destination for travelers and surfers, with an increasing number of hotels and inns, restaurants and bars along the coast.
Attracting relatively younger crowds, it offers a relaxing and serene environment by day and a lively night scene with weekend parties and special events throughout the year.
The province of Chiriqui is a playground for adventure lovers, offering several islands in the Pacific for excellent surfing only accessible by sailboat, yacht or specialist tour operator.
The area serves as the perfect backdrop for surfers looking for a more remote and exclusive location.
Morro Negrito is a pristine island off the Pacific coast of Panama with constant swells.
Several islands surround Morro Negrito, and each offers its own unique wave, from fast hollow-point waves to sandy bottom waves.
In Morro Negrito, travelers will find a wide range of outdoor activities, including looking for crocodiles in the mangroves, spotting monkeys in the jungle, hiking to a hidden waterfall, or fishing in the surrounding waters.