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  • (worth a trip)
  • NA
  • Moderate
  • Free
  • 2-3 days
  • 3 3

Surf waves that have even been catched by international surf professionals

Popoyo, Rivas, Nicaragua

Popoyo is located in the north-east of the Rivas department and belongs to a set of several beaches, commonly known as the Tola beaches. Popoyo offers great surf in a laid-back and chilled atmosphere. You will find many backpackers and surfers, which are here for nothing else than to catch the best waves. It is one of the best surf spot in Nicaragua and several international surf competitions took place at the Popoyo beach. Furthermore, the long stretched beach invites for long walks along its beautiful nature and impressive countryside.

Popoyo is one of the best known spots in Nicaragua and draws in a huge surfer crowd (without getting too crowded). Here you will find left and right reef breaks, normally bigger than on other spots. When the swell gets bigger, you will even be able to surf a stand-up tube. If you are staying in the close by town Guasacate, Popoyo is easily reachable by foot. All you need to do is to cross the river mouth of Río Nagualapa and you are there. The walk takes about 10 minutes. However, be careful when high tide is coming in, because the river fills up fast and you may need to swim. So, better do not take and electronic gadgets with you, if you do not want them to get wet.

Popoyo’s main break offers quality waves, very consistent because of the off-shore winds blowing in from the Nicaragua Lake. The break has a rocky bottom, so be aware of the rocks, especially at low tide and do not lose your fins here. If you are fearless and experienced surfer, then Popoyo outer reef is the spot for you. It takes about 10 to 20 minutes of paddling to get there, but you will be rewarded with huge and powerful waves. It starts with 8 foot and can get until 25 foot, so inform yourself about the conditions and challenges before you get out here. Two less known breaks are the Maginic left and the Magnific right. They are perfect for beginners and longboards and can be found right at the Magnific Rock hostel at Popoyo.

Popoyo is also an active fishing zone, where you can catch some Snapper, Swordfish or Mackerel. So, how about a day out fishing? Furthermore, you can spend a relaxed day at the natural hot springs ‘Salinas de Nahualapa’, or enjoy your day playing a game of golf. Another must-do at Popoyo is a horse riding trip along the long stretched beaches Santana, Popoyo and Guasacate.

How to get there

A cheap way to get here, is by taking the public bus. However, it does not go until Popoyo, so you have to walk the last part or try to get a ride. From Rivas you take the bus to Las Salinas, which leaves at 5am, 9am, 11am, 12.30pm, 2.30pm, 4pm, 4.30pm and 5pm. Once close to Popoyo, you look out for your hotel sign and get off the bus.

An alternative is to take a direct taxi. That should cost abput $35 from Rivas.