Panama has some of the best surf breaks in all of Central America! Whether you like point breaks, beach breaks, hollow tubes, or long peelers, Panama has a variety of surf breaks to accommodate your style. Unlike Costa Rica, Panama is still virgin and you can catch most of corredor de la divisa best surf spots by yourself with your buddies. Few people know about Panama’s surfing potential, which is a big plus for surfers who visit!
However, you better go soon because Panama is becoming more and more popular for surfers from around the globe. Panama’s roads are of the best in Central and South America, with 4 lane highways all over the country for quick access to the surf breaks. The transportation system is very good, and buses and taxis are readily available from the international airport. However, if you are strapped for time, and would like to be picked up and guided to the best surf spots and hotels, try a surf tour by Panamasurftours. Panama is also one of the safest places in the world, so no worries about getting mugged by thugs at the beach, as frequently happens in El Salvador, Mexico, and other countries in Central America. In general, you can surf, roam the streets, party, or shop care free, at any time day or night.
Panama also has an excellent communications system so you can easily call your girlfriend, family or business back home at any time without any hassle. You can even rent a cellular phone for your surf trip, so you can be always in communication. The Pacific side is best in the months between April and November. The Caribbean side is best between December and March, but can get swells any time of the year except the time between September and November.
We recommend you look at the swell history for individual surf spots on Magicseaweed. 50 per room per night, depending on your style. 15 depending on where you are going. Caribbean Ocean Isla Bocas del Toro The islands of Bocas del Toro on the northern Caribbean side of Panama have some of the best surfing in Panama, with a wide variety of surf breaks. The best surf for this area is from December through March, during the dry season.
You can get there two ways. You can either go by land and boat ferry, or by airplane. If you are limited on time, then air is the way to go. The flight is about 30 minutes to the Island of Bocas del Toro. There are a number of hotels to stay at on the island, depending on your style. There are also some great restaurants that serve all kinds of local and European foods.
The main town is where most of the hotels are, but the surf breaks are all spread out around the islands of Bocas del Toro, Bastimientos and Carenero. You can get to the breaks on the main island by taxi, and to the breaks on Bastimientos Carenero by boat taxi. Dumpers A reef bottom left break on the main island with a very steep drop, big tube, and short ride. This spot is quite dangerous for beginners, so only the experienced surfers should go out here. The reef is sharp, and entering or getting out of the water is sketchy.
We suggest you surf with reef booties here for safety reasons. Dumpers also has an inner break that we call “Inner Dumpers”, which is also a left over reef bottom, but has longer, faster rides, but smaller tubes. Punch A reef bottom left and right break on the main island with good tubes and fun sections to hit the lip and do crazy airs. This spot is where most of the beginners go, but the reef is also sharp and entering or getting out of the water is sketchy. It is well known for breaking lots of surfboards.
The tubes here are incredible, but this beach is mainly surfed by body boarders since it breaks so close to the shore. Carenero A reef break located on the island of Carenero, which is directly next to the main island of Bocas del Toro, about a 5 minute boat ride from the town. Carenero is one of the best surf breaks at Bocas, and has 200 yard long, peeling lefts, with great tubes. It breaks over shallow reef, and we compare it to the break called “Restaurants” in Tahiti. Silverbacks A reef bottom wave located off of the island of Bastimientos, which is about a 20 minute boat ride from the main town of Bocas del Toro.
Silverbacks can get up to 25 feet faces on good swells, and some people have seen it even bigger than that. It is a large, powerful right with a big drop and big tube, but a relatively short ride. Bring your 7’0″ or bigger if you want to surf here, because it compares to Hawaii or any other big wave spot. Bastimientos, near the main island of Bocas del Toro. The boat will take you to the town of Bastimientos, then you walk through a path to the other side of the island for about 45 minutes. They are currently building a road across, but it is not finished yet. Porto Belo area have several spots worth mentioning.