Panama, officially known as the Republic of Panama, is located in Central America—in the isthmus that connects North and South America. The city is known by the Panama Canal and its rich tropical landscape. Panama is surrounded by the ocean and features over 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of incredible coastline and a tropical climate. This makes the city an ideal spot for those who want to grab some sun at the beach or have fun in the water. A popular activity in the region is surfing, as the area boasts an incredible mix of beach breaks, reef breaks, and point breaks. The swells at the coast pump incredible waves so you should expect to have a great time surfing in the region. Whether you are a beginner or a pro looking for something to go big on, you’ll find the right wave in Panama. If you’re traveling to the country to ride some waves, you’ll be spoiled for choice of surfing spots. To make your work easier, we have put together a list of the best surf spots in Panama. Check it out!
1. Playa Morrillo
This beach is a Panamanian secret spot located in Veraguas Province. It is a special destination for surfers in Panama as it offers waves that are spectacular tubes at their best. The beach is hidden, and to get there, you have to take two buses. Please note that the bus only takes you to the vicinity of Playa Morrillo—not the exact location. This, therefore, makes Playa Morrillo an ideal destination for the adventurous and those with private vehicles. International competitions also take place here.
Address: Playa Morrillo, Veraguas, Panama
Website: Playa Morrillo
2. Playa Malibu
Playa Malibu is a reliable surf spot along Panama’s central Pacific coast. Its waves are fast, and the tubes can get big. Thus, the spot is not suitable for beginners. Playa Malibu is surfable at all tides, isolated, and less crowded. The break is located in front of River Chame, and normally the right break is good at low tide, while the left break is good at medium tide. Despite the place being a perfect surfing spot, its waters have debris, so you have to be careful while surfing. Grab your surfboards and hit the waters at Playa Malibu between Match and October.
Address: Panamerican Highway from Panama City, Gorgona Town, Panama Oeste, Panama
Website: Playa Malibu
3. Santa Catalina
Initially, Santa Catalina was just a fishing village surfed by the locals. Nowadays, the beach hosts international competitions and is visited by international surfers. It is a secluded beach town in Veraguas Province, with clear waters, spectacular views, and an abundance of marine life. The place is a reliable surf spot in Panama with beach breaks suited for both beginners and experts. Santa Catalina is best to surf at medium to high tide, and the prime season here is from March through October.
Address: Santa Catalina, Southwest of Santiago, Veraguas, Panama
Website: Santa Catalina
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Carenero is another great surfing spot along the Pacific coast in Panama. It is located on Carenero Island, just a few minutes’ boat ride from Bocas Town. It is a popular spot for intermediate to advanced surfers to try reef-break surfing. Power surfing and long surf rides are also popular on this island due to its long waves. The island is mostly crowded, a guarantee that it is a safe place for you to surf. You will get to enjoy the views of the treelined island from the sea as well.
Address: Carenero Island, Panama
Website: Carenero Island
A famous surf spot along the Pacific coast, Silverbacks is set off Bastimentos Island and features powerful, fast waves. The waves emerge from deep waters and come in huge barrels to a height of approximately 20 feet (6 meters). This makes Silverbacks perfect for experts. Beginners and intermediates can surf at Red Frog Beach and Wizard Beach, situated close by. Silverbacks is also a great spot because it is situated close to Bocas Town, 25 minutes away by boat.
Address: Bastimentos Island, Panama
6. Morro Negrito
Morro Negrito is another famous surf destination in the country. It is a small beach situated facing the Pacific coast of Panama. It boasts a picturesque scenery of mangroves and wildlife and a beautiful view of private islands. Combined with the other islands, here you will find beach breaks ideal for beginners and reef breaks good for intermediates and experts. At Morro Negrito, you will find a surf school where you can learn the sport.
Address: Quebrada de Piedra, Panama
Website: Morro Negrito Surf Camp
7. Playa Bluff
Situated at the end of Colon Island, this beautiful beach is mainly surfed by experienced surfers. It is an exposed beach break that has powerful, fast-breaking waves. The waves come from deep waters and break very close to the shore, and they offer both lefts and rights. This spot is very unique and is less crowded. Be sure to have an amazing time while here.
Address: Bluff Rd, Bluff Beach, Isla Colon, Panama
Website: Playa Bluff
8. Playa Paunch
Playa Paunch is another great surfing spot along the Pacific. It is situated on Colón Island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Playa Paunch has both left and right breaks as well as long waves that are suitable for all levels of surfers. The left breaks feature powerful barrels when the swells are big. Due to its location close to Bocas Town, Playa Paunch gets many surfers. Remember to bring booties as the beach also has sharp reefs.
Address: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Website: Playa Paunch
9. Playa Cambutal
Head to Playa Cambutal, a gem located at the southern end of the peninsula. It is a scenic area with a pleasant beach surrounding. Due to its remote location, Playa Cambuta is home to the adventurous and is rarely crowded. The shoreline experiences both beach and point breaks and catches most swells. The waves are of decent sizes, so any surfer is free to surf at this location.
Address: Cambutal, Los Santos, Panama
10. Playa Venao
Set along the peninsula’s southeast coast, Playa Venao is a famous spot for surfers. It is great for beginners and intermediate surfers. Its waves break both right and left to around 10 feet (3 m). Playa Venao is calm during the weekdays, and on the weekends, it gets more surfers. Tournaments are sometimes hosted here, and on these occasions, the beach turns to a surf party.
Address: Azuero, Panama
Website: Playa Venao
A surfers paradise
Panama is really a great spot for surfers to let their guard down. The numerous beaches, picturesque scenery, and pleasant climate make it an ideal destination for a vacation. Hotels and restaurants are also in plenty. Grab your surfboards and head to any of the places from our list above for an amazing time in Panama.
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