10 Best Surf Spots In Panama

surf spots in panama
| 4 min read

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

Magic island
Source: Photo by user Bernal Saborio used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

Playa Morrillo

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.

Playa Malibu

Address: Panamerican Highway from Panama City, Gorgona Town, Panama Oeste, Panama

Website: Playa Malibu

3. Santa Catalina

Insel Coiba Strand
Source: Photo by Flickr user dronepicr used under CC BY 2.0

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.

Santa Catalina

Address: Santa Catalina, Southwest of Santiago, Veraguas, Panama

Website: Santa Catalina

4. Carenero

Isla Carenero, Panama - panoramio (3)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user hh oldman used under CC BY 3.0

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

5. Silverbacks

Red Frog Beach Bastimentos 4
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dronepicr used under CC BY 3.0

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

Website: Silverbacks

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.

Morro Negrito

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.

Playa Bluff

Address: Bluff Rd, Bluff Beach, Isla Colon, Panama

Website: Playa Bluff

8. Playa Paunch

caribbean ride
Source: Photo by user Bernal Saborio used under CC BY-SA 2.0

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.

Playa Paunch

Address: Bocas del Toro, Panama

Website: Playa Paunch

9. Playa Cambutal

Cambutal Los Santos Panama 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ayaita used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Playa Cambutal

Address: Cambutal, Los Santos, Panama

10. Playa Venao

The view to Playa Venao
Source: Photo by Flickr user Roman Königshofer used under CC BY-ND 2.0

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.

Playa Venao

Address: Azuero, Panama

Website: Playa Venao

A surfers paradise

Panama City , Panama
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mattias Hill used under CC BY-SA 3.0

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.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our Privacy Policy for more information on how we use your data

Besides writing, studying, and loving adventure; I try my best to learn something new each day.

 Want to contribute as a Local Expert?
Explore Panama City
Good things are meant to be shared!