Surfing in Panama

Panama Surfing

Panama Surf Report
By Jon Hanna of Panama Surf Tours

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 the 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.com .

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.

Panama's hospitals are of the best in Central America, so in the event that you got beatings on the rocks or reef while surfing (God Forbid), you can be guaranteed that you will be assisted by well trained health care professionals.

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.com for more specific information.

Finally, Panama is still inexpensive. At the beaches, you can generally get a great meal for under $4, and budget hotels range from $20 to $50 per room per night, depending on your style. Bus transportation can cost anywhere from $0.30 to $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 have the time to journey by land and boat ferry, then expect to drive for about 8 hours (if you have your own transportation - otherwise, bus transportation takes about 12 hours) and then ride on a speed boat (without your car) for 45 minutes, or on a boat ferry (with your car) for about 3 hours.

If you are limited on time, then air is the way to go. The flights leave from Albrook airport daily, and cost around $180 round trip per person. 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. You don't have to worry about tides for these spots since the Caribbean ocean does not have much fluctuation of tide. Some of the breaks are listed.

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. We suggest you surf with reef booties here for safety reasons.

Playa Bluff

(Bluff Beach) is a beach break on the main island located at the end of the road ("fin de la via"). This beach is a long stretch of virgin white/yellow sand beach with big, powerful beach break surf. 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. The boat will drop you off right at the break, and pick you up in the water, but by all means, we recommend using surf booties because the reef is shallow, and full of sea urchins. When conditions are right, you can surf the other side of the Carenero reef which is a right peeling wave.

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. Only experienced surfers should surf here.

Red Frog Beach

First Beach are both sand / reef bottom breaks with lefts and rights on the island of 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.

Colon / Porto Belo Area

The Colon / Porto Belo area have several spots worth mentioning. This area is located on the Caribbean coast, east of Colon City. The best surf for this area is from December through March, during the dry season.

You can get there by bus, or taxi, but we recommend going with a tour operator for convenience purposes because buses are loaded with locals, and you have to take several different buses to get to the surf spots. Taxi's are very expensive to take from Panama City all the way to the surf breaks.

To get there from Panama city, you go down the Corredor Sur (this is the new toll highway going towards Colon) towards Colon City, then take a right at the El Rey supermarket of Sabanitas (this is the dirtiest, ugliest town in Panama - do not stop here), then go straight and you will go through Maria Chiquita, then Porto Bello, then on to La Guayra where you catch the boats to Isla Grande. The surf breaks are as follows.

Playa Maria Chiquita

Located right in front of the town of Maria Chiquita. It is a beach break with lefts and rights, but is only good when there is a big swell.

Isla Grande

An island located right in front of La Guayra. It has a reef bottom break with 3 peaks. One is a left peak breaking near the rocks. The other is a center peak breaking to the left and right. Then the peak on the left hand side, breaking mainly to the right, but sometimes to the left.

Just be careful if you go to the left as there is a shallow area of the reef there. Surf booties are recommended as the reef is sharp and it is full of sea urchins that you can easily step on when getting in or out of the water. If you don't want to walk on the reef, then take a boat taxi to the break, and ask them to pick you up too.

Isla Mamei

An island located next to Isla Grande. You can identify it because it has a big house on it, owned by a Spaniard millionaire. It has a left hand point break over shallow reef. You can get there by boat, or by paddling from the sandy beach side of Isla Grande, about a 200 yard paddle through the channel.

The Palenque / Nombre de Dios

An area with a number of different surf spots with reef, or beach break, rights and lefts, but the one we surf the most is called "Cuango", because the indian village in front of the beach is called Cuango. The village is at the very end of the road, after the towns of Palenque and Nombre de Dios. Cuango is a beach break with rights and lefts.

This area is very unexplored and you will very seldom find any surfers here. To get there, you have to pass Porto Bello, then before reaching La Guayra, you turn right at the fork of the road, where there is a cantina. Follow the dirt road for about 1.5 hours. Be sure to go by 4x4 because the road is bad.

Playa Grande

A beach break with some reef on the edges, located around the point on the mainland in front of Isla Grande. The waves break left and right, depending on what peak you choose to ride. You can get there by 4x4 from La Guayra if you have a key to the gate, otherwise, you have to go by boat ride, which takes about 15 minutes.

Turtles

A reef bottom right point break that is located near Playa Grande, about 2 points away, within paddling distance. We call it Turtles because the first time we surfed there, there were about 5 sea turtles in the water underneath us and they would come up on the reef to sun bathe. The waves are really good if it is glassy with a big swell, and you can get some unreal tubes here.

V-Land

A spot located on the outer reef near Devils beach, at the old Fort Sherman US military base. The base has since been turned over to the Panamanian government, so you have free access to the waves now. Just go into Ft. Sherman, follow the main road which naturally veers to the left, then you will see a big gate on the right that has a road that leads into the jungle. Park your car at the gate, and walk down the road to the beach, which is called Devils beach.

Then walk down the reef to the right for about 1 mile, crossing several mini channels of water, and you will see an unbelievable right point reef break with great tubes. This place is only good when it is big and glassy, and you have to go early in the morning, otherwise, if the wind hits it, it blows the wave out since it is so exposed to the wind.

Pacific Ocean

We will start from the beaches in the province of Darien and work upwards along the coast through Panama City, then the Panama Bay Area beaches, then the Peninsula area of Los Santos and finally the provinces of Veraguas and Chiriqui.

Darien

The province of Darien is located below Panama City on the east side of the Panama bay, and is basically unexplored. There are a few breaks that people have surfed, however, only a few surfers have ever ventured into this territory.

Punta Jaque

Is a rock bottom point break with rights that is best at medium tide.

Jaque Beach Break

A black sand bottom beach break that breaks right and left and is best at medium to high tide, but can be surfed at low tide as well.

Panama City

Panama City has a few different surf breaks, however, we do not recommend them due to the city pollution that has gone into the ocean in front of the city—the government is in the process of cleaning it up. Also, there must be a really big swell for these spots to break.

Playa Las Bovedas

This spot is located directly in front of the Presidential Palace in the area of "Las Bovedas". It is a rock bottom point break with rights and lefts, and it is best at medium to high tide. The area is known for it's rich history with statues of famous people of Panama. At the entrance there is a great restaurant called "Restaurante las Bovedas", which has great seafood and a wonderful atmosphere. This restaurant was built inside of an old jail that the Spaniards used to drown pirates. They would lock them in the cell, and when the tide came up, the water would fill the cell.

Panama Viejo

This spot is located directly in front of the old Spanish ruins of Panama Viejo ("Old Panama"). It used to have a sand bottom, but many years ago they took most of the sand for building, and now there are only mud flats with some sand. You can surf here on a big swell at high tide, it breaks right and left but is a weak wave. Also, they recently built a highway called "Corredor Norte" that runs over the water in front of Panama Viejo, so the swell has to go through the pilings which weakens it even more.

Boca La Caja

This spot is located in front of the "Corredor Norte", in front of the area of "Boca La Caja" which is a somewhat dangerous area of the city with many thugs. We do not recommend going to this spot unless you are with a local. The break is a rock bottom, right break that is surfed at medium to high tide.

Isla Chepillo

This spot is an island in the Panama Bay located East of Panama City. You can only get there by boat. If you don't have your own boat, then you have to drive to the town of Chepo, and catch a boat from there. The boat men charge about $40 to take a group of 4 to 6 surfers out there. There are are two point breaks. One is a right point that breaks over sharp rocks and can be surfed at all tides. The other is a center peak breaking over rock, and can be surfed at medium to high tide.

Pacific Coast Beaches Near Panama City

The Pacific coast area near Panama City is much cleaner than the city breaks, and gets much better surf. These surf breaks are located by about an 1 hour drive west from Panama City, over the Bridge of the Americas, and up the coast on the Pan-American highway. We will list them in order as you go along the highway.

Playa Malibu

This spot is located near the town of Gorgona. You must turn off the main highway, into the town of Gorgona, go straight until you get to the end of the road at the beach. Look to your left, and you will see a river. The break is located directly in front of the river, and is a sand bottom right and left break best during medium to low tide. The right is good at low tide, and the left is good at medium tide going up.

This spot is one of the best and most consistent spots in the Panama Bay area and you can get some good tubes and long rides when there is a good swell. However, you should go by 4x4 truck and park on the beach in front of the break because if you leave your car on the road or near the river and walk down, your valuables in your car are very likely to get ripped off by the locals.

Playa Serena

This spot is located in the town of Coronado. You must go into Coronado, pass the gate, straight until you see two big Condo towers on the beach, in front of a rock point with a large concrete wall. The break is a right point break with good tubes at the point, then after the rocks, the wave tends to mush out but keeps a long rippable wall. You can get rides as long as 200 yards. There must be a good swell for this spot to work well.

Playa Teta

To the Gringos, this spot is called "Tits", not for naked women, but for the river that runs in front of it called "Rio Teta", which means "Tits river" for the shape of it. It is located about 2 miles past the town of Coronado, taking a left off of the main highway, then going down a dirt road for about 10 minutes. Park at the end of the road under the mango tree, then walk down the trail. This spot has 3 different breaks.

The Front (Frente de Teta)

Is the rock/sand bottom break that is located directly to the right of the river mouth, or in front of the river mouth, depending on how the river is flowing at that time (it changes from time to time). The front has long lefts at low tide, and rights and lefts at medium to high tide.

The Point (Punta de Teta)

Is the point break that is located directly to the left of the river mouth. It is a point break over rock bottom that breaks left and right, with good tubes at the peak and long rides. It is best at medium tide going up.

Rinconsito

Is the rock bottom point that is located directly to the left of Punta Teta, and it is a long right break. You can get rides of up to 200 yards long on a good swell. This spot is named after the famous break in California called "Rincon", so the Panamanians called it "Little Rincon", or "Rinconsito".

Playa El Palmar

This beach is located after the town of San Carlos, taking a left off of the main highway, right after you pass the bridge of San Carlos. Go down the asphalt road about 1 mile to the beach. This beach has 3 breaks.

Frente Palmar (Palmar Front)

Is a beach break with rock bottom on the left hand side. It is very crowded on weekends, and there is a surf camp located directly in front of it, so it can get crowded. The beach break is a close-out, and mainly beginners go there to surf.

Punta Palmar (Palmar Point)

Is a rock bottom point break directly to the right of the beach break, and has right peeling waves at medium to high tide. There must be a good swell for this spot to break well, but when it is good, it can get very powerful and fun.

Hawaiisito (Little Hawaii)

Is a rock bottom point break to the left of the beach break, down to the left of the concrete wall. It breaks to the left at full high tide, and can be fun, but this spot is quite weak, and can only handle a small swell of about 3 to 4 feet, otherwise it closes out.

Playa Rio Mar

This beach is located after Palmar, in the town of Rio Mar. After you pass the town of San Carlos on the main highway, you will go over a few hills, then you will see a sign to the left to enter Rio Mar on an asphalt road, which takes you to the beach. The restaurant charges $5 to park the car under the tree, in front of the beach. If you don't pay the $5 for parking, the restaurant owner will flatten your tires, so beware! There are some rental cabins there with a pool too. Rio Mar has 2 breaks

Frente Rio Mar (Rio Mar Front)

Is the beach break, with rocks spread throughout various parts of it. It is best at medium to high tide, and has rights and lefts.

Punta Rio Mar (Rio Mar Point)

Is the point break down to the right. At low tide, you have to walk down the beach for about a mile to the point, and then walk through the rocks, and paddle out where there is a long rock ledge that sticks out into the ocean. The wave breaks right and left, but the rights are best and it only breaks at low tide.

Los Santos: Pedasi / Tonosi

The province of Los Santos has some of the best surf in Panama, as it is located out on the peninsula of Panama. That is the part of Panama that looks like a boot that sticks out in the Pacific ocean.

To get there, you go down the Pan American highway, then take a left at Divisa, then go through Chitre, then through Las Tablas, then to Pedasi. At Pedasi, the beaches begin, and run all the way through Tonosi to the end of the road at Cambutal. There are dozens of unexplored beaches in this area, but we will name the known surf breaks from Pedasi over to Cambutal.

Playa Lagarto

Is in the town of Pedasi. Just ask anyone for directions to the beach, and follow the dirt road for about 10 minutes to the beach. This break is a beach bottom break that breaks at all tides with some rocks on each end, but gets good rights and lefts and can be very powerful when it is big. However, when it gets too big, it closes out.

Playa El Toro

Is also in the town of Pedasi. It is right next to Lagarto, but is the point before Lagarto where the road ends. It is a rock bottom point break with lefts and rights, and it gets really good when there is a good swell. It is best surfed at medium tide.

Playa Destiladeros

Is a beach near Pedasi with several breaks. It has a right point over rock bottom, a left point over rock bottom, and a beach break with pebble bottom. It is best at medium tide.

Ciruelo

Is a rock bottom point break located 20 minutes past Pedasi, right before Venado. You can see it from the road, but you must turn off at the store, and park, then walk down the hill to the break. It is rarely surfed, but can get really good left tubes when there is a good swell and no wind.

Playa Venao

Is a sand bottom beach break located 30 minutes past Pedasi. You will see the sign to turn off into Venao. This spot catches just about any swell, so it is a good bet when there is little or no surf anywhere else. It is best surfed at medium to high tide. At low tide, it tends to close out. Also, on swells over 8 to 10 feet, it tends to close out. There are some small beach cabins there, and a restaurant.

Playa Madrono

Is a sand bottom beach break located about 5 minutes past the entrance to Venado. You have to park the car on the main road, then walk down the cow pastures to the river, then follow the river out to the beach for about a 30 minute hike.

Bring your shoes and prepare to step in cow dung! Also bring along a bottle of water because there is nothing at the beach. The surf can get really good, with hollow tubes at low tide, but be sure to go early in the morning before the wind starts.

Playa Raya

Is a beach point break with sand bottom that is located about 10 minutes past Venado. It is named "Raya" for the big manta rays and sting rays that are seen in the water there. To get there, you have to park on the main road, then walk across the cow pastures to the beach. It is about a 45 minute hike down the hill to the beach. At low tide, you will see miles of secluded beach, with a right point break on the left side of the sand bar, and a left point break on the left side of the sand bar. The waves can get huge, up to 15 or 20 feet on big swells, with big tubes. Bring a bottle of water as there is nothing out there.

The wild life is incredible here and the big sea turtles come up to lay eggs on the beach. Be careful though, lots of big sharks here!

Playa Guanico

Is located about 1 hour past Venado. It has several breaks including 2 rock bottom point breaks with rights and lefts, and one beach break with rights and lefts. There is a small town there with a store, and there is a Frenchman building some cabins, but they are not open for business yet.

Cambutal

Is located past Venado, then past Tonosi, in the town of Cambutal. It has several great surf breaks including beach breaks and point breaks and catches just about any swell so it is rarely under 4 to 5 feet and as big as 15 to 20 feet.

To get to the surf breaks here, you need a 4x4 because the road is very muddy and you have to go through a river. There are no surf camps or hotels there, so bring your tent, or stay at the town of Tonosi, which is about 40 minutes away by car. Each break will be mentioned in order as you drive along the road from the beach break at the town of Cambutal to the end of the road, which is Corto Circuito.
If you are looking for a place to stay, check out the Hotel Playa Cambutal.

Cambutal Beach Break

Is located directly in front of the town of Cambutal. It is a fun beach break with rights and lefts and is best at medium to high tide, but can be good at low tide as well.

Punta Negra

Is located down the road, around the first point. You will see it below as you go along the road that runs next to the cliff. It is a point break over rock bottom that is best during medium to high tide.

411

Is located about 30 minutes from the town of Cambutal, and it is a point break with a long right hander over rock ledge bottom. You can see how the surf has carved the rocks into shelf plates. This is one of the most famous breaks in Cambutal, and is best during medium to high tide.

Dinosaurios (Dinosaurs)

Is located directly next to 411. It is a rock bottom break with rights and lefts at medium to high tide, but can also be surfed at low tide. It is very powerful and can get very big surf.

Horcones Beach Break

Is located down the beach from Dinosaurios. It is a sand bottom beach break with rights and lefts. There is one spot that is in front of a small river mouth that gets really good at medium to low tide, but is also good at high tide.

Dos Rocas

Is a rock bottom point break down at the end of Horcones Beach Break. It has two large rock boulders that stick out so you will immediately see where it is. It can get good rights at medium tide.

Corto Circuito

Is the daddy of Cambutal. It is located at the very end of the road, after Dos Rocas. It is a rock bottom point break with a very powerful peak that breaks over a rock ledge and throws a huge tube, then peels down the point for about 100 yards with a great wall that you can do tons of turns on.

Veraguas

The province of Veraguas has some of the best surf known to Panama and Central America for that matter. This is the area around the back (west) side of the Peninsula. The main breaks are all close to the town of Santa Catalina.

Playa Santa Catalina

Is located past the town of Sona, about 1.5 hours south. This is one of the most famous spots in all of Central America. Surfers from around the world come here to surf incredible waves. Santa Catalina initially began as a small fishing town, and thanks to the good surf it generates, it has gradually become a thriving surfing community.

The town has a restaurant, pool bar, cantina, and a food store. There are also a few surf camps located there, each with varying prices depending on your style such as the Santa Catalina Hotel.
The main point break is located around the point from the town, and is a sharp rock bottom right and left break, but the main wave is the right. It gets incredible tubes, and long rides with lots of power and is surfed from medium to high tide. On bigger swells you can also surf at low tide although it gets really shallow and hollow and sucks out hard over the reef.

Estero Beach Break

Is a long beach break located to the left of the main point break, about a 15 minute walk from the town. It has lefts and rights over sand bottom. Beginners generally surf the beach break at low tide.

Punta Brava

Is a point break located to the left of the Estero Beach Break. It breaks at low tide over sharp rock bottom, and has lefts and rights, but the lefts are best. It is very powerful and has a great tube section. We recommend using surf booties for this spot as it is quite dangerous to get in and out of the water and is not recommended to beginners.

If you drive down the beach at low tide with a 4x4, be sure to not stay out too long as the tide can come up fast and you cannot get through the river section to get back to Santa Catalina.

Punta Roca

Is a point break on the opposite side of the town of Santa Catalina, accessible by boat or by foot, about a 30 minute walk over the rock reef (bring shoes or booties!). It is a left point break surfed at low tide over a rock bottom ledge, with short rides, but big hollow tubes. It is known to break boards so be careful.

Isla Cebaco

Is a large island located directly to the left of Santa Catalina. You can get to the surf breaks by boat, about a 1 hour boat ride. There are 3 breaks on the island. One is a beach break with rights and lefts. The other is a right point over rock bottom. The other is a left point over rock bottom. This area is also great for spear fishing, and is known for seeing whale sharks, large red snapper, and grouper.

Bring your mask, snorkel and fins plus a Hawaiian sling or spear gun so you can stop at the reefs to do some fishing after surfing. If you want to go spear diving, ask for "Babaloo" in the town of Santa Catalina, as he is the master spear diver at Santa Catalina. This guy spears 100 pound red snapper on a daily basis. You might want to take him along to scare off the sharks!

Playa Mariato

Is a beach located on mainland, facing the back side of Isla Cebaco. It is a soft rock bottom break with lefts and rights. You can get there by car, and they have beach front cabins with restaurant. There is also a new fishing camp there, operated by an American Zonian named Alex Livingston.

He takes people on fishing tours in the area, and has nice accommodations for tourists. If you want to go fishing and surfing on the same trip, it is worth going here.

Chiriqui: Islas

The province of Chiriqui has several islands in the Pacific that have really good surf. These islands are very remote and generally only those who have access by sail boat or yacht can get to them. However, there are some tour operators that offer specialized tours to these exclusive surf locations.

There is also excellent fishing in this area, and there is one particular spot in the area called "Hannibal Bank" that is world famous for catching marlin and sail fish. Most of the big fishing charter yachts in Central America go there to fish. The surf breaks are relatively unexplored, but here we will mention some of those that are known.

Isla de Coiba

Has a number of surf spots, but most are un-surfed, and very difficult to find or get to even if you are on a boat. The island is gigantic, and only the south west side has surf.

Isla Montuosa

Is a small island on the opposite side of Hannibal Bank from Coiba. It has a good right rock bottom point with solid waves, and very consistent. It can get up to 25 feet faces on big swells, but this place catches just about any swell, so it is rarely under 6 ft. here.

Isla Silva de Afuera

Is a small island about 30 minutes by boat away from Morro Negrito, more inland than Isla Montuosa. It has two breaks, one left and one right. The right is a big peak breaking over a shallow rock ledge at medium tide, and can throw a big tube, with steep drops and no wall. A very short ride.

The other break is a pretty good left that breaks over a rock reef at medium tide. The left has longer rides than the right, but it has a section in the middle that is very difficult to get around and the rocks on the inside are killer, so be careful. This spot catches almost any swell, and it is normally at least 4 ft. or bigger here.

Isla Silva de Adentro

Is another small island further inland from Isla Silva de Afuera, which has a right hand break over rock reef that can get really good if there is a good swell. It has a nice long ride with good tubes and lots of power.

Morro Negrito

Is located on the mainland, but you have to get there by land, then boat ride. To get there you drive on the Pan American highway, and about 15 minutes past the town of Santiago, you take a left at the Dept. of Agriculture, and follow the asphalt road inland for about 20 minutes and after the Panamanian Coast Guard base, you will see a small house next to the marsh with some boats in the water.

Take one of those boats to Morro Negrito. You have to time it so that you catch the boat at high tide, otherwise, the swamp is dry and the boats cannot go through the marsh to get out to the ocean. The surf can get good at Morro Negrito if there is a swell. It has about 5 breaks. The main break is located directly in front of the town of Morro Negrito, which is a left point break over rock bottom.

It has another outer left point about 300 yards up the coast that also breaks over rock bottom, and has good tubes. On the other side, there is a beach break with rights and lefts. Then on the other side of the point, there is a river mouth sand bottom break that gets good lefts and rights when there is swell.

Chiriqui: David

The city of David has several spots that are worth mentioning and they get the same swell direction of Chiriqui Islands and the Peninsula waves. This area is relatively unexplored, but we will mention these few spots that are well known surf breaks.

Playa Las Lajas

Is a beach bottom break with rights and lefts that is located right before the town of David, right off of the main highway, about 15 minutes down the road.

The beach gets packed with drunk locals on the weekends, and the wave is sometimes good, but usually does not have a lot of form, mainly a closeout. However, if you have a 4x4 you can drive down the beach to the point breaks where you will find secluded waves that are unexplored and unknown. This place can be surfed at any tide.

La Barqueta

Is a beach bottom break with rights and lefts that is located right near David. Just go to the city of David, and ask where is the "Feria de David", then when you get there, ask which road to take to Barqueta, then follow that road straight to the beach. They sometimes hold surf contests at Barqueta, but it is generally only good when there is no wind, so go surfing early in the morning. It breaks at all tides, but medium to high is best.

Punta Burica

Punta Burica is the northern most point of Panama, on the border of Costa Rica and Panama. To get there you have to go by 4x4 or boat. By 4x4, you pass David, then go to the town of Puerto Armuelles, then follow the beach at low tide for about 2 hours, until you get to the point where the waves are.

There are about 4 left points that break along the point, for long, tubing rides. It generally catches about any swell since it sticks out in the Pacific ocean. It is known to be a better wave than Pavones of Costa Rica, and you will rarely find anyone out surfing. However, bring your camping tent, and food because it is desolate with no place to stay or eat.

If you would like more information about surfing in Panama, please visit Panama Surf Tours, or visit Magicseaweed for reliable swell forecasts.