5 Best Popoyo Surf Camps Reviewed {2023}

Are you looking for the best Popoyo surf camps? I’ve got you covered! 

Located on the remote, southern coastline of Nicaragua, Popoyo is a hidden gem for surfers seeking unforgettable waves and an authentic Central American experience. 

With its world-class surf breaks, laid-back atmosphere, and breathtaking natural beauty, Popoyo is one of the best destinations in Nicaragua for a surf trip. Whether you’re an advanced surfer looking for a full week of nothing but surfing, or a total beginner and eager to learn, there’s a Popoyo surf camp that’s perfect for you. 

I recently took a surf trip to Popoyo, and explored the surrounding breaks and area. It’s a pretty remote area, and I know just how important it is to find the perfect place to stay. 

To help you find the best surf camp and have the best possible surf trip, I’ve compiled a list of the best Popoyo surf camps, catering to various skill levels, budgets, and preferences. 

Here are the best Popoyo surf camps:

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In a hurry? Here’s a quick rundown of the best Popoyo surf camps:

1. Malibu Popoyo– Best all around luxury Popoyo Surf Camp

2. Magnific Rock– Best Popoyo surf camp with a view

3. Popoyo Surf Camp– Best budget Popoyo surf camp for beginners

4. 99 Surf Lodge– Best surf camp in Popoyo for boat trips

5. Wild Waves Surf Camp– Best budget Popoyo surf camp for intermediate surfers

Planning a surf trip to Popoyo? Check out my Popoyo surf guide!

Why book a surf camp in Popoyo?

Planning a surf trip can be super fun, but it is a challenge. It involves organizing accommodations, transportation, bringing  all your surf gear, and more. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE planning surf trips. However, sometimes you don’t have enough time, and it’s really nice to have it all planned out for you so you can simply focus on the surf….

This is where booking a surf camp in Popoyo comes in.

By choosing a surf camp in Popoyo, you eliminate the stress of planning and coordinating various aspects of your trip. Surf camps typically bundle lessons, accommodations, surfboard rentals, and sometimes even meals and video analysis into a single package. This means you can focus on enjoying the epic waves in Popoyo without worrying about logistics.

In addition to the convenience factor, surf camps in Popoyo provide an excellent opportunity for you to make new friends and mingle with others in the surfing community. 

If you’re worried about budget, you’ll be happy to hear that surf camps in Popoyo provide excellent value for money. When you factor in the cost of accommodations, surf lessons, gear rentals, and other services, booking a surf camp can actually be cheaper than booking everything on your own!. Plus, you’ll have the added benefit of professional support and guidance throughout your stay.

In a nutshell, booking a surf camp in Popoyo is an excellent choice for those seeking a hassle-free, social, and cost-effective surf trip. With everything taken care of, you can divert all your attention to surfing and making unforgettable memories in this world-class surf destination.

How to choose from the best Popoyo surf camps


One of the key factors in choosing the right surf camp in Popoyo is making sure it fits within your budget. This list of Popoyo surf camps covers a wide range of price points, from budget-friendly options with dorm-style accommodations to luxurious, all-inclusive, beachfront retreats. The good news is that there’s a surf camp in Popoyo for every budget, and I’ve made sure to include the price points for each camp on this list.

Skill Level

Popoyo is a unique surf destination as it caters more towards intermediate and advanced surfers. However, there are still a few beginner surf camps in Popoyo for those just starting out. When selecting a surf camp, consider your skill level and ensure that the camp you choose offers the appropriate instruction and guidance to match your abilities.

Time of year

The time of year you visit Popoyo can significantly impact your surf trip. If you’re a beginner, I highly recommend that you visit during the dry season when the waves are more suitable for learning. For intermediate and advanced surfers, the rainy season offers more challenging conditions and is the ideal time to visit. Plus, there will be way more waves working in the area. Do be cautious of September and October, though, as these months can bring intense storms.

I was recently in Popoyo in March, and the surf was definitely a little small. However, we still had an absolute blast, and it would’ve been the perfect time for a beginner to visit.


When choosing from the best Popoyo surf camps, consider the location of the camp in relation to the surf breaks you’re most interested in exploring. Some surf camps are situated right on the beach, while others may require transportation to reach the best surf spots. Look for camps that provide easy access to the breaks you want to experience, or those that offer transportation to nearby surf breaks as part of their packages.

All-inclusive or not

Another important factor to consider when choosing a surf camp in Popoyo is whether or not you prefer an all-inclusive experience. Some surf camps on this list include accommodations, surf lessons, and all your meals, while others may only include accommodations and surf lessons. An all-inclusive surf camp is a great option if you want to focus solely on surfing and enjoying your time without worrying about meals. However, if you’re looking to save money or prefer to explore local restaurants and cuisine, a non-all-inclusive surf camp might be a better fit.

By taking into account your budget, skill level, the time of year, location, and whether or not you prefer an all-inclusive experience, you can make an informed decision and choose the perfect Popoyo surf camp.

5 amazing surf camps in Popoyo

Without further ado, here are the 5 best surf camps in Popoyo:

1. Malibu Popoyo– Best all-around luxury Popoyo surf camp

If you want to eat, sleep, breathe surfing during your Popoyo surf camp experience, Malibu Popoyo should be at the top of your list. This luxury, all-inclusive surf hotel offers the perfect blend of surfing, relaxation, and high-end amenities. Situated right on the beach, Malibu Popoyo is ideal for surfers of all skill levels who want to experience the best waves Popoyo has to offer.

The surf guides at Malibu Popoyo are exceptional, catering to the needs of every guest, ensuring you have the best possible surfing experience. With unlimited transportation to any of the surrounding surf breaks, you’ll never run out of options to explore and ride the waves. The option to rent high-performance surfboards allows you to try out different boards and find the perfect match for your style and skill level.

Malibu Popoyo is not just about surfing; it’s about living the complete surf lifestyle. Your stay includes daily yoga classes, helping you find balance and improve your flexibility both in and out of the water. The hotel’s commitment to sustainability means you can enjoy your vacation with a clear conscience, knowing that you’re supporting a business that cares for the environment.

When it comes to accommodations and amenities, Malibu Popoyo is pretty tough to beat. You’ll have access to gorgeous beachfront facilities and a pool, perfect for unwinding after a day of surfing. Your stay includes three healthy meals per day, crafted from fresh, local ingredients, so you can fuel your body for your next surf session. Unlimited coffee, smoothies, and juices are also included, while beer and cocktails are available for an extra charge.

Special features:

  • Surf guides drive you to the best surf spot each time you want to surf
  • Luxury amenities
  • Three amazing, healthy meals included
  • High-performance rental boards available

2. Magnific Rock– Best Popoyo surf camp with a view

Magnific Rock Popoyo
Image by Mag Rock
  • Price Point: Starts at $1,825 for 5 nights/6 days
  • Availability: Check here

If you’re an intermediate surfer seeking an unforgettable experience at one of the best Popoyo surf camps, take a look at this Magnific Rock surf camp. Perched atop a cliff with unparalleled views of Popoyo, this surf camp offers a unique combination of exceptional surf coaching, breathtaking scenery, and personalized attention.

The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at Magnific Rock is the incredible view. As a guest, you’ll have the privilege of doing surf checks from the comfort of your bed, which we thought was pretty dang cool. During my week-long stay, I was consistently in awe of the stunning vistas that surrounded me. Honestly, one of my favorite parts of my stay was sipping coffee on my private balcony and watching the waves roll in.

Magnific Rock’s surf camp is tailored for intermediate surfers and includes surf coaching, board rental, and video analysis sessions. Under the guidance of their charismatic surf coach, you’ll not only improve your surfing skills but also have a fantastic time. I had the pleasure of spending considerable time with the surf coach during my Popoyo surf trip, and he even lent us his GoPro for our boat trip!

Speaking of boat trips, Magnific Rock includes and epic boat trip as part of their package. The boat trip was my FAVORITE part of my stay here, and the waves were…amazing.

While the food at the hotel’s restaurant isn’t particularly healthy, the surf coach ensures that guests participating in the surf camp receive a specially prepared healthy menu. It was our understanding too that they surf camp is undergoing a lot of changes, and we were told they were revamping the  whole menu pretty soon.

Their surf camp package also includes a 50-minute massage, perfect for soothing tired muscles after a day of surfing. And what better way to kick off your stay than with a welcome cocktail, setting the tone for an incredible week at Magnific Rock?

Between the stunning views, pristine location, and exceptional surf coaching, the Magnific Rock surf camp is easily one of the best surf camps in Popoyo. 

Special features:

  • Insane ocean views
  • Boat trip to a surf spot
  • Excellent surf coaching

3. Popoyo Surf Camp– Best budget Popoyo surf camp for beginners

Popoyo surf camp
Image by Popoyo Surf Camp
  • Price Point: Starts at $850 for 7 nights/8 days
  • Availability: Check here

With quite the fitting name, Popoyo Surf Camp is one of the best surf camps in Popoyo for beginner and intermediate surfers. With personalized surf instruction, exciting excursions, and comfortable accommodations, this surf camp provides an unforgettable surf vacation in Popoyo, Nicaragua.

Every day, Popoyo Surf Camp will guide you on a 4×4 surf trip around town to find the best waves for your skill level. This daily adventure ensures you’ll experience a variety of breaks and get a taste of the local surf culture. At Popoyo Surf Camp, the #1 focus during your stay is surfing. The camp maintains a maximum ratio of one surf instructor per three surfers, allowing for personalized attention and rapid improvement. Surfboard rental is included, so you can travel light and focus on enjoying the waves.

Popoyo Surf Camp also offers a few different excursions. They take you on a boat trip to a remote surf spot, and they also take you to the local hot springs nearby. 

While not included in  the package, you will have the option to add-on surf photos and video analysis during your stay. I will say, this surf camp is pretty affordable, so it’s still a great deal to pay a little extra to add on the video analysys sessions. 

Your stay at Popoyo Surf Camp includes six nights of accommodation and daily breakfast, ensuring you start each day fueled and ready for your surf adventures. The surf camp facilities are also clean, comfortable, and relaxing. Not to mention, they’re right on the ocean! 

Special features:

  • Surf guide in a 4×4 takes you to the best surf spot each day
  • Surf boat trip
  • Hot springs excursion

4. 99 Surf Lodge– Best surf camp in Popoyo for boat trips

99 Surf Lodge in Popoyo
Image by 99 Surf Lodge
  • Price Point: Starts at $2,380 for 7 nights/8 days
  • Availability: Check here

Another of the best boutique surf camps in Popoyo is 99 Surf Lodge.This luxurious surf camp is tailored for intermediate to expert surfers eager to explore the local breaks while enjoying super high-end amenities and the best food around.

During my visit to Popoyo, I had the pleasure of dining at 99 Surf Lodge’s gourmet restaurant, Taberna 99, on three separate occasions, and I can confidently say that the food is nothing short of amazing. When you book a surf camp at 99 Surf Lodge, your package includes a full meal plan, featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner at what I think, is the best restaurant in Popoyo. 

In terms of surfing- it’s really hard to beat the surf camp package offered by 99 Surf Lodge. If ocean conditions are permitting, they take you on THREE boat trips during your stay. They also drive you to the  best surf spot in the area each day. White this surf camp certainly isn’t cheap, if you factor in the price of THREE boat trips,  you’re getting a really good deal. 

Surfing aside, the accommodations here are nothing short of luxurious. The rooms are new, fully-equipped, and super stylish, and they also have a huge infinity pool that’s perfect for relaxing in. 

Another great bonus included in 99 Surf Lodge is that they include complimentary airport transfer to/from Managua.

Getting in and out of Nicaragua whether it’s from the airport or border can be a little hectic and overwhelming, which is why I REALLY appreciate that they coordinate transportation for you. 

Overall, 99 Surf Lodge is hands down one of the premier Popoyo surf camps for intermediate to expert surfers. With its luxurious accommodations, mouthwatering food from their restaurant, and plethora of surf excursions, 99 Surf Lodge provides a pretty unparalleled surf vacation in beautiful Popoyo, Nicaragua. 

Special features:

  • THREE boat trips to surf spots
  • Daily transport to the best surf spots in Popoyo that day
  • Complimentary airport pickup/dropoff
  • All meals included

5. Wild Waves Surf Camp– Best budget Popoyo surf camp for intermediate surfers

Wild Waves Surf Camp
Image by Wild Waves
  • Price Point: Starting at $739 for 6 nights/ 7 days
  • Availability: Check here

I’ve noticed that a lot of the time with surf camps and surf schools, intermediate surfers get  overlooked. That is NOT the case with Wild Waves Surf Camp. This Popoyo surf camp is specifically catered to intermediate surfers, to help you really up your surfing skills. 

Wild Waves Surf Camp includes a surfboard, two boat trips to  remote surf spots, and two surf guiding trips to different spots nearby. 

The camp also includes 6 nights of accommodations in Wild Waves Surf-House, which boasts beautiful new construction and well-appointed rooms. Each double room features a private bathroom, hot water, air-conditioning, and a fan, ensuring your stay is as comfortable as possible. The shared kitchen, available for your use, and the complimentary coffee provided by the camp add a touch of convenience and a homey feel to your vacation.

Your stay at Wild Waves Surf Camp includes six nights’ accommodation and daily delicious breakfast to fuel your surfing adventures. While lunch and dinner are not included in the package, you have the option to purchase lunch from the camp for $5, or visit the nearby restaurants with your travel companions, or new surfing pals you’vemet at the camp. 

In addition to surfing, Wild Waves Surf Camp includes a tour to Las Salinas natural hot springs, allowing you to unwind and rejuvenate after a day of catching waves. Wild Waves Surf Camp also includes airport transfers in your package, which is SUPER convenient.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable, social, and fun Popoyo surf camp package that is slightly less structured than some of the others, leaving you with more time for free surfing, take a look at Wild Waves Surf Camp.

Special features:

  • Two boat trips
  • Affordable
  • New, updated amenities

Popoyo Surf Camp FAQS

What skill levels are catered to at Popoyo surf camps?

Popoyo surf camps cater to a variety of skill levels, from beginners to advanced surfers. While Popoyo is known for being more suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers, there are still surf camps that cater to beginners as well.

When is the best time of year to visit Popoyo for a surf camp?

The best time to visit Popoyo for a surf camp depends on your skill level. Beginners should consider visiting during the dry season (November to April), as the waves are generally smaller and more manageable. Intermediate and advanced surfers will find more challenging conditions during the rainy season (May to October), with September and October potentially experiencing stormier weather.

Are surf camps in Popoyo all-inclusive?

Some surf camps in Popoyo offer all-inclusive packages, while others provide a more à la carte experience. All-inclusive surf camps typically include accommodations, surf lessons, gear rentals, and meals. It’s important to check the specific inclusions of each surf camp when booking to ensure it aligns with your preferences and budget.

How much do surf camps in Popoyo cost?

The cost of surf camps in Popoyo varies depending on the level of luxury, amenities, and inclusions. Budget surf camps may offer dorm-style accommodations and basic amenities, while more luxurious options provide private rooms, infinity pools, and gourmet meals. Prices can range from around $500 to $2500 per week, so it’s essential to research and compare surf camps to find one that suits your budget.

What is the student-to-instructor ratio at Popoyo surf camps?

The student-to-instructor ratio at Popoyo surf camps varies, but many camps strive to maintain small group sizes to ensure personalized attention and instruction. Ratios can range from 1 instructor per 3 students to 1 instructor per 6 students. It’s a good idea to inquire about the student-to-instructor ratio when booking a surf camp to ensure you receive the level of attention and instruction you desire.

Are surfboard rentals included in Popoyo surf camp packages?

Most Popoyo surf camp packages include surfboard rentals as part of their offerings. This means you can conveniently access the necessary gear without having to transport your own surfboard. It’s always a good idea to confirm with the surf camp whether or not surfboard rentals are included before booking.

Are airport transfers included in Popoyo surf camp packages?

Some Popoyo surf camps include airport transfers in their packages, while others may charge an additional fee or require guests to arrange their own transportation. It’s important to check with the surf camp about their airport transfer policy before booking.


In conclusion, Popoyo offers an exceptional variety of surf camps, providing unparalleled experiences for surfers of all skill levels and budgets. From the budget-conscious Wild Waves Surf Camp to the luxurious 99 Surf Lodge, there’s a surf camp in Popoyo tailored to your needs and desires. No matter which surf camp you choose, you’re guaranteed to have an incredible time, hone your surfing skills, and make memories that will last a lifetime.

If you’re interested in exploring other surf camp destinations, check out some of our other surf camp guides:

Best Ericeira surf camps

Best Sagres surf camps

Best Algarve surf camps

Happy surfing!

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