The Caribbean is usually associated with a few days of relaxation, sun loungers and cocktails as opposed to an active vacation filled with sports and adrenaline. However, some of the beaches in the region are very choppy, with powerful currents and perfect waves for surfers. Panama, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Aruba. Would you like to learn more about the best beaches for surfing in the Caribbean?
Read also: The great active volcanoes in America
Surfboards, packed and ready for the best beaches for surfing
Forget about wearing a wetsuit because you won’t need it given the temperature of the water and the air here. All you need for a good time is a bathing suit or a bikini and a surfboard. The setting: white sand beaches and turquoise water in the form of idyllic backdrops. However, don’t be deceived. Some of these spots are like a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing because their enchanting appeal hides strong currents and giant waves. In addition, the greatest surf meccas tend to also have the best atmosphere out of the water and after the sun has set. Start off with one of these:
Bocas del Toro Archipelago. Panama
The natural setting of the impressive Bocas del Toro Archipelago is breathtakingly beautiful along with the picturesque homes in an array of colors that were built in the early 20th century by the United Fruit Company. These islands are home to some of the best surf spots in Panama and the entire Caribbean. They are a great destination throughout the year, but especially during the dry season between December and March. Two alternatives that stand out are Carenero beach and Colón Island, which has two excellent beaches: Dumpers and Punch. To take things to the next level, for a bit of cash you can hire a sea taxi that will take you to all of them so you can surf practically undisturbed.
Cabarete. Dominican Republic.
Casual and relaxed, Cabarete is a traditional fishing village located only 30 minutes from Puerto Plata and it has become the perfect destination for people who love water sports. Its beaches are suitable for many activities since there are an array of options, ranging from scuba diving to surfing. The perfect surf spot is Playa Encuentro (five minutes by car, west of Cabarete), which has points for different skill levels, from beginners (Bobo’s Point) to professionals who will be challenged at Destroyers and Coco Pie.
Aruba sounds like surf. And it is. Thanks to their fierce waves, Wariruri and Dos Playas (located on the northern coast of the island) are the best beaches for this sport as well as for bodyboarding. The other side of the coin, a calm sea perfect for swimming or scuba diving, is 25 minutes by car from Wairuri. It’s called Palm Beach—where the Barceló Aruba hotel is located—and this vast stretch of sand is well-equipped for tourism and leisure.
Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
There is no doubt that Costa Rica is a favorite destination for surfers throughout the world, right up there with places like Australia and California. In fact, Playa Negra beach in Puerto Viejo has one of the most powerful waves in Costa Rica. Every surfer dreams of riding this wave at some point in their life. The famous and impressive Salsa Brava wave has a tubular Hawaiian style, strong currents and a reef base with two peaks—one on the left and the other on the right—that make it unique. On the Caribbean coast, from Cahuita to Manzanillo, you can go from beach to beach skirting the shore. The best season for this is from December to March.
Another great destination for waves is Cancun, and although it is not associated with good surfing by default, it can be, especially between the months of June and November when its calm beaches awaken just in time for the hurricane season. The two beaches with the biggest waves are Chac Mool and Delfines (El Mirador). Another option is to travel a bit further to Cozumel, which also has spectacular point breaks such as Punta Morena.