Panama has some of the best surf spots in all of Central America! Unlike Costa Rica, Panama is still virgin and you can catch most of the best surf spots by yourself with your buddies. Panama’s circulating currency is the US Dollar so there are no currency conversion hassles or rip-offs. Panama’s prices are still very low, so you can live like a king and eat like a pig after hard core surf sessions for as little as $2 or sometimes less, depending on where you are at.
Unlike Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador and most of the other countries in Central America, 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. Panama is also one of the safest places in the world, and the crime rate is lower than most US cities. You can surf, roam the streets, party, or shop care free, at any time day or night. Panama has an excellent communications system so you can easily call your girlfriend, family or business back home at any time without any hassle. Our guides always carry a cellular phone, so you are always in communication with civilization. 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 some of the best health care professionals. Our tour guides carry first aid kits, plus they are in phone contact with civilization, so in extreme emergencies they have the capability to call a medic-helicopter.
Panama’s democratic government is also very stable, and since 1990 we have not had an army, only a police force. The police are very friendly and helpful if you need them for any reason. If they stop you, it’s probably because you were speeding or passing on a double yellow line, and in most cases you can get by because you are a tourist or just pass them $2-$3 bucks. They are always more interested in your charity!
Panama is the only country in the America’s where the sun can rise over the Pacific, and the sunsets are amazingly beautiful. It is also the only country in the world where you can surf in the Pacific and the Atlantic in the same day. Sometimes we surf nearby Panama City, and then if the wind blows onshore, we drive over to the Caribbean Coast and surf perfect offshore waves over reef bottom. Panama is also the southern most of the Central American nations of which 29% is currently protected by National Rain Forest Parks.
The surf in Panama is non-stop with swells hitting the Pacific and Atlantic (Caribbean) Coasts year round. The peninsula area of the Pacific coast receives south, north and west swells making this a very good option year round. The Caribbean coast receives strong swell from November through April and June and July due to wind and cold fronts to the north, however, it is generally flat in the Caribbean in September and October. Winds blow predominantly from the north during the dry season months of December through April creating perfect offshore conditions on the Pacific coast. The remainder of the year winds are light and variable with glassy mornings and evenings. The heaviest rainfall is from June through October, during our rainy season. Tides fluctuate from 12 to 18 feet on the Pacific Coast and from 1 to 3 feet on the Caribbean (Atlantic) Coast.
Check out our Panama Surf Tour FAQ’s for answers to all of your Frequently Asked Questions!