NOMB Surftrip Series #3 – Panama aka. Paradise

NOMB Surftrip Series #3 – Panama aka. Paradise


We love our surfcoaching trips and we also love surfing here on our beautiful island Fuerteventura. But there are so many more places to visit and surf on this planet!  And even though we love to have YOU on our surfcoaching trips, we can´t take you to all those great destinations out there.

So what, going by yourself? Planning your own surftrip can be super easy but also really complicated 😉 First class information of someone who has already been there is super handy when deciding when und where to go.  Yep, we know, it´s best just going there and finding out by yourself, but we all need money to be able to afford these surftrips. That means working, and working unfortunately means just a certain amount of holiday time. Resulting in that most of the time we surfers don’t have months to flow around and to discover surfing in other countries.

That´s why we started the NOMB Surf #Surftrip Series. To make real experienced information available for you. Making it easier to plan your surftrip and get the most out of your surfing time!

After #Surftrip Series no 1 + 2, which took you to Easter Island and on a camping trip to the South of Fuerteventura, today we are happy to have guestwriter Paula sharing her surftrip experience. Paula spent a while surfing in Panama, South America, and will tell us a bit about surfing in her favorite country. Clap your hands for Paula!!

” A few years ago I spent a few months in Panama. I was so in love with this country, that I also went back there a year later to surf the amazing waves again =) At my first visit in Panama my goal was to learn how to surf, so I bought a surfboard and let the journey begin. My trip started in – of course – Panama City =) I just spoke the basics of spanish, but the people there were really helpful and friendly and always tried to communicate with me when I was lost in Panama again ;). To be honest, I didn’t wanted to stay that long in Panama City, the waves were calling me =) Of course there are also “areas” in Panama where you should not go because they are really dangerous (especially when you travel as a women alone) but come on guys, if you pay attention and don’t run around with your 30’000 $ watch, I doubt that there will happen bad things to you! Well, let’s go on with surfing here =)
So I just spent one night in Panama City (“Magnolia Inn” in Casco Viejo was a quite nice place to stay, I preferred not to stay in“Lunas Castle” again, waayyy too much party and youngsters ) and was heading to my first main area: Playa Venao!
Basically I head 3 main areas to surf in Panama, the area around Playa Venao, Santa Catalina and Bocas del Toro. I decided not to rent a car but discover Panama by local busses. (It is quite nice to have a car there, but the roads are really shitty and it can also cost you up to 800$ for 2 weeks, for me not worth it).

Playa Venao


It was quite a journey to go to Playa Venao, my first bus took me to Las Tablas (a direct one, really comfortable, but suuupeeer cold because of the air condition – make sure you bring cozy and warm sweaters to Panama if you want to go around there by bus). Around 7 hours later I arrived in Las Tablas and tried to find the next bus stop. Finally I found it and a few minutes later I was sitting next to locals in a tiny little van – next destination: Pedasi! And another busdrive brought me from Pedasi to Playa Venao (be aware, there are no busses on Sundays from Pedasi to Playa Venao). When I finally arrived in Playa Venao I just wanted to go in the water and hey, there were a lot of beautiful waves!

But where to stay in Venao? There are a lot of hostels and hotels, and they are still building (I bet like 10 years ago it was simply paradise, but don’t worry, it’s still paradise there 😉 ). On the north side of the bay you can find Selina Hostel, quite a place for younger party people, but the location is just a dream – you can watch the waves while you’re making coffee in the communal kitchen! For a bed in a dorm room you pay between 10 and 25$ a night, the private rooms are up to 100$ a night. Definitely my favorite hostels there were Eco Venao (a little walk to the beach, but located in the mountains, eco friendly, totally green and more calm and relaxed) and La Choza (without beach view, but way cheaper and nicer than Selina – if you wanna party hard you can just take a five minutes walk to Selina, but if you wanna sleep and rest you won’t be disturbed by the loud music).

And the Surfing in Venao: well, no words needed guys! There are waves for all levels – so if you are a pro, you can go surfing in the middle of the bay in front of the “Playa Venao Hotel Resort”, for the “scaredy cats” amongst us: Just surf the end of the bay, it will always be smaller there. As it is a beach brak, there will be also close outs, but when you find the right position even the bigger waves won’t eat you alive (by the way, big waves for me are 1,5 meters to 2 meters, everything above is giant 😛 ) To go around in the venao area you can just hitchhike (not by night!!!). There is just one little supermarket (toooo expensive) so thumbs out to go to the big one (Pedasi, around 45 minutes) or the smaller one (Canas ,10 minutes drive). I spent quite a while in venao but also wanted to see the other surf areas in the Azuero Peninsula. By bus just a pain in the ass and I didn’t had a car… But as a communicative surfgirl it didn’t took me that long to get along with the locals and workers there. And yessss, they had cars and knew the places around =) So we went together to other places, away from all the tourism, to the “real Panama” (where you pay for rice, beans and vegetables just 1,50$ and not 7$ like in Playa Venao). Totally recommendable is the area around Cambutal. You will find a lot of reefbreaks there like 4/11, but especially in the rainy season you will need a 4 by 4 car! In general Playa Venao wasn’t that crowded but the area around Cambutal was even less crowded, sometimes we were alone in the water – the surfer dream about empty line ups came true 😉

Well guys all in all I spent 4 months in this area, it kind of caught me! You can find waves all year around, but for me the best time was from august until November. In general the pacific coast of Panama picks up the best swell from April to December, and you can alllwaayyys surf in Bikini or Boardshort there. I recommend you to visit Panama’s pacific coast at the end of the rainy season, everything is green and beautiful there. And even if you have a few days of rain, the water is still nice and warm =)

Short brake-out to Santa Catalina


After being stucked in Playa Venao I decided to go to Santa Catalina. I heard about the famous reef break there, but I also knew, that with the swell coming in, it will be a little bit too advanced for my level of surfing. But anyway, I wanted to go there. I stayed a bit outside of the town Santa Catalina (you can find a few hostels, a bakery and a supermarket there) and stayed in Surfers Paradise. This hostel has a view at the Point Break – stunning is all I can say! I could see the Point from my balcony…. For surfing I went to Playa Estero, it was just a short walk (5 to 10 minutes) and could find (depends on the swell of course) a nice beachbreak there. My friends (who are surfing for quite a while) always went to the point and were in love with this surfspot! The best time to surf here is vom April until december and by now this spot is known as one of the best waves in Latin America – but definitely an advanced surfspot! I didn’t spent too much time in Santa Catalina cause I also wanted to see the waves on the caribbean coast of Panama – the typical swell time for this coast is in the dry season, but there will always be a bit of rain on this side of Panama, so will have it nice and green all year around =)

Journey went on: Bocas del Toro – welcome to Paradise


As I already figured out, moving from one place to the other in Panama will always take a little bit of time! To go from Santa Catalina to Bocas del Toro you have a few options. Go by local busses (first one to Sona, then to David and from David there is an overnight bus to Almirante), you can go by car (well yes, around 8 to 10 hours, but you can make a stop in Boquete and visit for example the lost and found hostel in the mountains) and by now, I’m sure there are also shuttles that can take you there (just ask in the hostel you are staying). I choose (of course) the overnight bus. Around 10$ (they always charge a little bit extra for surfboards) and 7 hours later we arrived in Almirante. From there you have to take a speedboat to the main island Isla Colon (ca. 5$ and 30 minutes).

I decided to stay on one of the smaller islands – Isla Caranero. It is just a 3 minutes and 1$ (with surfboard and luggage they might charge you a little bit more) boat drive away from the main island. Absoutely paradise, no cars a little supermarket and two nice surfspots (Black Rock for beginners and intermediates and La Punta for advanced intermediates). Don’t forget your reefbooties if you go to Bocas del Toro (unless you are used to walk an reef barefoot =)). You will find really nice hostels at Caranero, back then I stayed in “Gran Kahuna” (about 15$ for a dorm and a 10 to 20 minute walk to the surfspot – you can also get a watertaxi, but the walk is worth it =))
Also on the main island you can find a lot of surfspots like for example Punch, Dumpers and Bluff. These are all heavier beachbreaks, you’ll see barrels and shorebreaks there when it’s pumping. So I just went there for watching haha but that was impressive enough 😉

Close to Isla Caranero you will find Isla Bastimentos. This one is more rural and has it’s own flair! A common surfspot on this island is Wizard Beach. It’s quite a walk but worth it! If it was raining a lot, you have to go through a bit (we won’t lie – a lot) of mud. We went there are few days for camping and the beach was absolutely amazing. When the swell came in, I decided not to go in, cause I really love my surfboard and didn’t wanted to crack it in the middle like a friend of mine did 😉 You can also take a water taxi to Wizard Beach, but come on guys, a little bit of adventure should be included in your surftrip =)

I can just say one thing: You should definitely check out Panama for a surftrip, there are so many nice surfspots to explore and the country has even more to offer, like the San Blas Islands, a lot of small beautiful islands, snorkeling and and and. Also the locals that I met there are super nice and will show you their little paradises that you won’t find in any lonely planet – don’t wait, go and book your flight to paradise =)”

Sea you in the water soon!


NOMB Surftrip Series: #2 The desert does magic

NOMB Surftrip Series: #2 The desert does magic

Welcome back to our surftrip series. This time it will take you to Fuerteventura, the most incredible of the Canary Islands.

We are in love with Fuerteventura and it´s magic, that´s why the NOMB Surf headquater is based here. Fuerteventura is the lowest and therefore the driest of the Canary Islands. You probably think that there isn´t much going on in terms of lush forests and vegetation but surprisingly you can still tell the seasons apart and see how the desert landscape changes. Check out those little funny plants that we discovered while checking the waves on our recent surftrip.



But back to our roadtrip. It was one of those trips where a friend calls you to tell you that the conditions are going to be epic and that you really, really, really have to come. So you check with work, put your boards on your car, pack some blankets, wood, food and water (and a sneaky bottle of wine for the campfire), call another motivated friend and you and your dog are ready to go! Heading where?? No idea really, you will see once you get there.

Being based in the North of Fuerteventura we decided to head south. Good music, great conversations and a lot of laughter, we were all hyped up to jump into the water. The new swell wasn´t due to arrive until midnight so imagine us being stoked to find some of the spots firing already. Chilling out at a bonfire watching the stars, we tried to calm down and not expect too much. But let me tell you, waking up in the morning was like Christmas and your birthday all in one. The word epic doesn´t even do justice to what had arrived overnight! That´s our view waking up in the car.



Looks small you think?’ Well, double overhead might have been an understatement for some of the sets that hit the reef. Sure we have traveled quite a bit, and sure we have seen a wave or two in this world, but this morning was definitely one to remember.

Maybe it was the perfect mix of great waves, good friends and empty line-ups but this short roadtrip reminded me of the essence of surfing: being grateful for what we have and sharing the stoke!!

Let´s hope that, in days when surfing is being consumed rather than lived, the original spirit doesn´t get lost!! We here at NOMB Surf believe in the beauty of our sport and feel honored being able to live a life close to the ocean. The love for mother nature and the ocean is one of the core believes of our surfcoaching trips, and we try to bring it across to all our NOMB surfers. If you wanna share our believes, why not join us on one of our upcoming surfcoaching trips?


Sea you in the water soon!

Your NOMB Surfteam

!!!Brandnew!!! NOMB Surftrip Series: #1 Rapa Nui

!!!Brandnew!!! NOMB Surftrip Series: #1 Rapa Nui

Welcome to NOMB Surf´s latest feature: the Surftrip Series!!

Once a month we will spoil you with a surftrip report, featuring NOMB Surf´s headcoach Angie or a guest surftrip writer. What better way is there to relive your surftrip experience than sharing it with likeminded surfers?? Apart from doing it all over again of course 🙂

So sit back, make yourself a nice cup of tea and enjoy NOMB Surftrip Series #1: A winterbreak in paradise – Rapa Nui (Easter Island)


Hi there!

My name is Angie, I am the head surfcoach of NOMB Surf. In case you don´t know, we here at NOMB Surf organize surfcoaching trips to really cool destinations all over the planet. And guess how the NOMB Surf idea was born? Right, I loooove to surftrip. There´s just something about visiting different places, surfing new waves and experiencing new cultures. It´s that certain feeling (they call it itchy feet) that makes some of us go out there and explore our planet.

But that´s enough about me, let me tell you a bit about one of my most crazy and amazing surftrips ever. Destination: Rapa Nui. In the photo above you see me standing on the westcoast of Easter Island. Looks nice you think but imagine that there is nothing (!!!), seriously nothing, behind me for another 3.600km. Until the Pacific Ocean hits the Chilean mainland.

Being an small isolated island in the middle of the Pacific, every surfer automatically will start thinking about how many swells might hit this only 23km small volcano island. The answer is quite simple: loooooads!!! Check out one of the spots on the other site of the island. Looks not too big because the pic was taken from high above. Down there the waves were roughly 5m high and trust me, it´s brutal. Only a handful of brave surfers surf this spot!

You get to Rapa Nui by plane (the boat once goes twice a year). Either from Santiago de Chile, Lima (Peru) or Tahiti. There is loads of accommodation, from cool little beachhuts to a luxury 5 star hotel, there´s something for every taste. However be prepared to fork out, Rapa Nui is a seriously expensive place. Everything is imported and the local community puts a well deserved high price on their natural and cultural heritage.

But the fact that Rapa Nui is easily one of the most magical places in the world, money really doesn´t matter once you feel the spirits and energies flying around that place. I am generally not a very spiritual person but there is something that catches you the moment you step out of the plane. You don´t believe me? Go and find out for yourself! How can you not be blown away by standing next to the 15 Moai statues in Tongariki??

Surfwise Rapa Nui offers great spots for nearly every level. Having said that, it´s probably not the easiest place in the world to learn to surf. A certain level of surfing will help you to enjoy the crystal clear waters even more. Duckdiving for the first time with your eyes open will leave you speachless. I wasn´t aware of just how much beauty was underneath me until I opened my eyes. Fishes of every imaginable color and shape swim around you and enjoy the waves as much as the surfers do. You might even be lucky and surf next to a turtle or three.. In Hanga Roa, the town on the island, there are a couple of different surfspots, all reefs that break clean and can hold size as well.

The Rapa Nui are friendly people who are aware of that their island lives of tourism and welcome everyone with genuine warmth. But don´t be surprised if after a couple of days you are being asked when you gonna leave again. There is a serious migration problem on Rapa Nui so don´t think about installing yourself for a longer period of time. On my first trip to Rapa Nui we spend over a month on the island. We were welcomed with very open arm but were accepted to stay for that long only because we have friends among the local surfcommunity.

So what do to on Rapa Nui once you are totally surfed out?? Even though it´s only a small island it will take you quite a while to explore everything. Anakena beach for example, a picture perfect polynesian beach. Palmtrees, moais, clear water and white sand. Just how you imagined. Or you can climb up Rano Kau, a volcano with water and floating greens. A once in a lifetime sight really!

I was very sad to have to leave Rapa Nui, I totally fell in love with the magic, waves and people of this place. That much that I returned to Easter Island one year later. It´s an amazing place that makes you get in touch with yourself, simply by letting you be part of it´s rich and diverse polynesian culture. Imagine the music, the dances, the paintings, the artwork, the language, the history.. I was totally blown away. And put some great and consistent waves on top of that, and you might actually never wanna leave this little paradise.

Sounds good to you?? You never know, one day there might even be a NOMB Surftrip to Rapa Nui.. Until then, keep checking into our Newspage to be up to date about our upcoming surfcoaching trips!

I hope you enjoyed Surftrip Series #1, stay tuned for monthly new surftrip reports.


Sea you in the water soon, great waves for everyone!