Surf Spots in Panama

Last updated: 15.08.2023
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Categories: Surfing

If there are good surf spots in Panama? We will show you. There are a lot of surf spots in Panama. Everything you need. Reef breaks, beach breaks, barreling waves, waves for beginners and so on. In this post, we will try to give you the best information about all surf spots in Panama.

Panama Surf Map

panama surf map
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Playa Venao

Playa Venao is the most quality beach break of the pacific side of Panama. Working all year round, this bay offers waves for all levels (beginners to the side of the bay, advanced in the middle of the bay, straight front of Club Venao).

The break gives a long right and left-hander in mid-tide coming in, and also a barreling wave at low tide (in the current). January / February is the windiest months but a good pure offshore wind, swell is pretty low during this time.

From March to November swell is definitely here offering a quality wave, opening and good to practice turns. With the beginning of the green season starting in May, the hurricanes give us always solid swells during this period (May to December).

Quick facts

Break Type: Beach Break
Seabed: Sandy
Wavedirection: Left & right
Reliability: Very high
Wind: NNW
Swell direction: S
Best tide: All tide
Surf skill: All levels
Best season: March to November

Go to forecast

🧐
Not sure how to travel to Playa Venao?

Check out our post “Panama City to Playa Venao”. There you will find detailed descriptions of all the ways you can travel from Panama City to Playa Venao.

Surf Santa Catalina Panama

Easy to access, by car or by local bus.

santa catalina surf map
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Playa Santa Catalina – La Punta

The main break

One of the best point breaks in Panama. Breaks in both directions, but the right is the main wave which is barreling the first section and then offering a nice wall.

Endless rides & easy takeoff! There is always a small wave breaking here. As soon as a swell comes, the spot becomes a wave machine. From six feet on it can get really crowded.

La Punta works best at mid-tide. Surf at low tide is possible as well, but then it gets pretty flat!

Quick facts

Break Type: Point break
Seabed: Reef
Wavedirection: Left & right
Reliability: Very high
Wind: North
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: Mid to high tide
Surf skill: Intermediate
Best season: April to October

Go to forecast

Punta Brava

Only accessible at low tide. There are one right wave and two left waves. Getting in and out is not easy, best to bring neoprene shoes. The wave is pretty powerful with super tubes! Not for beginners!

Quick facts

Break Type: Point break
Seabed: Reef
Wavedirection: Left & right
Reliability: Very high
Wind: North
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: Around low tide
Surf skill: Advanced
Best season: April to October

Go to forecast

Punta Rocas

Punta Roca, located approximately a 30-minute stroll away from Santa Catalina, is a renowned destination for surfers. This particular spot offers a left-hand breaking wave that is most suitable during low to mid-tide conditions. However, it is important to note that only highly skilled and experienced surfers should attempt it, as the wave crashes onto rocky terrain.

Quick facts

Break Type: Point break
Seabed: Reef
Wavedirection: Left
Reliability: Very high
Wind: North
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: Low to mid tide
Surf skill: Advanced
Best season: April to October

Go to forecast

El Estero

This exquisite location boasts the perfect setting for beginners to master the art of surfing. With its flat sand bottom and water depths ranging from 2 to 4 feet, it provides an ideal environment for learning.

Quick facts

Break Type: Beach break
Seabed: Sandy
Wavedirection: Left in & right
Reliability: N.A.
Wind: N.A.
Swell direction: N.A.
Best tide: All tides
Surf skill: Beginner & intermediate
Best season: N.A.

Go to forecast

Where to sleep in Santa Catalina

There is a large option of accommodations located in the Santa Catalina village with economic and deluxe options.

What else to do in Santa Catanlia

With the proximity to Isla Coiba, you can find scuba diving centers. Within one and a half-hour by boat, you arrive at one the most beautiful place to dive in Central America.


Bocas del Toro Panama Surf

Representing nine major islands and 59 smaller islands, Bocas del Toro is located to the north-west coast of Panama, this archipelago is only 32 km south of the Costa Rica. In 1502 Christopher Columbus left his name to the main Island Isla Colon. Three spots are located there. Bluff, Tiger Tails and Paunch.

Bluff

Working at all tides, this beach break offers a barreling wave pretty close to the shore.

It needs a swell from the northwest or east with wind from the southwest.

Located in the Caribbean Sea, the swell gets infrequent, the best time of the year to surf bluff is January, February, and July.

Quick facts

Break Type: Beach Break
Seabed: Sandy
Wave direction: Lefts & rights
Reliability: High
Wind: SW
Swell direction: NE
Best tide: All tides
Surf skill: Advanced
Best season: January, February & July

Go to forecast

Bluff at its best. Clean, strong & barreling.

Paunch Surf panama

Located south to Bluff, the surf spot paunch is a reef break offering a tubular left-hander wave for the first section and after let an opening wall, easier to put maneuvers. Fun wave when it’s small, it becomes really sucky with a bigger swell. As Bluff, the best time to surf is January, February, and July.

A little bit southeast of Isla Colon there is Isla Bastimentos with the two surf spots Silverbacks and Firstbeach.

Quick facts

Break Type: Reef Break
Seabed: Reef
Wave direction: Mostly left
Reliability: High
Wind: W, SW
Swell direction: N, NE
Best tide: All tides
Surf skill: All levels
Best season: January, February & July

Go to forecast

paunch surf panama
Sunny day at Paunch beach with fun waves.

Silverbacks

Is the Bocas’s big wave surf spot. Also the only right-hander reef break. The ride is short but offering a huge takeoff. It needs a big swell and can hold over 20ft swell.

Quick facts

Break Type: Reef Break
Seabed: Reef
Wave direction: Right
Reliability: High
Wind: SW
Swell direction: NE
Best tide: All tides
Surf skill: Advanced
Best season: January, February & July

Go to forecast

silverbacks
Huge & heavy Silverbacks.

First Beach (Wizard Beach)

It is a basic beach break with patches of reef. Harder to access, first with a boat and after a 20-min walk, is not the best surf spot of Bocas but is knowing to pick up more swell than the other surf spot, so it will be the only option when the forecast says flat conditions.

Quick facts

Break Type: Beach break
Seabed: Sandy
Wave direction: Lefts & rights
Reliability: High
Wind: NW
Swell direction: E
Best tide: Mid & high tide
Surf skill: All levels
Best season: January, February & July

Go to forecast

Small but surfable waves at First Beach.

Surf School Panama

Are you interested in Surfing Panama? Do you want to learn to surf? Or bring your surf skills to the next level? Check out our surf school Club Venao. We offer surf lessons and packages with certified ISA instructors.


Punta Teta

This beach break located on the pacific coast, close to San Carlos, offers various waves. Quality rights, also left pretty fast and an A-frame peak. All those waves break over a sandy and rocky ground. This beach break is also created by the flow of the Teta river.

Quick facts

Break Type: Point break
Seabed: Sandy and rocky
Wavedirection: Left & right
Reliability: High
Wind: NW
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: All tides
Surf skill: N.A.
Best season: May to July

Go to forecast

punta teta
Waves of Punta Teta at Playa Teta in Panama.

Rocky Point

Between San Carlos and Chame, this surf spot needs a mid-tide only to work well. The right-hander is the best but also the left is working. The wave breaks over a submerged reef. Swell from SSW will be the best. Respect of the wind we would prefer an NNW wind to see the most beautiful conditions and a swell range from 4 to 8 feet.

Quick facts

Break Type: Reef
Seabed: Sandy and rocky
Wavedirection: Left & right
Reliability: High
Wind: NW
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: Mid-tight only
Surf skill: N.A.
Best season: May to July

Go to forecast


Punta Palmar Panama

A one-hour drive from Panama City you will find beginner-friendly and easy to access Punta Palmar. Empty during the week and crowded on the weekends. Punta Palmar offers her best wave from mid to high tide. It’s a powerful right-hander. As a major part of the pacific surf spots in Panama, it needs an SW swell with an NNW wind. Punta Palmar can receive from 3 to 10 feet swell. The ground is a mix of sand and rocks.

Quick facts

Break Type: Point Break
Seabed: Sandy and rocky
Wave direction: Right
Reliability: High
Wind: NNW
Swell direction: SW
Best tide: Mid to high tide
Surf skill: All levels
Best season: May to July

Go to forecast


Hawaiisito

To the east side of el Palmar, you will find Hawaiisito: little Hawaii, mainly left-hander but this peak won’t handle swell above 6 feet.

Quick facts

Break Type: Point Break
Seabed: Uneven reef
Wave direction: Left
Reliability: High
Wind: NW
Swell direction: SSW
Best tide: Mid to high tide
Surf skill: N.A.
Best season: May to July

Go to forecast

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