Bocas del Toro - Surfing
In the Panamanian Caribbean, Bocas del Toro is a world-renowned destination for surfing, where global championships, such as the International Surfing Association (ISA) World Masters Surfing, have been held. Legends like Kelly Slater, Mick Fanning, Taj Burrow, and Tom Curren have chosen Bocas for its tubular waves.
The archipelago’s main surf spots reside off its three largest islands: Colón, Carenero, and Bastimentos. Traveling between the islands is quick, easy, and affordable as they’re only a few meters apart. Hop on a water taxi, a popular mode of transportation in the region, typically between $6.00 and $10.00 USD roundtrip.
In Bocas, you’ll find all kinds of waves: point breaks, reef breaks, tubes, rights, and lefts.
All three islands offer classes and surf camps that attract practitioners and fans worldwide. If you need a surfboard, leave yours at home, and rent one here.
When to Go
September, October, and November may not be suitable for surfing in Bocas, but you may get lucky with a swell. Due to the calm water, these are some of the best months for scuba diving, spearfishing, free diving, and island hopping.
Black Rock is ideal for those with some experience and beginners due to its deep waters and channel on both sides, facilitating access to the waves' peak. They break on a deep reef and produce lefts and rights. There are also schools and instructors nearby if you’d like expert help.
Old Mans features a reef and safe depths for beginners and intermediate surfers. It’s a popular place for surf lessons and for children to practice.
Point Break, in the open sea, with its five peaks, offers waves from 1.20 meters (3.93 feet) to 3.60 meters (11.8 feet), perfect for hollow tubes and intermediate-advanced levels. It provides a very consistent swell.
Silverbacks’ surf spot offers big right-hand waves, up to 6 meters (19 feet), from the deep sea, which requires an expert surf level, as they’re the most difficult to surf in the region. The waves break several hundred meters from the island over a deep reef riddled with holes and crevices. The strong currents that run through the area make the breakout spot unpredictable. Only the most capable surfers should attempt to surf here!
Wizard Beach is one of the least visited areas of the archipelago, more popular with the locals than tourists. It maintains its wild nature and offers varying waves dependent on the sandbanks and the tides. It’s a great spot to learn the sport, which is why it’s popular with surf schools, especially since there are always waves here, even when there are none elsewhere.
Playa Red Frog
Enjoy gorgeous views as you journey to the water on Red Frog Beach, offering waves for every skill level. Here you’ll find fast waves from the right and left, which break close to the beach.
Last but not least, Playa Uva, situated in the Nägbe region, features the most waves in Bocas del Toro. Have fun during your visit while respecting the native people and their land.
Bocas del Toro’s countless surf spots are waiting for you to explore! Just a few things to keep in mind – pay attention to surfing conditions, don’t step on the coral reefs, and follow the instructions of the local inhabitants.
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