Popoyo is pretty much a surf ghetto, with ding repair, Euro backpackers and the typical low budget surf scene. But
it's getting nicer all the time, especially up the road at Guasacate. That's where you'll find the previously mentioned
Hotel Popoyo, which is highly recommended. A nice surfing Argentine family has been developing Hotel Popoyo over
the years into a really great place to get away from the crowds and have a nice time. There's also great surf right
across the road at Guasacate beach breaks with no one out, ever, and fantastic pizza nearby at La Rana Roja
(more Argentines). Across the road from La Rana Roja is the Hotel Ola Verde, owned and operated by a local family.
The rooms are inexpensive and it's right on the beach.
Another great place to stay about five kilometers up the road in Gavilan is Las Plumerias. French surfer-owned, with
nice views from the restaurant. The owner is your surf guide, so he'll take you to Popoyo and other breaks.
To get to Guasacate or Popoyo take one of two roads in to Las Salinas. The road that looks shorter on the map is
sometimes called the Ochomogo road since you pick it up just south of Nandaime at the Ochomogo bridge. This way
is dry season only, as there are about nine river crossings. The most common route in using the road that goes
through Tola. You pick that up from the Pan Am highway at the north end of Rivas. Just follow the signs to Rancho
Santana, and keep going through Limon (no signs) and Las Salinas (no signs) making a left at the bridge (can't miss
it). Stay on the potholed asphalt road, pass Two Brothers and look for a well-traveled left turn with some signs
saying - in as many words - mucho surf this way!
Excerpted from The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica & SW Nicaragua, available at SurfTravelGear.com.
The Surfer's Guide to Nicaragua - Popoyo
Popoyo Surf Breaks
This is the place that has been putting Nicaragua in the surf mags the
past few years, especially following the Quiksilver Crossing’s visit.
Playful to hollow and juicy, reef breaks with rights and lefts, and
sometimes tow-in sized. Usually bigger than most other spots. Stand
up tubes when it gets bigger. Outside left reef (Outer Reef) starts at
about six feet and grows and grows and...no one really knows how
big it can get.
As probably the best known spot in Nicaragua Popoyo draws a
crowd. Good on most tides and easy access. In fact, Popoyo and is
one of the few good spots on the Gold Coast you can actually drive
right up and surf. There's a nice, inexpensive hotel in nearby
Guasacate (Hotel Popoyo) where you can stay, eat, swim in a pool,
and still walk to surf every day. Look for the Hotel Toro Surf/Hotel
Popoyo signs on the way in to Popoyo. Or you can stay at one of
the local surf camps, like the well-known Popoyo Surf Lodge and get
a ride in to the break every day. There's also the "Tiltin’ Hilton" (aka
Hotel Restaurant Bocana Surf) right there at the rivermouth, Club
Surf hotel, La Tica #2 (really cheap rooms) and other places.
Look south from the lineup at Popoyo. That's Magnificent Rock.
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|Typical small day at Popoyo.
"Borrowed" from Louis Preysz's YouTube channel (Louis, is it cool?)
|On the road to Popoyo with La Rana Roja Pizzeria on the left and Hotel Ola Verde on the right.