Surf in Playa Colorado Nicaragua

FAQs about Colorados

Famous for its tropical water, offshore winds, and selection of epic waves, especially its beach breaks, Nicaragua is a beloved surfer’s destination. One of the best-known spots is Playa Colorados, only two and a half hours south of Nicargua’s capital Managua. Colorados has earned a reputation among locals and tourists alike as one of the best river mouth beach breaks in all Central America.

If you’re looking to get barreled, this is THE place. You’ll probably get some of the best barrels of your life if we’re being honest. Just remember this break is a shoulder crusher and can go off so you might want to bring an extra board or two.


Where is Colorados located?

Playa Colorados is located on the Pacific Coast in the municipality of Tola, Rivas, Nicaragua. It’s about an hour north of San Juan del Sur and is accessible to the guests and owners at the Hacienda Iguana Development, by boat, or a beach walk north from our hotel in Playa Gigante.


When is the best time to surf Colorados?

Nicaragua is blessed with great waves, offshore winds, and sunny weather almost all year long. According to Surfline, the best time to surf here would be April to August, although if it’s low-mid to mid-high tide with calm or light offshore winds, try your luck. The surf here rarely drops below two feet at any time of the year and can go off producing eight-foot faces from April to October.


Is Colorados crowded?

When it’s good, it’s pretty crowded, although the crowd tends to spread out over a variety of peaks.


What surfing level do you need at Colorados?

We say intermediate to advanced to professional at some points of the year. Be prepared to break a board or two, but also be prepared to surf some of the best waves of your life.


How’s the water quality at Colorados?

It’s typically clean although if it rains the river can contain farm runoff, so it will get dirty. Note, the river usually flows the heaviest during the fall, so September to October.


What hazards are in the area?

Colorados is a breach break so there’s no need to look out for a reef, although there is a shallow impact zone, so don’t get caught in the inside on a big set. Also, watch out for debris from the river after it rains.


Insiders scoop on surfing Colorados

This very decent and consistent beach break works best on SSW to SW swells during a low-mid to mid-high tide. On higher tides it gets messy and low tides have bad rip currents. There’s a sandbar that gets replenished constantly from the river. To access it, we recommend staying beachfront at Playa Iguanas – you will have direct access to the break from here.


Advanced options

We suggest paddling out on the north side or right in front of the river mouth. Expect waves anywhere from chest high to about 3 feet overhead – anything bigger than that won’t hold.

The wave breaks left and right, the rights are quicker and often feature a hollow barrel section. The lefts are a little less hollow but still carvable. If you’re lucky Colorados may show off and provide you with the fastest barrel ride of your life.


Intermediate or beginners

If you’re looking for a more intermediate friendly wave you can head over to Panga Drops. If you’re looking for a beginner wave, try out Beginner’s Bay.

  • Location: Private beach (also accessible via boat or a long walk)
  • Wave direction: Rights and lefts
  • Bottom: Sand
  • Best tide: Low-mid to mid-high
  • Skill level: Intermediate to advanced to professional
  • Crowd factor: Moderate to packed at times
    Board choice: Shortboard
  • Local vibe: Respect the locals
  • Optimal swell direction: SSW-SE swells
  • Optimal wind direction: Calm or light offshore
  • Hazards: Shallow impact zone, river debris after rains

Surf spots near Colorados

Here’s a list of other popular surf breaks near Colorados:

  • Manzanillo
  • Panga Drops
  • Playa Santa
  • Popoyo
  • Playa Maderas

Is Playa Colorado beach family-friendly?

Playa Colorado beach is a great family-friendly option for anyone who enjoys beach days and surfing. You can always head 15 minutes up the beach to visit Panga Drops another popular surf break or Beginner’s Bay for mellower surf.


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