Best Surf Camp Nicaragua | Rapture Review

by Oliver Boyers
Rapture camps Nicaragua

Set between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the ‘Land of Lakes and Volcanoes’ boasts dramatic terrain and panoramic landscapes. Including sensational beaches, secluded, idyllic islands, pristine forests, and a wave-battered coastline.

Rapture Surf Camp Nicaragua is located on the hilltops of Playa Maderas, near San Juan del Sur. This treasure-trove boasts sweeping views overlooking the jungle and the ocean as the epic backdrop. With an assortment of activities, laid back vibes, affordable costs, and premium quality waves, you’ll be as happy as a clam on your tropical vacation.

Just like the surf camps in Costa Rica that we reviewed, Rapture Surf Camp Nicaragua provides access to cheap, uncrowded, and beautiful beaches – and some gnarly surf. The consistent offshore, warm waves provide some epic beach-reef-point breaks and outer-reef slabs, serving you up as a platter for surfing paradise.

Note: You can tailor your trip to your taste and style with surf lessons, surfboard rentals, yoga classes, motorbike rentals, airport transfers, etc.

Rapture camps NicaraguaQuick Breakdown:

Can’t wait for your trip? Take a look at this breakdown and the rad stuff Rapture Camps provide:

  • Surf Lessons (Intermediate to Advanced)
  • Weekly Video Analysis
  • Weekly Video Analysis
  • Daily Breakfast Buffet
  • Delicious Dinner (Sun-Thurs)
  • Yoga Class
  • Complimentary Wifi
  • Shuttle Services

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Accommodation Features: Eat, Sleep, Play

One of the best surf camps in Nicaragua, Rapture features an array of accommodations to suit all travel budgets and tastes – from bungalows, opulent luxury rooms, to private glamping tents. The gorgeous villas are nestled in the jungle overlooking spectacular views of Playa Madera’s surf (cough, one of the best surf spots, cough).

There’s a communal space providing ultimate comfort with a dining, living, and bar area. The social space offers a pool table with plenty of spots to hang for chill time and a place where digital nomads can work their magic (WiFi included).

To end a day of sand, surf and fun, soak your salty hair in the infinity pool overlooking the jungle’s fringe and boasting honey-hued sunsets. If you’re social butterflies, like Candi and me, there’s an awesome community atmosphere, where you can meet new people with interests alike.

Oh, and you think it stops there? This awesome, low-key social surf house includes scrumptious daily breakfasts and dinners. It’s easily accessible with a 4×4 shuttle service, or you can enjoy an energetic walk on foot for about ±15 minutes from the bottom.

Dorms, Glamping Tents & Private Suites

Rapture Surf Camp provides a total of 9 villas, including private rooms, glamping tents, and dorm rooms. The luxurious rooms are spacious and have private balconies and bathrooms overlooking the jungle and the superb glamping tents – both options A/C and fans available.

Private Glamping Tent

These beautiful, luxury glamping tents feature a king-size bed, mosquito screens, and a private deck with ocean and jungle views. Including a private bathroom and hot shower, making it the perfect getaway for couples.

Rate: From $104+ USD per room

Private A/C Suites: “King or Queen”

If you’re looking for a private, romantic suite for your special someone, there’s a king or queen suite. These suites feature comfortable large beds, A/C, flat-screen TV’s, mosquito screens, and of course, private terraces overlooking the jungle. There’s no doubt you’ll wake up in heaven each day.

Rate: From $142 + USD per room

4- and 8- Bedroom Dorms

Choose to stay in a spacious bungalow – with bunk or single beds – with a group of your friends. The dorm rooms are clean and spacious, with 4- and 8- bedroom dorm options. There are mosquito nets in the rooms and rustic bathrooms.

Rate: From $46+ USD per person

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Bar, Food & Buffet’s

All stays include daily buffet breakfasts, and delicious dinners (Thurs-Sun), made from authentic recipes and local cuisines. Fridays and Saturdays are Pizza and BBQ nights (which are not included in the room rate). Rapture’s menu suits all diets, from meat lovers to vegetarians alike.

Have a cold one at the onsite bar, alternatively make your way to the Playa Maderas beach for alternative options at one of the many restaurants.

The Surf

The area around Playa Maderas in Nicaragua ranks as one of the top surfing destinations, mostly for its ideal weather conditions and consistent waves and surf breaks year-round.

What makes this zone unique is the steady offshore winds – thank the famous Lake Nicaragua and Lake Manga for that. The large, inland lake in the southern region funnels the wind from the Caribbean sea and creates a gusty-offshore wind ±300-days-a-year. Providing ride-able waves almost every day, Yeah, buoy.

The surf capital San Juan del Sur is a 30-minute drive from the campsite, home to legendary surf spots, and a barrel hungry surfers dream – suitable for all surfer levels.

Surf lessons are available by experienced and knowledgeable instructors in a friendly environment. Lessons take place along the San Juan del Sur surf at Playa Maderas, Playa Hermosa, and Playa Remanso beaches. Known as some of the best surf beaches in Nicaragua and suited for all levels (beginners to advanced).

From Playa Maderas, you can travel to the famous surf spots and other popular places with Raptures shuttle services. There are also Nicaragua surf trips and boat excursions north to other hotspots such as Playa Manzanillo, Playa Colorado, or Panga Drops, etc.

Psst…There are nightly shuttles to town available for those looking to indulge in a little razzle, post-surf.

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Surf Breakdown:

  • Average Water Temperature: 27 – 29 °C (80 – 84 °F)
  • Skill level: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
  • Best Surf Spots: Remanso, Maderas, Hermosa
  • Typical Day: 3-6ft waves, winds are offshore all-day
  • Swell Season: May – November
  • Best to learn: Jan to June

Getting to Nicaragua Surf Camp

Rapture Surf Camp is a sweet tropical paradise found near Playa Maderas, north of San Juan del Sur. It’s located 2-hours from the capital city, Managua, and 3-hours from Liberia, in Costa Rica. One option is to fly into the Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA) in Manga; alternatively, you can arrive at Liberia Airport (LIR).

Rapture Surf Camp offers airport transfers at an additional cost of ± $95 to/ from the Managua Airport and ±$25 to/from San Juan del Sur (seating between 1-4 people one way). Alternatively, arrive by shuttle bus, and Rapture will pick you up at the beach (± $3 one way).

Final Thoughts on the Surfing Camp in Nicaragua

Thanks to the consistency of waves and awesome weather, Rapture is, without a doubt, located at one of the top surf destinations around. Make your way to the San Juan del Sur, near Nicaragua surfing hotspots with your guided instructor, or chill out back at camp and do a yoga class. Whatever you choose during your vacation in paradise, you’ll never want to leave.

Now that we’ve dived into the best surf in Nicaragua and the top camp, smear on some zinc, grab your board, catch the tidal waves, and stay salty. Namastay beaches.

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