Panama's highways are among the best in Central America, with 4-lane freeways spanning the country, for quick access to surf spots. The public transport system of buses is good, or you can rapidly hail a taxi from the international airport. If you opt to rent a car, it is very easy to reach the various beaches with the help of a map or asking people in the villages along the way.
The sites for surfing in the Pacific Ocean west of Panama City are:
Malibú Beach is located directly in front of the river. It is a sandy-bottomed site with waves that go from right to left and break best at mid and low tides.
El Palmar beach is located after the town of San Carlos and has 3 breaks: the Front, the Point, and Little Hawaii.
Venao Beach is in the province of Los Santos. It has a sandy bottom (beach break), and the waves are around 3-6 feet year-round, occasionally reaching 8-10 feet high. Venao Beach is near the town of Pedasí, where you can find a range of lodging in hotels or hostels.
Santa Catalina is the most famous beach worldwide for its world-class waves. Santa Catalina is located in the Gulf of Chiriquí in the province of Veraguas. Back in 1970 a couple of surfers in search of waves discovered what was to become the most famous wave in Panama. In the town you can stay at a hotel or hostel, or rent a room.
If you're looking for waves on the Caribbean coast, then head to these sites:
The islands of Bocas Del Toro to the north, on the Caribbean side of Panama, have some of the best surfing in Panama, with a variety of surfing spots. The best waves in this area are found during the dry season from December to March.
One of the best beaches on Colón Island is Dumpers, a site with lefts and a reef bottom with a steep drop, large tunnel, and short trip. Another spot is at Punch, with lefts, rights, and a reef bottom with sections of good tunnels that are fun to hit and do aerial maneuvers.
You can also learn to surf at one of Panama's several schools, such as:
- Palmar Surf Camp
- Nitro City
- Surf School Panama
- Panama Surf School
What to bring
- Sunscreen and hat
- Food and water
- Lycra surf clothing