Our Surf Camp address
Our physical and mailing address is:
1 1/2 cuadra al norte de El Timon
Calle frente al mar
San Juan del Sur, Rivas, Nicaragua
Please visit our Trip Prep page where you can find all of the information you will need to help you prepare for your trip, including:
- Online Waiver Form
- Prep Guide (including our Suggested Packing List and Pop-ups & Conditioning Guide)
- Instructional Video series to help you prepare for a week of surfing!
You need a passport to travel to Nicaragua and it must be valid for at least six months beyond your travel date. All visitors are required to buy a tourist visa for $10 in U.S. currency upon arrival at customs.
Nicaragua’s international airport is Managua International Airport, located in the capital city of Managua. The airport code is MGA. Direct flights from major cities in the United States are available from United, American Airlines, Delta, Spirit, and TACA. Be sure to check fares against travel search engines like Kayak.com and Travelocity.com.
Airport Shuttle/Transportation Info
San Juan del Sur is 2.5 hours from MGA Airport. We provide a free shuttle from the airport to San Juan del Sur at 12:30PM on the Saturday of arrival and from San Juan del Sur to the airport at 7:30AM on the Saturday of departure. If you are unable to make use of our free shuttle, we can help you arrange alternate transportation with the reputable in-town shuttle company ISKRA Travel.
Note for late-night arrivals: The roads are poorly lit and bordered by farms on both sides, making for frequent animal crossings and thus hazardous conditions for nighttime travel. If you are only able to find flights arriving MGA at night (or departing MGA early morning), we recommend coming in a day early (or leaving a day late) and staying overnight in Managua for travel to the camp (or airport) the next morning. We pick up and drop off at the two hotels near the airport in Managua: the Best Western and the Camino Real.
Thinking about traveling solo? GREAT! The majority of our guests are solo travelers! Join a group of other adventurous women and experience Nicaragua with new friends! Many women are reluctant to travel alone. At CHICABRAVA we provide a safe, supportive environment where you can comfortably feel inspired and empowered, conquer fears, and push yourself to the next level. Or… just come and relax and experience a foreign country in a safe and enjoyable atmosphere! Unless you request otherwise, we will put you in a shared room with one of the other chicas. (Read More…)
Best Time(s) of Year to Visit
Anytime of year is great to visit, both surf-wise and weather-wise, except for the month of October. (Read More…)
Nicaragua has the lowest reported crime rate and is considered the safest country in Central America. INCAE (the Harvard Business school affiliate in Nicaragua), INTERPOL, and the Inter-American Institute on Human Rights support this claim placing Managua as the safest capital in the region, and Nicaragua as the safest country in Central America and among the safest countries in the world. Recent studies also point to Nicaragua’s low reported crime rate (lower than in Germany, France or the U.S.).
The town where we are located, San Juan del Sur, is tiny. The anonymity relied upon by most criminals in large cities does not exist here, making crimes difficult get away with; and hence there is an extremely low incidence of crime. Most of the unsettling discussion and travel advisories directed at Nicaragua concern the current perceived political situation. Understanding a bit about Nicaragua’s past may help to put things into perspective. As a good rule of thumb, you should always plan to exercise a responsible amount of caution while traveling abroad. We start by meeting you at the airport before your plane even lands and then transporting you directly to our camp.
Throughout the 1980’s, Nicaragua was believed to be and depicted as a dangerous socialist country by the U.S. For many decades Nicaragua was controlled by the oppressive U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship. After much struggle and strife, the people were able to get out from under the dictator’s control and form their own government, with Daniel Ortega leading the country as President. Their efforts were crushed by crippling economic sanctions and embargoes implemented by the U.S. and by civil war waged by the “contras” (an opposing political party illegally backed by the U.S). You may remember the Oliver North /Iran-Contra scandal during the Reagan administration (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Contra_affair). During this time, the U.S. was illegally selling arms to Iran to back the “contras” in war against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. After undergoing nearly a decade of crippling economic sanctions and civil war with the U.S.-backed “contras”, the Sandinista party agreed to hold elections. In 1990, the Sandinistas were voted out of office, to be replaced by Nicaragua’s first ever woman president: Violetta Chamorro (seehttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violeta_Chamorro). Twenty years of peace ensued and continues to date.
In 2004, the real estate market in Nicaragua started to boom, bringing a marked increase in tourism along with it. In November 2007, Nicaragua held presidential elections and Daniel Ortega (representing the modern Sandinista party) won and now serves as president. When Ortega was re-elected this initially scared many investors as they were primarily from the U.S. and recall the history outlined above. However, within his first months in office, Ortega showed consistently and continually that he was committed to continue encouraging foreign investment, personal property rights, and the promotion of tourism throughout the country. Within a matter of months many U.S. investors re-entered the real estate market noting that the Sandinista party of today is completely distinct from the grass roots revolutionary movement that it was (and had to be by necessity) in the 1970’s and early 80’s. It is merely a political party now, like any other, and in fact does not stray too far from left wing democratic political beliefs in the U.S.