“Every woman should go to a surf camp at least once and I can’t think of a better camp than Chicabrava! The chicas at the camp are amazing, they really help you with your surf in and out of the water and they are amazing hosts! I felt right at home with a bunch of strangers and I came back home with new friends. I did the option where you sleep in the town of San Juan del Sur and yes it can be noisy at night but it’s not every night and it’s great to be able to walk in the town for food, drinks or shopping. The groups are really mixed, there’s women from all ages, many countries and all walks of life which makes for rich conversation and a lot of fun stories 🙂 Instructors are professional and give you personalized attention, the staff in the house is warm and attentive. Note, this is Nicaragua, this is not a 5 star hotel. It’s a fun and active week with adventurous women that will make you feel empowered, if this is your thing, you have to go!”
– Analuisa, San Francisco, Surf House 12/31-1/7/2017
“Can’t express how much this trip had an impact on my life. I stayed at the surf house and the purpose of my trip was to get better at surfing – if you want to SURF, this is the trip for you. When I found out that Nicaragua has over 340 days of surf and that it was more affordable and also less “developed” than Costa Rica, it was a no brainer. I was looking for adventure but as a person reading reviews (as you are doing right now), I also wanted to make sure it was going to be well organized and professional. They truly are all of the above. The surf house is definitely more simple so don’t expect hotel accommodations but there is a house mom and staff who clean daily. The instructors, I miss even now being back home. I’ve had instruction locally but to be taught theory and have girls in the water for 3 hours a day everyday was EVERYTHING. The girls that came on my trip that I did not know were all so different but we had so much love that we all have stayed in contact after coming home across the country! Chicabrava is super organized and has a daily routine for you however they give you A LOT of freedom to do your own thing. If you wanted to go out to visit a friend and come home late, you are your own woman – they let you do you too! Highly recommend!”
– Trina Yin, Los Angeles, Surf House 12/31-1/7/2017
“I had no expectations going into this trip. . .but even if i had, they would have been completely blown away. if you are contemplating going to CHICABRAVA, stop thinking about it and just book the trip, because i promise you won’t regret it. the entire trip was remarkable-from the surf house and the entire staff there, to the surfing instructors, to the other women who took the trip with me-everything was great. obviously, learning to surf was the highlight of the trip (with zero experience) BUT it was the instructors who made the real difference. anna, allie, annie, and steph-you ladies rock. thank you for not just sharing your knowledge with me, but for making me feel so comfortable and welcome . . .i know that my week was awesome mostly because of you guys. the house is pretty cool, especially the location. walking around san juan and experiencing the town was easy, and safe. breakfast at the house every day was delicious, too. other meals that we got on our own were delicious and cheap (and the beer is pretty cheap, too!). they’ve also done an excellent job setting up various deals for you around town just for CHICABRAVA. this was one of the best weeks of my life, hands down.”
– Giulia Umile, Philadelphia, Surf House 12/31-1/7/2017
“CHICABRAVA exceeded all of my expectations and then some! As a complete beginner surfer, chica brava provided me with enough skill, confidence, and understanding of the waves to be able to go out on my own. By the end of the week I was able to paddle into my own wave, pop up, and surf down the line! The surf camp provides such a diverse group of instructors that you get to spend time with to help you in different waves. I’ve never met such a amazing group of individual woman from all different backgrounds that have one common goal: to empower women, support women, help them gain confidence, achieve goals, stretch boundaries and be ‘diakachimba’ all while surfing! In and out of the water, I had such a blast at chica brava, experiencing the culture, eating the native dishes, trying to speak Spanish, participating in various activities, and of course.. The surf! I have made some awesome new friendships that I know will last – we even want to come back next year to advance more! Can’t say a bad thing about this amazing place!”
– Sara Gabelhei, British Columbia, Surf House 11/19/16-11/26/16
“CHICABRAVA was the perfect girls’ trip for our group. We all had beginners’ level of surfing experience, but wanted to get better in a warm water environment. Chica Brava’s instructors were patient, very helpful, knowledgeable and fun in the water. The accommodations were comfortable, clean and the breakfast every day was delicious! I really appreciated the daily video review to go over the previous day’s surfing; it was so helpful to see myself in the water and see what I could do to improve. We all got tangibly better at surfing, less afraid of the water, and had a blast in the meantime. The group dynamic and the camaraderie with the other guests and instructors made this week in Nica one of the most memorable weeks of my life! Thanks to Anna, Lindsey, Elsi, Annie, Allie, Steph, Efrain and Belkys for amazing hospitality and a super fun week!!”
– Ruth Selby, San Francisco, CA, Surf House 11/26/16-12/03/16
“I am just back from a week at CHICABRAVA Surf Camp and it was absolutely awesome. The instructors and staff were knowledgeable, professional, and more than anything incredibly supportive and fun to hang out with. I went to camp as a beginner (I think I have only “surfed” 3 or 4 times in my life) and I left feeling totally confident that if I keep at it surfing will be my new favorite pastime. I can’t recommend this experience enough!!!”
– Grace Stearns, Mexico City, Mexico, Surf House 11/26/16-12/03/16
“I visited Chicabrava and stayed at Surf House this last week. I was on the trip with two of my girl friends and we honestly had an incredible time. It was hard to leave at the end of the week and the three of us are absolutely going to try to make it back! I started with a bit of surfing experience and was very keen to improve. I certainly left feeling like I have some solid goals to work on and will feel much more confident and competent next time I get out in the water. I got to watch all of the other girls at the camp (some of whom had never been on a surfboard) make some awesome improvements throughout the week. This was so cool to watch and it seems like it really speaks to the ability of the surf instructors. In addition to their excellent instructing abilities, all of the staff at Chicabrava were such warm, welcoming and fun people. Surf House is basically just as described – right in the middle of town (so it can definitely get loud – ear plugs are helpful with this). It’s very comfortable, clean and safe accommodation. I would 100% recommend this camp to anyone, regardless of their surfing ability.”
– Tracy Gunthrope, Queensland, Surf House 11/26/16-12/03/16
“Missing the ocean and comeraderie of cool surf campers, coaches and staff. I had only surfed four times before and the last experience was nuts. But I was determined to get back out there, and I couldn’t have been in a better environment to do it than Chicabrava. I got super tips on the beach, in the water and back at surf house that have me wanting more surf! Since returning I’ve literally dreamed about catching waves. This winter I’ll be in the pool getting stronger for spring in the ocean! The staff are amazingly hospitable, fed us tasty breakfasts and were always there to answer questions or make suggestions to make our trip as rad as it gets. As others mentioned, bring something to cancel the night noise around the house.”
– Haleh Hatami, Oakland, CA, Surf House 11/26/16-12/03/16
“I had zero surf experience, but love the ocean and was intrigued with the idea of an all women surf camp. I was not disappointed. Having never surfed before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I thought the camp did a great job grouping people with similar experience in the water. I was impressed with each of the surf instructors – we rotated each day and each brought their own style. I felt safe and supported every minute I was in the water. I far surpassed my goals and, at the same time, gained an appreciation for what it truly takes to surf on ones own. […] As someone who was curious and reasonably physically fit, but had absolutely no experience with surfing, I can not recommend this enough to others in the same boat.”
– Jennifer Bertron, Corning, NY, Surf House 11/26/16-12/03/16
“My week at Chicabrava was absolutely amazing!! I had surfed a few times but wasn’t really any good. By the end of the week I was catching waves that were over my head! The instructors are wonderful! Everyone is so supportive and helpful! The camaraderie of of all the girls was great! Everyone cheered each other on and made sure everyone felt included. Staying at the Surf House was fun and right in town. I always felt safe while walking around. I would recommend this camp to anyone, no matter what your surf level. You will not regret it!!”
– Erica Nipper, Tampa, FL, Surf House 12/03/16-12/10/16
“My week at the surf house was one of the best travel experiences I’ve had. The instructors were all amazing in their own way. They helped me gain confidence in my surfing ability by pushing me outside my comfort zone. We all became close with the instructors which made for a tough goodbye. I’m currently traveling with two of the girls who did the camp at the same time as I did because we got along so well. We’re talking about going back to Chicabrava together for a reunion because we had such good time. I highly recommend it if you’re looking for an empowering experience!”
— Jaclyn DeDonato, San Francisco, CA, Surf House 11/19/16-11/26/16
“Stayed at Surf House for one week and it was the most empowering experience I’ve had in a one-week period […] Your days are structured for you by the CHICABRAVA staff so you don’t have to worry about anything before you go. The schedule is something that the CHICABRAVA surf camp concierge goes over with you each morning over a Nicaraguan breakfast (which is prepared on-site by a lovely woman who is an excellent cook). After that, you usually learn surf theory, and then proceed to go surfing for a few hours, with breaks to eat a snack and rest. The afternoons/early evenings are less structured (there are optional activities), and then you have dinner with one of the staff or instructors nearly every night. In terms of safety, there is at least one person employed by CHICABRAVA in the Surf House property 24/7. The accommodations were clean and comfortable. […] The instructors who taught me how to surf were experienced surfers who are extremely supportive. They personalized the lessons to my comfort level and experience (I had never surfed before) and I felt challenged to go beyond what I thought I could do and also safe the entire time. They were also both really inspiring and wonderful people on a personal level, and I came away having made new friends! CHICABRAVA’s mission is to empower women and girls, and while I did not expect this, the philosophy really seeps into how supportive and positive the staff are. Also, I saw this as an upside (but others may see it differently): CHICABRAVA employs many staff from the local community and some only speak Spanish, so it provides a unique opportunity to practice (or learn) Spanish in a semi-immersive environment if you so choose. My surf instruction was done entirely in English, of course, but in my down-time, it was nice to converse with the staff, who are all interesting and friendly people.”
– Laura, USA, Surf House 10/08/16-10/15/16
“I stayed in the surf house and the location was great, the house very clean and comfortable. The staff were super-friendly and the instructors provided a great learning experience for a newbie like me :). Am definitely hoping to return in the near future!”
– Mireya Vaca, Chicago, IL, Surf House 09/17/16-09/24/16
“The CHICABRAVA experience is one that should not be missed! From the moment you get there, it is a well-organized program with safe, clean, and beautiful living quarters (even the surf house downtown). Upon arrival, (…) we were greeted with home-made, refreshing, passion fruit juice. We settled into our rooms and the next several days were filled with delicious meals, yoga, and lots of surfing. I had surfed for several years before and wasn’t sure what to expect, but they really are able to accommodate to any level (beginner to advanced). They were able to give me a lot of technical tips that I had never thought of before that helped me improve quickly […]. The surf instructors and administrative people are all SO amazing and I can’t say enough about the camp. I definitely plan on going back!
– Alyse Zacuto, Davis, CA, Surf House 08/20/16-08/27/16
“CHICABRAVA truly upholds its mission “Empowering Women through surfing” for an entire week I surfed for the majority of each day and enjoyed some of San Juan Del Sur’s finest surrounding beaches. My surf skill improved tremendously throughout the week all thanks to the encouraging and incite-full instructors: Elsi, Steph, and Angie. Traveling alone, this was a great place to hang for a week, arriving at the surf house I was greeted like an old friend; all of the staff and instructors at the surf house were top notch. The environment is friendly and fun, it felt like I was visiting friends instead of staying at a hotel. Above all that their suggested itinerary helps you explore the town’s best eats and activities. Thanks CHICABRAVA ladies, you rock!
– Olivia Pedersen, Portland, OR, Surf House 09/03/16-09/10/16
“The staff does an excellent job teaching people how to surf and setting them up for a fun week! From the theory lessons to individualized instruction and filming, I learned a lot about the sport and am excited to continue surfing back at home. I also loved CHICABRAVA’s philosophy, the organization’s work with young girls in the community and the experience of spending a week around strong, positive women. I enjoyed staying at the Surf House and being able to walk throughout the town for food, shopping or to be able to enjoy a great sunset at the bay.”
– Amanda Lasik, San Diego, CA, Surf House 09/03/16-09/10/16
“I booked this trip based on what the other reviewers had said about the surf camp, and it exceeded my expectations! With the opportunities for Mother/ Daughter adventures dwindling as my daughter is starting her own way in life, this was the perfect combination of activity and down time that we both wanted. AND the staff!!! Enough cannot be said about the attentiveness of the instructors and Anna, the manager. They were available at all times to make sure we were having fun whether we were in the water or just wandering around town, showing us the best places to eat, shop, etc. In the end, being able to “stand” and take those brief, but sweet, rides on the waves was just the cherry on top of such an amazing experience! I’m already trying to figure out my schedule so I can return for another session of Camp!”
– Christi Fig, Portland, OR, Surf House 07/02/16-07/09/16
“The instructors at Chicabrava, first and foremost, are outstanding […] The accommodations were great – The Cloud Farm was absolutely breathtaking, with service so great i felt continually spoiled. The Surfhouse was more low-key, but still decorated great and clean, with excellent wifi and great community spaces, and a wonderful location. Beaches were fantastic – loved the diversity of settings we had the opportunity to surf at, and learning about each break and what each had to offer. An incredible experience! Difficult to really suggest any improvements to the whole package!”
– Brynn Utela, Ashford, WA, Cloud Farm 06/25/16-07/02/16
“What a wonderful experience for my life! I had never surfed before, but wanted to try something new and adventurous. An old friend recommended CHICABRAVA, we went together, and it was incredible. All of the staff do everything they can to make your week wonderful–teaching the theory behind surfing, supporting you out there in the water, and sharing local culture with you. It is empowering, and they will do everything they can to make your experience memorable. Patient teachers, enthusiasm, and getting to know the ocean in a new way. Cannot recommend it highly enough! Yay for Chicabrava!”
– Kristin Cahill, Kingston, NJ, Surf House 07/16/16-07/23/16
“CHICABRAVA was the most amazing experience. From the stay at the Cloud Farm (with a fantastic view) to the surfing. The instructors are excellent, beyond attentive, patient, make sure you are safe in the water and [are] your own personal cheerleaders in learning to surf! We visited amazing beaches and they worked so hard to accommodate all levels and make sure everyone had a great time. I found surf theory lessons to be helpful, now I know now to read surf reports. I’m already planning to return next year!”
– Tess Lannoy, San Francisco, CA, Cloud Farm 06/25/16-07/02/16
“Returning to Chica Brava was a pleasure 🙂 The travel details, from booking the dates to catching my flight home (Noooo!) were attended to with ease, organization and clear communication. I loved having another week of CHICABRAVA-focused attention on my technical surfing – specific to areas in which I needed to focus most each day. Yes! This week built my confidence as a surfer, and sweetened my outlook on life…Again! The best was sharing time in the water surfing with the Chicas Bravas wonder team, and being at the beach for sunset every day…sweeter than candy!”
– Leslie Scates, Houston, TX, Surf House 05/14/16-05/21/16
“I give this surf camp a hang ten stars!!! It all begins when your lovely driver greets you at the airport and heads out to the surf camp about 2.5 hours away. He’ll stop midway in Granada for a bite to eat where you can roam colorful streets, Toña in hand, meet some locals and become newly acquainted with your new surf buds. Following Granada, you’ll arrive in San Juan del Sur, and sunshine by the name of Anna greets you at the Chicabrava headquarters (Surf House in downtown San Juan del Sur) with chilled glasses of Hibiscus tea. Cheers!
I came to this surf retreat a very beginner surfer and left just one week later feeling more confident, strong, and experienced. The surf instructors are fun, attentive, caring, knowledgeable, and awesome. If you love surfing, you will love this camp. If you don’t know you love surfing, you will love this camp and probably fall in love with surfing too.The house is brimming with surf atmosphere and stoke. The board room is seriously the best. I felt like a kid in a candy store every minute. Our days were well organized with a delicious breakfast around 6am, class (surf theory) and video review, then a few hours of surf instruction and chasing waves. By about 2pm, we were free to roam the town, yoga / massage, pools, bars, activities, whatever you felt like doing. Sometimes, you just needed a nap to replenish your energy and rest your sore (everything) too. It’s super well organized with thoughtful activities, like cultural night, visiting a local circus group, trust building exercises, and just straight up chilling with gelato, donuts, and your new friends. If you love dogs, you’ll make some of those friends too. 🙂 I highly recommend this wonderful surf camp and location in Nicaragua (it’s beautiful). Kudos to Ashley, her Mom, and her amazing team of surf Chica Bravas! I can’t wait to return.”
– Staci Lynn, Philadelphia, PA, Surf House 05/28/16-06/04/16
“This was my second trip to nicaragua with CHICABRAVA and just like the first they were amazing! They will go above and beyond to accommodate you and make sure you’re having a great time. The instructors are attentive and patient. Im already planning next years trip!”
– Norylu Masculino, Jacksonville, FL, Surf House 05/14/16-05/21/16
“I signed up for chicabrava simply because I thought it would be fun to learn to surf and saw great reviews on tripadvisor. I am SO glad I chose this camp. The women staying at the camp were phenomenal, independent, caring, and so much fun. All of the instructors were so attentive and the camp makes sure that you are ALWAYS safe in the water. The theory lessons were extremely helpful and I was up on a board the first day we were surfing. They planned out places for us to eat if we wanted recommendations and always made sure we were taken care of. The accommodations are very clean and SO cute – I loved the room I stayed in and the common areas are wonderful as well – the air conditioning was a great addition as well. The staff, founder, and instructors were all inspiring and hilariously fun. The breakfasts were also DELICIOUS! I definitely made friends I will keep in touch with and will never forget this experience! Thank you SO much Chicabrava!!!!!!!!”
– Jessica Chen, New York, NY, Surf House 6/11-6/18/16
“I can not say enough amazing things about this surf camp. I learned to surf with the most amazing and inspiring women/instructors. The instructors are encouraging, positive, professional and fun. I was lucky to learn from all the instructors Marie-Soleil, Angie, Elsi, Steph and Shay. They build up your surfing skills each day with theory class, video review and of course in water application.
Stay at the cloud farm for a week in April. The house was amazing – complete with infinity pool, great view of SJDS, delicious meals and laundry service. Almost everything in the house was sourced from the cloud farm community, from the furniture/linens to the food. We went to a variety of beaches in the area – the most scenic surf was the sunset session on Playa Maderas.
CB is not just a surf camp, it was a unique experience which included yoga, message, trip to the Jesus statue, culture night, and bar hopping night. They organize a wide variety of excursions on your behalf such as Canopy tours, horseback rides, aerial silks, and much more. Did I mention how awesome the instructors are?!”
– Hannah Ling, Maple, Ontario, Cloud Farm, 04/09/16-04/16/16
“There are so many positives to share about my experience at Chicabrava it’s difficult to know where to start. In short, the staff and instructors were outstanding, the accommodations and food were great, and the attention to detail from registration through to departure and follow up; all excellent. I’m a big reader of reviews but have never written many (okay… almost none) but this experience has inspired me to take the time so others can use it to help in their decision making process.
I’m 53 years old and became a widow 2.5 years ago after 29 years of marriage and slowly (and painfully) trying to find my new stride. I started researching fitness camps in March 2016 and somehow got inspired by the idea of Surf Camp (great reviews helped) and quickly booked my trip to Chicabrava for the first two weeks of May 2016. I came to Chicabrava for a new challenge and escape, but achieved so much more. I will definitely make it back again, and would even consider bringing along my 3 adult age sons for a co-ed week at Chicabrava (something they do occasionally at Chicabrava).
The following are some insights to hopefully help others considering Chicabrava:
Chicabrava is an all-women’s surf camp designed to be a challenging yet fun and soul enriching experience, despite your age and level of surfing experience. First and foremost, the staff and quality of instruction were far above any level I ever imagined. They genuinely care about their guests/students, take pride in their work, and focus on making it a fun and rewarding experience. I have been involved in sports since I was very young but after several years of being a caregiver for my late husband (and desk job in software technology) I wasn’t sure how far or fast I could progress. I was a complete surfing newbie (never touched a board) but they somehow had me up on a small wave day 1 and on to larger waves by the end of the week. I happened to stay a 2nd week and was able to enjoy the larger outside waves and focus on technique and gradually learning more surfing maneuvers (down the line, right, left, etc.). The key thing is that it doesn’t matter where you start or how fast you progress, the team is very patient and inspiring throughout the process. The ratio was almost always 1 or 2 students per instructor which was great. Even 3 to 1 made for a great experience. I was so inspired by the instructors (most in mid to late twenties) who are doing what they love, and doing it with compassion as well as passion. We had a lot of fun!
The instruction is comprehensive and includes surf theory (waves, tides, winds etc.) and important safety topics. A strong testimony came from fellow campers (beginner and advanced) who had been through a variety of surf instruction in the past. They emphasized how superior the instruction was at Chicabrava by comparison. The instructors are from all over the globe with diverse personalities and backgrounds, but all meshed together well contributing to a fun and exciting week (in my case 2 weeks). It really is an experience hard to put in words. In the process I know I have made some life-long friends among the staff/instructors and fellow campers. The camp group spanned multiple generations including women from their 20’s to mid-50’s with both young and old providing inspiration and encouragement. Most people share a room (you can pay extra for a private one) but it worked out fine since you are so tired after surfing, falling asleep is easy.
A big hats off to Ashley who started Chicabrava many years ago. What a great concept resulting in a great experience for so many women. I would have never traveled to Nicaragua on my own to learn how to surf but a well-structured “all women’s” camp made it possible. It’s not all about surfing, I also did things like Zip-lining, language classes, and volunteered at a local school. You have options.
I stayed one week at each of the two Chicabrava locations, 1) the plush and serene accommodation’s at Cloud Farm up in the hills with a fantastic view, and 2) the more basic but clean and charming Surf House right in the middle of town, in San Juan Del Sur. I am glad I stayed at both but would choose Surf House next time as I appreciate the convenience of being in town and enjoying the shops, restaurants, and local culture. The Nicaraguan people are very welcoming and really appreciate any visitor attempts to speak Spanish. It’s important to remember you are going to a 3rd world country, this is not a pampering Ritz-Carlton experience. You will work hard but it will be rewarding. The accommodations are very nice and clean, and I felt completely safe the entire time. The provided meals ranged from good to great.
If you are half considering this I say book now, you won’t regret it.”
– Gayla Todd, Springfield, IL, Cloud Farm and Surf House, 04/30/16-05/14/16
“I had the time of my life. I started the trip unsure of myself and my abilities and I left with a passion for surfing and a new family. I didn’t want to leave and I can’t wait to go back. If you love to travel and feel at home at this same time this is the place to be. The staff will 100% take care of you and have your back in and out of the water.”
– Nicalena Iovino, Glendale, NY, Cloud Farm, 04/09/16-04/16/16
“What a wonderful and empowering experience spending a week with the lovely women of ChicaBrava. I have raved to all that have crossed my path that if they want to learn how to surf they need to spend a week with CB. The accommodations were very clean, safe and well decorated. The instructors and employees were all professional, friendly and enjoyable to be around (at all times!). Breakfast was included and all transportation to the nearby beaches based on the tides. Make sure to bring a good attitude and willingness to learn. Miss you girls!!!! xoxo”
– Wren Coe, San Francisco, CA, Surf House, 02/27/16-03/05/16
“Chicabrava is not just for beginner surfers. Many of the women in the camp during the week I visited were beginners, and everyone of them was up and catching waves in no time. There were also some intermediate level surfers in the group who made significant improvements by the end of the week. No matter your level the instructors at Chicabrava can help you meet your surfing goals. For me, I was happy to be turning left and right and riding down the line by the end of the week–something I had never done before!
I’ve done a few surf camps in the past, but this one was by far the most thorough in terms of instruction, and progress oriented sessions. Since surfing is such a male dominated sport, it’s great to learn from other women who help you gain confidence in the water and encourage you to take your place in the waves. I highly recommend this camp to surfers of all levels. You will have a great week with fun women, and you will meet your surf goals.”
– Amy Compeau, San Francisco, CA, Surf House, 02/27/16-03/05/16
“This was by far one of the best vacations I have been on. The staff and surf instructors are incredible. Throughout the entire week, they ensure that everything is taken care and share some incredible stories. The lodging is beautiful. I highly suggest staying at Cloud Farm, where the meals are all provided and incredibly delicious. The camp as a whole is very flexible and although it offers three hours of surf instruction per day, you are able to do as much or little of that as you like. What I liked most about this company was their commitment to the community. All the food eaten on Cloud Farm comes from the property itself and they embrace using local businesses over the commercial ones in town. In addition, this camp helps you experience the local Nicaraguan culture. With the help of the instructors, you quickly find out about the best places to go and the usual way of life. I highly recommend this company to any and everyone.”
– Christen C, Annapolis, MD, Cloud Farm, 03/12/16-03/19/16
“Everything was just perfect: the location (close to the beach, in town, comfortable and very lovely decorated), the organization (from the first moment you feel so welcome and they are organizing you whatever you wish for, f.e. massages or sailing trips), the food (breakfast is amazing and they are organizing everyday a place you can go for dinner and they have great deals with local restaurants) the surf lessons (best teachers, so supportive and really professional, great organization, chose everyday the best beach for surfing and there are not more than 3 chicas per teacher). But the best thing are the people: All the girls really care, they are so much fun and so lovely and they make you feel like home!”
– Lea Klauser, Basel, Switzerland, Surf House, 02/27/16-03/12/16
“This review is long overdue. I stayed at Chicabrava in September during central America’s independence day. Chicabrava keeps true to their word. The staff clearly represents this vision and also sets the example. Love that they do community outreach and teach other little girls to be strong and independent through surfing/other activities at camp bella. As a solo traveler- 110% recommend. I have done my fair share of solo traveling and am constantly considering the level of safety. Even though I knew the language and a bit of the culture before it is still really easy to venture out and be adventurous. Since sjds isn’t huge you get to really know the area by just walking alone. The locals are super friendly and made lots of friends there. There are def a couple of other activities to do other than surfing.“
– Natalia Garcia, Jackson Heights, NY, Surf House, 09/12/15-09/19/15
“There is nothing like taking a vacation and learning a new skill like surfing. The instructors were awesome at teaching surfing and working with us. The views from the cloud farm were amazing!! Yoga classes were also so fun! Definitely recommend as a vacation if you want to get out there and do something rather than sitting on the beach all day.”
– Julia McKenna, Annapolis, MD, Cloud Farm, 3/12/16-3/19/16
“The Cloud Farm camp experience was just perfect for me. It was very comfortable and beautiful, a wonderful grown-up camp experience. The instructors and staff are enthusiastic, encouraging, and incredibly helpful and fun!”
– Alana Herro, Berkeley, CA, Cloud Farm 2/13-2/20/16
“I stayed at the satellite location in the hills, and everything was heavenly! The house was wonderful, the pool was perfect, and the food-I couldn’t get enough! As for the surfing, I was shocked by how different it was than other lessons I had. The instructors were very thorough and helpful. They gave great advice and made us feel comfortable no matter what our ability level. It was an experience that totally took me out of my comfort zone, and showed me that I was a lot stronger than I thought.
The staff is incredible! Each woman has a moving story that will inspire you to take control of your life and go after what you really want. They make anything seem possible. It is an amazing, once in a lifetime experience that really is about female empowerment. If you are in need of a change in your life, this is the place to go. You will learn so much about yourself in the whole process. I would love to go again!”
– Kaitlin Ryan, Davisburg, MI, Cloud Farm Satellite Property 2/23-2/27/16
“I never ever imagined I would try surfing. I’m an adventurous woman who has traveled to over 40 countries, many solo, and have climbed Kilimanjaro, hiked the Himalayas, went tandem handling in New Zealand and scuba diving in the Great Barrier Reef. But surfing was not something I had ever tried. Let me tell you, Chicabrava lives up to its slogan “Empowering women one wave at a time”. It is a life-changing, transformative experience that is even better given the incredible, empowering staff of surf instructors and the gorgeous accommodations in the Cloud Farm.
The highlight of the trip of course is learning to surf and there is no better place or company than Chicabrava. The instructors are all highly enthusiastic, encouraging and empowering. If you have never surfed before or are improving your skills as an intermediate or advanced surfer, you are in the right place. You get daily classroom theory instruction followed by hours in the water. Each day is unique as you also get to do such great things as tour the Cloud Farm, go horseback riding, tour a local school that Chicabrava supports, and enjoy the beauty of San Juan del Sur. If you stay at the Cloud Farm, all your meals are prepared daily and it is some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. Delicious and five star! If you prefer to stay at the Surf House in town, you are right in the heart of all the action with nightlife, the beach and plenty of shops and restaurants.”
– Nicole Melancon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Cloud Farm Satellite Property 2/23-2/27/16
“Best experience of my life. The girls were great, the food awesome and what about the surfing experience! I can’t believe I was able to surf after day 1, what an accomplishment… I stayed at the house on the hill, gorgeous location. I have nothing else to write except for: JUST DO IT! I’m going back soon, that is for sure.”
– Josee Duguay, Quebec, Canada, Cloud Farm 1/30-2/6/16
“I spent a few days with ChicaBrava last week and everything was just amazing. It truly was one of the best experiences of my life. We stayed on the satellite property up in the hills, the house was stunning filled with bougainvillea, a refreshing pool, air con, and a view like no other right down into the bay. At night we would drink wine and watch the stars from the sun-loungers. The food, my god, Catalina is a goddess in the kitchen. Home-cooked goodness three times a day, all super healthy and fresh, i loved the guacamole, the homemade tortillas, the fried plantains and the pineapple. Coffee is always on at six am which is great for early risers.
As for the surf camp its everything i hoped it would be, it helped me to find my feet in the water again and rediscover my love for surfing. the girls are all amazing and when they are beside you in the water you know you can trust them and they have your back. There is a lot of camaraderie there and even the rides out to the beach in the van are so much fun. My most memorable moment is the 5am dawn patrol session when there were only 5 of us in the water watching the sun come up and catching some perfectly peaceful waves. I’m leaving stronger, bolder, braver and a lot happier. I wouldnt hesitate to come back in a second.”
– Jodie Oakes, Manchester, UK, Cloud Farm 2/23-2/27/16
“We had such a great time with Chicabrava. Everything was perfect!! We loved all the staff! The location and the food were amazing! And we had so much fun learning how tho surf!! Everyone met their goals;) We can’t wait to come back again!!!”
– Andrée-Anne Bérubé, Quebec, Canada, Cloud Farm 1/30/16-2/6/16
“I visited the CHICABRAVA girls for 1 week last February. Such a great team… Everything was perfect from the very nice welcoming to the surf sessions and all the other activities (yoga, in town dinner, boat cruise, etc) surrounding the camp. The girls (coaches, manager,etc) are wonderful, professionals and very attentive to your needs.”
– Genevieve Blanchet, Quebec, Canada, Cloud Farm 1/30-2/6/16
“I finally took the leap and signed up for this surf camp after reading the reviews on this website and the Chica Brava website. Everything far surpassed my expectations – from pick up to sadly dropping off at the airport in Managua. They say people make a place – and all the staff at Chica Brava were absolutely exceptional. Yes I did learn how to surf (at 55) which I really doubted would happen. But it was the camaraderie between staff and guests and locals – the crazy happy dance party road trips – the dinners back at the farm – the other girls that decided to just “do this”, that really made this trip special. What fun. Anna – you the organizer queen! Love, love your stories and wish you could be at my dinner table every night! Sarah – what an inspiration you are – geez my life has changed just by knowing you. Angie – the memory of your smiling energy could carry anyone through a nasty winter! Lily – I want to save you for my son! Smart, funny, happy – I’ll never forget our party wave. All of you amazing coaches in the water (not too shabby on the dance floor either). And professor Lindsey – she doesn’t just look good in class – wow this chica can surf! The accommodations and meals and house staff were also first class!! Oh yeah I will be back!”
– Susan Smith, Pemberton, Canada, Cloud Farm 2/13-2/20/16
“I was a little worried arriving when I found out I was going to be the only one at the camp that week, however that feeling did not last long and it turned out to be a very good thing! Annaleigh, the pack leader, organized everything with a lot of detail and care, from extra curricular activities to surfing lessons, her energy is genuine and welcoming. I had daily lessons in the water with Elsi, who is the lead instructor, I was able to surf the green waves on my first day! She is very a strong instructor and also very caring. Other instructors, Angie, from New Zealand and Steph from Austria, often came surfing with me and Elsi. Anna was also there catching waves and kicking butt. It was very fun and I also learned a lot from them! The Chicabrava team is its highest asset, I soon felt integrated and supported. We often went out together after surfing, everyone is so generous, I felt truly blessed. Most importantly, I left the camp confident to go catching waves on my own. Since then, I bought a board and went surfing in Brazil. I found a part of myself in surfing. Thanks to the Chicabrava team for empowering me on this journey!”
– Bianca Schroeder, Brazil, Surf House 11/21-11/28/15
“Three months ago my ex-boyfriend passed away unexpectedly. So, rationally, I dropped my semester and used my student loans to book three weeks with Chicabrava. I had been looking at their website for at least two years and I decided the best thing I could do was get away for a bit. Best. Decision. Ever.
I wish I hadn’t waited so long however this trip was exactly what I needed at this time in my life. I was surrounded for three weeks by some of the strongest, bravest women I have ever met. I met women of all ages and professions who inspired me in and out of the water! And the staff! I can’t say enough, all of them were so warm and encouraging (with a hint of drill sergeant when necessary.) But Most importantly; the waves. The staff determined each morning which beach would best fit the group(s) needs. We were pushed but never to the point where we couldn’t succeed or felt unsafe. Coming from Colorado I started out popping up in the white wash to being able to paddle out, determine what kind of wave I was catching and (for the most part) paddle into it/ catch it on my own! I left with more confidence in and out of the ocean and about twenty five new friends all over the U.S. and Canada. The food is great, the activities are incredible, both town and the cloud farm have out-standing service. I give it a ten out of ten. (Bring extra sun screen and energy bars. If you don’t use them you can leave the extra with the wonderful instructors!)”
– Kateri, Denver, CO, Surf House & Cloud Farm, 10/31-11/21/2015
Chicabrava is a very well run program. The location is perfect for access to waves as well as the local culture. We stayed at the Surf House in San Juan del Sur. The surf instruction was well organized, the accommodations clean and safe and there were plenty of other activities after surfing to help us experience Nicaragua. I recommend Chicabrava highly to anyone interested in a warm water surfing adventure.
– Cynthia, Boise, Idaho, Surf House 11/07-11/14/2015
“Staying at the Surf House was a great way to experience San Juan del Sur and Nicaragua while still being able to focus on what brought me there…learning to surf! The instruction was excellent and individualized to a high degree. Everyone in the group made incredible strides. Instructors were focused and professional, but also friendly and engaging. The breakfast was fantastic and Surf House a comfortable place to hang out when we weren’t going for gelato. Don’t miss Cultural Night at El Timon. Chicabrava staff seem to be committed to guest experiences and being good citizens of SJDS. I cannot come up with a con for this camp! Be sure to do your spine strengthening series’ in yoga before you go!”
– Holly, Atlanta, GA, Surf House 11/07-11/14/2015
“Great experience– everything is well run. Pretty full schedule but everything ran so smoothly! Stayed at the surf house which is very nice, large and clean. Rooms are bright and spacious. It is loud some nights but the location is great and felt very safe. San Juan Del Sur is an awesome little town. You don’t have to worry about anything– they assign you a board and drive you to the beach-most nights we all ate dinner together. Food is cheap. Bring several bathing suits! You’ll always have a dry one and you figure out which ones are comfortable and stay put for surfing and which don’t. The instructors are great. They are so helpful and supportive. They seem to really enjoy what they do. Everyone made such progress. You WILL surf on this trip. Lots! We had quite a range of surfing experience on our trip and everyone could be at the level they needed and build from there. Bring extra $ for the surf shop. Lots of cute stuff! also–you get a water bottle with unlimited filtered water-you just fill it whenever you want.This is the only surf camp I’ve gone to–but I have no complaints. Seems like they’ve thought of everything and all the staff is exceptional and professional.”
– Dena, Albany, NY, Surf House 11/07-11/14.
“A great adventure that provides the skills to continue surfing in the future! The staff is the best, the accommodations and food were terrific. San Juan del Sur is a great town with wonderful people. The surfing instructors were fantastic. Each had their own story and experiences to share. There were 13 participants from all over the US and Canada. I hope to keep in touch with these ladies in the future. i would love to go for 3 weeks like Kateri!”
– Leslie C, CF 11/14-11/21.
“The team at ChicaBrava is amazing- from the minute you arrive, to the minute you depart, you have a team of exceptional women focused on making every minute of your time count. By staying at Cloud Farm, the team took care of everything- all we had to do was have fun. The time surrounding surfing is great- but nothing compares to the time in the water. You have ladies with local knowledge of the breaks paddling you out, giving you tips and encouraging you to go for it. I can’t say enough about Steph, Anna and Elsi- they have a knack for challenging you to do your best and coach you, but you feel like you’re with friends.”
– Karlyanna K, Portland, Oregon, CF 11/28-12/05.
“As much as I’d love to keep this a secret so I can book it again whenever I want… CHICABRAVA was hands-down one of the best holiday’s I’ve ever had. Great people, incredibly well organized, good food, good waves, clean and spacious accommodation, and just SO MUCH FUN!!”
-Rachel P., Australia. Surf House, August 2015
“I cannot say enough great things about CHICABRAVA. You spend your week surfing at beautiful beaches, making new friends, hanging out with a great staff who makes sure your week is perfect and fun, and staying in a great house that is clean and close to everything you need and/or want. I started planning a return trip before I left. I highly recommend booking this trip-you will not regret the decision. The surfing instruction is first class. You spend your time in a small group (2-3 total) with people at a similar level and an instructor that will make sure you catch waves. Everyone is super encouraging in the water and you cannot help but smile and laugh all day. This is a really well run camp and a truly unique vacation. I cannot say enough nice things about Chicabrava and the ladies that make it such a special place. I have not laughed so much in one week ever and cannot stop talking about my return. Just go!”
-Ann-Maire V., Reno, NV. Surf House, August 2015
“I went into this experience hoping to meet a couple of cool girls and improve my surfing. What ended up happening was SO MUCH MORE!”
–Reagan H., Denver, CO. Surf House, August 2015.
“I have been trying to think of words to describe CHICABRAVA but nothing can come close to what the experience is like. I traveled with a large group (11 women) of 40 somethings, mostly moms. We spend our days nurturing and taking care of others while trying to slice out a bit of time for ourselves from our hectic lives. Every one of us came back from this trip renewed and grateful, ready for whatever may come down the pipeline. All the instructors and hosts are simply amazing human beings. They know how to encourage and teach in a way that makes it about impossible not to end up surfing. But it is more than that… they help in renewing your soul.”
-Jenny P., Austin, TX. Cloud Farm 40+, July 2015
“If you find yourself at a crossroads in life where you just don’t know what’s next or whether you just need a break from all of your responsibilities back home, I can’t encourage you enough to come here! You’ll learn how to master the pop-up, read a right versus a left, how to turtle roll and many, many more aspects of surfing theory. Most importantly, however, you’ll learn just how much of a metaphor surfing is for life and I can’t think of anyone who does it better than the girls at ChicaBrava! Each member of the ChicaBrava family is just as different as the next….they all have different stories and come from all different walks of life. No matter the differences, one truth remains the same: as much as they each love surfing, they even more fiercely love teaching you about life through surfing.” Read the entire review here.
-Stephanie T., San Diego, CA. Surf House, July 2015
I just turned 46, and have become all about overcoming things that scare me; surfing was one of those things… I had never even been in a room with surfboards before arriving at ChicaBrava, but here’s the thing: I was standing up, riding a little green wave in the whitewash ON THE FIRST DAY! The friend I travelled with and I are already planning a return trip for 2016. It’s life-affirming to do something for the first time; even more so to do it with moderate success thanks to genuinely lovely, patient and gifted instruction. So good. As someone well-travelled, I can easily say it was one of the best trips, ever!
-Carrie G., Calgary, Canada. Cloud Farm, July 2015
“Chicabrava is truly an amazing place where you’ll discover new friends, new courage, new experiences and memories that will last a lifetime. Whether I was in the water or on land, the Chicabrava crew always made me feel welcome, safe and supported, which gave me the space to discover new things about my surfing and myself.”
-Heather D, Roanoke, VA. Surf House, June 2015
“If you are thinking about booking a camp at Chica Brava, stop thinking and just do it. You won’t regret it. San Juan del Sur is of course a great location to surf, but the girls who run the camp and the instructors make this one of the best things you can do for yourself. From the time you arrive at the airport until the time you leave, you have your choice of being as adventurous as you want or of leaving all the planning and decision making up to them (they provide an itinerary with suggestions for when you are not in the water).
As a beginner surfer I also really appreciated how much they broke things down and made sure that the fundamentals were solid so that I could take those home and continue to work on them. From the first day you have the choice of going back out on your own without any hands on instruction, which really helped me build confidence in the water. I feel like I improved so much in the one week, and am already planning a return trip for later this year. Ladies- you are awesome. Thank you so much for an incredible week.”
-Maiella O, Houston, TX. Surf House, July 2015
“I seriously never thought I’d have this much fun on a trip! I’ve never surfed before in my life and this was my first trip to Central America so it was a lot of new experiences for me. The Cloud Farm and Chica Brava staff are awesome. From the fast and easy transport at the Managua airport to the food to the surf, I have no complaints at all. If you’re looking for a separated, Americanized, elitist tourist spot, this isn’t for you. Chica Brava is part of the San Juan del Sur community and getting to be in that was a bonus to the trip. The location is safe and secure, the people are so friendly, and the food is great. Yes, there are bugs, rolling brownouts, and no A/C, but we were there in July and we didn’t need it. Its not the Ritz, but Cloud Farm is very clean, the house staff cook AMAZING delicious food, and the setting is stunning.
Surf lessons were a blast! The staff is smart- they know what days to go to which beaches and accommodate the comfort level of their guests to a T. We had a big group of 15 women from 25-55years old and we ALL successfully surfed the outside by mid week. I’m so stoked I’m ready to buy my own board! I seriously can’t say enough nice things, and am already ready to book a trip for next year! Remember: Don’t pack too many clothes, bring sunscreen and bug spray, plenty of cash for tipping the amazing staff and buying goodies in San Juan, and be prepared for an awesome time. You get yoga, massages, surfing, and organic food for a week. What more could you want??”
-Jenny P., Austin, TX. Cloud Farm, July 2015
“Perfect mix of adventure and luxury. Went to the camp totally by myself and was surprised on how it far surpassed all my expectations! From the great hosts and instructors, to the tons of surfing on PERFECT waves, to the beautiful cloud farm with organic food (all from the farm) to yoga and massages…I felt like I was on a honeymoon with myself. Magical, unforgettable experience I would recommend to anyone!!!”
—Lindsay A., (city), NY. Cloud Farm, July 2015
“I attended the CHICABRAVA surf camp Nov. 10th-17th, and I stayed at the Cloud Farm. It was an amazing experience – I attended with five other girls, all solo travelers like myself, and we bonded immediately and had a great time together! Before this trip I had only surfed once before, but the instruction I received was so good that I improved immensely over the week, surpassing my expectations. The instructors were incredibly nice and patient, and provided specific instruction that helped me perfect my pop-up by the end of the week and catch waves that I identified myself. After this week I definitely feel ready to start surfing more seriously at home. The food was great, and the Cloud Farm was amazing – I highly recommend the horseback ride around the property. I also thought the balance between surfing and other activities was great – I had plenty of time to relax, shop, and check out San Juan del Sur. I definitely plan to go back in the future!”
—Karen B., Oakland, CA. Cloud Farm, Nov 2012
“This establishment more than lived up to my expectations. I stayed at the Surf House in town, and the accommodations were immaculate. Our house mother, Walkiria, kept the place very clean and neat, and fed us the most amazing breakfasts. The open windows with the consistent breeze from Lake Nicaragua were always refreshing. As expected, staying in town was a beehive of activity with plenty of restaurants, Tona, and ceviche. The scene isn’t quiet by any stretch, and if you like to go out and dance till the early hours of the morning, it’s nice to be able to walk a few blocks to the retreat of your bed! (…) CHICABRAVA has an alternative accommodation at their Cloud Farm location, which will give you that quiet, mellow retreat experience. It’s located on a private, sustainable farm complete with a fishery, and plenty of gardens with local fruits and vegetables. It’s breathtakingly beautiful, and away from the bustle of activity in San Jaun del Sur. As for the instructors and the organization of the surf camp, everything was exceptional! We had about 20 hours of water time, and our instructors were knowledgeable and patient. They were professional when they needed to be, and a hell of a lot of fun when not in instructor mode! We had a professional photographer for 3 days of the camp, and he captured some great shots. There was a well-planned schedule for each day, but it was always flexible and subject to change if needed. You won’t regret this experience. CHICABRAVA is top notch.”
—Nicole D., Seattle, WA. Surf House, Sept 2012
“CHICABRAVA was my first solo travel adventure. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! I spent the week with 5 other solo travelers at the Cloud Farm, which was just gorgeous. In addition to learning how to surf (after never touching a surfboard I finally caught a wave, what a feeling!), we went horseback riding through the jungle, zip-lining on a canopy tour, and even learned to milk a cow – we were on a farm after all! The views were breathtaking. Every meal we ate was prepared from ingredients grown right on the farm; the house staff truly took care of us. I felt safe and comfortable the entire week, and loved that the point of this camp is to challenge yourself and conquer fears (which I believe I did). I can’t say enough good things about this camp. I looked it up 3 years ago and finally did it, but I say if you’re even thinking of it, DO IT. Great experience!”
—Kelly M., Shamokin, PE. Cloud Farm, Nov 2012
“If you want a relaxing, calm, therapeutic, rejuvenating experience, come here. The staff is so knowledgeable about Nicaragua, local customs and food, surfing and the surrounding areas. I would recommend the Cloud Farm if you need a get-away combined with a fantastic learning experience. The housing was clean, spacious and very well kept. The activities were well planned, relaxing, with the right amount of challenge. I have done a lot of travel in my life and would deem this one of the best trips of my life.”
—Savannah V., Jackson, WY. Cloud Farm, Nov 2012
“CHICABRAVA was well informed of all the surf spots and when to go. It was tide dependent and they knew it all. We were so surfed out by the end of the week. We had the best trip and best surf. The staff was incredible and knowledgeable and went out of their way to satisfy us. This was a great decision and now we have really good friends for life there. Again, the staff was excellent along with the owner. We had a fantastic trip and would suggest CHICABRAVA to all. Thank you for all that you did for us and the lasting memories.”
—Cathy McCracken, Paia, HI. Cloud Farm, June 2011
“CHICABRAVA is an amazing surf school and camp, but beyond that, it’s a mindset. The staff and campers during my week were all adventurous, upbeat, and accommodating. The Surf House was welcoming and inviting for relaxing times in between surfing and other adventures. In the house you’ll find hammocks to lounge in, a bunch of movies to watch on the common room tv, a fridge, games, and musical instruments to play. My room was perfect with bunk beds to really add to the youthful and fun summer camp feel of the house. Yet it was decorated with thought, paintings on the wall and matching bedspreads. The surf shop in the house was great for providing fun clothes to try on and purchase. Breakfast every morning was served for the group and during this time we would talk about our surfing plan for the day and assess our goals in the water. I loved everything about CHICABRAVA and can’t wait to return for more surfing, house fun, and girl adventures.”
—Dani, Aberdeen, NC. Surf House, July 2011
“This is a great place to learn to surf, learn Spanish and learn about the Nicaraguan culture. The surfing instructors are very knowledgeable and patient with beginners. The Spanish teachers help improve one’s knowledge of the language and I was able to carry on a small conversation with the locals after one week! The staff at The Surf House was helpful, kind and provided great tips for getting around town. Breakfast was great every morning and we ate out for lunch and dinner each day and never had a bad meal. I would encourage anyone to make this trip for a great adventure!”
—Joannie, TX. Surf House Spanish+, Sept. 2011
“I stayed at the Surf House with my two girlfriends in Feb 2012. Words can’t even describe how much fun we had. It took me a good two weeks to get back into my work headspace back home – I just wanted to go back and surf.
The crew at CHICABRAVA is awesome. Super friendly and helpful. We laughed so much that entire week I had sore abs. The best thing about it was no boys. There is something really fun about being out in the water, just women, no competition and encouraging everybody along. It was really refreshing.
Best thing about surfing in Nica is that 300 days a year there are offshore winds, so the conditions were some of the nicest that I have seen.
Surf House is fun because you are in town, with close accessibility to stores and restaurants. It’s not a fancy hotel, but a cool, mellow place to hang out in between activities. I would also definitely recommend wearing an eye mask at night, the light comes in early.
I recommend this trip to any woman with a sense of adventure and love for the ocean and surf. It was such a blast!
P.S. No need to take malaria meds before going…my friends did, and it wasn’t really necessary. I got shots for Hep A and B and typhoid. Not sure that was really necessary either, but doesn’t hurt.”
—Nikki J., Montreal. Surf House, Feb. 2012
“CHICABRAVA does it again! I took my fourth trip to Nicaragua through CHICABRAVA in March, and I am already looking for ways to make it back for a fifth trip. Ashley [and staff] made sure that this trip was just as good, if not better, than the last three.
I had the opportunity to stay at Cloud Farm since I was part of the 40+ group, which offers not only spacious areas and rooms to relax, but also a great view of San Juan del Sur. Not only was the house spectacular, so was the food, which included local dishes, as well as traditional favorites. Electricity can come and go, but even when it is not on, the farm is so relaxing that it only adds to the ambience.
We had the opportunity to experience surfing at several of the popular local surf beaches once again. And, I learned something at every one. Watching Ashley at Popoyo, and getting tips from Sarah, Proffitt and Candace definitely strengthened my surfing abilities. I received some valuable advice that I took home and incorporated at my home break. I highly recommend CHICABRAVA to anyone who wants to learn to surf in a fun location with outstanding instructors!”
—Karen B., Houston, TX. Cloud Farm 40+, March 2012
“I spent a week at CHICABRAVA Surf Camp this past December, and it was, hands down, one of the best trips I’ve taken. I was traveling alone, was a bit unsure of what to expect, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience! The Surf House has everything you could need, and more, and is in a great location. The staff is so kind and accommodating! Also, this was my first time surfing in about 10 years, so I was basically a beginner. The surf instructors are extremely knowledgeable, helpful, patient, and very good at working with different skill levels of the other girls and myself. All of us girls had a blast and everyone definitely agreed that we all want to return as soon as possible. I would highly, highly recommend CHICABRAVA to anyone!”
—Jess Marie, Houston, TX. Surf House, March 2012
“I just returned from the most enjoyable, engaging, expanding trip I’ve had in years. Celebrating an “important” birthday milestone with my daughter and her friends, we were challenged and pampered all at once. You have to experience it to believe it. And go to the cloud camp for sure, where the accommodations are simple, yet elegant. And the food is naturally delicious. The instructors know their stuff — and want their guests to learn and have fun. And in addition they are just good people. Bring a group of adventure-loving friends or family — you won’t regret it.”
—70 year old, Marj C., Cheshire, CT. Surf House 40+, April 2012
“CHICABRAVA is one of the highlights of my life!! The whole experience, from pickup at the airport, to being delivered back to airport, was one of extreme fun and camaraderie! The surf instructors are amazing, with the patience to teach everyone how to surf. It was truly a week of encouragement and celebration of accomplishment and the staff at the surf house was great and bent over backwards to help in every way possible, any needs of the girls staying there! I recommend it to anyone that wants to challenge themselves or improve their surfing ability, it’s well worth the money and time to travel there. I will go back one day!!!”
—Terri B., Lake Havasu City, AZ. Surf House, July 2012
“Our group of ladies was composed of two gals in their 20’s, two in their 30’s, two in their 40’s and then two in the fabulous 50’s! And this surf camp proved to be not only exhilarating, but accessible to all ages and ability levels. Our instructors were extremely patient, encouraging and just plain fun to be around! Because of their amazing teaching style, CHICABRAVA continued it’s phenomenal reputation of – everyone stands up! We enjoyed being challenged at our own pace to cross personal borders and boundaries and discover more about ourselves as we rode the warm, gentle waves of the beautiful Nicaraguan coast.
And surfing at CHICABRAVA is only half the story! The staff was wonderful at familiarizing us with the delightful town of San Juan del Sur and it’s many attractions – yoga, massage, sightseeing, horseback riding and the vibrant nightlife! We came away with not only surf knowledge and experience, but also a rare camaraderie and memories for a lifetime!
So for an unforgettable, ultimate, adventurous girls’ getaway – CHICABRAVA is the destination!! It will make you young again : )
—Bernie, Redding, CA. Surf House, July 2012
“CHICABRAVAs Cloud Farm surf camp is a brilliantly designed week that combines adventure travel in a jungle setting, easy to master surf instruction for all levels and ages, yoga and massage sessions perfectly timed to prevent sore muscles, healthy and delicious family style meals, and stunning views from your bedroom window. The CHICABRAVA staff takes care of every detail. All you have to do is book your flight. This was an incredible bonding experience for the 8 guests and 3 instructors, and we were all sad to leave each other on the last day. I can’t wait to return for a mother/daughter camp in a few years!”
—Laura B., Austin, TX. Cloud Farm, July 2012
“My week at CHICABRAVA’s surf house was stellar! My friend and I went without any experience in surfing and both felt like pros by the end of the week. There were two other women in the group, so our skill level ranged. The teachers were super sweet and never put us in a dangerous situation. We were fed well, had nice accommodations, and enjoyed checking out the city. I really appreciated the transport to and from the airport- it’s a long drive so I think it really added value. As well as the two yoga sessions and massage- they were very welcome “treats” after surfing long hours! I would DEFINITELY come back […] it is invaluable to have teachers who know which beaches to go to for the best waves and know how to get there (plus transport). So easy, so fun!”
—Steph L., Houston, TX. Surf House, July 2012
“New friends, new sport, new muscles, NEW ME. Thanks CHICABRAVA!”
—Nancy J., Houston, TX. Cloud Farm 40+, March 2009
“Hola CHICABRAVA! Thanks for a fabulous vacation! Everything was amazing – the Farm, the food, the sun, sand, surf, the town, and most of all, the girlfriends I’ve made along the way! I am officially hooked on surfing and can’t wait to come back!”
—Mae R., NY, NY. Cloud Farm, Nov 2009
“CHICABRAVA is an amazing experience. The surf instruction is patient, fun, and top class. The accommodations are breathtaking, the food is delicious, and the activities available beyond surfing are great fun. The adventure of learning to surf at CHICABRAVA will give you memories – and pride – that last long after your surfer-girl bruises have faded. Great time, great people, phenomenal surf.”
—Karn K., San Francisco, CA. Cloud Farm, Dec. 2008
“My visit to Chica Brava Surf Camp in May 2009 was GREAT! Our group of 7 were mixed of girls and guys and all long time friends. We stayed on the farm which served us fresh organic meals daily, had our own pool, security, nice rooms with a fabulous view, and plenty of land to roam around on. Ever day we headed out to different surf spots which were well organized and arranged the night ahead. All of us were experienced surfers and travellers, so we got to really explore around. Ashley was awesome and has great local knowledge! Some nights we would go out on the town to shop or go to bars. The staff made sure we had everything we needed. This trip was easy and hassle free. Very relaxing with lots of surf time. I would easily recommend this for anyone going solo or as a group and would love to return one day.”
—Susan Uroda, Carlsbad, CA. Cloud Farm Co-Ed, May 2009
“I try to go on one trip a year by myself, and in 2009, I decided to go to CHICABRAVA. The first moment from when I stepped off the plane and was picked up by the driver, I felt safe, comfotable and relaxed throughout the rest of trip. I stayed up on the farm and was paired with a girl that I ended up becoming great friends with. The food up at the farm was amazing!!!! And the accomodations were always clean and provided vistas that you only see in the movies. The yoga and massage was also fantastic and a great addition to my surfing experiences. Our instructors were incredibly professional, talented and capable of teaching surfing skills to women of all levels. I had a great time and have recommended the camp to several women (friends and co-workers). While I didn’t come home a professional surfer, my experience was so great that I still have dreams about surfing at least once a week and can hear the instructors telling me what to do better! Haaa!”
—Meghan B., Washington, D.C. Cloud Farm, July 2009
“As an adventure traveler, I loved the fact that I could escape to unruly Nicaragua to try something I’ve never done before – surf!!!!! I wasn’t used to all the pampering – the treatment was first class, as the accommodations and the view. But nothing beats the girls. The instructors can’t be topped. They taught me so much more about surfing than I had anticipated, and they were so lovely and patient and encouraging on top of it. The food was incredible – straight from the farm and full of flavor and organically delicious. The group that I was there with was small and perfect, and Ashley (owner) and the other girls were willing to do whatever it took to make us happy – from rearranging our yoga classes to trips out on the town at night. Learning to surf is a frustrating endeavor, but the expertise and skill of the girls running the camp turn it into an enjoyable ride – and before I knew it I was on the board riding the waves in. Cheers mates! Thanks for an incredible trip. xxx”
—Erin P., Houston, TX. Cloud Farm, May 2009
“I went to CHICABRAVA with my really good friend and we had a such a great time. It is a great surf trip but it is also just a great experience. […] The Cloud Farm, where you sleep and eat, is out of this world, the house that you stay at is beautiful. The staff at the house is really nice and helpful. […] The instructors that taught us, in addition to being amazing surfers, they are spirited and encouraging teachers. Surfing is not easy! Oh my I could just go on and on about what a great time I had. The nightlife was so fun. Ashley, the owner, is down to earth and really found a niche in the market. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking for an experience, interested in seeing the Nicaraguan culture, and is willing to let it go and ride the waves.”
—Attilie S., Houston, TX, Cloud Farm, April 2008
“I had the thrill of enjoying the CHICABRAVA surf camp a second time. My second trip was similar to the first since I went during March and participated in the “Over 40″ camp. It was just as incredible as my first trip in March 2009. We stayed up in the Cloud Farm location […] Since my camp last year, I’m hooked on the sport. I now own three of my own boards, and I have Ashley to thank for introducing me to surfing. She and our instructors encouraged and coached us. I have a long way to go before I become a great surfer, but I’m sure having fun learning, and I owe much of that to CHICABRAVA!”
—Karen B., League City, TX. Cloud Farm 40+, March 2010