This is a guest post by Josh Aggars, a surfing enthusiast.
Over the years I’ve traveled to some inspiring and exotic locations in order to surf new spots. My travels have led to some quite amazing adventures, new friendships and life affirming memories. At the same time I’ve been to places that I’d never return to whether because of local tribalism, poor conditions or just a general indifference to the environment.
So let me be your guide and point you in the direction of 5 surf spots that I believe will always result in a great surf trip.
1. Ericeira, Portugal
Ericeira is a sedate fishing village located 50 kilometers northeast of Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Located by the Atlantic Ocean, this charming, cobble stone hideaway is home to some epic waves.
My wave of choice is Pedra Branca which breaks fast and powerfully to the left. It’s a beast at times and can get up to 10 feet in the right conditions. You need to be fairly experienced to ride it as it breaks on some nasty sea urchin covered rocks. That aside it is seriously awesome and you can ride it in for close to 100 meters. Add to that the fact I’ve never experienced any local tribalism over the years and you’ve got a pretty perfect set of conditions.
Tip: Look out for Restaurant O César if you like fresh fish and lobster. They’ve got huge tanks for you to pick from and the interior resembles something of a shell covered grotto.
Watch out however for car thieves. I got unlucky once and had my car stolen and lost my passport in the process. When you don’t speak much Portuguese it can take a lot of drawing pictures to get your message across to the local police!
2. Little Malibu, Puerto Rico
The country is known as being the Hawaii of the Caribbean and for good reason with the great year round surf conditions. I love Little Malibu the best as it’s an epic right-hand reef break that will have you singing its praises in the right swell. Plus there’s a great local restaurant called the Eagle Spot which is great for some late afternoon drinks.
Tip: I heard some people mention a bad vibe in the lineup with the locals but I never had a problem so will just assume someone didn’t respect the local etiquette and got chewed up as a result.
3. Popoyo, Nicaragua
For the more adventurous amongst you Popoyo is well worth a trip to Nicaragua. This world class consistent wave is an absolute gem and will have you salivating when you arrive at the beach. It got up to 7 feet on my trip although the locals told me it can get up to 10 to 12 at times.
It breaks on rocks giving you the option to go left or right. It’s pretty fast and powerful though so again you need to be fairly experienced to ride it.
Tip: Now a word of warning. Whilst I didn’t have any troubles a few of the locals in the lineup my first day advised against walking the beach alone or leaving anything in the car as people are known to get robbed at gunpoint. Like anywhere off the beaten track you have to have your smarts about you but given the waves on offer its well worth a trip.
4. Ollies Point, Costa Rica
Located in the Guanacaste region this world class beauty is hidden away and only accessible by boat. It’s pretty hard to find but ask any of the local boat men and they’ll see you there. I found out after that they’re meant to be licensed but I have no idea whether ours was or not.
Tip: It produces pretty fast and long waves that are a joy to ride and will have you stoked to the extreme. Probably best to partner up out there just in case your boatman disappears!
5. Arrecifes, Columbia
This surf Eden is located on the Caribbean coast and in a national park. You have to pay a small fee to enter and walk a fair way to the main camp but when you get there it will all seem worth it. Hire yourself a hammock for the night and then head into the water.
The waves here are pretty fast and fun but the main reason for being here is the solitude and peace of this place. It’s one of the best surf locations I’ve ever been to and will leave you wanting more.
*Photo credits: all photos by Josh Aggar.
Josh Aggar writes about beach life, surfing, travel and more. His passion for surfing takes him to amazing places around the World and comes through in his regular articles as he explores all aspects of the sport. He funds his trips by selling flip flops and writing for the Flip Flops City Blog.