Top 5 Surf Destinations For Your Holiday Getaway

2015 Dec | By

Cold weather has arrived across the country and with the Thanksgiving holidays in the rear-view mirror it’s time to start planning your winter surf trip! For surfing-newbies, there are tons of great surf camps across Mexico and Costa Rica; for more experienced surfers, this might be the year to try out a new surf break. With the strengthening dollar, your money will go further. Here are five places to consider before booking your next surf-cation!

Sayulita, Mexico

This quaint beach town has remained mostly under-the-radar despite a growing tourist scene, but it’s only 25 miles north of Puerto Vallarta’s international airport and 15 miles from epic surf spots like Punta de Mita. And it’s unlikely you’ll beat the price or the incredibly fresh seafood in the beachside restaurants.

Florianopolis, Brazil

The only real city on this list, Florianopolis is the hometown of Brazilian tennis star and former World No. 1 Gustavo Kuerten, whose relaxed, laid-back demeanor on and off the court says it all: this city knows how to chill-out and have fun. Since the city is located on an island, you have of over 40 beaches to choose from featuring all levels of surf. Swells are a little less November through February but weather is warm all year round. Don’t let the fact that Americans need Visas dissuade you, it’s worth the effort and travel time!

Dominical, Costa Rica

While nearby Quepos gets the tourists thanks to its beaches and Manuel Antonio National Park, Dominical gets the surf. What used to take 90 minutes on a dirt road is now a 40-minute drive south from Quepos, making Dominical more accessible. It’s also more low-key and features several surf shops and surf schools where you can rent boards and hone your skills. While the swell might not be the biggest, it’s one of the most consistent in Costa Rica along Dominical’s 1.5 mile beachfront.

Santa Barbara, California

This picturesque town 90-minutes north of Los Angeles is called the “American Riviera” and while it might not boast many good surf spots right in-town, the break at legendary Rincon is just 15 miles south on scenic Highway 101. Or make your way north to Jalama Beach for solitude and great swell. Winter is the best time of year to surf around Santa Barbara with the offshore Channel Islands acting as a breakwater the rest of the year.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

Panama has long been on the list of up-and-coming vacation destinations but it’s surfing has always been top-tier.  Try out Isla Bocas del Toro on the Caribbean side of this narrow country. You’ll have to connect on a flight via Panama City but it’s worth the travel time with several surf breaks to choose from and many great restaurants and hotels. And since the Caribbean is less affected by tides, you won’t have to worry about what time of day you can surf.

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