Eco-friendly, boutique surf and yoga retreat
Escape to a boutique family surf resort in Nicaragua, where surfing, food and yoga is all included as part of a luxurious and adventurous lifestyle. Challenge yourself on world-class reef breaks, learn to surf on the beach breaks, or simply chill out by the pool with a cocktail in hand. Tap into your adventurous soul on horseback adventures into wild landscapes, nourish your body with food fresh from the quintas, and relax in Latin American style.
- BE THERE
- WHAT'S ONSITE
- SURF & BEACHES
- EAT & DRINK
- THINGS TO DO
- KIDS SAY
- WE SAY
Boutique, eco-friendly surf resort in Nicaragua
Location: Playa Santana, Popoyo, Nicaragua
Family friendly: All ages catered for, but really it’s best for 8+
DIVE IN: Family Surf Trip to Malibu Popoyo
Transfer: 20 minutes’ from ECI (Costa Esmeralda Airport)
Climate: Av. 28C
Best time to go: Nov–July/ August
Surf level: Beginner to Advanced
Other activities: Yoga, horse riding, skateboarding, spa treatments and day trips
Time Zone: GMT -6
The 12 rooms are cool and stylish spaces with indoor gardens, rain showers, Moroccan-style seating areas and artisan tiles.
Garden Room: a spacious sanctuary with a king-size bed and glass walls to the semi-outdoor Moroccan style seating area, with a rain shower. Two garden rooms with interconnecting doors are perfect for families.
Loft Room: also ideal for families, these can sleep up to 3-4 people with a king-size bed and Mezzanine level with a single/ or queen-size bed (the stairs aren’t suitable for young children). Includes semi-outdoor Moroccan style seating area, with a rain shower.
Master Suite: the largest and most luxurious room, suitable for a couple with a young child only.
All rooms have organic cotton bedding, air conditioning, Wifi, mini bar and mod cons.
The rooms are situated in tropical gardens surrounding the swimming pool. The pool is a tranquil area for lounging with a cocktail or coffee while the kids play.
There is direct beach access through the gate onto Playa Santana.
The Sunset Cantina restaurant and beach bar is beside the pool, serving food and drink all day and providing alcoves in the shade for playing games or even chilling out watching a surf movie.
Daily yoga sessions are held in the open-sided palapa where you can hear the waves during sun salutations. You are free to use the yoga studio whenever it takes your fancy.
There are regular live music sessions and bonfire nights on the beach.
Babysitting and childcare is available with the friendly staff – making it easy to skip out for a grown-up surf session.
You can also book a spa treatment – from a rejuvenating full body massage, to reflexology, detox scrub or facial.
Step out on the playful beach break of Playa Santana, and enjoy plentiful surf spots for all levels within a 10km radius. Your surf guides will be on hand daily to take you to the best waves for your ability – from hollow reef breaks to longboard peelers and beach breaks for kids and beginners.
Nearby breaks include Popoyo, Savannah, Magnific Rock, Playgrounds, Colorados and Playa Santana. Your stay includes unlimited 4×4 transportation to any surf break.
Surf guides paddle out with you, and are also available for coaching and one-to-one sessions. They are all certified and excellent with all members of the family.
Surf lessons: $80 per session, including 3h theory + 2h practice. Minimum age is 4 (although the 3 hours of theory isn’t ideal for children this age).
If you don’t bring your own boards, you can pre-book your dream surfboard to hire from AwayCo. The board shed onsite has boards for hire and a dedicated grom rental section.
Swells are smaller and offshores stronger in Jan & Feb, making it the perfect season for beginners. It’s rainy season Aug–Oct but can produce the biggest swells for more advanced surfers.
The beaches are crowd-free and perfect for family beach days. Just make sure you avoid the midday sun and take flip flops because the sand gets super hot. Most of the popular beaches have rustic beach bars where you can hangout and watch the surfers in the shade.
The onsite Sunset Cantina restaurant is open all day from 7am–9pm. Fresh Nicaraguan coffee is ready early, and with three meals a day included in your stay, keeping the family fuelled up is easy.
From piles of pancakes to whole snapper, surfer salads and shrimps, the food is a fresh and delicious fusion of Central American and Western cuisine. Much of it is created using ingredients from their own neighbouring organic farm or ‘La Quinta’. Take a visit to the farm to pick coconuts, limes and watermelons.
There are plenty of options aside from surfing, including skateboarding, spotting howler monkeys on horseback and making tortillas with a local family.
The friendly staff can organise any of the following and also suggest other excursions according to the season and your requirements:
- Meditation and yoga sessions.
- Horse riding on the beach or into the jungle.
- Visiting a local family farm where you can meet the animals and make tortillas using homegrown corn.
- Carver skateboarding along the seafront at Playa Guasacate.
- Biking and hiking trails.
- Cultural tours and custom-made sightseeing trips.
“The surf was amazing and offshore everyday. My little brothers were pushed into waves by the guides and got some of the longest rides of their lives. I loved the faster wave at Santana and paddled out at my first reef break at Popoyo. There are also plenty of empty sands to play on (but it does get hot in the midday sun).
Back at the hotel the staff were really friendly and the food was amazing. We went to the farm to get fresh coconuts and watermelons. When we weren’t surfing we spent loads of time in the pool and chilling watching the Big Wave Pro surf comp on the telly in the cantina.”
Oli, aged 10.
“What really made it for our family was the expertise of the surf guides ensuring we made the most of the best waves for our ability at the right time of day. The kids loved the easy waves at Beginner’s Bay, while I could hit the reefs and more challenging beach breaks knowing they were being well looked by the amazing staff. Also the yoga sessions being included ensured I took time out to stretch and relax every day.”
Hayley Lawrence, Travel Expert and Surfer Mum of 3 boys