Playa Hermosa is a secluded, light sand beach located approximately 12 km south of the very popular fishing town of San Juan Del Sur in the Rivas province of Nicaragua. World famous for its outstanding surf, it is a must visit for any surfer who is looking to catch some fun, punchy and uncrowded waves. But if you think Hermosa is just for surfers, think again! The beach covers over 1 mile (1.6 km) of coast line and like the name suggest, it is extremely beautiful; After all, Playa Hermosa means Beautiful Beach in Spanish! The area is a wonderful place for those who are searching for a quiet spot to relax on the sand, take in some of that warm tropical sun and witness the natural beauty of Nicaragua.
Not too long ago the road was impassable to reach Playa Hermosa by land, so only the most adventurous of tourists would explore it as the entire area was only accessible by boat. Since then however, and thanks to the Playa Hermosa Beach Hotel, a safe and well maintained road has been built and anyone can enjoy this amazing beach for a modest fee of $3 USD per person.
The hotel, which has a restaurant, a bar and a number of amenities like outdoor showers and hammocks, is the only building situated directly on the beach. Although the past few years have seen a small number of houses being built in the hills overlooking Playa Hermosa, the area remains very much untamed and full of life; an excellent location for those searching for a peaceful, exotic place to live, with a world class surf spot right at their door step!
When arriving at Hermosa Beach, you can’t help but notice the wild and astonishing beauty surrounding you. A seemingly endless beach with view of the Santa Elena peninsula in Costa Rica, Playa Hermosa is home to an amazing tropical dry forest full of wildlife. If you listen carefully you can hear the howler monkeys hiding in the trees not too far away, and if you look closely, you will probably see a few Motmot, the national bird of Nicaragua with its amazingly colorful plumage. It is no wonder the famous CBC TV Show “Survivor” elected to use these shores on more than one occasion for the filming of their popular series! With its tropical charm and its almost perfect waves allowing you to surf all day, Playa Hermosa is truly one of the best beaches in Nicaragua!
Although many people come to Playa Hermosa simply to unwind and experience the tranquil and peaceful beauty of Nicaragua’s coast line, a majority of travelers who make the journey all the way here, have come to enjoy the world class surf this beach has to offer! What you will find here is a very consistent beach break that goes left and right to please both regulars and goofies and it is surf-able 90% of the time! With the right swell direction, Playa Hermosa’s surf break can have as many as 5 to 7 peaks to choose from, so no crowds here! The inside section of the break re-forms to offer a great learner’s and beginner’s wave and the outside section is a fun, energetic and punchy wave that, with the right swell size and direction, provides plenty of fast, hollow tubes for everyone. So whether you want to learn how to surf, are a beginner, intermediate or even an expert, this surf spot has something for you!
The perfect conditions for surfing Playa Hermosa are a south-southwest swell which would be between 1.3ft and 3.3ft (.4m to 1m) in height with an ideal tide being from mid to high. Unlike most surf spots in the world that get blown out as soon as the afternoon heat kicks in, the wind in the Rivas province blows 90% of the time offshore thanks to nearby Lake Nicaragua. Because of its sheer size, the lake creates a sort of vacuum that sucks the air all the way from the Caribbean side, across the lake and off the pacific shore, giving all the surf spots in the area, almost constant offshore wind conditions. So if you needed another reason to love Playa Hermosa, there you have it; you can catch good waves daily at any time since there are no blown out afternoon sessions! So what are you waiting for?