Panama Surfing Guide

List of surf spots, current surf conditions and a surfer's travel guide to surfing and staying in Panama.

The geography of Panama is like a curved arm that links Central to South America. The break in that arm is the famous Panama Canal. Panama City is the country’s bustling urban center at the entrance to the great canal on the Pacific side and Colon, with a more colonial vibe sits on the Caribbean side.

Playa Catalina is probably the hub of the surfing activity on the Pacific side. It will be the most crowded on the weekends, but not crowded compared to say the Costa Rica hot spots. There are beach, reef, and rivermouth breaks for every level surfer. There are remote spots and offshore islands that are only accessible by boat, where you can surf virtually by yourself. On the Caribbean side the best known spots are around the Bocas del Toro islands.

Panama is a tropical country covered in protected rainforests, mountains, and lakes. Winter is the dry season and summer has a pretty intense wet season. It can rain everyday, and pretty hard, but it does tend to buffer some of the winds, which is good for the surf. April to June brings nice offshore winds and southwest swells that make for consistently good surf . Panama is a bit too tucked back to get hit by much of the Alaskan swells that Costa Rica is known for, but the spots that get hit by the west to northwest swells will tend to be bigger in the dry season.