Surfing Guide Colombia

A nice wave in "Castillo" in Cartagena. Coverage in: Revista Don Juan
surfing near Tayrona park, photo courtesy of


Check out this previous post about Surfing in Cartagena, also here:

Cartagena Jetty surfing:

Hilton: This wave is in front of the Hilton Hotel in Cartagena

Castillo Grande:

To view more pictures of Cartagena waves and surfers, go to Hamlet Hernandez's Surf Photographer Blog. Hamlet is a Colombian surf photographer.


Costeño Surf is tour company, surf camp and now Ecolodge run by 2 Canadian brothers. As of of December 2010 they purchased land and are building an Ecolodge in Guachaca, Colombia which is next to Tayrona National Park.

Costeño Surf provides surfing expeditions in the Caribbean coast to breaks in Tayrona, Rio Mendijuaca, Casa Grande, Naranjos, Buritaca, etc.

They also have travel packages to Santa Marta, Cascadas de Valencia, and Volcan de Totumo.


Fly to Santa Marta airport from any major Colombian city. From there, drive about 40mins until you get to the entrance to the Parque Nacional Tayrona. You will have to pay to get in but it isnt very much. Leave your taxi or car behind at Canaveral and walk for about 40 mins until ou get to a sort of encampment. Hire out a hammock, 13,000 pesos a night, about $5 and get surfing! You will be amazed!


From Santa Marta take a bus from plaza "El Mercado" which takes you directly to the entrance of the town of Buritaca for about $4.50. From there you can decide whether to take a taxi ($1500 pesos) to the beach, a moto taxi ($1000 pesos) or walk for 20 minutes (the road is safe and a straight shot, so it is difficult to get lost). Once in the town you pass the Buritaca river walking or using canoes ($1000 pesos) and then you'll be at the beautiful beach with nice waves and friendly people.

For lodging options check out the Playa Koralia Lodge. They can also organize the transportation for you.


From Santa Marta keep heading north. Drive about 40 min. until you get to Tayrona Natural Park. 2 km past the entrance to Cañaveral there is little restaurant where you can park your car(make sure you arrange with somebody to keep an eye on it...and settle a fee). Across the restaurant there is hidden path. Walk your way through the jungle, pass the shallow river, keep walking(beautiful walk)....cross the same river when it curves at the end and there you are! Sometime the river is very dry and you can just follow it downriver until you find the beach.

There are two main breaks: 1) river-mouth: very nice and powerful barrel sometimes really close to the shore but makeable. Sand bottom.The bigger the better! Easy paddle out with the river's current.

2) Point-break: this is to the north side of the beach. Breaks with small swells and holds big ones too. This is where the fault rocks are. The waves get really good and powerful here.

The view here is incredible with green mountain-tops reaching the clouds, Caribbean pristine waters and in the morning when the sky is clear you can see the snow cap of La Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta from the ocean...not a comon sight around the globe!

Be warned there is nothing in this beach except sand, mosquitoes(can get very bad), bring everything you need. Hamaca, tent, water,wax, ding repair, etc. This spot won't get crowded and when we think it is crowded is because there are 10 guys out, but they all know each other and will be very happy to see a traveler surfer there.

Around the area there are a lot of beach-breaks like La Caracola, Arrecifes, and Cañaveral among others. If you are unlucky and find it flat(not too often but it does happen) you can walk to other empty beaches, climb the cliffs, snorkle. For foreign surfers it is recommended you go there without somebody that knows the area and even though the people of the area are very friendly, it's always better to go with somebody that knows the area.


Go to Hotel Mendihuaca after Tayrona National Park. The break is right there.



Aqua Salvaje provides surf trips to the best breaks in the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Colombia.

Surf guide Andrés Higuera has many years experience traveling, surfing and exploring to find the best breaks in Colombia.


Phone: 57-314-648-8297
"We have thoroughly studied the logistics of travel and the best seasons of the year to provide you with a range of fantastic options to travel and surf in the best surf spots in this beautiful country. We will take you to exotic places, with intense adventure, for those that like to live the nature of surfing in its most pure and wild essence."

Surf breaks in the Caribbean include: in
1) La Punta del Ingles
in Isla Fuerte. Click here for previous post on Isla Fuerte

2) No Te Creas
3) Sapzurro - small town on the Colombia / Panama border:

Surf breaks in the Pacific Coast include:
1) Pico de Loro
2) Malhecha
3) Longo
4) Cholon
5) Majagualito


PUNTA ROCAS From Barranquilla take the main road to the beach as if going to Sabanilla Beaches. Right before the Country Club entrance there is a dirt road. Take it all the way to the cliffs and make a right until you get to the main break. During low tides the is a tiny stretch of sand. Paddle in from there. Check out these perfect tubes:

PRADOMAR: Take the bus or car to Puerto Colombia / Pradomar.



El muelle is next to the ”historic pier of Puerto Colombia.”

Take the coastal road as if you were going to Pradomar. Turn right when you get to a sign that says "Castillo Salgar". Head 1km, turning right just as you reach the ocean. Go straight. Once you get there, park along the beach at one of the cabañitas. This costs a few pesos (10.000 or so) but your stuff will be secure, and you'll have a place in the shade.

This is a much softer wave the El Bolsillo, but there's also no one on it. During the trade winds season Salgar is always much cleaner than it's more popular neighbor to the west. Expect long-boardable waves here +250 days out of the year. In general it's not the best wave, but it sure beats banging boards with everyone and their mom over at El Bolsillo. The beach (and inside) can get crowded with beach-goers on the weekends and holidays.

To view more pictures of Colombian Caribbean waves and surfers, go to the Surfing Colombia Blog, which is put together by a team of Barranquilla surfers.



Memo Gomez has been a pioneer in surfing the Pacific coast of Colombia.
Memo is the owner of EL CANTIL Ecolodge in Nuqui, and he has been living and exploring the remote Colombian Pacific coast for over 15 years.

Memo has also been instrumental in bringing professional surfers from abroad to surf in Colombia.

He took Peter Mendia, Kalle Carranza, Otto Flores, Magnum Martinez and photographer Seth Stafford to our most famous surf breaks like Pico de Loro and El Chorro. This surf trip got coverage in American surfing magazine Transworld SURF. (view story here)

He also helped organize the SURF the JUNGLE South American surfing contest in 2008 held at the Pico de Loro break and attended by several Professional surfers. (view story here)

In 2010 he was also instrumental in bringing Stand Up Paddlesurfing to the Pacific coast of Colombia for the first time when the Blueline Paddlesurf team from Santa Barbara, California visited. (view story here)

Visit EL CANTIL's website for more information on their surfing tours, surfing lessons, whale watching, diving, snorkeling and fishing services.

As far as the surf breaks here is short list:

  1. Pico de Loro - excellent surfing a short boat ride from Nuqui.
  2. Juan Tornillo - a short boat ride south from Nuqui, just before Cabo Corrientes, Juan Tornillo is isolated and beautiful.
  3. Terco - 20km boat trip from Nuqui.
  4. Termales - rivermouth surfing 25km south of Nuqui, or an hours walk from Terquito. There are hot springs nearby.Juanchaco - a one hour boatride from Buenaventura is relatively undeveloped and is good for experienced surfers.
Waves are from the south west between April and December and from the north or northeast in January and February. The southwest waves are bigger, except when they occasionally come from the north of the Pacific in January an February

Here is a photo of Memo Gomez on a nice Colombian wave:

Other Lodging Options near Nuqui:

Pijiba Lodge

Piedra Piedra



Bahia Solano (Solano Bay) is a small Colombian holiday ecolodgical vacation area popular for it's nearby beaches, whale watching, deep sea fishing, scuba diving and surfing. Most tourist choose to stay in nearby beaches to Bahia Solano, which have the better beaches. Playa Huina, Playa Potes and Playa de la Paridera are nearby beaches and all have accommodation options.

In addition there is the smaller neighboring town of El Valle which can be reached via a road to the south. El Valle has excellent beaches such as Playa El Almejal and La Bocana, which are great for surfing and rainforest nature walks nearby.

Check out pictures of the waves on Coco Loco Surf Camping's website.

Also here is a great video showing the surfing at El Almejal and beauty of the area:

Here are some other Lodging Options in Bahia Solano:
1)Coco Loco Surf Camping

2)El Almejal Reserve & Lodge

3)Playa Alegre Ecolodge


San Andrés is the largest of the island group in the Colombian Department of the Archipelago of San Andrés, Providencia and Santa Catalina. San Andrés Island is 750 km from the Colombian mainland and 230km off the coast of Nicaragua. There are several flights to the island from most cities in mainland Colombia.

There isn't much of a surfing culture in San Andres, so there are plenty of uncrowded waves with great potential. Surf board rentals will be hard to come a last resort you can buy a board at one of the local surf shops. Season works best in the winter months (Dec to April) when trade winds in the Caribbean push water towards the mainlands. It is also possible between July to October during hurricane season.


Punta Sur is on the south side of the island near el "Hoyo Soplador" which is a small geyser hole that sometimes spews water depending on the wind and waves. You can catch a cab to Punta Sur and then paddle out to the reef from the beach.

Here are 2 pictures of Punta Sur: