The surf in Panama is year-round, with the most consistent waves in the Pacific between April and November. Both oceans offer completely different waves and setting, literally like two totally different places. With 2 oceans there is no shortage of waves to surf.
On the Pacific side you find more Point Breaks with waves ranging from chest high to double overhead depending what you want. The beaches on the Pacific side are more quant small fishermen’s towns, so you're surf trip will definitely be more about just surfing. On the Atlantic side the wave’s season runs November through May. The Atlantic side (the Caribbean) offers many surf spots in a tropicalisland setting truly worthy of surfing and getting the island feel, there is also more of a nightlife out at the islands.
In how many countries do you have two oceans to choose from when selecting a place to surf? Not only do surfers on Panama have countless options on both the Pacific and Caribbean, they may choose mainland or island beaches and from among popular surfing locales to those with few, if any, tourists. Three-quarters of Panama’s surfing areas are located on the Pacific coast, from Punta Barica at the western edge of the isthmus near the border with Costa Rica to Punta Jaque almost to Colombia. If big challenging waves in water temperatures above 80 degrees F are your idea of a good time, then the Pacific side is where you'll want to surf on your Panama tours. Intermediate surfers and beginners will find a place to enjoy as well.
Some of Panama's surfing areas are year-round while others are desirable only during certain months due to wind conditions. Pacific waves tend to be biggest during the wet season from May to November. Dependability varies by location.
The country's most famous surfing areas are found in central Panama between the Azuero Peninsula and Coiba Marine National Park where surfers have their choice of fifteen to twenty different locations. Of these, the top spots are Venado (or Venao), where international surfing competitions are held; the scenic beach of Cambutal and most famous of all, Santa Catalina. Santa Catalina, Punta Burica, Chiriqui and Venado reputedly offer the most dependable surfing conditions.
You know you’re in surfing country when multiple hotel names contain the word “surf.” Santa Catalina is considered to have some of the best year-round surfing conditions in all of Latin America with waves up to twenty-five feet. Located on the western side of the Gulf of Montijo, the town of Santa Catalina is a five to six hour drive from the capital. Word has spread through the international surfing community, transforming this once sleepy fishing village into a surfer magnet.