Surfing the Islands of Bocas del Toro is truly a world-class experience.The Caribbean Sea offers warm, crystal blue-green water and swells that can be enjoyed by seasoned veterans and beginners alike.The main surfing season is from December through March, when Northeast storms deliver waves in the 4 – 12 foot range. But if Lucky can still surf until may or june!
Bocas has a smaller wave season from May through July when clean waves can be enjoyed in the 3 – 8 foot range.
The majority of the breaks are coral reefs and beach breaks. The most accessible spots are on Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, and Isla Bastimentos.
For the experienced and adventurous surfers, boat charters can be a great way to travel a few hours to breaks that will offer you the surf trip of a lifetime. Many of these secret spots offer excellent waves with just you and your friends in the line up.
Local surf shops and boat captains can assist you in finding these un-crowded and rare gifts of the sea. One of the most experienced surf and fishing charters can be booked with Sully’s surf and fishing tours. He has been down here since 1993 and has pioneered a great deal of big wave, secret spots throughout the islands.
Isla Colon hosts a few great breaks ranging from steep, hollow beach breaks such as Bluff beach, to peaky reef breaks such as Playa Paunch and Tiger tails. Be fair warned that the power and strength of waves like Bluff beach should only be surfed by experienced surfers who know how to make steep drops and are experienced tube riders. Access to Bluff beach requires a taxi ride or boat taxi departing from Bocas town, or a long 45 minute bike ride. Reef breaks like Playa Paunch or Tiger tails can be reached by taxi, boat taxi, or a 15 minute bike ride from town. You can enjoy the full beach experience at Paki point, surfing right out front at Tiger tails, then lounging at the surf club, with great food, drinks, Live DJ, yoga – massage days, and cool art. There is also a great beginners beach on the Island called La Feria, where you can find many young kids, girls and boys riding their first waves in Bocas.
Isla Carenero has two great surfing spots, one for beginners and one for the experienced surfer. For tourists that want to try the surfing experience for their first time, they can rent a board or schedule a surfing lesson from the many surf shops/schools in Bocas town such as Mono loco surf school. A great beginner to intermediate wave is Black rock located on the Southeast side of Carenero. For very experienced and respectful surfers, the wave at the Point can offer steep, hollow lefts that deliver some of the longest rides in Bocas. “La Punta” will also be one of the more crowded waves around with many of Bocas del Toro’s best local surfers tearing it up on the good days.
Isla Bastimentos has some of the best beach breaks around, such as Wizard beach, Third beach and Long beach. Access to these waves requires a 10 to 30 minute boat taxi from Bocas town, or a long walk if you are staying on Bastimentos. For the expert local surfers or travellers who’s timing is perfect, there is a Right hand Reef break called Silverbacks, which rarely breaks unless the waves are 15 – 20 Foot. This break is the heaviest wave around and rivals some of the big wave breaks on Hawaii’s North shore.
There are three surf shops in Bocas town that can offer you rentals, lessons and all of your surf necessities such as boards, rash guards, leashes, wax, sunscreen and the latest surf gear from top International brands.