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If you are looking for a great surfing destination on the Pacific coast of Nicaragua, El Transito Beach is one of your best bets.
Surfing in Nicaragua has grown quite popular since the early 2000s. Surfing started to develop along this shoreline around 2003, which was an excellent time to see new surf spots being formed promising world-class waves to this area.
Surfing enthusiasts often go to El Transito due to its more reliable waves for surfing.
El Transito is a secluded beach that provides solitude for those who wish to get away from groups of people and enjoy an entire beautiful beach to yourself on some days.
Surfing on this side of Nicaragua is more difficult than the popular spots in San Juan del Sur because the wave is shorter and breaks harder at times with currents forcing you towards rocks.
This place is fantastic for beginner surfers as long as they are accompanied by experienced people since there are no lifeguards or rescue personnel around in case something were to happen.
The best time to go surfing here is when it’s low tide during the day when the swell isn’t too powerful.
The Northern cove of El Transito beach is nicknamed “PISTOLS” for its rapid-fire and fast-moving waves.
El Transito has been described as “the best place in Nicaragua for beginner surfers” perhaps due to the fact that it’s not crowded with other surfers which can often lead to dangerous situations. If you’re planning on going surfing in Nicaragua during your Central America trip, El Transito should be at the top of your list if you want easy waves without too much danger involved.
Surfing can be done here year-round but during certain seasons, like September and December, El Transito Beach is ideal for beginners and intermediates alike because there are no big waves and hardly any wind at all.
You can also find an array of restaurants, bars, and hostels on the beach for food and drinks.
One of our favorites is called Olas Clandestinas. They have a healthy and creative menu to satisfy all cravings.
El Transito is about an hour and a half drive west of the main airport MGA, in the capital Managua. This proximity makes El Transito an ideal location to hit up for travelers as it is one of the closest beaches to this hub. It takes about 90 minutes to get there by car, but if you try taking a bus, it could take up to two hours or even more because buses are not very frequent at any specific time during the day.
If you are traveling to Nicaragua from outside of the country, see our 2022 Nicaragua Travel Guide to make sure you have all your bases covered.
From Managua Airport about 2/3 of the drive is paved and modern roads. The last 1/3 of your trip will be a dirt road so be prepared for this. Roads easily get damaged by rainfall and traffic creating potholes and rough roads. When it’s hot and sunny, which is often, roads can be dusty and it can be difficult to see if you are driving behind someone.
If you take a Cab the typical cost should be around $40- $60 in the day, for a one-way trip or $60 – $100 if traveling in the night.
Night travel in Nicaragua is more dangerous and more expensive so we suggest you always try your best to navigate during the daylight hours.
Getting around El Transito Beach by land can be a bit difficult. You can walk along the beach but it takes a lot of effort to get through all of the sand. By bike or motorcycle, however, is ideal due to easier navigation through tight areas.
El Transito Beach has some spectacular views along with an old fort that was built back when pirates used to sail down these coasts and attack towns in search of treasure. If you visit Nicaragua then this is a great place to go because it has all of the beauty that the Pacific Ocean has to offer.
El Transito has some of the best tide pools in all of Nicaragua. You can see in our Virtual Tour some great locations that locals visit to spend afternoons relaxing in the tide pools. On the south side of El Transito beach are rock formations along the shore that at low tide create a barrier from the break and leave these amazing pools with sandy bottoms which are perfect for swimming in and having some family fun. On the day we photographed El Transito there were several families out enjoying these amazing spots.
Surfing equipment can be rented from some of the local Vacation Angel hosts or hostels.
The typical cost of a Surfboard rental for the day is $10, if it’s not already included in your stay.