Surf Rancho Santana, the Nicaragua Emerald Coast

By Tee1

Playa Santana

Rancho Santana and other massively upscale resorts have sprung to life over the past decade along southern Nicaragua’s Emerald Coast. This region has easily become one of the darlings of the IT crowd. Facing the Pacific Ocean, these boutique resorts are emerging from the jungles onto pristine beaches featuring world class surf breaks.

In recent memory,  Rancho Santana has helped the Emerald Coast become the most thrilling beach destination in Nicaragua’s newly thriving tourism market. The unspoiled dry forest landscape along magnificent Pacific surf breaks, has allowed these new upscale resorts like Rancho Santana to deliver world-class accommodation with genuine Nicaraguan hospitality to the ever increasing numbers.
With hilly hikes in the rainforest, pristine beaches, safe surroundings, and some of the best surfing on Earth, the Emerald Coast is truly Nicaragua’s best kept coastal secret – for now.
[dropcap]Regarded for it’s consistent A-frame beach break, Playa Santana is a favorite surfing wave for the more seasoned surfer.[/dropcap]
Surf Report

Where is Rancho Santana, Nicaragua? 11°44′N 86°09′W

Three of Rancho Santana’s five beaches are on world-class surf breaks providing the perfect location for surfers of all levels.  We have both beginner and intermediate waves, like Panga Drops, along with championship waves like Santana, Colorado, and Popoyo within reach.  People of all ages and skill levels come from near and far to Surf Rancho Santana. Being able to cater to all levels of surfers in one place is truly unique.

Also known locally as ‘Playa Jiquiliste,’ Playa Santana is where you’ll find some of the best surfing in Nicaragua.  The Inn & Residences at Rancho Santana are located directly on the shores of Playa Santana, and the Clubhouse at Playa Santana is just a short stroll away.  This beach is a favorite surfing, swimming and fishing destination for both guests and residents.

For those who wish to enjoy a beach with the most amenities nearby, Playa Santana meets those expectations. The Inn, Clubhouse, and pool bar & cabanas are only steps away, where guests will also find a horseshoe pit and bocci court to toss their best “shoe” or roll their best ball with ocean waves crashing nearby.

Nicaragua’s name is derived from Nicarao, the name of the Nahuatl-speaking tribe which inhabited the shores of Lake Nicaragua before the Spanish conquest of the Americas, and the Spanish word ‘Agua’, meaning water, due to the presence of the large Lake Cocibolca (or Lake Nicaragua) and Lake Managua (or Lake Xolotlán), as well as lagoons and rivers in the region.

Rivas is known for its fertile soil and beautiful beaches. Throughout the department, there are many sugar cane, plantain, tobacco, and other crop plantations. The department borders Lake Nicaragua to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The southern part of the department borders with Costa Rica. A small fishermen village, called San Juan del Sur, has turned into a popular tourist attraction because of the great beaches in the area. Another major tourist attraction is Ometepe, a large volcanic island inhabited by about 32,000 people (2005 census).

Tropical savanna climates have monthly mean temperature above 18 °C (64 °F) in every month of the year and typically a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60 mm (2.36 in) of precipitation. The Köppen Climate Classification[9] subtype for this climate is “Aw“. (Tropical Savanna Climate).

On September 2, 1992 a magnitude 7.0 earthquake off the central coast of Nicaragua generated a tsunami that devastated many communities along the Pacific Coast. Run-up values along the coast ranged from 2m in the north and south to up to 10m in some central locations. Run-up values in San Juan del Sur were approximately 5m. As a result of the tsunami an estimated 60% of homes in the community were destroyed, approximately 800 residents were displaced, and businesses and homes along the Malecón suffered severe damage.

Thank you to David Palmiotto, a gentleman I work long hours with in San Diego trying to pay for this website. David and his wife recently travelled to Nicaragua for a week of surf, fun, etc and were generous enough to share the images used.