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“Incredible Place!”
Review of The Surf Sanctuary

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The Surf Sanctuary
Reviewed 18 June 2017

This was my first trip to Nica and it was nothing short of amazing. My friend and I spent a week at the Sanctuary and we were very well taken care of from start to finish. We scored great waves and the staff there was awesome. Our surf guides Donald and Craig were great. They escorted us by boat and 4x4 to a variety of spots in an effort to put us on the best waves possible. For first-timers like us having them share the local knowledge was indispensable and took us to places we wouldn't have found on our own. Jan and Aurelia were also very friendly and accommodating. I would highly recommend The Surf Sanctuary to anyone looking for a great Nica experience, whether you are an experienced surfer, novice, want to fish, or just relax...this is the place for you. Great for serious surfers and families alike. This is not a Frat. Bro-Brah party place, but the ice cold Tonas after a long surf session were on point. Thanks again for a great time. We will be back for sure.

Room Tip: Casitias are Amaizing.
  • Stayed: June 2017, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Ty B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1 - 7 of 45 reviews

Reviewed 16 April 2017 via mobile

I looked at a lot of different places before coming down and I definitely made the right choice. A great price, great guides and they make you feel like family. Don and Craig were awesome and due to their local knowledge my son and I scored great waves with no crowds on multiple occasions. The grounds were amazing and comfortable with great food. The location is perfect for surf and being able to get a feel for the local culture. This was way better than being behind the gates at the big resorts. I can't wait to get back. Thanks Tony and Nancy for a great time!!

Stayed: April 2017, travelled with family
Thank West Coast I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 25 May 2017

West Coast, it was a pleasure to have you guys down and stay with us, we look forward to your future visits.

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2016 via mobile

Went for the weekend and had a blast. Tony and Nancy took care and made us feel welcome and safe. Everything was perfect, the room even beyond, so beautiful! we are so coming back!! thanks for everything and good luck! see you soon

Stayed: October 2016, travelled as a couple
Thank louis P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 June 2016

my friend and I just jumped down on a 3 day strike mission to score a solid 6-8ft+ swell. Tony and the crew took great care of us. we didn't have to worry about a thing. our airport pickup was there waiting for us to come in on the spirit red eye out of ft Lauderdale. we got the gran reserve package because we wanted to score the best waves possible on our short trip and that we did! we got on the boat and scored everyday. Donald will get some sick photos of you too! the crew on the boat does a great job looking out for everyone in the water in case anything happens. they brought along plenty of water, snacks, food, sodas, and beers on every trip. the sweet local Nicaraguan ladies in the kitchen are there ready to prepare you anything on the menu. my first trip here was in 2007 and then again in 2009 and it was awesome to see how much the sanctuary has grown. great job guys, ill be coming back for sure.

Room Tip: casitas are set up killer with 4 beds. they've got hot water and a/c. they also have houses avai...
  • Stayed: June 2016, travelled with friends
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank edubau2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 June 2016

My travel down was a rough one to say the least, compliments of Spirit Airlines - who delayed my arrival in Managua by 24 hrs. During my terrible travel down, I was concerned about my 1 am pick-up at the airport, but my fears were waylayed as I was able to stay in contact with Tony (owner of the Sanctuary) via email, who answered me promptly & tracked my status throughout the travel ordeal, which was no easy task! On my first morning upon walking into the restaurant I was greeted with a round of applause & cheers from the staff & guest staying there!! That's the vibe you're gonna get when you stay at the Sanctuary...they want you to be a part of what they've made down there - it's authentic!!
Spirit Airlines surprised me again when my luggage didn't make it down with me - as a well traveled surfer I had packed a pair of board shorts and a rashguard in my carry on & the surf sancturary provided me with a toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen & bug spray and called for my luggage numerous times...courtesies that they didn't have to do, but I greatly appreciated...I felt very welcomed!
I traveled down to Nicaragua (a true 3rd world country) to SURF, what I received at the surf sanctuary blew my mind! I choose the 2nd package ($1500) which included:
-all meals
-1 dinner out on the town (a very nice touch)
-4 to 6 drinks a day (I don't know how many drinks I had a day but they never once told me I had reached my limit, as long as you don't abuse it they are very chill)
-4x4 surf trips (I surf aprx 4-6 hrs a day, 8 different breaks total & never once walked to a break...I felt like a VIP)
-full time surf guide (Donald & Eric were friendly & knowledgeable guys that were down for anything)
-2 boat trips (1 boat trip was an afternoon trip/1 was a full day excursion)
-airport pickup and drop off
-my own casita (slept 4 but since I was alone I had it all to myself)
-great waves
I think you will be hard pressed to find a deal like this anywhere, especially in central america & south america, maybe el salvador - i have not been there yet, but this deal is the most bang for your buck!
Overall I was very impressed with the Sanctuary & their staff - I will be traveling down to Nicaragua again & when I go I will be staying at the Surf Sanctuary!

  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank timsw115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2016

Had an epic 2 weeks staying at the surf sanctuary... Fun waves with great enthusiastic & knowledgeable guides. Real nice food and accommodation right by the beach. The people running it are super friendly and willing to help with whatever you need. We cruised all over the place in the boat scoring uncrowded waves with a cool box full of beer. Exactly the trip me and buddy were looking for.

Unfortunately our trip did overlap by a few days with Mr Pete Surfs from one of the reviews below. A miserable dude who moaned about everything for some reason. The whole time we were there he was complaining that the waves weren't big enough and then on his last day when we headed to popoyo where it was a good 6ft he was sat in the channel with an 11 year old from Belgium for about 30 minutes before heading in and demanding our guide to drive him home. Strange dude.

If you want to go to this part of Nicaragua and be sure you surf the most possible without having to worry about where to go these are your guys.

Thanks again to the team there who made our trip so epic ! See you again soon...

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled with friends
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank Josh B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2016 via mobile

Had a great stay. If you're looking for full on surf this is the spot. Daily trips via 4x4 and boat kept us in the water all day. Great food and drink as well. Not a 5 star resort but they don't claim to be. Go spend 5 times more at Rancho if that's what you're after. Super cool and friendly staff. Surf guides knowledgeable and on it. I would definitely go back. Coop

Stayed: May 2016, travelled with friends
Thank Eric C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Surf Sanctuary

Address: Meters East Of Playa Santana 600, Rivas, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > Rivas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Rivas
Price Range: $94 - $97 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 4
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A friendly & comfortable surf resort just a few minutes from one of Nicaragua's finest surf breaks. The Surf Sanctuary is family owned & operated. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Surf Sanctuary Nicaragua/Rivas

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