Playa Santana (Playa Jiquelite) Spot Guide

About Playa Santana (Playa Jiquelite)

Santana is a really fun, consistent beachbreak that works best on higher tides and mid-period SW-SSW swells. Swells will reflect off the long lava platform shelf on the south-end of the beach, right in front of Rancho Santana Resort. This reflecting energy will create a series of wedging peaks down the beach (usually a couple main peaks, but sometimes three or more, depending on swell). First and Second Peak are usually best and peakiest (as well as the most crowded). Furthermore, a river flows out right here, which keeps the sandbar replenished, but water can get quite dirty and with tree branches or whatnot after a significant rain. These peaks will offer fun, rippable lines, as well as some barrels that you can backdoor (especially off First Peak). The waves become less peaky and less crowded toward the north, with less interaction of swell reflection. But sometimes a good sandbar will set up down that way. Santana is best on mid to high tides for size, shape, and consistency. On lower tides, it becomes smaller, very dumpy, sectiony and drained out. It's pretty much a guarantee to always improve as the tide fills back in, unless winds turn onshore or swell drops out. The best wind is obviously calm or light offshore. Although Nicaragua is known for the steady offshore flow due to Lake Nicaragua, sometimes it can blow a little too hard offshore in this section of coast.

Source: Playa Santana (Playa Jiquelite) Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

All levels -- Depends on size of course. Less experienced surfers should move further north down the beach from the main peaks.

Local Vibe

Intimidating

Welcoming Intimidating

Competitive. Locals tend to take over the line-up (especially at 2nd and 3rd peaks) during the best windows of the day. Drop-ins.

Crowd Factor

Moderate

Mellow Heavy

Crowded with locals and tourists.

Spot Rating

Fun

Poor Perfect

Super fun, wedging peaks that are usually always clean.

Shoulder Burn

Light

Light Exhausting

Depends on size and consistency, but usually not bad as it breaks close in.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Not bad unless the river is flowing with farm runoff.

Additional Information

Hazards

Crowds, debris floating out from river.

Access

If you're staying at Santana, then you're right there. Otherwise you need to take the only other road in and park on the beach by the hut.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, fish, bodyboard

Seabed

Sand with a few rocks on the inside near the beach.

Best Season

All summer. Prime season is April through September. Much of October typically sees onshore wind and heavy rain, while November is a sleeper month with late season pulses and good conditions.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos