Surf travel is not the adventure into the unknown that it was just a few short decades ago. With today’s advanced surf forecasting and the modern ease of travel, a willing surfer can spot a swell online, book travel, and be halfway around the world surfing within a day. Still, even with today’s comforts, planning a surf trip to a new destination can feel a bit overwhelming. With all the available resources online, how do you know who to trust? Despite advancements in surf forecasting, every spot is different, and sometimes, forecasts are just plain wrong. When planning a surf trip, it’s improtant to know what time of year the waves are best. It always helps to talk to fellow travelers who have been to your desired destination to get a feel for what the place is like before you commit to a trip. If you’re thinking of planning a surf trip, we’re here to help. Beyond our surf school in Costa Rica, we have surf schools in Panama and Ecuador that are ideally located by world-class waves. If you’re looking to shake things up and head somewhere new for your next surf trip, head south to Ecuador. Continue reedling below for the Safari Surf Guide to Ecuador’s Surf Seasons.
Surfing in Ecuador
Ecuador is known for its charming backpacker towns, towering mountain peaks, and the Galapagos Islands. Few of the travelers who make the journey to Ecuador are there for the waves, but for those in the know, Ecuador is a premier surf destination with a diverse selection of quality waves. Ecuador has four surf regions: North (Mompiche to Bahia de Caraquez), Central (Manta Zone), Baja Manabi, and South (Las Salinas to Montanita). Our Ecuador surf school is located in the Baja Manabi Zone, just south of Parque Nacional Machalilla. Ecuador has comfortable water temperatures ranging from 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit and sees year-round swell, so you can likely leave the wetsuit at home for your Ecuador surf adventure.
Best Ecuador Surf Season for Beginners
While Ecuador has year-round swell, there’s a definitive surf season from December through April when Northwest swells are dominant in the Pacific, and winds are predominately light and offshore. Beginner and intermediate surfers may find it preferable to surf in the offseason from May through November. During this time of year, the winds can be predominately on shore, but the mornings are still glassy. With thin crowds and glassy, smaller surf in the mornings, May through November is ideal for new and intermediate surfers.
Where to Surf Year-Round in Ecuador
While most of the region’s waves crave the northwest swells and offshore winds that prevail during December through April, there are plenty of breaks that work well with south swell and even a few that work with either swell direction. Ayampe, home of our Ecuador surf school, is a tranquil hideaway on the coast, located in the Baja Manabi zone with a reliable wave that breaks year-round.
How to Get to Ayampe
Ayampe may be off the beaten path, but it’s well worth the trip. To get to Ayampe from the States, you’ll first fly into Quito. From Quito, you will connect on a domestic flight to Manta. From Manta. you can take a bus or a taxi to Ayampe. The journey may be long, but it is well worth it. Ayampe reminds us of what Nosara was like 20 years ago— quaint, charming, and full of natural beauty.
If you’re considering taking a trip to South America, visit our Ecuador surf school in Ayampe for a once-in-a-lifetime surfing experience. Head to our website for more information.