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Day one in Mexico - Manzanillo Bay

Bienvenidos a Mexico!   I'm here... and loving it!

 Wavecation and Inn at Manzanillo Bay

After an easy 1/2 day of travel, I've arrived in paradise. A short 2 hour flight from Houston and I arrived in Ixtapa/Zihautanejo airport. After a quick customs line (10 minutes) I rented a car (and got the insurance that costs more than the car) and was set loose in Mexico.  Every road sign leaving the airport said "Mex 200" which was the road I needed so who knew if I was on the right one?!

The first 15 minutes of the drive are a bit hectic as you pass the the city but the remaining 30 minute drive north through winding roads and roadside towns (the kind where people, dogs and bikes haphazardly cross in front of oncoming traffic) was quite pleasant. Arriving in Troncones is a bit underwhelming at first, it looks like all the other little barrios you pass on the way here. Then you see the beach and it gets better. Driving North along the unpaved coastal road seeing the entrance gates of all the vacation homes and boutique hotels I still wasn’t very impressed, but hopeful. When I finally pulled into the Inn at Manzanillo Bay I began to sense that I had arrived. My impression after just a few hours at Troncones is that you don’t come here for the town, you come here to pick a really nice oasis (like Manzanillo Bay) and get away from it all!  

One great thing about the lush Inn at Manzanillo Bay is that the surf break is so close it seems like part of the hotel grounds. The paddle out spot is 20 steps out of the gate, you’re right there! It’s a perfect Wavecation location, with bungalows facing the surf, warm fresh water pool and a killer restaurant on site - the hotel owner is a chef and it shows! There is also a great surf shop on site with 15 or 20 late model surftech boards for rent. Everything from tiny shortboards to full size SUPs.

Falling asleep with nothing but ocean breezes and waves crashing outside my open air bungalow was refreshing. There is no a/c in the Bungalows, (there are A/C rooms if you need it) I was a bit worried at first as it's warm and humid here. After a cool pre-bed shower and with the fans blowing it was quite nice to fall asleep without the accompaniment of blankets. Waking up this morning the air was fresh and cooler from the rain during the night. I can't overstate how beautiful and relaxing the Inn at Manzanillo Bay is. After being here 2 hours yesterday I felt me self slowing down, I could actually FEEL the relaxation setting in. It's wonderful. I'll let the photos do the talking now... I'm going to surf!

 

Packing light

 

ZIH airport, I was impressed. It's small, clean and efficient.


Leaving the airport every road is "Mexico 200" - just pick one and hope for the best ;)
 

Arriving in Troncones... not much to see yet
 

 The road through Troncones headed North
 

My bungalow, what a view!
 

Surfers about to paddle out at Troncones Point. Wave was empty/uncrowded all day.
 

The pool at Manzanillo Bay...perfect!
 
 
Entrance to the surf shop.
 
Three guys at the point
 
manzanillo bay 
Surfers hanging out at the cabana.
 
 
Sets rolling in with no one in sight.
 

End of a wonderful day at the Inn at Manzanillo Bay!

 

READ ABOUT DAY TWO IN TRONCONES

 
 
 
 
 

Top 5 Wavecation spots for SUP

Five Great SUP Trips for Your Next Vacation

If you've been getting into the Stand Up Paddle scene over the last few years you've probably realized it's a really great way to explore previously unsurfed areas as well as your local waterways. Now you may be ready to take your skills on the road and explore someplace new.  Are you yearning to embark on your own paddleboard travel adventure but don’t know where to start?  Here’s a list of five exceptional and unique SUP getaway destinations and accommodations.  So just sit back, relax and day dream about your next SUP trip.

 


Gerry Lopez taking off on a clean wall somewhere near Punta Mita, Mexico.

Punta Mita, Mexico

The Waikiki of Mexico, this laid back and tourist-friendly area is only 20 minutes from the airport in Puerto Vallarta and SUP is taking off in a big way down there. From the point break in funky Sayulita, to the rolling waves of Anclote, or the downwinders along the sparkling coast, this gorgeous peninsula is set up perfectly for stand up paddle fun.  When you go, check out the beachfront Cinco Hotel. This upscale hotel is doing a fabulous job of catering to the SUP community.  The owner has teamed up with the Pipe Master himself, Gerry Lopez, to offer SUP and yoga camps (next one is May 24-26). Not only does the hotel have SUP boards on site for guest use, but the rooms also look directly onto the Anclote surf break - known as one of the best beginner waves in Mexico.

 

My First El Salvador Surf Trip

Have you taken a surf trip to El Salvador?

If so you probably passed through San Salvador. San Salvador does not have a reputation for being the most pleasant city in Central America, that's for sure.  I have three primary memories of my shot time in San Salvador, the capitol of El Salvador...

Gran Pacific in Nicaragua - a Surf Front Community

Enjoy world class views of a world class surf break - Hemmies. Check the surf from the pool, the bar, your room or anywhere else for that matter.  The Gran Pacifica developement includes empty lots ready for building, custom homes for sale and a condo complex with units ocean front units available for rental or sale. The beachfront pool, bar and restaurant make this an ideal getaway for a family surf vacation.

The perfect resting spot in between your surf session or for those that just want to spectate. Hemmie's is known as one of Norther Nicaragua's best surf breaks and maybe the best left in Nicaragua. The surf grinds along a rocky ledge throwing the lip and creating a great barrel. If you're not a pro surfer don't worry, a short walk up or down the beach will bring you to miles of open beach breaks with sandy bottom perfect for beginner surfers. The quality, quantity and variety of waves as well as lack of crowds in this area make it one of Nicaragua's most accessible and best surf zones. Gran Pacifica Resort puts you in the perfect spot to take advantage of all the area has to offer.
 

For availability and more info go, please click here

 

Wavecation Named in Sunset Magazine


 

Wavecation is mentioned in the May 2012 print issue of Sunset Magazine, a West Coast lifestyle magazine. May is their travel issue with a fun focus this year on glamping and niche travel. The blurb mentions Wavecation's focus on the "ultra-niche" surf vacation category!

 

 

The paragraph does a great job of summing up what Wavecation is all about. I have already received phone calls from Sunset readers who have learned about Wavecation for the first time thanks to this mention. Way to go Sunset!


 

 
 

Kaya Sol Surf Hotel in Costa Rica

What’s the quickest way to own a surf hotel? Marry the owner of course!  That’s how Ryan of Kaya Sol Surf Hotel got there. After working as a bartender and then General Manager in Nosara, Costa Rica he fell in love with the area. Then he fell in love with the owner of the hotel he was managing. Now the two of them have owned and operated Kaya Sol together for close to a decade. I gave Ryan a call so he could give us some inside scoop on what life in Nosara is like.
 

Ryan notes that Costa Ricans place a huge emphasis on family and that’s one of the things he misses most since they’ve returned back to Colorado. “In Costa Rica” Ryan states “Family is everything. They may have 30 or 40 family members - brothers,sisters, aunts, grandparents - and they all still live next to each other”  In fact Kaya Sol has multiple family units working at the hotel. One extended family runs the restaurant while another keeps up the property.

Ryan says when people come to Nosara for the first time they are surprised by the unspoiled beauty and lack of development in the area. Nosara has been described as “where the jungle meets the sea” and the local community has taken great efforts to preserve this. There is actually a 200 meter setback rule for buildings, ensuring nothing can be built along the beachfront. The result is an experience that increasingly hard to come by - walking along a beautiful tropical beach and not seeing anything except jungle and surfers.

Mizata Point Resort

 

Mizata Point Surf Resort is a new hotel opened by an American ex-pat named George. George did something right because he found was most of us are looking for - a beachfront piece of land, tucked away in some overlooked corner of Central America with a nice wave breaking right out front.

Mizata is the name of the tiny village and also the name of the wave that’s at the Northern end of El Salvador’s main stretch of surfable coastline. This keeps the crowds low because you don’t really come here on the way to somewhere else and you have to pass a dozen other great waves that usually lure travelers in. This makes for a quiet and remote feeling outpost.

The wave itself is a rocky right which like most of the waves around here can be fun and powerful. Mizata Point Resort has the perfect position looking out over the break, at high tide you can almost paddle out from the swimming pool your so close to the wave.

The newly built resort will be quite refreshing if you’ve stayed at many other spots in El Salvador. The individual cabins are clean and tidy with ocean views. The restaurant on site cooks up yummy meals (which is a good thing as there aren’t other choices in Mizata).

The owner of Mizata Point Resort offers a unique package for those older surfers who are retired or anyone with lots of time on their hand. Take advantage of a much reduced rate on room and board for monthly or longer stays. This would an incredible option for a retired snowbird, surfer or non-surfer, who’s looking for an inexpensive, beautiful, quiet and warm place to spend the winter.  

El salvador is just coming into it’s prime surf season, so check out more photos of the resort here and go ahead and contact them, they’ll have a room waiting for you. Or if you really love the place, inquire about buying it, rumor is George is open to selling.

Vista Las Olas Property Profile

Vista Las Olas... a hidden gem in El Salvador with an empty beachbreak out front and a world class right hand point break just a few minutes walk down the beach. A beautiful and newly built resort, Vista Las Olas (VLO) is a mixture between a small hotel and a private home. It can be rented as either and a full service cook and chef are easily included as well.

The location is hard to beat. Located in El Salvador's "Wild East", this is a rugged and wave rich stretch of coastline. The nearby point break, Las Flores, is one of the best surf breaks in the whole country. With long steep walls, surfers travel from all around to surf Las Flores when a good south swell comes in.

VLO has a gorgeous infinity pool, hot tub, and modern furnishings. This rental is equally suited for families, groups of friends, or a girls surf getaway. With rates starting around $100/night, you'd have to look for a reason NOT to stay here.

See more photos or contact Vista Las Olas

Our beautiful images taken from Vista Las Olas are from the talented Petter and Linn from Sunshinestories.com

Sunshine Stories

 

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Vista Las Olas, El Salvador

As Petter and Linn from Sunshine Stories travel through Central America, they are not only recounting their travels through their blog; sunshinestories.com, they're also capturing beautiful images of the properties you'll find on Wavecation. They are sleeping  in great surf front hotels and homes along the way and sending the photos back here for our viewing pleasure. I love the way their photos capture the moment, it's not just about the place, but actually BEING in that place.  I say it's like wedding photography for surf locations :)

Basically... they rock.

Petter and Linn, both from Sweden, are a young blonde haired couple with a penchant for travel. Still in their early 20's, they've decided to avoid the rat race as long as possible. Instead they're traveling the globe searching for those who are living their dreams, hoping to learn from them and follow their example. In just the past to years Petter and Linn have been to Spain, South Africa, Thailand, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and more.

Their current trip began in Mexico and will take them all the way down to Peru. They hooked up with Wavecation in Mexico and have been wowing us with their imagery ever since. Here's some of their images below, be sure to follow their travel blog for the latest updates as well.

 

 

 

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Playa Avellones, Costa Rica

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Miramar Surf Camp, Nicaragua

 

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Petter and Linn

 

Driftwood Art Giveaway

Wavecation is doing a special haiku giveaway. The WINNER will receive one of Patrick J Robert's pieces of driftwood art. Please check out our Facebook page to enter by writing a haiku about surf vacations!  In case you forgot your grade school literature class, a haiku is a poem with three lines, structured as 5, 7, 5 for syllables.

Haiku Example:
 
Surf crashing below
Lines stretch to the horizon
All ours for a week

 
Post your Haiku on the Wavecation Facebook page and the Haiku with the most "likes" next Wednesday will win!

Originally from Canada, Patrick moved to Florida at a young age with his family. He has developed his artistic style there, and studied design. He grew up in and around the ocean in Miami Beach and has formed a love affair with it. It is the inspiration for much but not all of his art, it is also where he spends his spare time having fun doing what he loves the most.... surfing.
Patrick often paints on wood that he has found washed up on the shores of Florida. He lets the wood dictate the surf story that will be told.

Photos from Barra de la Cruz

Excerpt from SUNSHINE STORIES travel blog

After recommendations from both Ed and our friend Oscar (also known as Kioskar) we took a bus and a taxi south and made it to Barra de la Cruz just to the sunset. This place did not disappoint us.. Nor did Andrew, Ed’s friend, a super cool dude from New York City that we’re going tell you more about later.

 

See the rest of their Barra de la Cruz photos

Check out great Barra de la cruz accommodations

Surf in Guatemala

 

Surf in Unexpected Places...

With 33 volcanoes, one of the world’s most beautiful high-mountain lakes and a culture with timeless traditions, most people would not think of Guatemala as a surfing destination. Most surfers just pass through their country after leaving the powerful beach breaks of Pacific Mexico on their way to El Salvador’s reef breaks and points. However, Guatemala is a great destination for those in search of miles of beachbreaks, rivermouths, empty lineups and and warm waters.
 


Waves in front of El Paredon Surf Camp
 

Guatemala is located south of Mexico and west of Belize on the Central America isthmus. The country is known for its Maya ruins that date back centuries and the customs and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. Guatemala also has one of the most beautiful colonial cities in the world, Antigua. Cobblestone streets, historical convents and monasteries and centuries old colonial ruins have helped to make this city a UNESCO World Heritage site. Lake Atitlan can be found in the western highland of the country and is surrounded by three volcanoes making it one of the most beautiful high mountain lakes in the world.

SUP on Shark Tank

So apparently tonight on ABC's Shark Tank a Stand up paddle board company will be featured as one of the investments options. If you haven't seen the show, each episode a half dozen or so entrepreneurs pitch their idea or company and seek an investment from the "sharks" (very wealthy investors). It should be very interesting to hear what 5 non-surfers have to say about the sport. There is no denying it's explosive growth over the last couple years, especially inland. I know along the West Coast, Hawaii and other places there are understandable tensions in the lineup.


ABC's "Shark Tank" is a show for entrepreneurs to pitch their idea and win Angel Investment money

 
 
What most of those surfers never see though is how quickly it's replacing the kayak and canoe in places like far from the coasts, like my home - Austin, Texas. I've used a SUP for about 5 years to paddle on our lake (what else are you going to do 3.5 hours inland) and keep in shape for surfing. Sure I'll knee and prone paddle a lot too, but it's a blast to stand up and take in the scenery.

I've already become a huge fan of shark tank, it's just fun to see inside others businesses and I will be thrilled to see the inside of the Tower SUP business as well.  They haven't aired the episode yet but I hear that Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, makes an offer. Maybe he wants to buy boards for all the guys on the team :)

Surf Session Abandoned


A cold and dreary 3.5 hour drive just wasn't going happen today

 

It’s a cold, rainy morning in Austin, Texas.  My surfboards are still loaded in the bed of the truck, my towel, wetsuit and snacks still in the warm cab.  

The surf journey began at 4 am this morning, and officially ended at 9:38, just 12 minutes ago. So how were the waves? I don’t know. Something happened... something that has never happened to me in my 21 years of surfing. I’m not quite sure what to make of it, I’m still sort of shocked and a little embarrassed. What happened you might ask, what sort of calamity befell me? It’s very simple really... I turned around.

After an hour and 15 minutes of driving with a simple spin of the steering wheel I sealed the fate of today as being the session that never would be.

I pulled the truck over to the side of a county road, did a quick u-turn and steered my wheels back North towards home.

What was the cause of this unforeseen unraveling of hours of planning, preparation and early morning miles on the road? One word... TWITTER.

Today ushered in a new era of my surf life because the mobile surf check became a part of my routine.

First let me give you a quick background. I’m a Texas surfer and proud of it. We’re a hardy bunch because we don’t get good waves and have to travel a lot to get good surf (hence the founding of Wavecation). A recent Surfrider Foundation study found that Texas surfers drive farther for waves than any other U.S. surfer population.

Panama Swell This Week

Southern Hemi Swell Heading Our Way!

No crowd here

The good news is that things are looking much better for the second part of next week and right on through the middle of March. We continue to watch a large storm in the SE Pacific that has been interacting with fairly strong high pressure over the central SPAC to aim a long and wide fetch of near gale to gale force winds at the region. This system looks to gradually weaken over the weekend while drifting S/SE. We still expect this to send a moderate to fairly solid SSW (~200-195) swell to the region during the second half of next week and into next weekend (March 8-10, initially filling in on Wednesday March 7). At this point we expect surf to gradually build during the day on Wednesday with some chest high + sets developing by the end of the day. Bigger shoulder to head high + surf is then expected for next Thursday and Friday, with the better spots pulling in sets 1-3’ overhead or so. Standout spots could even see sets close to double overhead, mainly late Thursday into early Friday when the swell looks to peak. Only a slow fade is expected with this even through next weekend/early the following week with still plenty of waves expected then. We’ll keep you posted as we continue to track this swell over the next few days.

Beyond that; charts continue to indicate an even stronger system developing in the central SPAC later this weekend and especially early next week. Charts also suggest the fetch from this storm will move in a favorable direction towards us. This could send a slightly stronger and longer period SSW (205-195) swell to the region around March 13-15th (initially filling in on Monday March 12). Please stay tuned as this is still pending storm development.

To book your last minute trip contact Morro Negrito on our Wavecation profile

BEST WAVE SEASON IS STARTING NOW!

 
New to Wavecation? We make finding surf vacations simple.

Whether you're pushing your kids into their first wave or an experienced surfer looking for overhead barrels, Wavecation is for you. Find great hotels on the beach, surf camps in Costa Rica or a luxury surf getaway in the Maldives. Start searching!

 


In the Press

 

 


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Sunzal
 

 
 
 
 

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