The beginning of a new year is the right time to make travel plans. But with so many perfect places to go, which are the best surfing destinations? This year, set out to discover these five spots where surfing can be intense and full of adrenaline or mellow and perfect for those who are still learning the sport.
Trestles, California, USA
Near San Clemente, California, the area known as Trestles includes five distinct spots for surfing: Church, Middles, Lowers, Uppers, and Cottons. Lower Trestles has become the best-known, but it’s also the most crowded, which means you have to be a good surfer to be there. Right next door, Uppers can be a better choice, as it’s uncomplicated and equally fun. To get to the beach, you have to walk through the San Onofre State Park and cross the iconic train line.
Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
From all the Hawaiian islands, Oahu is the most well-known — mainly because of places like Banzai Pipeline, Waimea Bay, and Sunset Beach. But these are only three of about 100 breaks that exist throughout the island.
You may think that Oahu is a destination for experienced surfers, but Waikiki beach is, in fact, the best place to visit if you’re taking your first steps in surfing. And for a full experience of a Hawaiian surf trip, there’s nothing like spending a day visiting beautiful Honolulu and getting to know the city.
Nicaragua has become a surfing destination in Central America. If you’re looking for beautiful waves in hot water and a friendly local environment, Popoyo is where you want to go.
Here you’ll find a series of surfing spots ranging from beautiful breaks to reefs only accessible by boat. But be careful, as the heat can be dangerous. Know that the mid-day hours are most suitable for relaxing next to a swimming pool, in the shade, or inside your accommodations.
Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
The south coast of Sri Lanka is well-known for the waves, but if you’re looking for a village where you can live and breathe surfing, then Arugam Bay is the place to discover. The site is ideal for various levels of practice. The waves run parallel to the moon-shaped beach and have several starting points, so the crowd spreads out and allows all surfers to have their chance to catch a wave.
Jeffreys Bay, South Africa
Though perhaps the most challenging location on this list, Jeffreys Bay is one of the top surfing destinations to discover this year.
At Jeffreys Bay, surfing can be demanding. You’ll have to deal with entrances and exits through slippery rocks, and the water is never warm. And though there’s always the possibility of seeing a shark, the odds of a safe time in the water are in your favor. If you can catch a sound wave here, you’ll ride your surfboard a long distance and the effort will have been worth it.
From the U.S. to Central America, Asia, or Africa, there are many extraordinary places to surf or learn the sport. Choose your favorite and have a great adventure!