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“I highly recommend Chicabrava surf camp!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of CHICABRAVA Surf Camp

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CHICABRAVA Surf Camp
Cloud Farm and Surf House locations, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Davis, California
1 review
“I highly recommend Chicabrava surf camp!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 4, 2011

Chicabrava is quite the experience, and I will definitely be going back. The Cloud Farm was luxurious and roomy and had great house staff and breathtaking views of San Juan del Sur, the Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The surf camp was exactly what we needed. We were a group of 5 beginners (only 2 of us knew each other), and the surfing experience was tailored to our needs. Surf spots were chosen based on our input and the best surf conditions for the skills we were working on that day. We had 2 instructors in the water at all times plus one on land providing feedback. The beaches were gorgeous and relatively uncrowded. The water was nice and warm, and there were no sharks to worry about. The surf instructors are rad and the locals are warm and hospitable. I went on this trip to work on becoming a Chicabrava, and I am definitely proud of myself. I came home feeling empowered for learning to surf. I have a few bruises, but I'm very proud of them! The most difficult aspect of the whole trip for me was getting accustomed to indoor/outdoor living in a tropical environment. I was kept awake each night by the sounds of insects, geckos, monkeys, and birds, but I'm a light sleeper anyway. I don't think the noises bothered the others.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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153 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (27)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2011

This is a great place to learn to surf, learn Spanish and learn about the Nicaragua culture. The surfing instructors are very knowledgeable and patient with beginners. The Spanish teachers help improve one's knowledge of the language and I was able to carry on a small conversation with the locals after one week! The staff at The Surf House was helpful, kind and provided great tips for getting around town. Breakfast was great every morning and we ate out for lunch and dinner each day and never had a bad meal. I would encourage anyone to make this trip for a great adventure!

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montecito
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

I recently spent a week at the Chica Brava Surf House.
How can I describe a perfect week in one paragraph?
The entire staff was wonderful, kind, professional and experienced. When my plane was late and I missed my shuttle, one was arranged for me. When my luggage was lost, The instructors brought their personal equipment to share with me. We surfed great waves suited to our abilities and learned so much while having a great time.
I would recommend Chica Brava to anyone wanting an adventure while feeling safe and in good company.
Bravo, Chica Brava!
Sincerely,
Nancy Boothby

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Aberdeen, North Carolina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2011

Chicabrava is an amazing surf school and camp, but beyond that, it's a mindset. The staff and campers during my week were all adventurous, upbeat, and accomodating. The Surf House was welcoming and inviting for relaxing times in between surfing and other adventures. In the house you'll find hammocks to lounge in, a bunch of movies to watch on the common room tv, a fridge, games, and musical instruments to play. My room was perfect with bunk beds to really add to the youthful and fun summer camp feel of the house. Yet it was decorated with thought, paintings on the wall and matching bed spreads. The surf shop in the house was great for providing fun clothes to try on and purchase. Breakfast every morning was served for the group and during this time we would talk about our surfing plan for the day and assess our goals in the water. I loved everything about Chicabrava and can't wait to return for more surfing, house fun, and girl adventures.

Room Tip: If you have trouble sleeping with loud music playing, pick the room with three beds right behind the...
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2011

This is such a great adventure for girls who want to learn to surf in a safe and exciting environment! The staff is Amazing and the instructors are extremely hands on. Our group ranged from zero to 5+ years experience, 25-55 in age, and well all improved greatly in skill, comfort and confidence in our surfing performance. Any one can tell you that surfing is not an easy sport. Its actually very complicated. But the ChicaBrava instructors have a well organized regime and have broken down the lessons so that every one can learn and enjoy their time in the water.

Everyone who we encountered at ChicaBrava was friendly and enthusiastic, with a great out pouring of positive energy and pure joy. Guests and staff alike all came together in a fun and cohesive group with contagious laughter and so much smiling that my cheeks still hurt!

The accommodations at Surf House are extremely comfortable. All of the rooms have AC, American outlets and, weather permitting, free Wifi. Everyday we were served a delicious breakfast of fruit and an entree such as eggs, pancakes, beans and rice Nica Style. There are lots of delicious and reasonably priced restaurants within blocks of the Surf House for lunch and dinner. There is refrigerator at the house to store beer, fruit, yogurt ect. if you wish to keep a few thing for snacks. There is a TV in the living room and they have a very good DVD selection. While there we watched, The Social Network, Valentines Day, Paranormal Activity 2 and The Tourist, great for midday nap/rest time or mellow nights in.
If you are a light sleeper bring ear-plugs there is a bit of street noise on the weekends. But most of the time the AC cuts the noise down.

2 Yoga sessions and 1 massage are included in the package and they are top notch quality! If you want to do a little yoga or stretching on your own there are plenty of mats at the house. Our massages, by Katie, were so fantastic and blissful we all joked how we were "massage drunk" afterwards.

The option to go on the eco zip-line, horseback riding and sailing are made available to you. I highly recommend it! The Zip-line is through Flying Frog. 30 bucks, 16 lines. So worth it! we had such a blast! For horseback riding you can go to Cloud Farm or Rancho Chilamante. We did RC. Jamie, the guide, is awesome! Our horses were very well trained and good behaving! And you get to see the jungle, go through rivers and Gallop on the beach! All in Cowboy Boots, hats and bandanas!! And then swim in the pool and a rum shot after the ride! 50-60 dollars and SOOO much fun! We didn't go sailing since the seas were a little rough and nobody was in the mood to puke over a railing. but i hear on calm sunny days its a great trip along the coast.

There is plenty of good bars in the area if you want to go out at night. It is really safe and beer is a dollar.

The main goal is to surf and to learn to surf at ChicaBrava. But bear in mind the Staff at ChicaBrava have NO CONTROL over nature! Keep an open mind and know that you're safety is top priority. But whether the surf is too big or too small, the ChicaBrava crew is an amazing group of people to have in your life. Anne was our Camp Manager and she was such a great support, always making sure we were happy and taken care of. Liz and Melissa were our surf instructors and Anna was there to hang out some days too. All of them had great feedback. Having them in the water with us was such a joy. And having them with us out of the water was too! Haley was our photographer and she took amazing picture of us! She is the sweetest! Also overall a great person to hang out with. Ashley who is the owner was also absolutely wonderful. Carolina and Fabiola were our house staff. They served us breakfast and made our beds everyday. They were very sweet and added a nice soft touch to the house.
Jose was the night guard and always so fun to converse with (in spanish) as we came in went after dark. And Tomas was our driver to and from the airport. He was very nice and funny :)

Do yourself a favor and learn some spanish!!!! The people in Nicaragua are very nice and have great big hearts and wonderful senses of humor, they don't speak too much english and it would be such a shame to go all that way and not get to experience the joys of their culture.

Expect to have a few tummy issues. Its a different country with different types of bacteria that you won't have a resistance to. It's not like Mexico! You can drink the tap water, but the locals don't due to high mineral content, like calcium, and continued consumption will cause kidney stones. If you do have tummy issues, there are plenty of Farmacias in the area an grab some Immodium. It worked like a charm!

Overall, this was THE BEST TRIP I HAVE EVER BEEN ON! If you are a fun loving adventurous female who is ready to have a great time in a 3rd wold country ChicaBrava is the place for you! Leave your worries at home and bring your big smile!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paia, Hawaii
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2011

ChicaBrava was well informed of all the surf spots and when to go. It was tide dependent and they new it all. We were so surfed out by the end of the week. We had the best trip and best surf. The staff was incredible and knowledgeable and went out of there way to satisfiy us. This was a great decision and now we have really good friends for life there. Again, the staff was excellent along with the owner. We had a fantastic trip and would suggest ChicaBrave to all. Thank you for all that you did for us and the lasting memories.
Cathy McCracken

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Key Largo, Florida
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2011

Our trip to the Chica Brava Cloud Farm was absolutely AMAZING!! Everything from the beautiful accomodations, unbelievable healthy meals from the organic farm and a wonderful housestaff that attended to our every need, fantastic yoga sessions and massage - it was incredible! The views were amazing, the country, culture and the Nicaraguan people were so beautiful. As far as surfing there were waves for every ability, the scenery was breathtaking and we couldn't wait to get back in the water each day! Now for the best part - Ashley, her manager Anne, instructors Liz and Melissa and staff photographer Haley absolutely ROCK! They made us feel so welcome and at home, guided us to the best surf spots and offered excellent instruction and tips that greatly helped us all - from the first timers to the Hawaiian girls that were surfing waves that were clean and 2 feet overhead! These girls were so amazing, knowledgable and fun and they left us all with the feeling that not only did we have a great surf trip but we also met a special group of friends that we will stay in touch with always! Thank you to each and every one of you at Chica Brava for making our trip so special - you totally exceeded our expectations by far and I can't wait to return!

Room Tip: Cloud Farm has awesome views!
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about CHICABRAVA Surf Camp

Address: Cloud Farm and Surf House locations, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Location: Nicaragua > Rivas Department > San Juan del Sur
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 53 Specialty lodging in San Juan del Sur
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
CHICABRAVA is the first and best all-girls surf camp in Nicaragua. We are an elite camp for adventurous women who appreciate comfort as well as challenge. We have two locations - the Cloud Farm and the Surf House - that allow you to join no matter what your desired budget. The Cloud Farm is a private retreat within a gorgeous and secluded 500-acre private reserve and farm overlooking the town of San Juan del Sur and its picturesque bay. The Farm has hundreds of acres of indigenous forest, fruit orchards and organic gardens. Most of our food is organically grown right here! This is the perfect choice for guests who want to "get-away-from-it-all" at our gorgeous open-air surf retreat and enjoy the beauty and serenity of nature! Price is $1600/person for the ALL-INCLUSIVE week. $100 discount for traveling with a friend. The Surf House is right on the beach in San Juan del Sur. It's a great option for those who would like to be closer to all of the action and local flavor in town, and save a bit of money while doing so! The Surf House has loads of space in the hip open-air lounge area. Relax in the hammocks, on the couches, or hang out in the beachfront store at the front of the Surf House! Our three rooms are cozy and private with cold A/C and two shared baths. Price is $990/person for the week. $100 discount for traveling with a friend. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Chicabrava Surf Camp Hotel San Juan Del Sur
CHICABRAVA Surf Camp Nicaragua/San Juan Del Sur

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