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“awesome- chill and exhilarating vaca!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of CHICABRAVA Surf Camp

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CHICABRAVA Surf Camp
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Cloud Farm and Surf House locations, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Boston, Massachusetts
1 review
“awesome- chill and exhilarating vaca!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

Traveling solo to surf (for the first time) I was a bit nervous and apprehensive. Upon arriving in Managua I was expected to be greeted by the Chicabrava pick-up with the hour. Slowly and hour past and then more, I begin to get nervous that I had missed my ride as I checked my phone and had no email or text from Chicabrava. I saw another lone female traveler waiting around and asked her if she was also waiting for the Chicabrava pick-up, she was indeed! I begin to tell myself that I was in a country where anything could happen and that perhaps our driver was delayed or stuck in traffic. It was 1.5 hours after the pick-up time and still no show, no word. Finally a nice driver from a local hotel in Managua asked who I was waiting for… he happened to know the driver for Chicabrava and called him for us. He was on his way… ah…a sigh of relief. There was another chica arriving on a later flight so the driver waited to pick us all up at once. I have to say, being alone traveling and expecting a pick-up at a specific time, it would have been nice had someone at Chicabrava contacted me and let me the time had changed.
The second I arrived in San Juan Del Sur everything changed. As soon as I meet my instructors Noelani and Elise I knew I was going to have an AMAZING vacation. Both were anything but the average surf instructor… they were the BOMB. They were constantly in the water with everyone working on pop-ups, form, making sure we caught as many waves as we possibly could. I felt that they were 100% dedicated to making sure I got the amount of surf time I wanted, and they paid close attention to me in telling me ways that I could improve my skills. Not only were they the BEST surf instructors, but they were also A+++++ hostesses. The knowledge of Elise growing up in the area and Noelani vivacious spunky personality made the two an amazing pair. I feel like Noelani went over and beyond her duties to make everyone felt at ease, had fun, and enjoyed themselves as much as humanly possible. Cloud Farm was an amazing treat, a little oasis nestled up in the hills overlooking San Juan Del Sur. The casa was extremely clean, and the infinity pool was a relaxing spot each night with a tona (local beer) or mojito. I would recommend staying at Cloud Farm if you are looking for a more chillaxing experience. The staff were very pleasant, laundry was offered twice during our week, and the food was delicious.. fresh fruit juices with each meal!! I really can’t wait to get back down there for more surfing with these chicas at Chicabrava!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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216 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    193
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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 (41)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

My friends and I knew that we wanted to go surfing in Central America and this place came highly regarded. I had such a wonderful time. I went with two girlfriends for my bachelorette/birthday and the experience went far and above what I could have ever expected. We stayed at the Cloud Farm and it was so serene and calm. The house staff was super accommodating and made us fresh juice every day. I really liked just being taken care of. I recommend the Cloud Farm over the Surf Lodge for anyone who is more new to surfing (like me) and wants to relax and chill by the pool, and enjoy the breathtaking view during down time.

Our surf instructors were great at adjusting to our needs in the water and surfing abilities. They were also just nice to be around. Noelani, our head surf instructor, went above and beyond just teaching us to surf in our day to day. She added facials, played the uke and even made me a lay for my birthday!! It was like having a guide who makes you feel at home. There were 6 ladies in our group and we all bonded well.

The only thing I would mention is that the bugs (beatles in our case) were kinda of crazy the last night we were there. This was due to the rainy season beginning.

But I would def do it again! I love surfing because of this magical place!!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2013

A friend and I checked out the Cloud Camp in early April and we had an amazing time. The accomodations were beautiful and Noelani and crew were amazing hosts/surf instructors. The student to instruction ratio was 3:1 which gave us all plenty of one on one time to go over technique and catch some waves. There was one day where the schedule called for two shorter (1.5hr) surf sessions which I preferred to the days where we'd go out for 3hrs in a row. It was nice to have a break in between and 3hrs of surfing can be a little frustrating if you're having a rough day. My suggestion would be that chicabrava look into scheduling in shorter but multiple sessions on a few more days. Food was pretty good - lunches were a bit on the light side at first but they fed us more once we complained! There are some awesome little taco shops and ceviche in san juan del sur town too that everyone should try. All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend the camp to anyone who's interested in surfing.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
New York City, New York
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 3, 2013

I went to ChicaBrava with two girlfriends to celebrate my friend's birthday and bachelorette. We had an amazing week. We were all amateur surfers at best when we arrived, but were doing pop ups and riding small waves into the beach on our first day out with our instructors. Our instructors, particularly Noelani, were the best. They went far beyond surf instruction, even baking banana bread one night, preparing a therapeutic ginger tea for sniffly campers and other home remedies, such as putting garlic in your ears to cure an ear infection and face masks made from coffee grinds. Our instructors even helped plan a bachelorette party with a pinata, cake and cocktails! The Cloud Farm had a beautiful view, a lovely infinity pool and felt more like a house -- which is what it was. There was a staff of three housekeepers/cooks who cleaned our rooms daily and prepared the most delicious, healthy meals for us. When we were there, the rainy season was just beginning, and so on our last night, the bugs were really intense. This is not a vacation for the feint of heart. Since the Cloud Farm is on an organic farm, be prepared to see adult and baby howler monkeys in the trees outside your window during the day (which is really cool) and to fight with the bugs at night (which wasn't as cool.) Still, I would go back in a heartbeat!

Room Tip: Definitely stay in the Cloud Farm. The Surf House is more like a hostel for backpackers. Budget-frie...
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  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2013

Backpacking through Nicaragua, we (two females) stopped in San Juan del Sur for two days and wanted to surf. We checked out a few surf shops that provided day trips and board rentals. But, we felt the safest with Chica Bravas (one of us had not surfed before) and went to Playa Remanso for a day trip.

They don't have a huge selection of boards, but enough. Also, their four-wheeled jeep type van fit the girls of their camp and us comfortably.

We surfed Playa Remanso, about a 15 min drive from San Juan del Sur. Remanso is a beach break with rights and lefts. On the day we went, the waves were chest to head high, well formed, and consistent. Some wind, but mostly off shore. Water temperature was 78. Also, not crowded. Bliss.

The instructors did a great job juggling the many Chica Bravas. They don't baby sit you unless you're doing a one-on-one lesson. Rather, they point out sets and tips. No pressure, low stress, just a lot of fun.

Overall, the vibe is energetic, fun, and contagious. I left wanting to do a week of surf camp with the Chica Bravas.

Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2013 via mobile

I am sooooo pleased to write that because of my incredible experience at camp on the heavenly cloud farm, my husband and I have booked a surf adventure to Santa Cruz and our hopefully Epic surf trip to Australia in February! Thanks to the amazing support, instruction and friendship I had while surfing with the CHICAS, these surf trips are my REALITY rather than a maybe someday kind of dream. I not only left camp with a new passion for surfing, I also left with the best name ever Mama Rad!!!!! If you have ever thought even just a bit about learning how to surf DO IT!!!!
Tara

  • Stayed March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
Boulder, Colorado
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 19, 2013

I did the cloud farm camp with a girlfriend in early May and met my surf goals on day 1! The instructors, Noe and Elsi, were awesome and really passionate about surfing. There were a few hiccups here and there, but you could tell Noe tried her hardest to make everything go smoothly. I also appreciated that she kept us in the loop so we always knew what the plan was. We were all beginner/beginner-intermediate surfers and we all progressed during our week there. And then the cloud farm, oh the cloud farm! FABULOUS staff, wonderful food, amazing setting for yoga, and baby howler monkeys daily! I am already planning to go back in September for another surf trip, and will definitely do a couple days of lessons with a ChicaBrava instructor. If you're debating, just go!

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 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.
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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 57 Specialty Lodging in San Juan del Sur
Number of rooms: 12
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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