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“Unbelievable! Amazing, amazing and did I say AMAZING!”

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CHICABRAVA Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
1 review
“Unbelievable! Amazing, amazing and did I say AMAZING!”
Reviewed March 7, 2014

Had surf camp on my bucket list so as my 40th birthday approached I decided it was time to cross it off and I don't have a single regret for choosing Chica Brava to accomplish that task! I stayed at the surf house and it exceeded my expectations. Not only was it kept impeccably clean but the breakfast that was cooked for us every morning by the best house keeper ever was just to die for. Fresh magic juice concoctions, eggs, black beans, fruit...it was all fresh and delicious. The instructors we phenomenal!!!! I gotta give a shout out to Noe & Shelby! Those girls not only know how to surf but had the patience, energy and most importantly skill to take a 40 year old "girl" from WI and teach her how to surf. Got up on a green wave the first day. Pretty amazing! Besides their surf skills they know the town and were great at showing us around, taking us to some wonderful restaurants and a few of the hot spots in SJDS. The friends I made, the experience I had and the beauty I experienced at Chica Brava and in San Juan del Sur will never be forgotten. I have ever intention of going back. This is an experience you should not pass up. I highly recommend!!!

  • Stayed April 2013
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Helpful?
Thank GirlDownTown
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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324 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Virginia Beach, Virginia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 28, 2014

This camp was everything I was looking for. I wanted to vacation in Central America, improve my surfing, and meet other girls who shared the same passion for surfing. My surfing definitely improved, and I know exactly what I need to do to continue improving on my own going forward.

The women I met ranged in ages from 23 to 52. They were all wonderful, and we all plan to keep in touch for future surf trips!

I spent two weeks with Chicabrava, the first at Cloud Farm and the second at Surf House. I will recommend both. The Cloud Farm was remote, on a beautiful farm, relaxing, and the food was delicious. The Surf House was a bit more bare bones, but it was nice to be able to walk around town after surf sessions.

The surf instructors were fabulous. They video you surfing and show you exactly what you need to work on. They are also super fun and friendly! Overall, this was an incredible vacation that I will never forget. I didn't realize how much I would enjoy surfing with chicabravas!!!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank LizWH2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
2 reviews
Reviewed February 27, 2014

Chica Brava is a great experience and adventure! If you need some empowerment and zen in your life, Chica Brava is the place to get it. The instructors are amazing and really give you the tools to push yourself and improve your surfing. I started a 20 day solo trip to Nicaragua with a week at Chica Brava, what a great kick off to an adventure. One of the instructors, Noelani gave me awesome tips on other cities to visit, places to go etc. and even hooked me up with her trusty local driver to take me to my next destination. I happened to be there over Christmas and the instructors really made it special and included us in a cook out on the beach with some locals and other ex-pats. We watched the sunset and drank rum surrounded by good conversation. Chica Brava was what I needed, a zen filled yet empowering adventure.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank seforney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen Huron, Ontario
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2014

I have travelled a lot in my lifetime and participated in a large array of group trips...but the Chica Brava Cloud Farm experience rated among my favourites. Our trip leaders were top notch and tried to cater to our every need and request. The days were full and fulfilling with never a dull moment, but also supplied ample down time when required and needed. I want to thank Noelani for her organizational prowess and calming persona, Lauren for her youthful exuberance and amazing instruction, Sarah for her wisdom beyond her years and Elsie for her authenticity and inspiration. I wouldn't hesitate to come back again or recommend it to any of my friends.

  • Stayed February 2014
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank jamandjelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CHARLESTON sc
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 23, 2014

I can't say enough positive things about my Chicabrava experience. I have had the good fortune to have travelled many different places in the word and this experience is on the top of the list. The camp is extremely well organized and the instructors are amazing. I mean truly amazing, I love those chicas!! They are passionate about what they do, make sure you are safe, happy and learning surfing theory, etiquette as well as how to ride. Beginner? No worries, you will be surprised how quickly you will learn!
The SH accommodations are simple but perfect, it's a great little surf house. Coffee and a delicious breakfast breakfast are waiting for you in the morning and surfing videos are ready to watch as you relax in the common area. Right in town, it is easy to step out to check for a bite to eat, awesome massage, drinks with the chicas or a walk on the beach.
If you are thinking about Chicabrava, just do it. You will be so glad you did. I am, actually so glad that I am going back in May!!

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank coquetita
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
77 reviews
42 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 100 helpful votes
Reviewed February 23, 2014

Where to start. Chica Brava is so much more than just a surf camp or a place to stay. A friend and I set out on this adventure and stayed at the Cloud Farm. This was my second time in San Juan del Sur and first time with Chica Brava.

Accomodations
Cloud Farm is beautiful. Although this property is not owned by CB, you are treated like family from the moment you arrive. The staff are so trustworthy, friendly and accommodating. Every single meal was incredible - locally sourced or direct from the farm. The coffee grown on the farm was amazing. The grounds were beautiful; I ran around the farm a bit (lots of hills!) and saw much of the wild life including the neighbour's friendly capuchin. Very safe, very tranquil. The pool was great for chilling or cooling off. We visited surf house daily to get the boards and it also seemed great, but I'm so glad I opted for the retreat that is Cloud Farm. The CB team were great at driving us around so we never felt cut off from town.

Staff
These lovely ladies made the trip. Noelani and Lauren took care of us at the Cloud Farm, helping with everything from schedules to surf instruction to fun times. Sarah and Elsi were other amazing instructors that just never gave up on us. All of these girls love surfing to their soul and also have a great understanding of the local area. We had some surprise injuries in our group this week and the team managed everything with calmness and grace.

Surfing / Activities
We got lots of time in the water and were able to surf 4 different beaches. As a new surfer, they took the time to give guidance and also really focused on safety in the water; that doesn't always happen in surf instruction. We got to work with each of the instructors and of course some click more than others so it's a great experience. Other than surfing we did lots of yoga, which was much appreciated. I had some down time to run and swim, but there wasn't a ton of non-surfing time, which is a-ok!

Overall
SJdS is a great little town and the surf culture runs deep. I love Nica for it's soul and this trip just solidified that more. If you're considering Chica Brava, stop thinking and just go. I highly recommend Cloud Farm for a bit of luxury. The amazing women that were on this trip made for a transformational week for many. This is an experience that can not easily be replicated!

Thanks so much chicas!

Room Tip: All rooms are good in cloud farm. It's a good idea to stop in town and buy any beer/wine and sna...
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank cybershaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North Vancouver, Canada
1 review
Reviewed February 19, 2014

I recently returned from Nicaragua, having gone on my second expedition with Chicabrava.... and I would absolutely go back for my third and fourth time. Myself and a friend stayed at the Surf House both times, and each experience was just awesome. The Surf House is clean and comfortable. It's in the heart of San Juan del Sur, directly across from the beach and its amazing sunsets. As the facility is in the heart of town, bring ear plugs.... San Juan is a vibrant community who likes their music. If you are looking for more of an R&R style retreat, perhaps the cloud farm is more up your alley. However, after a day of hard surfing, sleeping at night is not a problem.
Walkiria is wonderful local woman who was the caretaker and breakfast chef on each of our visits. I was highly impressed to come back this second time and find the breakfasts expanded to include protein, as well as capture the Central American cuisine each day.

Next up are the instructors. I really cannot find the appropriate words to describe how awesome they are. There were a couple changes in personnel from last time to this time, but both times, I left over the moon. There is a reason I went back a second time, and I really owe that to these ladies. One of the instructors was not feeling so well and was off her game this visit, but another instructor stepped in, raising the bar back up. No matter what level you come to the camp with, they will support, encourage, and coach you to the next level. And they bust their butt doing so!!

I want to add here that I have heard a couple of time from others who attended Chicabrava, that they were disappointed with the amount of surf time. On each trip I attended, and on average for each day, we spent about 3 hour on the water. That's a good chunk of time for surf instruction, anywhere in the world. If you spent less time on the water, because of lack of swell or too much wind, deal with it. That is the nature of surfing! Sometimes mother nature wants to play, sometimes she doesn't. Yes, it's terribly disappointing when she doesn't. However, on the day we were at the beach, and there was zero swell, we all hopped on our boards, went for a prone paddle, and simply enjoyed each other's company. Making the best of what was there. Lack of surf has nothing to do with instruction or this group of women's wonderful ability to set the stoke!

Chicabrava is really a family, and they value the community connections. They cultivate a safe environment to learn, grow, love, and respect everything about surf! Way to go team! Keep up the stoked!

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SunSurfnSnow
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

Property: 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 73 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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