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“Best Surf Camp Ever”

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Rise Up Surf Tours Nicaragua
Certificate of Excellence
Atlantic Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Best Surf Camp Ever”
Reviewed 27 May 2013

We (8 older surfers) discovered Rise Up while searching for a less crowded surf experience, having previously been to the more crowded breaks in Nicaragua. The reviews I read looked too good to be true but I can only say they were right on. Every single person connected to Rise Up was both professional and welcoming at the same time. By the time we left, we felt we had made a bunch of new friends. Nothing was too much trouble, Steve the chef made fresh, unique and excellent meals every day. Transport was seamless and always available, Oscar, Dana and Hugh were excellent surf guides and there was even daily Yoga with Kat. Phil, the owner has put together an amazing place and we will definitely be back.

Room Tip: All of the rooms are comfortable.
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  • Stayed April 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Russell S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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109 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
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English first
Boston, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

I spent 5 amazing days at Rise Up with 18 classmates during spring break. We were uniformly surprised by how fantastic the trip was!!

The Rise Up camp is a great place to relax and unwind from the stress of the world and the staff is incredible. They are equal parts mentors, guides, friends and support staff during your stay and will make you feel like you're visiting long-lost friends that you've known forever rather than surf instructors!

In short, there's nothing bad to say about Rise Up. They take care of everything! They picked us up at the airport, fed us some of the most amazing meals I've ever tasted and returned us to the airport with plenty of time for our return flights. They even helped us facilitate side trips to Grenada and other parts of Nicaragua.

If you want to experience the best vacation of your life, you'll book with Rise Up; they're that good!!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Tom B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chattanooga, Tennessee
Level Contributor
26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 30 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 March 2013

SAFETY: As I typically travel solo on out of the country trips, I'm always slightly trepidatious at first as to if I chose the right place, but all my worries were squelched when the owner (Phillip) met me at 3 am after my transfer from my flight arrived at the camp. Just that extra touch, instead of being dropped of by the driver into a room with no explanation, set me totally at ease- I got off the plane and immediately saw my driver, I never noticed the bumpy roads, ever, to camp, but I may be used to the bumpy roads in other countries, or was just always preoccupied! Also, you don't have to lock your door, or worry about anything- it is so incredibly safe, made it that much greater of an experience for me!

SERVICE: Instead of staying at a "surf camp" this feels like a friend of a friend invited you to stay at their guesthouse for the week! By the end I felt guilty about not helping with dishes, etc, but they take care of everything. I hesitate to call the guys there staff, because they really seem to enjoy themselves so much. It was a pleasure to watch them surf, play in the ocean, etc., etc. I got better "service" here than I have at any Ritz Carlton!!! There was one day, due to circumstances beyond their control, the power and water were out all day, but with barely any acknowledgement, we immediately had tealights, a bonfire, and it was an awesome night!

SURF LESSONS: I went for surfing, I had previously surfed once, in Tamarindo. When I went I felt like maybe they got an early swell, or it was just really windy, because some of the days were really difficult just to get out to where I could catch waves (they were more difficult than any of the waves I encountered in the beginner Tamarindo program). Also, I had fractured my tailbone about 6 weeks before, and you really need to be in your usual best shape to tackle the waves 3 times a day- I noticed a huge difference in my stamina/strength due to this, so I would definitely, if that's your prerogative, make sure you're prepared. Regardless, Hugh and Phillip, who both instructed/encouraged me, were dauntless with their small tips and invaluable with their information about the ocean, reading waves, looking for rip tides, etc. I learned so much more than I could have anywhere else. They will take any level of surfer and give you whatever you need. They also try and push you beyond your boundaries, which you need by the 4th or 5th day, and they are genuinely happy when you get a good wave. They also completely take care of any incidences. I somehow managed to burn my feet on the sand (nobody else ever has, but... tip... if you have Chacos, bring them, wear them to the beach, because you won't feel the sand through them. Through flip flops- it gets incredibly hot around midday. Wearing chacos (or something similar) wound up working for me, but I unfortunately discovered this after my feet had blistered!) However, surf guide literally poured alcohol over foot and bandaged it up...they go above and beyond in every aspect. I felt so bad!! But surf wise... if you get in a tricky situation Hugh's calm and competent attitude will always make you want to go back into the water! And he'll save you from rip tides, but then teach you to look out for them, notice when conditions are changing, and really teach you about the ocean- seriously an invaluable source of information.

THE FOOD: I am pretty much vegan, so on most trips I survive on chips, guac, and beer. The food here was AMAZING, and I am incredibly picky about food! Stig (Steve) the chef, serves the absolute best food morning, noon, and night, and caters to everyone. I don't know how he does it, and still has time to entertain, and make the camp a great place to be, but this is the one place I never had an issue with food, which is amazing. Because I always run into difficulties. But the best vegan restaurants in the states can't compare to the cuisine. Also, the drinks are incredible. I won't be able to have a cocktail in the states either! Fresh squeezed juice is amazing, and if you have a minor surf injury you get nice drinks.

THE EXTRAS: The estuary tour was awesome, and I got to swim in the estuary, which on most tours they won't let you (which I hate), and a lovely secluded beach, on our trip into Leon Hugh and Oscar both came for volcano boarding which made it such a better experience (had we been with just random people, I probably would have been annoyed I wasn't at the ocean, but they make everything so much more fun!). Also, Hugh as a guide to Leon was great, as I hadn't been into the city yet. A random rivermouth fishing trip Oscar took us on was one of my most memorable highlights, as it was so authentic as was just watching the guys surf (and even spearfish)! I really want to go back during turtle season, as that would be amazing. Also, since I'm traveling solo, I typically am always asking people "will you take a picture?" but I didn't have to worry about that here, as Oscar takes photos the entire time and give you a disk at the end- it was such a nice extra!!!!!

NEGATIVES: My only negatives, and I feel bad having any, where that Phillip, the owner, wasn't around for half of the trip, and there was no yoga instructor. So while Phillip did classes the first few days, the rest of the time it was somebody randomly staying there for two days (basically like giving myself yoga lessons), and then...nothing. Also, it was so much more fun when a big group was there, as the camraderie is such an important part of a surf trip, I feel, and it was great watching the photos Oscar took each night, and laughing, and in general feeling a sense of a group. When there were just two other people there, it wasn't as much fun, so while I would definitely go back, I would bring a group of at least 5 people with me next time. I was just slightly disappointed by the lack of yoga classes, as that was something I had signed up for and was looking forward too, and the lack of slideshows at night, and I felt like it was much more positive and fun with lots of people. Had this been an expensive trip, I would be more likely to be upset about the lack of yoga and a few of the other things, but they give you a ridiculous deal with everything included, so ...no way I could complain.

ROOM: The rooms are basic, but completely perfect for what you want- I barely spent any time in mine, and I'm incredibly hot natured, but never felt like I was sweltering, as they do have a/c. I had a single room, you did have to share a bathroom (they actually have very nice bathrooms), but there's several on site you can use, and you don't really need to shower, as... you have the ocean and various rinse off places! There's a dresser, a place to hang clothes, and a bed- I was good!

OTHER: For days I literally saw no one else (besides people staying at the camp) at the beach. I believe on Sundays people nearby come to the beach, but to call it crowded would be ridiculous- we're talking maybe 10 people that stay at the nearby "complexes". It was amazing (although, I kept hold of my board, and others kept throwing theirs, because you could, because there are no other surfers). There were several days where intermediate surfers would have had a blast (I think), and it seemed like the guys, who were amazing, obviously, had some days where the waves were decent. I thought they were 10 foot waves, apparently they were 2-3 foot waves, but from beginner to amazing, just go- it's awesome. Also, as a female solo traveler, I'm always slightly wary, but they guys took such good care of you and were completely good guys- I would have no worries about going solo, as a couple (would be great, fun, and romantic) or with a group of friends or family (would be amazing, and renting out entire thing would be most fun trip ever!).

I think that covers everything! I would go back in a heartbeat, but I would organize a group to go with me, as there was a different vibe when very few people were there, and I believe they got a new yoga instructor just as I was leaving, so that would be great for next time around! Overall, though, an absolute gem of a camp, and you will definitely leave having learned a ton with unmatchable experiences!

  • Stayed March 2013, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Alicia Marie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ontario
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 March 2013

i've been to rise up before and went back last month. it won't be my last time either. Phil and the boys will take care or whatever it is you need. The food this time was epic. (thank you Steve!). Every meal was fresh and healthy and lots of great variety. it's the exact food you want to be eating if you are surfing (lots of good natural energy!). the rooms are great; AC blows cold, and the cleaning lady does a really good job! Salinas Grandes is a beautiful long beach with no one on it. You want to have a spot in the sand all to yourself or a peak in the water out to yourself? You’ll only need to walk 100ft (if that). There are no rocks; all sand bottom out front with lots of good little inside waves and reforms perfect for beginners. If you know what you’re doing then head out back and catch some sets. There are some great spots north and south of the property for surfing as well. Rise up has a super mellow relaxing vibe and all the staff that work there are awesome. Had a ton of great conversations drinking a tona and staring out to the surf. That’s a view I would never get sick of. i was seriously so impressed this time with Rise Up; and would recommend it to anyone. I’ll be going back again, and again….

Stayed February 2013, travelled solo
Helpful?
1 Thank endlessfight
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
El Coco Loco
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 February 2013

Awesome people. Great good. Clean and very comfortable little homes. Epic waves. But the best part is definitely the vibe. They just take great care of you and make you feel very comfortable. Rise Up is the perfect mix of surf, mellowness, cocktails & other goodness (think dolphins, fishing, endless beaches and more). Definitely worth every penny and yes I'll be back!

Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
Helpful?
1 Thank Jamie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
St. Albert, Canada
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 February 2013

We were on a 10-day whirlwind tour of Nicaragua and had the pleasure of spending two days at Rise Up Surf Camp!

After taking us on the Cerro Negro ash boarding trip with Bigfoot Hostel the day before (also highly recommended), Hugh and Eddy drove us out to the surf camp. Yes, the road is rough, but that's what keeps this place so special!

Neither of us had surfed before and Hugh and Oscar were very patient and encouraging! By the end of our first day we had made more progress than we thought we ever would have! We had all of the individual attention we needed!

Between great surf lessons, we had awesome yoga sessions with Tara and incredible food prepared by Steve! We really enjoyed the group dining experience as it allowed us to get to know everyone. On our last day we watched a slideshow of Oscar's fantastic pictures, went on the estuary tour and had a bonfire with music by Steve!

Mostly, we will not forget the people! Everyone was so friendly and interesting with great travelling stories of their own.

My only regret...not being able to stay longer! I can't wait to go back! Thanks for a great stay!

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Michelle H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Enterprise, Oregon, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2013

My husband and I kicked off our month long honeymoon at Rise Up. It was the perfect start to our surf adventure. One we were able to finally feel like we learned how to surf after years of trying to learn off and on on our own. This really helped the rest of our trip when we were surfing on our own and increased our success in catching waves later. Two it felt like home - the relax environment and the friendly staff made it feel like you were hanging with best friends at the beach. No other place compared to Rise Up during our month long stay. Stigs and Alba made the best local food we tasted the whole trip. Alba keeps your rooms so clean. Hugh and Oscar kept us giggling with their brotherly antics. Phil was so helpful in providing advice for the rest of our vacation. Tara became a friend and like a sister. We were both truly sad to leave after our week at Rise Up. Miss everyone every day and so wish we could have stayed longer.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Amy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rise Up Surf Tours Nicaragua

Property: Rise Up Surf Tours Nicaragua
Address: Punta Aposentillo, Chinandega, Nicaragua
Region: Nicaragua > Chinandega Department > Chinandega
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 9 Speciality Lodging in Chinandega
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Rise Up Surf camp accommodations consist of 7 comfortable rooms, all with ensuite bathrooms beautifully decorated with local Nicaraguan art and come with air conditioning. We cater to a maximum of 18 guests at one time which ensures each guest truly gets specialized attention in and out of the water. We are located on one of Nicaragua's most beautiful beaches, only a stones throw away from fun surf. As we have our own boat and two 4x4 off road trucks we also have access to numerous surf breaks close by. The camp also consists of great indoor and outdoor lounge areas, fully stocked guest kitchen, ocean view yoga deck, hammocks and a wide selection of surf boards. Our all inclusive packages are designed to suit surfers of all levels and we combine surfing with yoga, massages and some of the greatest adventure activities like volcano boarding, horse back riding, fishing, estuary boat trips and many more. ... more   less 

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