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“Better than I imagined!”

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Rise Up Surf Tours Nicaragua
Certificate of Excellence
Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Better than I imagined!”
Reviewed 15 September 2013

You could go to Rise Up Surf Camp for a number of different reasons and all the while be completely thrilled and blown away by what they have to offer. The people on staff are all incredibly helpful, kind, insightful, and SO much fun. The pick-up and drop-off to and from the airport is seamless and extremely organized. Within hours of arriving on the camp, I learned how to stand up on a surfboard. The waves were magnificent and larger than I could handle at the camp, given the time of year I was there. But the surf instructors were kind enough to take me to another surf location with perfect beginner-sized waves where I was able to really progress. They say that their new location for 2014 will be more beginner surfer-friendly. The chef prepares delicious and nutritious meals all day every day. There is never a lack of healthy and scrumptious food around. They take you on exciting daytime adventures like boating, fishing, volcano boarding, exploring the city of Leon, etc. Daily yoga classes fit in extremely well with the rest of your itinerary and help relieve a lot of the muscle soreness of surfing. I went by myself on this trip, and I would not have felt more comfortable, welcomed, and cared for by any other group of people. I had an extremely comfortable room and bathroom to myself which were cleaned on a daily basis. It was an incredible experience overall, and I am definitely hoping to back asap. :)

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank SoyonaBanana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
Date | Rating
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English first
Bozeman, Montana
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 June 2013

My wife and I flew into Managua and were met at the airport by the driver. We got in around 10:00 pm. The airport was easy to negotiate and our driver was easy to find. Tired after a long travel day from Montana, it was about another 1 1/2 to Rise Up. We were met by Steve when we arrived. He gave us a perfect reception and introduction to Rise Up. A cold beer of course. We settled into our very comfortable room w/ great AC. The next morning, like every morning, you get up and have a lights breakfast of granola, yogurt, and fruit. Then it's time to hit the waves. Dana was a very patient instructor and offered a lot of insight. We are both novice surfers but definitely improved over the week. After surfing in the morning we took a break and Steve had another heartier breakfast ready for us. I really can't say enough about the meals that he prepared. It was probably the best dining experience we've had on vacation. Always something fresh, different, always good. Then it was probably hammock time for awhile to let breakfast settle. The surf would be calling again for another solid session. Then more hammock time and lunch. After lunch we would get to stretch out our aching bodies with Kat in a yoga class. I was new to yoga and she was a great teacher. Very relaxing and good for the body with the ocean view and light breeze cooling us off. Maybe some more surfing in the afternoon or we would do something equally as fun. We did a couple estuary tours (tree jump), a couple fishing trips, and trip to Cera Negro for volcano boarding. Another highlight for me was the night trip to Leon for dinner, salsa dancing, and a lot of rum. As luck would have it there was bioluminescence happening in the water when we were there. It was a new moon so you could see it perfectly. Every wave that broke glowed. We got in the water every night an splashed around. Something I will never forget and hope to see again. We also got to see a baby turtle that crawled out of a nest that was in the beach out front. In no time it felt like we were all old friend and just visiting. The surfing was never crowded. Definitely the best surfing of my life. Oscar was a joy to be around. Phil happened to be gone for the week that we were there. It is credit to him and the team that he has assembled, that he can be gone and everything clicks along perfectly. If you are on the edge about going. GO!!! You will never regret it.

  • Stayed May 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank roughneck784
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 June 2013

Went to RiseUp in September 2012 and am already planning a return with bigger group in 2014.
Phillip and the staff really were great in extending hospitality and being inclusive in all activities. Without Jorge, the groundsman/caretaker we would have been screwed. What that man has forgotten about fiberglass repair the rest of the world still has to learn.
The food, the hospitality, Phillip's local knowledge and what he is trying to do for sustainable ecotourism is exemplary.

  • Stayed September 2012, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank Bustabludvessel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Atlantic Beach, Florida
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
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
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
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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
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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
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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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