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“Just Do It... Experience of a Lifetime!”

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Surf With Amigas- Women's Surf and Yoga Retreat
Ranked #1 of 8 Chinandega B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Stamford, Connecticut
2 reviews
“Just Do It... Experience of a Lifetime!”
Reviewed 25 March 2014

If the first thing you want to do is ask Holly a million and one questions (whether it be about surfing, the lodge, or even the composting toilet) my advice is to put all your fears aside and JUST DO IT.

Not long after I arrived I wished I had made the trip sooner (as in years) because any fears I harbored melted away in the company of adventurous, strong, like-minded women of all ages.

Although the journey may be long it is well worth the trip. Holly is effective in pointing out ways in which your surfing can improve with daily video reviews and she is extremely patient, prompt and informative when responding to inquiries.

Jackie, Jamrock and the Grom are all super helpful and fun to be around calling out “super cute” waves to catch. Each has their own unique, positive style of encouragement, and they all share a mutual desire to see everyone catch as many waves as possible.

The visit to Leon - although brief - is a nice way to see the city, and Volcano Boarding is an absolute must.

I was super nervous until the initial push. Thereafter my tobogganing skills from childhood kicked in and when I unintentionally clocked in a 40 mph I had a smile plastered across my face… some volcano dust too, but it's all part of the amazing experience. Truth be told, I wanted to go down a second time!!

El Coco Loco is a wonderful place to stay and the food is delicious. Drinks of all kinds are abundant, and the laid back lifestyle makes it easy to fall into a relaxed, easy going way of life... which isn’t to say we didn’t have some super fun rum filled nights or an amazing unexpected week long birthday celebration. Thank you Surf Amigas for making my 43rd extra special!!

Nikki is a cheerful, fun yoga teacher and the open air studio has a tranquil, soothing vibe. I attended every single class which speaks volumes given I've never made it past more than one or two sessions at other camps. I left the studio feeling peaceful and calm… I may have even stopped asking questions!

Learning about Waves of Hope is informative and done in such a way that you want to learn more about the lifestyle, culture, and how you can contribute.

I could write more, but these fond memories are from a trip I took some four months ago. I would love to return one day and spend a month at El Coco Loco with the Surf Amigas... I'm not sure I would want to leave.

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Thank bbntly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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127 reviews from our community

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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (12)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Level Contributor
24 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

It's all true. These amazing reviews from all of the other strong women that have raved about this place. This camp is an experience of a lifetime, no matter your age, surfing experience or cultural background. I came with some reservations about traveling by myself after being married for years and recently having twin babies. I was actually so glad I went by myself because I met so many wonderful friends whom I hope to surf with again soon. By the end of the trip I felt so complete and nourished that I was ready to come home to practice what I have learned. The camp is run at El Coco Loco which is at a beautiful location in rural, northern Nicaragua. Everyone, from Holly to her amazing staff of instructors, to Nikki the gorgeous yoga instructor, is super positive, friendly and supportive. The people really make this place special. I always felt comfortable there and never unsafe. This is basically camp for grown up women and you will not regret coming alone.

SURF: Great beach break, 3-4fts, clean in the morning, closing out as tide changes. Afternoons usually dumpy but we had a magical afternoon one day. Not crowded, both lefts and rights. Instructors were very good at giving specific tips and tricks, and the video review is the best part. Great selection of boards too. There is point break as well that works when it goes bigger. I do feel my surfing and awareness in the ocean improved after the camp and I can't wait to be in the water again.

YOGA: Restorative yin style in a breezy pavilion raised high and facing the ocean. Nikki exudes a beautiful calming energy and she seems to know just the right poses to help renew us. She really listens to your needs and tries to incorporate them into each class. An amazing individual that I feel blessed to have met.

FOOD: Healthy but satisfying, and the staff seem to take care to cater to special diets in the group.

ACCOMMODATIONS: Shared cabana huts are basic but fine for what it is. It got pretty hot the first few nights so another fan would have been great.

The van ride to get there on the first day is very long so be prepared! No A/C in the van so if you arrive in the afternoon, hopefully you can change into cooler clotting before you aboard. When you make a pit stop, make sure you use the toilet and purchase water and food. The ride was probably my least favourite part of the trip but it's what makes the place remote and special.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Livie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
Level Contributor
11 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 March 2014

Holly, Jackie, Jamie and Skyla are not only really, really great instructors, they are super fun and solid people to spend a whole week with.

I've done one other surf/yoga retreat before (in Costa Rica) and Surf with Amigas was much more fun. We surfed every morning and I was always given very helpful pointers. Without a doubt, I feel like my skills in the water have improved significantly. I wish we could've surfed more in the afternoon, but the conditions in Nica make for onshore winds after noon. So unless you like getting beat up by messy waves, I wouldn't reco an afternoon surf.

You will not go hungry on this retreat either. El Coco Loco will feed you 4 delicious meals each day.

I made some really great friends on this trip, probably because Surf with Amigas attracts a certain type of lady--everyone is very independent and pretty fearless.

I'd recommend this to any adventure-thirsty lady who's down to get a little dirty in order to have one of the best trips of her life.

  • Stayed March 2014
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Helpful?
Thank katlam
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Halifax, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 10 March 2014

When I booked my trip with SWA I knew I was going to be a touch younger than most of the girls heading down to Nicaragua. Speaking form experience, believe me when I say that everyone, of all ages, will benefit from this amazing and unique trip. It really does offer something for everyone - whether you are an overworked 9-to-5er just looking for more calm, a adventurous spirit who wants to spend the week exploring or a frothing surfer dying to learn and actually progress her surfing skills, SWA can and will provide you with all of the above.

The instructors are vastly different and all independently genuine, and Holly gets sincere enjoyment out of seeing the amigas set and accomplish new goals.

I almost though the previous reviews were too good to be true - but they're not! Take a breath, book with confidence and don't look back.

Room Tip: This is an eco-resort - designed with the care of the planet in mind.
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Kate L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, South Carolina
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2014

I had never surfed before coming to Nicaragua. I could barely touch my toes and was slightly afraid of yoga inversions. I had only traveled a few times on my own before, but never to Central America.

However, despite these "issues", I booked the trip and it was by far, the best week of my life.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with warm hugs and big smiling faces. I could feel the enormous amount of energy amongst all the girls and I knew that it was going to be a wonderful week.

On Day One, I "touched" a board for the very first time and stood up. I was beyond excited. The girls were SO patient and supportive helping me. They had every imaginable tip and trick and after each wave I rode (or tried to ride) there would be a bunch of "woohoos" from everyone. Immediately, I was hooked and so excited to learn more.

Whether you have never surfed before or surfed every day of your life, Holly and the Amigas will help you find your perfect place. Before arriving to the camp, I did have some initial "hesitations", yet none of them were problematic. In fact, all of my fears helped turn this week into a life-changing experience that I will never forget.

1. I have never surfed before: YOU WILL LEARN TO SURF OR BETTER YOUR ALREADY AWESOME SHREDDING SKILLS. In the water, you will get 1 on 1 attention and tons of support. From an extra push to help you stand to cheers throughout the group, the amigas will make sure each surf session is both productive and fun. After each session, Holly will go over your videos and point out things to work on and things you are doing well. These videos not only are super helpful, but they increase the "froth factor" dramatically and make you want to get back in the water immediately.

2. I am new to Yoga and don't even know how to pronounce most poses: Picture yourself listening to the sound of the ocean, as the breeze gently blows your hair. You can smell a light, but refreshing scent of incense and comfortably hear calming music around you. Nikki, the yoga instructor, has the most soothing voice and touch and after a surfing all morning, her Yin practice will help relax your mind and body. For every class, she helps you set an intention and there is always time available to work on specific areas. The yoga is incredibly peaceful and restorative and I can truly say, I have never felt more relaxed or at peace with myself after Nikki's classes.

3. I just tried fish a year ago...what if I don't like the food: THE FOOD IS AMAZING! YOU WILL NEVER GO HUNGRY! I have never had such fresh fruit and satisfying meals until I came to Coco Loco. They take into account all dietary needs and you always have the option to customize your entree if need be. If anything, I should be embarrassed about the amount of times, I went back for more! It is always "Happy Hour" if you are thirsty and the house cocktail with rum is devilishly good!

4. I am traveling alone: I met THE MOST AMAZING people on this trip. I made lifelong friends and truly connected with people of all ages and backgrounds. I learned something from everyone and will cherish these memories forever. Do not be afraid to go alone. If anything, it was the best decision I could have made.

5. Sometimes I get nervous to "step outside of my comfort zone": Do it. From volcano boarding, to practicing Spanish to trying new foods, you will amaze yourself at the amount of things in this world that you need to try. Riding a horse on the beach as the sun sets....playing with the local children on the beach....standing up on your first "Green Wave" are all moments that you will NEVER forget.

Book your trip. Take pictures. Stay in contact with everyone you meet. It was the best decision I have ever made and it changed me forever.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank jessie o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 February 2014

Before I went on my trip with SWA, I read the reviews and just couldn't believe how every single review was so positive. There had to be something weird going on, right? …Nope, this experience was AMAZING! Coming back home has caused me to re-evaluate my life in the best way possible. Take a chance and GO!

• Surfing – Excellent, the instructors were helpful, available in the water at all times, stoked for everyone, and the video playback sessions with Holly were eye opening– I was able to break some longstanding bad habits.

• People – I was the youngest of the group, but that didn't really matter when it came to making new friends, partying, and having an adventure together! I’m glad I went alone.

• Accommodations – I loved the rustic yet charming cabana, barely spent much time in it aside from sleeping though because there was always something to do. The compost toilet wasn't weird or gross, and the entire resort felt safe even at night.

• Yoga – Very relaxing and thought provoking. Nikki was truly thoughtful in her teaching, and there was no pressure to attend every session or do every pose.

• Activities – So much fun! One of the many highlights of my trip was getting rid of my fear of horseback riding. They put me on one of their tamest horses; he didn't even bat an eyelash at the barking dogs. The volcano boarding experience was epic :)

• Food – So fresh and tasty, the ceviche and fish curry were my favorites. The plantain chips are bomb, and the cocktails are delicious.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank chapmaba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Healdsburg, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 February 2014

Surf with Amigas was probably one of the best experiences of my life! I booked this retreat for multiple reasons, self development, overcoming fears, and of course to become a better surfer. The trip exceeded all of my expectations. The Surf with Amigas and Coco Loco instructors / staff were all amazing, friendly, extremely helpful and positive people, who I am now happy to call friends! The location next to the warm, tropical ocean was stunning, and the food was great! Niki's yoga classes were awesome and truly transformative! The expertise and tips given by the surf instructors were amazingly helpful and really progressed my surfing. The activities were exhilarating and so much fun! The atmosphere that Holly and the girls have created is very positive and supportive. Do not fear judgement or ridicule, because there is none of that here. We all cheer each other on through our successes and set-backs. I left the retreat accomplishing all of my goals spiritually and physically, with a renewed zeal for life and many new friends. If you have an adventurous spirit, a positive attitude and are looking for an amazing life experience, then you will love Surf with Amigas! I will definitely be coming back!

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ashley P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surf With Amigas- Women's Surf and Yoga Retreat

Property: Surf With Amigas- Women's Surf and Yoga Retreat
Address: Manzano Dos, Chinandega 10000, Nicaragua (Formerly Suave Dulce Surf Camp)
Region: Nicaragua > Chinandega Department > Chinandega
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 8 B&Bs / Inns in Chinandega
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Surf With Amigas is Nicaragua's only women's surf and yoga retreat where women can come together as group of amigas and learn to surf or improve their surfing under the guidance of a professional surfer, namely Holly Beck. Holly was on the world tour for years until deciding a few years ago that she wanted to settle down in Nicaragua and share the surf stoke with other amigas. Along with her amazing staff and awesome beachfront resort in northern Nicaragua, Holly has created a unique experience that many women have called the best of their lives. What sets Surf With Amigas apart from other women's surf retreats you might encounter? 1) Holly's surf-coaching, both in the water and with daily video-captured sessions and slow motion analysis of all your waves; 2)the uncrowded waves of northern Nicaragua- we have spots to ourselves unlike southern Nica; 3) our beachfront resort is awesome! Come find out for yourself! ... more   less 

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