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“Great SURF camp, simple accommodations, not for everyone.”

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Surfer Paradise Surf Camp
San Francisco, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Great SURF camp, simple accommodations, not for everyone.”
Reviewed 7 June 2013

May/June 2013. We had a crew of 7 guys in search of good, uncrowded waves in a relaxing environment on a reasonable budget. Steve's camp provided just that. Though we visited between groundswells, we still got great waves at a nearby island (left hand reef with a soft entry section followed by a fast steep rippable wall that runs down the reef) and out front of the camp (sand-bottom beach break, ranging from soft to punchy, lefts and rights, always breaking, easy access). From a surfing perspective, we were very satisfied with quality and quantity of waves. The accommodations were simple and isolated. For the camper/backpackers in our crew, it was fine, but it's clearly missing many of the amenities you would find at more developed surf camps (no A/C, no Wi-fi, no refrigerator, no mini-market down the street). The tradeoff, however, is crowds -- there is no one else out there. We only saw 2 other surfers the whole trip and they weren't an issue. The camp itself is well laid out and conducive to relaxing with friends, getting much needed rest, and being immersed in the elements (both good and bad). Travel to/from the camp is a bit of a chore but worked out well. We hired a dedicated minibus from the airport to the camp -- best decision of the trip -- though it was still a 6+ hour drive. We also stopped and bought some supplies of our own (beer, snacks) -- another good decision. Boat access is tidal based, which affected our timing and resulted in some beach walking. Bring lots of insect repellant -- when the winds are calm, the mosquitos are plentiful (though easily deterred with bug spray). Camp staff is a mix of locals and expats -- seems to be an ongoing challenge to find the right crew, but it worked out ok. Food was tasty - mostly simple nourishment. We had a Spanish speaker in our crew, which was very helpful. We also had a doctor with us, also helpful, as the location is pretty remote. Overall, great trip. If you're willing to let the little things slide, I recommend it. If you're a stickler for convenience and amenities, probably not the spot for you. Steve seems to be doing the best he can with the resources and situation he has -- as long as you go in eyes-wide-open as to the setup, I think you can have a great surf trip, as we did.

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4 Thank Andrew S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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40 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Location
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  • English first
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English first
Seagrove Beach, Florida
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 May 2013

We spent 8 days at the Paradise Surf Camp and had a GREAT time. Our group of guys - with all different levels of skills totally disconnected and adopted a simple lifestyle of surf, camaraderie, and rest. The best part of the trip was the location and the staff. This camp sits directly on the Pacific. To my knowledge we had no neighbors - the solitude was addictive. Our surf guide, Angel, was incredible. Fernando and Laura assisted Angel and were a true pleasure to get to know. Everyday we awoke to the smell of an incredible breakfast - fresh coconuts, eggs etc. We would plan our excursion and then head to the break. Every evening we enjoyed beer or cocktails and were treated to a gourmet delight. Layla, our chef, far exceeded our expectations. She very kindly would clean and cook our fish - which we caught right in front of our camp. Every meal exceeded the last.

This camp is simple but perfect. We had three cabins sitting on a hill able to catch the cool breeze - but were more than adequate for our stay. Except for sleeping we spent all our time in a common area - outfitted with hammocks. It was great to disconnect from the world - instead of being caught up in computers etc - we played rummy every night. Layla, who did not speak English, became quite the card shark!

To be clear - if you want the Ritz this camp is not for you. If you want a place to reconnect with friends, enjoy incredible food, and get a true Panamanian experience this is your spot. We will be back!

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7 Thank Billy B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boise
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 March 2013

Definitely a wild experience with no crowds and good waves. Like many other posts on here, I was confused about which camp I was going to. This is NOT Morro Negrito. It is located on the Sandbar break to the southwest of Morro Negrito. It is a newer camp and a work in progress. That said, it was very comfortable and (in my opinion) in a better location. Also, like other posts say, you shouldn't expect a mint on your pillow. It is pretty bare bones with intermittent power and water. I think that was the charm of the place. Not much more than a place to rest and eat before you go out for another surf. I attached a few photos of camp so you can see what you are getting into.

It is about a 20 minute walk out to the sandbar beach break which provided many hours of good surfing. We took several boat rides to go out to other breaks and generally found great waves. The waves in Isla Silva were the best and some of the breaks there seemed to be pretty sheltered even when the afternoon wind was blowing.

If you are looking for no crowds, good surfing and wild experience this is a place to put on the list.

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4 Thank Brian S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brooklyn, New York
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 November 2012

Great Camp. Steve is really bringing things together at this camp. The new managament team i know and they will be great. There is noother place in Panama where you can get so many uncrwded waves and so many different waves. We surfed beack breaks, point breaks a reef break or two and all of them with just a few people out. This place is so removed, you don't even see a plane flying above it when you stay there. They have great food at this camp and fresh fish almost daily. This is the real traveling surf experience. Expect to rough it and get rewarded by the waves.

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3 Thank nycsurfer1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seaside, Oregon
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 November 2012

Back again. My trip to Steve's camp was off the charts. Wished it would have lasted longer, as I did not have enough time or energy left to do all there is to do there. I pretty much surfed and surfed and had a bit of time for fishing. Did not find the time to do the spear fishing gig, which I will on my next trip there.

The food was great, the service I received from the taxi driver, to the bus folks, to my pick up to the final leg to the camp and the camp guides and boat captain and cook, I cannot say how nice everyone was and how smooth it all went.

If you are considering doing Morro, check Magic Seaweed, if Emilys is three ft., then the reefs at Silva should be going off. The last 4 days we rode head high to double overhead, I was the only longboarded there, there were 4 canadians, three guides and myself, no lack of waves for anyone in the lineup. The wave was a reeling left hander, long rides and quick, tubes available!!!

It is not the Ritz, but if ya like adventure Morro is for you. Wave quality, I'd say world class, much like the wave I surf in Oregon, only the water is 30 degrees warmer at Morro.

Go Ducks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Best Regards,

Steve Kraske

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6 Thank Steve K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bali
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 November 2012

I went to Morro Negrito 5 times. Once as a guest and four times as a volunteer guide. I can honestly say that the vibe at this camp is super cool. I loved the place, food, and of course waves. There is a super nice relaxed feel to it and the people who work there take you in like family. I would go back in a heart beat :)

Helpful?
3 Thank DannyWatsonBali
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Panama City, Panama, Panama
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 November 2012

the surf camp has the best waves and beautiful nature on the pacific ocean. enjoy the culture ,surf the warm water, and look at the sunrise. I had the best experience at the surf camp. every time i surfed i had a big smile on my face. fresh fish for dinner and coconuts to drink.

Great place to surf with people from all over the world. Can't wait to go back !!

Helpful?
2 Thank Diana G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Surfer Paradise Surf Camp

Property: Surfer Paradise Surf Camp
Address: Avenida Surfer Paradise, Quebrada de Piedra, Panama
Region: Panama > Chiriqui Province > Quebrada de Piedra
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Speciality Lodging in Quebrada de Piedra
Number of rooms: 15

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