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“A bucket list experience”

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CHICABRAVA Surf Camp
Certificate of Excellence
Glen Huron, Ontario
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“A bucket list experience”
Reviewed 25 February 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
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Helpful?
Thank jamandjelly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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324 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    299
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (56)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
CHARLESTON sc
Level Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 23 February 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, travelled 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 23 February 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, travelled with friends
    • Value
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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 19 February 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, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank SunSurfnSnow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bruges, Belgium
1 review
Reviewed 18 February 2014

I'm traveling around in Central America for 8 months and I wanted to learn how to surf. I searched the web for surfing in Nicaragua and I found Chicabrava. It seemed awesome but the price for the week held me down because you're kind of on a budget when your travel for so long. When I arrived in San Juan del Sur I ran in to a friend I met earlier on my trip and she was in the surf camp. She told me how great it was and I regretted so much that I was not in the camp. The week already started but I went there to ask if I could join them. I got a yes and felt the luckiest girl on earth. It was great and so stupid I wasn't there for the whole week. In no time I could stand up and take turns on the board. I learned so much more in such a short time than I ever expected. The surf instructors were great, they follow you up from very close and everything is very professional. We had a lot of fun with the other girls in the house and I celebrated my 28 birthday there! It was a very special day that I will never forget! There not cheap but it is totally worth it! Got a very good base there and now I'm really bitten by the surfing. I'm still traveling and I surf everywhere I can! Thank you Chicabrava!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank TiniHollevoet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Los Angeles, California
2 reviews
Reviewed 11 February 2014

An incredible experience!
I was a first time surfer. Bc of superb instruction, I rode waves the 1st day we went out - my goal was to just stand up.
The camp director & instructors are awesome.
They've hooked up deals for the chicks all around town - from restaurant specials to pool access at an upscale resort. The week was as full of activities or chill as you chose it to be. In addition to surfing everyday - sometime twice a day! I zip-lined, went horseback riding & included in our cost was 2 yoga classes & a massage. Breakfast at the surf camp was also included in the cost - & it was by far my favorite food in san juan del s- authentic nicaraguan. The surf house is in town & I LOVED it. I like being in the middle of the action. You may here music at night, but it never kept me awake.
I shared a room with another woman. she was awesome. all the women in our group were awesome. I guess it's a certain type of adventurous spirit & bad-ness that brought us all together at this amazing program in San Juan Del Sur. CB is genius, amazing . . .

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Karina T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Santa Cruz, California
1 review
Reviewed 26 January 2014

I was with Chicabrava January 2014. I stayed at The Surf House which was everything I had hoped for; a clean beach house located in the town of San Juan del Sur. The surf instructors and house staff were some of the more amazing people I have had the pleasure of knowing.
As an intermediate surfer coming to this camp, I wasn't sure how they would handle my specific surfing needs. I was not disappointed and in fact learned a ton of things to improve my surf skills!
All of the surf instructors truly set you up for success whatever your surfing ability is. I enjoyed myself so much, I plan on returning in a few months!

Room Tip: Chicabrava states on their website that the Surf House can be loud at nighttime. They are correct...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank Cathy B
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
Region: 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 Speciality 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

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