HTs, just a stone's throw away from Hollow Tree's Resort

Pack Your Bags: Where To Take A Surf Trip This August

August bookends peak southern hemi surf season

Ashtyn Douglas-Rosa

Here’s a fair question as a traveling surfer: Is August just another version of July waves-wise? Sure, as far as the Southern Hemisphere goes, swells may be coming from the same direction — at least around the Pacific and Indian oceans — those two months. However, the main difference is that August often seems to be a little bigger and more consistent than July.

In other words, August can be a little bit more of a sure bet to score a wave on your bucket list than July. Also, surf breaks are often a little less crowded with folks going back to school or work after a [Northern Hemisphere] summer vacay.

Sure, there are always places like San Clemente, Tahiti or South Africa to travel to this time of year, but we think the following are the top August surf trip go-tos.

Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

surfer getting tubed at Greenbush in Mentawai Islands, one of the best surf destinations in August

Where to: Siberut and Sipora islands

Wave type: Long, perfect, hollow reefbreaks

Swell direction: South-Southwest

Average water temp: 29C (84F)

Difficulty level: All levels. The best waves like HTs and Kanduis are for the experts — but are doable for intermediate surfers at smaller sizes, too. Waves like Nipusi, Burgerworld and Playgrounds are great for beginners at a small size

Marquee wave(s): Lance’s Right, Kanduis, Macaronis, Green Bush….too many to count

August perks: Similar to Bali, there’s a lot of swell hitting the Ments in August, so it’d be pretty unlikely or unlucky to go on a boat trip there during that time and not score. Aim for the best surf spots and you’ll be golden

Surf Mentawai Islands
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in Mentawai Islands — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

Northern Chile

surfer getting barreled in Northern Chile, one of the best surf destinations in August

Where to: Arica, Iquique

Wave type: Mostly hollow reefbreaks with a few odd beachbreaks

Swell direction: South

Average water temp: 14C (58F)

Difficulty level: Mostly intermediate to advanced for the reefbreaks around Iquique, certainly advanced for a wave like El Gringo in Arica, but Arica does have some beginner options around town

Marquee wave: El Gringo

August perks: While Chile gets surf year-round, August is the tail end of the best surf season, so many of the pros are gone, making spots around Arica and Iquique fairly empty. The water temperature is still quite cold this time of year so don’t forget your wetsuit

Surf Chile
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in Chile — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

Northern Peru

Chicama in Northern Peru, one of the best surf destinations in August

Where to: Chicama, Pacasmayo, Puemape

Wave type: Long, lefthand pointbreaks

Swell direction: South-Southwest

Average water temp: 16C (62F)

Difficulty level: All levels. Beginners might find it hard to make the sections at Chicama (as they break fast), while intermediate-advanced surfers will look forward to racing them

Marquee wave: Chicama

August perks: A wave like Chicama needs more swell than others to break, and this time of year is a great time for those bigger South-Southwest swells

Surf La Libertad
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in La Libertad — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

Panama (Pacific)

panama, one of the best surf destinations in august

Where to: Santa Catalina

Wave type: Right and lefthand reefbreaks and points

Swell direction: South-Southwest

Average water temp: 29C (84F)

Difficulty level: La Punta is a hollow righthander better for more advanced and intermediate surfers, while Estero suits beginners more and is softer

Marquee wave: La Punta

August perks: Less crowds at this time being the end of the Southern Hemi season in Central America, but with ample swell and still great surfing conditions. Like Costa Rica to its north, you can find a warm-water hidden spot among the palm trees somewhere if you just know where to look (or who to ask)

Surf Southwest Panama
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in Southwest Panama — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

Fiji

Fiji, one of the best surf destinations in august

Where to: Tavarua or Namotu islands

Wave type: Hollow reefbreaks

Swell direction: Southwest

Average water temp: 29C (85F)

Difficulty level: Intermediate to advanced level for the bigger world-class waves like Cloudbreak and Restaurants, but there are a few easier reefs and beachbreaks that accommodate learners

Marquee wave: Cloudbreak

August perks: If you want a place with guaranteed swell in the South Pacific during this month, Fiji should have it

Maldives (South)

Amy Kotch getting tubed in the Maldives, one of the best surf destinations in August
Photo: Richard Kotch

Where to: South (Outer) Atolls

Wave type: Perfect, peeling reefbreaks

Swell Direction: South

Average Water Temp: 29C (85F)

Difficulty Level: All kinds. Smaller, softer reefbreaks for beginners, up to more hollow, barreling waves like Beacons for advanced surfers

Marquee Wave: Beacons

August Perks: August is the tail-end of the monsoon season, so there will be fewer crowds chancing it this month

Surf Maldives
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in Maldives — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

Southern Mexico

Puerto Escondido, Mexico, one of the best surf destination in August
Puerto Escondido. Photo by Ryan Craig

Where to: Puerto Escondido along the West Coast of Mainland Mex

Wave type: Heavy beach breaks and long right pointbreaks

Swell direction: South-Southwest

Average water temp: 28C (83F)

Difficulty level: Intermediate to experienced surfers will love Far Bar and Carmelita’s which are heaving tubes. La Punta — left point at the far end of the beach — is a great wave for beginner surfers when small, and also good for intermediate with more swell

Marquee wave: Carmelita’s

August perks: If you’re over a beach break like the Mexican Pipeline, not too far of a drive away is Barra de la Cruz, an incredible righthand pointbreak with perfect waves that loves the month of August

Surf Mexico
A hand-picked collection of the best surf trips in Mexico — focused on authentic experiences found nowhere else.

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