fbDale Dagger Surf Lodge — Thermal
Accommodation
Lodge
Duration
6+ nights
Nearest major airport
Augusto C. Sandino International Airport (MGA)

The ultimate all-inclusive surf trip

"We've got a fully stocked surf and fishing charter boat anchored right out front. The beach is a 10 out of 10, our lodge provides relaxed beachy vibes, and the boat supplies easy access to all the best waves in Nicaragua. Add to that an enthusiastic crew who are passionate about what we do, and you just found the best surf camp in Nicaragua. Come to surf Nicaragua with the most experienced surf camp in the country."

The surf

Peak swell
Variable swell
jan
feb
mar
apr
may
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jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec

We can't stress enough just how amazing the waves are here in Nicaragua. Surfing Nicaragua offers more hours per day to surf, and the wave quality is the best in Central America. It's a unique combination of things that really makes this region of Nicaragua one of the most blessed surfing locations on planet earth. Lake Nicaragua draws "trade winds" from the Caribbean.

This phenomenon gives southern Nicaragua offshore winds 24/7, over 300 days a year. This means perfectly groomed waves ALL DAY LONG. You don't have to wake up at 5 am for dawn patrol just to see the winds turn onshore by 10 am. You can surf literally at any time of day in perfect conditions. As a result, you'll simply get to surf a LOT MORE waves than you would by traveling to anywhere else in the world... yet another reason to put a Nicaragua surf trip on your to-do list. Come to surf Nicaragua for yourself, and you'll see just how amazing surfing here is.

Aside from the ideal offshore winds, we also have over a dozen named surf breaks (a few secret surf spots too) within a short boat ride from our surf lodge. Most of the waves are high-quality, fast, barreling surf breaks that are best suited for intermediate to advanced surfers. We do have plenty of spots to cater more to beginners too, but if you already know how to surf, and you're looking for some great waves... Dale Dagger Surf Tours is the perfect place for you.

We have world-class beach breaks capable of creating 8+ second barrel rides. You'll find heaving slabs with enough power to scare you. You'll find consistent reef breaks, and peeling point breaks with mechanical perfection and long leg-burning rides. We have surf breaks with critical, racing barrels, and we have playful waves with fully rip-able faces. If you have an appetite for surfing really good waves... a Nicaragua Surf Trip needs to be on your to-do list. Come on down, and surf with us... let us show you why we love Surfing Nicaragua and come soak up some Surf Camp Nicaragua Vibes.

Bonus... the swell period around here is always super long, which means that 1.5 ft at 16 seconds (for instance) means chest to head high. Even if it’s dead flat everywhere, we have some open water reef breaks like Panga drops, that break way in on the inside chest to head high… fast and fun.

Highlights

  1. We were the first surf camp in Nicaragua, We've been surfing Nicaragua for about 17 years now, and the original founder has passed on all his wisdom and knowledge of surf in this area to our surf guides. He was the first one to surf these waves and name them, and he still comes to the lodge all the time to hang out and talk and give advice.

  2. Our Surf Lodge is right ON the beach with a surf charter boat sitting out front at your disposal and a 30-second paddle to them.

  3. Our guides pack the surf charter boat with a cooler filled with ice-cold sodas, water, and beer. We'll pull the boat in so you just have to paddle a short distance out to start your surf adventure for the day.

The lodge

Here you'll be experiencing life in a third-world country for a week, and you'll be scoring some tube time while you're at it. You'll be staying in the rustic, and charming fishing village of Playa Gigante, which has a local population of about 400 people. One should hardly expect fancy five-star accommodations here but should expect adventure, comfort, fun, and relaxation.

We're right on the beach and have warm water showers, crips-cool air-conditioned private rooms and a full equipped surf charter boat at your disposal. We've got all the necessities like wireless internet, massage therapists, world-class surf, fishing gear, surf lessons, delicious home-cooked meals, cold beer, and smiling staff ready to please. The tropical Surf Camp Nicaragua vibes will keep you relaxed, and surfing in Nicaragua will keep you amped. Come to surf Nicaragua with us.

The lodge

We have an eight-person capacity, and normally friends room together. The Surf Lodge has a large living room perfect for lounging and is stocked complete with satellite TV, surround sound, DVD player, surf vids, and wireless internet. There's a sweet outdoor patio that spills onto the beach, kitted out with outdoor music, and two extra-large hammocks hanging from the trees. There's an outdoor kitchen complete with a BBQ grill and fish filet station, a large book selection, purified water, and a fridge filled with ice-cold cervezas and sodas. Our staff will cook all your meals and clean up every day. We don't have a swimming pool, but who needs one when you're ten steps away from the tropical waters of the pacific ocean. Playa Gigante is a protected bay, so the beach out front is perfect for swimming.

Our lodge is a prime spot for chilling, partying, hanging at the beach, watching surf vids, watching sunsets, and is generally just a super comfortable place for relaxing. We're right on the beach, and also right in the charming little fishing village of Playa Gigante. If you want to do any exploring you'll find that there's plenty of exploring to do within walking distance...you're not just stuck at some boring hotel with nothing else to do. In between surf sessions you can go mingle with locals, exploring neighboring beaches, meet other travelers, party, or just relax, and log some much-needed hammock time.

The surf boat

Come to surf Nicaragua with us. With our surf charter boat, you will be accessing the best waves in Nicaragua. Our captain will visit you every day in the morning to check on your surf schedule. After meeting the captain, it will be easy to coordinate when you’d like to surf next and we normally go twice a day. We'll keep you up to speed with the conditions, and which waves are ideal at what times. You can take the boat to any surf break within our seven designated daily spots. Most of the waves are only accessible by boat, and some are located on private beaches. We go as far North as Vera Cruz, and as far south as San Juan del Sur.

The surf food

We serve just about anything you want (that we can get here), and are open to suggestions. Breakfast, on average, consists of homemade granola with raisins and yogurt, fresh local fruit, steel-cut oats, golden pancakes, smoothies, cheddar and bacon breakfast burritos, Gallo pinto, and peppered eggs. Not always all together… depending on your appetite. Lunch is Snapper tacos with homemade Mexican flour tortillas, mamas chicken soup, quesadillas with fresh pico de gallo and taco salad, Nicaragua favorite arroz con pollo, fresh local ceviche and hearty chili with a kick. Dinner can be grilled garlic & lime local fish, Home-made vegetable lasagna, zingy caesar salads with fresh homemade croutons, barbeque chicken and dill potato salad, beer-battered lobster tacos, whole fried fish with the eyeball and everything, fried plantains, and sometimes the biggest pile of sashimi you’ve ever seen (depending on our fisherman/boat captain Walter). Truth be told...we think our meal selection makes the perfect combo with a Nicaragua Surf Trip. This is Surf Camp Nicaragua food at its best. Surf Nicaragua, Eat deliciously healthy home-cooked meals and enjoy the beachfront surf lodge.

We’ve also got snacks, cookies, popcorn and soda for you junk food lovers. Beer is a buck and Soda is free and stored in our extra cold Beer fridge on the outdoor patio.

The fruit & veggies that we get here are local only and depend on the season. We always have an abundance of bananas, pineapples, plantains, tomatoes, garlic, cucumbers, carrots, and peppers. In the spring season we have mangos, avocados, cantaloupe, and papaya.

The surf town

We are based in a tiny fishing village that rarely sees life from the outside world. People live in shanty’s and shacks and make a living off of fishing. They are kind, wonderful people and extremely friendly. There is one main pulperia (little convenience store) where you can find chips, beer, candy, Gatorade, Flor de Caña Rum, wine, homemade sweet bread, cookies, and tons more. There is a hostel at the South end of the beach that often times has planned parties and/or live music. There are other local restaurants that serve the catch of the day… grilled or fried, with rice and beans, plantains, and vegetables.

The nearest city with a grocery store and gas station is 40 minutes away down a dirt country road, so don’t forget to bring cash if you want to dabble in any of the vendors outside of the lodge, Most businesses deal with cash, and the last ATM is in Rivas. This is Playa Gigante, and we love it. We think you'll fall in love with it too. It's the ideal setting for a relaxing vacation and is perfectly located for the ultimate Nicaragua Surf Trip. It's a calm protected bay, which is not only ideal for swimming but also the perfect place to anchor our surf charter boat.

TIN (as in...this is Nicaragua)

Oh, such a beautiful place… filled with not-so-every-day-life kinds of things. Sometimes in this wonderful country, we lose power…as in, there might be no electricity for a few hours. Thankfully, we are one of the only places in town with a generator, so you won’t even notice…

Location

Getting there
Fly into Augusto C Sandino Airport, (Managua). We will pick your group up from the airport whenever you get in…no worries! No... read more

Is it a journey into an unknown land where the whispers of danger carry in the wind or the tilled path of a pioneer clearing the tangled chains before him that makes someone a legend? Or is it the simple perseverance to not give up and go home? A fortunate wrinkle in the Central American timeline leads Dale Dagger into a virgin wide open Nicaragua, a decade before the word spread to the rest of the surfing world.

A nonconformist need, a renegade instinct, and a thirst for exploration led Dale Dagger in the tumultuous late '70s to the wave fertile shores of Nicaragua. Dale will tell you he was just looking for a few waves to himself and a place to anchor his boat for free. In the seventies, life in America was getting more restrictive, and the police state, while in his infancy was taking shape. He bailed to the South and warm water free anchorage’s… where Jimmy says, “A man can be free”.

After years of sailing the Pacific coastline, One very fateful day while surfing South of San Juan del Sur, a client tore the bottom of his foot on a rock reef and was bleeding profusely. He bled through a towel quickly, and knowing they were in trouble, Dale applied a tourniquet and headed North for help. It was obvious the client would bleed out or at least lose his foot by the time they got to San Juan del Sur. There was a Turtle refuge nearby and the Army there had a truck that could help get the guy to medical attention. Dale sped the boat onto the beach with no hesitation. All should have gone well, the rudders should have snapped off and Tonga (his sailboat) should have been pushed up onto the beach where she could have been repaired in a few days. Instead, she hit a sandbar, shoving the bow up and the stern down. A huge set swamped her and by morning the boat was in pieces. The client was able to jump off in time and was walking within a few weeks. Dale stayed by his boat and was finally rescued from his Robinson Crusoe beach camp within a few days. He and his soggy boat gear, which was all that he owned, had no choice but to move to the sleepy fishing village of San Juan del Sur. With nothing left and forced to stay, Dale settled for the first time in his life.

Some say everything happens for a reason, others say your fate finds you…. an unfortunate twist of events brought Dale to the place he has always belonged and the place that will always be his home. He didn’t choose Nicaragua … Nicaragua chose him. Mike "El Jefe" Hamberger bought the lodge from Dale in 2***. Mike is a passionate surfer and family man who loves his business.

You will still see Dale out there on the waves in which he named. If you book a tour it’s very certain Dale will stop by the lodge and share a couple of Toñas with you. A loner by nature Dale is coming out of his comfort shell more nowadays and has a fun crew of young folks carrying on the adventure. His stories are all well told, although you may not understand his zany sense of humor, and as Dale likes to say with a grin, some of them are even true. A few of Dale’s dreams from the early days have become a reality. The solar-powered surf shack walking distance from Rio Colorado is one. Another is a community of like-minded folks living a better life in Playa Gigante. If you are lucky, you may get a chance to hear some of his stories, or get a little taste of his voyage yourself, but you will definitely see what he was here for and what he has tackled….. one wave at a time.

Languages: English, Spanish
Response rate: 100%
Response time: Within 24 hours

Choose your accommodation

We have 4 rooms with 2 beds each. These... more
From $333 / night
For dates and accommodations not listed, or if you want to book further out

Questions?

What's included?
Private accommodation, meals, snacks, transportation, surf guides, fishing, and more...We take care of all the details so you can focus your energy on surfing Nicaragua, chilling, and enjoying your va... read more
What's not included?
You will want to bring cash for things like massages, booze, tips, souvenirs, yoga and surf photos. There is no ATM out here, and most places in town only accept cash. Don’t expect to find pavement, s... read more
What to bring?
Sunblock (at 11 degrees north of the equator, you’ll be burnt fast), 1ml top (only in January, February or March), magazines (ok, the mags are for us too), a good book, a dry bag (sometimes you will... read more
What about beer?
All-inclusive surf trip includes $1 beers at the lodge & free beers on the boat!
What's the scoop on daily boat trips?
The only time you will be in a car is on your way in & out from the airport. You will be on the boat to surf 2-3 times a day to all the famous, hidden and private surf breaks. We are the only lodge of... read more
What's the cancellation policy?
Cancel and get a full refund within 48 hours of purchase, or at least 30 days before the trip starts.
Risk-free booking
Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund.
Change of plans? No worries. Cancel any trip within 48 hours of purchase for a full refund, no questions asked.
Best price guarantee
If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Booking with Thermal never costs more. If you find a lower price for the same trip, we’ll match it.
Connect directly
Speak to the team on the ground, instead of a travel agent.
Instead of a travel agent, we connect you directly to the team on the ground for the answers you need.
Exclusive experiences
We have a roster of amazing, one-off trips in the works.
Each week brings something new to discover. We have a roster of amazing, one-off experiences in the works.