Friday, August 26, 2016

The Uncharted Beach Town of Astillero, Nicaragua

astillero, nicaragua
El Astillero is a quiet small fishing village located as far north as you can go on the Pacific Ocean in the province of Rivas, Nicaragua.  It has the same layout and is similar in size than San Juan Del Sur but with a lot less going on. The roads are compacted gravel in great condition, and within the small town, you will find a tourist information office, restaurants with fresh seafood, a hostel, small stores, and a lot of panga boats.

The main source of income for people living in Astillero is fishing.  Many people also work at nearby resorts, or as surf instructors.  El Astillero is not on most peoples radars and is more of a last minute day adventure.  However with more and more people coming to Astillero to surf, take in the amazing scenery or dock their boats, the town is starting to grow.   More restaurants are opening, along with a beach resort under construction on the northern part of town.  The prices for land and labor are very inexpensive, and with the prices increasing in San Juan Del Sur and Popoyo, more and more people are thinking about Astillero.

El Astillero is only located 8km north of Guasacate (Popoyo), and 20km from the new Costa Esmeralda Airport which currently has direct flights from Managua and Costa Rica.  In the next few years, they are expanding the runway to receive direct international flights from Miami.  Once this happens, Astillero will no longer be a quite fishing village.

astillero, nicaragua



The Surf Ranch Hotel & Resort is also under construction, just south of Astillero, and in between Guasacate, which is set to be one of the largest resorts in the country. 

astillero, nicaragua






Some of the best surf in Nicaragua is located North of Astillero and only accessible by boat, they are called Playgrounds and Lance's Left.  There is also great surf on the Astillero river mouth.  You can see the details and photos of each of the waves below.

Astillero River Mouth
surfing astillero rivermouth nicaragua

The Astillero river mouth is at the end of the road that goes through the town.  The waves here are hollow and best to surf at mid tides when there is swell. The rights here are better than the lefts.  You will find expats and locals surfing this wave.

Lance's Left
surfing lance's left nicaraguaThis wave is named after the famous boat captain who kept this spot secret for years.  It is a long left hand point break that is suitable for all skill levels.  On the best days, it can offer long rides of over 450 meters.  To get to this spot, it's better by boat than to walk.  If you walk, make sure to have someone guarding your car from petty theft as it's somewhat of a long hot walk from Astillero.

Playgrounds
surfing playgrounds nicaragua
This wave is only accessible by boat, located north of Astillero.  It's a reef break and the left is longer than the right.  It's fun on short boards and long boards.  Many people can enjoy this wave.  The wave starts at chest high and holds up to double-overhead.  This wave is usually better in the morning with light winds and remember to watch out for the rocks, do not put your foot down.
 


















Another popular thing to do is to sign up at any of the nearby hotels to view the Olive Ridley Turtles who come in the thousands to lay their eggs on the beach.  The season is from July to December.

astillero, nicaragua

Visit El Astillero while it is still a quite beach town, as this will not be the case for much longer.  Every time I take people to Astillero, coming around the bend, the first thing you see is a huge curved white sand beach with no one on it, then as you look past the beach you see endless waves and cliffs going down this emerald coast past the town.  The first impression is always "Wow", then the second thought is "Why is this town so untouched"?

Astillero is a beach town forgotten and lost in time, but it has now been found.