Best Surf Hostels in Central America || Top Stays in 2024 

If you’re looking for pumping surf in Central America but don’t have the bank balance to splash out on beachfront hotels, you’re in luck. Unlike North America, this part of the world has budget-friendly hostels in abundance, meaning you can rest your head on a shoestring. Better still, it’s not all five-dollar-per-night flea pits; for less than $30, you can stay in a cool, clean dormitory a stone’s throw from some of the region’s best surf spots. Here are my best surf hostels in Central America… 

Table of Contents

Skully’s House is the best place to stay if you’re looking to score pumping surf in Bocas del Toro. Perched right on the sand, Skully offers cheap dorm rooms for $15 per night that come with a shared kitchen and an on-site restaurant. The location puts you within walking distance of the area’s best waves. Just a 20-minute walk away, you have Paunch, a fun a-frame reef; then, an hour walk or 20-minute drive away, you have Bluff, the thumping beach break for which the area is known. 

Papaya Lodge is a wicked place to stay in El Tunco, El Salvador. Located slap bang in the centre of town, from here, you can walk to El Sunzal–a hyper-consistent, right-hand point, with leg-burning rides on a daily basis. Just across the channel is La Bocana–a powerful a-frame reef break that always has something to ride. You can find dorms here for $15 per night, including breakfast. 

Surf Hostel Central America

If you’re looking for somewhere chilled out and close to an endless and very consistent black sand beachie, look no further than Mellow Hostel. Set back from the sand in Guatemala’s main surf town, El Paredon, you can grab a dorm here for under $20 per night. It’s a beautiful hostel with a washed concrete aesthetic, surrounded by jungle and cool, clean dorm rooms. Plenty of travelling surfers and backpackers pass through here, so you’ll never be alone. Check out my full guide to surfing El Paredon. 

Casa Daikiri is a wicked spot just up the hill at Playa Zicatela in Puerto Escondido. Zicatela is what Puerto is famous for; heavy, hollow and a stretch of sand, you can score the wave of your life. Daikiri puts you two minutes from the joint, with dorm room starting at $11 per night. That price will give you access to a shared kitchen, the pool, okay wifi, and walking distance from anything you need in town: shops, supermarkets, bars and restaurants. I can’t think of anywhere better (and affordable) in Puerto Escondido. Check out my full guide to surfing Puerto Escondido. 

Central America Surf

A new property located in Nicaraguas’ main surf town–Popoyo. The waves here are stupidly consistent, and the constant supply of swell is met with day-long offshores for nearly 330 days of the year! Tukawa is the best hostel I have ever stayed at anywhere in the world, and it puts you within walking distance from the waves at Playa Santana, a super fun, wedgy beach break. You can also walk to the main break in the area, The Peak, a super fun a-frame reef. You can grab a dorm here for around $25 per night. It’s not the cheapest hostel ever, but it’s well worth the money! 

Selina Florianoplis is a beautiful hostel and, in my opinion, one of the best in the Selina Hostel chain. (Granted, I haven’t stayed in all of them; there are hundreds). But Selina Floripa is just across the street from Praia Mole, a consistent, punchy beachie. The property offers dorms for $15 per night and offers a kitchen, restaurant and pool on-site. Loads of travellers passing through and a wicked co-working space on the premises. If you’re looking for somewhere to surf and get work done, this is the best place in the world. You heard it here first! Read more about surfing in Florianopolis.

Central America Surf Hostel

I only stayed at El Gato recently, but if you’re looking for something affordable and close to the waves in Santa Teresa, look no further. For $18 per night, you can score a dorm room here, and be in walking distance from the waves at Playa Carmen. If you’re learning to surf or travelling with someone who is, they have heaps of soft boards for hire and also offer lessons and surf guiding. Wicked chill area upstairs, monkeys in the trees and great wifi. You can also walk to the supermarket and dozens of restaurants along the main street. 

Final Words

There are plenty more surf hostels scattered around Central America, but if you stick with where to start, these are some of my favourites. I’ve spent almost 16 months of my life in this part of the world, and these are my top picks. If you know any more wicked Central American surf hostels, please let me know down in the comments! 

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