On a recent Sunday morning, we were on the beach at Corazon de Oro.
Just having a relaxing time.
And we noticed about 12 or so surfers were in the water at the nearby surf break.
I (Reyn) decided to walk down the beach to investigate. Betsy suggested that I take her camera to get video of this unusual event. Hopefully the video came out okay.
There had been pretty good surf for over a week in Puerto Armuelles. It being a Sunday we sometimes see surfers from Playa La Barqueta (near David) here. These, mostly young, Panamanians drive to Puerto Armuelles to surf when their own break is too big and “gnarly” to ride.
Since Puerto Armuelles is sheltered by Punta Burica from the prevailing southwest swell, we have more days without waves than less protected surf locations.
On the other hand, when the surf gets big and and ugly at other spots, we still have a relatively playful wave suitable for less than expert surfers.
Plus, our beach is always safe for swimmers.
La Barqueta – Ocean Safety
Playa La Barqueta is generally considered to be too dangerous for swimmers. There are annual reports of swimmers and even beach walkers drowning at La Barqueta.
I have body surfed at La Barqueta before, and it was intense. I would never swim there without swim fins; The current is too strong.
Chiriqui Surf Club
So, it was Sunday, and the waves had been pretty good all week. But still 12 surfers in the water was an all time record for Puerto.
“What was up?” I wondered. I walked up to a woman surfer standing on the beach and asked her “why the big crowd?”
She explained that the entire Chiriqui Surf Club just happened to be holding a big get-together this Sunday. They caravaned down from David to surf in Puerto Armuelles. This was not a regular event.
Old Guy Surfer Paradise
Secretly, I was relieved that our “old guy surfers’ paradise” had not been discovered by the mainstream surf population. Yes, it’s true. Even we old guy surfers have a hard time sharing our local surf spot with a sudden invasion of out-of-towners.
Not surprisingly, when I went surfing at the same spot on Monday morning, I was the only surfer in the water. Victor, an expat who lives nearby and who surfs every morning, is out of town, or there would have been 2 of us.
Surf Conditions – Puerto Armuelles
The waves were still 3-4 foot, as they had been on Sunday, but they were much cleaner. This is the kind of surf session that I treasure in Puerto Armuelles.
In all honesty, conditions are often flat here even during our surf season of June- November.
Waves In Video
If you take a look at the video, the waves I filmed are pretty good size for our area. I would say 3-4 feet. We definitely have more flat days in Puerto than we have days like this.
However, even when the waves are small, our swell is generally a lot cleaner than the waves pictured (not so many closeouts).
We generally have glassy morning surf with nice peeling rides….even if the waves are only waist high they are often clean and “rippable”.
Puerto Armuelles is definitely not a destination surf spot. However, if you are a surfer, or you would like to learn, there is uncrowded small surf at many locations here.
Plus, within a half hour drive (Manaca) or boat ride, you can get into some big waves, if that’s what you are looking for.
I generally surf right at our local break at Corazon de Jesus, when there are waves.
If the ocean is flat, I swim.
Surfing is exhilarating. Swimming is relaxing. Both help remind me of how lucky I am to be living here.
Thanks for reading