Panama Surf Paradise
(Surf Paradise, photo by Surfcamp Guanico)

Volunteer at a Panama Surf Paradise & Live for Free

Our Panama surf paradise camp is on a great surf beach and needs some volunteers.

Help at our Panama Surf Paradise with tasks for 5 hours daily, 6 days of the week, with the other 2/3 volunteers. Tasks include kitchen work, bar, reception of guests, cleaning, gardening etc.

We offer bed/food, all infrastructure of the camp, car for people who have drivers license and insurance.

Panama Surf Paradise Overview

  • Hours & Roster: 30 hours a week, 1 day free
  • What’s included? Free accommodation, food, use of all camp facilities, car use (if you have driver’s license and insurance)
  • What’s Not Included? Flights, visa, pocket money & volunteer travel insurance
  • Selection process: Message us about your relevant experience, why you’d like to volunteer with us & the dates you would be available

Tasks & Roles

We’re looking for volunteers at our Panama Surf Paradise who can help with the following tasks:

  • Take care of our small kitchen and bar in our surf camp, including serving drinks and tidying.
  • Perform some light maintenance.
  • Greeting and entertaining guests.
  • Creating a nice vibe around the place.

Panama Surf Paradise Living

  • Sleeping: We provide comfortable accommodation in the surf camp for you.
  • Linen & Laundry: Please bring your own linen, towels and sleeping bag. Laundry facilities are available.
  • Eating: Kitchen facilities are available. We provide food too.
  • Transport: On confirmation of stay, we can provide details on best way to reach us. We are a 5 hour bus ride from Panama City.

What Else

  • 2 positions available, preferable a couple or two friends together.
  • We accept volunteers from both sexes.
  • No age preference as long as 17+.
  • There is FREE internet access in the hostel.
  • Surfing Paradise: You can learn to surf with us or if you are an existing surfer, you can use our equipment for free.
  • Free Car Use: You can use our car, if you have a driver’s license and insurance.

Where to go Surfing in Panama

Panama’s most accessible surf spots are along the Pacific coast and in Bocas del Toro (on the Caribbean). There are other good spots along the Caribbean, but these tend to be difficult to reach. The locations included here are relatively accessible and reliable. They range from beginner-friendly to expert-only waves.

Santa Catalina

Considered by many to the best and most reliable surf spot along the Pacific coast of Panama, Santa Catalina has seen a surge of interest over the last decade. Prior to this it was a small fishing village and only surfed by burly locals. Nowadays, it’s visited by international surfers and even hosts large competitions.

Some breaks are suitable for beginners, while others are expert-only. Consistent waves offer good year-round surfing. The prime surfing season here is from March through October; January and February tend to have the smallest swell.

Playa Venao

Set along the Azuero Peninsula’s southeast coast, Playa Venao has long been a favorite of Panamanian surfers. Up until just a few years ago, there wasn’t much here besides a small restaurant and a big open beach. However, as more travelers begin to explore the southern Azuero, Playa Venao is shaping up to be one of Panama’s most notable surf spots.

The arcing, brown-sand beach offers long and easy rides. Although it can see good-sized waves, the waves tend to be good for beginner and intermediate surfers. Waves break both right and left and tend to average around 10 feet (3 m) throughout the year.

Playa Cambutal

This is another Azuero Peninsula gem that is located at the southern end of the peninsula. Adventurous surfers mainly come here now—but as the word gets out about its scenic surroundings and pleasant beach vibe, Playa Cambutal seems on the verge of real development.

The long stretch of shoreline sees both beach breaks and points. It tends to catch most swells (including those from the north, south and west), so the waves are usually a decent size—sometimes they get up to 15–20 feet (4.5–6 m). The waves have both open faces and barrels.

Playa El Palmar

This central Pacific surf spot is a Panamanian classic that is suitable for every level of surfer. It’s not crowded, but still usually sees a consistent set of surfers (especially Panamanians). It’s located along a small beach just west of San Carlos.

Playa Paunch

This is one of the best-known surf spots on Colón Island in the Bocas del Toro archipelago. Set along the island’s eastern coast (reasonably close to Bocas town), Paunch breaks both right and left. It has long waves that are suitable for all levels, including beginners. When the swell is big, the left side has big, powerful barrels.


Set off Bastimentos Island, this is one of Bocas’ most famous surf breaks. It’s also the biggest and is often compared to Hawaiian waves like Backdoor and Sunset.


Named for the island that it breaks near, this is another popular spot in the Bocas archipelago. It’s a left reef break that is appropriate for intermediate to advanced surfers. It breaks off the north side of Carenero Island and is super scenic, with a tree-lined island as a backdrop.

Carenero is a quick five-minute boat ride from Bocas town. For this reason, it can be crowded.

Playa Malibu

Playa Malibu is one of the most reliable surf spots along Panama’s central Pacific coast. Set near the town of Gorgona, its waves break right along a sandbar at the mouth of the Chame River. The tubes can get big and the waves can be fast. It is surfable at all tides, but is not for first-timers.

Morro Negrito

A small private island in the Gulf of Chiriquí on Panama’s Pacific coast, Morro Negrito is owned and operated by a surf camp. There are a few other private islands that surround Morro Negrito—combined these islands have around 5 reef breaks and a handful of beach breaks. The barreling reef breaks are ideal for intermediate and advanced surfers, while the beach breaks are good for beginners.

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