Surf With Baby Turtles in November and December


November and December are the beginning of my favorite time of the year in Nicaragua. The rainy season is over, everything is green and beautiful, the waves are cute and groomed by offshore winds, but the best part might be baby turtles! Surf With Amigas is partnered with El Coco Loco Resort and Waves of Hope on their many projects including a sea turtle conservation project. Watch the video to learn more and visit in November and December to watch baby turtles released into the ocean at sunset.

Meet Amiga Jackie George

Jackie George is my new best female friend. Last November I got a random email from her saying she was a lifeguard, raft guide, and enthusiastic surfer looking for a couple weeks of work in Central America. She had just graduated from Humboldt State and was planning to take a big trip through Nicaragua and Costa Rica and wanted to pick up some extra money along the way. I happened to be on a road trip through Northern California at the time and met up with her for a few minutes over-looking the Humboldt surf spot called Camel Rock. My boyfriend Kim and I had slept in our truck the night before and showed up around 9am with coffee looking disheveled. Jackie was in her wetsuit, having already surfed, all bubbly smiling happy energy and I knew right away that she would be a perfect addition to our commune in Nicaragua! She started out with two weeks in January and after that I was determined to do whatever I could to not let her leave! Fortunately, it worked and she stayed the whole season and has agreed to come back in Fall. Stoked!
Everyone who meets her absolutely loves her. She is a gorgeous free-spirit with infectious positive energy who can smile through anything. You’ll love hanging out with her. Check out this video and you’ll see what I mean…

Amigas Give Back with Waves of Hope


It’s natural to want to give back and help people. Travel experiences are so much more meaningful when you get a chance to interact with the local community and impact their lives in a positive way. When I was looking for a place to run the women’s surf and yoga retreats I wanted to partner with someone who was making a positive impact on the community. Coco Loco is the perfect place. They run a non-profit called Waves of Hope that is investing in education to teach the people how to help themselves. Those are the sorts of businesses that I want to support and you can feel good about doing the same.
For more information about Waves Of Hope, click here!

Best Wipeout Contest


The only thing I like better than an Amiga getting a great wave is an Amiga getting an awesome wipeout. I blew it and cleared out my hard drive most of the way through the season so this only represents a tiny fraction of the awesome wipeouts that we saw in the 2011/2012 season. I’ve chosen my top 4 favorites and now you get to vote for the best. The winner gets a new Freestyle watch. Vote in the comments here, on facebook, via email (hollybeck27@gmail.com) or follow the link to the youtube video and vote in the comments there. I’ll be tallying up the votes on Friday Aug 10!

First Ever Coco Loco Classic by Waves of Hope


Coco Loco, Waves of Hope, and Surf With Amigas are all dedicated to improving the lives of the people in the surrounding communities. One project was the Waves of Hope Surf Club which encouraged kids to attend school everyday by offering them a Saturday Surf Club which they could only attend if their teacher signed off that they had attended class every day, turned in assignments, and were generally being good students. Through this program, kids were motivated to stay in school, but they also got a chance to learn about the ocean and learn how to surf. The only problem was that after catching your first wave, you then want your own surfboard that those are expensive and hard to come by for a poor village kid.

Other gringos in other communities have solved this problem by just giving out a bunch of boards. The problem with this strategy is that the kids then don’t appreciate the value of the boards. They also then start asking for more hand-outs. We didn’t have enough boards for all the kids and tried to come up with a way that they could earn a new board.

Enter the Coco Loco Classic – We held a contest for 11 participants on a fun day at the point. A few of them didn’t even have a surfboard to use for the competition so we let them borrow some of ours. The contest ended in a tie so we gave out two boards but everyone had a great day with a fun friendly competitive spirit.
Watch the video below:

Jackie Talks About Why El Salvador is So Awesome


Jackie George is one of the awesome instructors at Amigas Surf Retreats. She’s 23 years old from San Clemente, CA. She’s a stylish cruisey regular-footer who fell in love with the long rights of Las Flores on her first trip to El Salvador and is super excited about heading back in October. Join Jackie and Amigas Oct 13-20 and 21-28.

Surf Yoga Adventure in the Philippines


Let’s go somewhere new!

Introducing a brand new destination outside of Central America!
April 14-21 and 22-29 2013 we’ll be escorting a group of 8-10 ladies each week to a secret hideaway in the Philippines. We’ll be staying at a collection of beachfront bungalows with a boat right out front that will zip us out to the spots.
$1,700 includes everything except your plane flight to Siargao and alcohol.

Important Travel Info!
COMING TO SIARGAO:
Flying from the US to the Philippines using Los Angeles as the example city:
Asiana, Korean and Cathay Pacific seem to have the best prices right now (Sept. 20 Expedia searches showed between $1100-1300 From LA to Cebu). Cathay was $1300 and had the best schedule and this is what I suggest:
Using Cathay Pacific, departing LA at 1:30AM and arriving Cebu at 11:30AM+1 day. So you should depart LA on Friday, April 12 (and remember, since that’s 1:30AM you would check in at the LA airport the night of Thursday April 11).

The little flight from Cebu to the Island of Siargao (see below) isn’t until the following morning but arriving at 11:30am will allow you the whole afternoon to relax, stretch, start dealing with jetlag and recuperate from the long journey so that when you show up to your final destination (the retreat!) you’ll be fired up and ready for adventure!!!

The other airlines might be fine too and a bit cheaper- they just get into Cebu close to midnight (not much recovery time) and flying back to the US they leave close to midnight so you’ll have to spend all day in Cebu when you connect from Siargao coming back. Philippine Airlines also flies this route but flights were $1660 when I checked, maybe that will change?? Maybe other airlines too, you may want to check yourself.

As far as we know, you will need to stay overnight in Cebu no matter which airline you fly on the way there as the only connecting flights to Siargao are in the morning (schedule below). Rest and recover for the day or explore Cebu. Here are a few hotel recommendations we have from friends in the area:

Hotel Options in Cebu
Alta Cebu- on the same island as the airport. A resort setting with a nice pool, rooms a bit dated but still nice, the owner is American. Nothing else close by to do near this hotel but plenty to see/do on its grounds (relax!).
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g2273715-d634366-Reviews-ALTA_Cebu_Resort-Cordova_Mactan_Island_Cebu_Visayas.html

Summit Circle Hotel- further from airport, small and dark but nice, it is above a shopping center (bonus aircon and good food choices) and recently renovated, in the heart of the city, review link:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Hotel_Review-g298460-d455425-Reviews-Summit_Circle_Hotel-Cebu_City_Cebu_Visayas.html

Others, close to airport for late arrivals:
Park Hill Hotel
1,000php for 2 people.
2 minutes from the airport. 50php in a taxi, but at night give them a bit extra for the hassle of loosing que to a 2 min trip. 100php. Just tell them it’s the first left after the Day’s Inn hotel on airport road.
http://www.hotelparkhill.com/
Phone: 63 32 494-0749 Address: Park Hill Hotel Cebu, Matumbo Road, Pusok, Lapu-Lapu city , Cebu,

Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino
PHP 5,000 if you book on www.wotif.com
Address:
http://www.waterfronthotels.com.ph/waterfront/waterfront-airport-hotel-casino/
Phone: 63 32 340-4888
Address: 1 Airport Road Lapu-Lapu City, 6015 Cebu, Philippines
Great buffet breakfast.

Flying to Siargao
The next morning you must fly on a Cebu Pacfic domestic flight to Siagao (about $100 round trip)- you can book on their website:
http://www.cebupacificair.com/Pages/FlightSchedule.aspx
Cebu Pacific schedule:
M, W, F, SU 10:20AM departure, 11:10AM arrival
M, F 9:15-10:05

For the April 14 retreat, please schedule the Sunday April 14th flight.

RETURN FLIGHTS:
For April 14 retreat, return on Sunday, April 21
Cebu Pacific Siagao-Cebu schedule:
M, W, F, SU 11:30AM-12:20PM
M, F 10:25-11:15

Make sure you book your US return for after 3pm or later to be safe!

The Philippines are well-known for a world-class surf spot called Cloud 9. It’s a reef break with hollow rights that attracts surfers from all over the world. We’ll be staying very close to Cloud 9 but will be focusing on other more user-friendly waves in the area.

There are cute lefts and rights for Amigas of all levels but most waves will be breaking over reef, so this isn’t a retreat for first-time surfers. To attend this retreat you must have come already to Nicaragua or El Salvador, or be able to prove to me that you are capable of paddling out and catching a wave on your own. You don’t have to be a complete ripper, we’ll help you improve, but you must already know how to catch your own wave.


We’ll be staying at a place called GreenHouse with awesome bungalows right on the beach and delicious food. Cyd Connor from Sukhaline.com will be joining us as yoga teacher. Cyd is a friend of ours who taught yoga during the 2011/2012 season and she is awesome!
Other activities will include snorkeling, diving, hiking, waterfalls, caving, experiencing local culture, and eating awesome food!

Philippines lifestyle and surfstyle:

Check out some footage (below) from a Roxy contest at Siargao the first week of May 2011. You get an idea of the beauty of the ocean there and a little taste of what Cloud 9 looks like. We most likely won’t spend much time there since there are other less-crowded waves around but if we get a few girls that want to try to get tubes, we can go check it out!

Big Boards, Flowing Arms, Estuary Antics, and Iguana Orgies


At Amigas Surf Retreats we celebrate hilariousness. It is about surfing and yoga and adventure, but it’s the silliness that occurs along the way that truly exemplifies what we’re all about. This group was one of the most “saucy” that we’ve ever had as the video will show. Check it out and prepare to laugh!

Alison Rides Big Kid Waves and Learns Hot Dance Moves

Alison had tried to learn to surf at another surf camp but didn’t learn how to ride a “big kid wave” until coming to surf with Amigas. Along the way she also learned some surprisingly hot dance moves at a mother’s day celebration, rode horses, and made a bunch of new amigas. Stoked!

Amazing Truck Rides and Arm Wrestling with Steph


Steph Wilson works a corporate job in San Francisco, speaks fluent Spanish, and gets excited about arm wrestling. She likes riding in the back of muddy trucks and stylish riding of longboards on long fun rights. Yew!

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