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Teiki Mathieu Baillan surfing a self-made Alaia surfboard in Lances Left, Mentawaï, Indonesia. Photo by C. Naslain, 2009.

Surf spot atlas made by surfers for surfers
Enjoy and contribute!

 Riomar

Panama

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Comments

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By Anonymous , 20-12-2008

Lets be real - Ive been surfing for the whole of my life, surf camps in general are beat down, but serve a purpose, great for a first trip, till you learn a better way for yourself, I stayed down the street from this one at a hotel, walked over and surfed, great wave, large crew though on the weekend. I never made it north of hear, I understand once out of the bay, it gets really good and much more consistant, Panama in my opinion is much nicer than CR, people are great, roads are awesome. Car rental is honest and good. Waves are similar. Rented a brand new longboard from the Dentist(Shop) in the city, great deal. 120 all week, easy scene to drop in on...

By alfred , 06-11-2007

well then GO TO TEH DECAMERON A RENT A VAN! - i was reading all this comments and i don´t know what are you looking for? Go rent a van a stay at the Decameron, or, go camping or don´t go anywhere!, when people complain about prices and that it´s certainly because they have no money, spend some thousands and surf some waves if ther is a swell, if not, then you are an apprentice or a beginner into surf and traveling!

By jwm , 20-04-2007

The truth comes out - Alan's response about the food was that I ordered after 9 pm. Wrong! At my size/metabolism I rarely eat past 7! I realize that it's another country where things operate slower and certain things aren't available. I am not a picky eater and I don't demand "kiss your ass american" service, but we've all gotta eat! I was put in a position where the staff made me feel as if I was burdening them when I ordered food. Avoid this place.

By michael_truett@comcast.net , 21-03-2007

surf near Rio Mar - Could someone share knowledge about the surf near rio mar and the bayview restaurant? I will be visitng there in the summer and want to know if I should bring my board, or just my golf clubs. I am a longbaorder and I have heard that at lowtide the waves are fun.

By Anonymous , 03-03-2007

RioMar Surf Camp - Just like many of you, I did some research before I took my trip down to Central America. Although I saw some negative reviews about the RioMar surf camp, I gave it a shot anyway. Actually the first night we stayed at the only hotel nearby, a complete dump and way overpriced food, but literally the only place to eat besides the surf camp.

So after staying in that rathole of a hotel the first night, we decided to look past the bad reviews and give the Surf Camp a shot. We arrived at the surf camp, and was shown a room that was relatively clean, two bunks and a single bed. Originally we were told we would have access to the kitchen, but after arriving we were told that this was now not possible. We were told that the "owner" had problems with people using his condiments. They reluctantly offered to let us borrow a small styrofoam cooler instead.
The place rents boards, many sizes, but varying conditions. A bit too expensive($30 a day), but the only place in the area that has boards, so they really have you by the balls, and you have no choice but to pay the ridiculous prices.. I would suggest bringing your own.
As far as the surf goes, its "ehh" at best. We were there for 4 days and didnt see much in the way of good surf. The tides are a huge factor and during low tide you can cut the hell out of your feet on the rocks, so bring booties.
The employees there were unfriendly and unhelpful. They were aggravated that we didnt want to eat their food after the first day, because they cooked us a hamburger that was raw and tasted like the meat was about a year old. So after that we needed to take a cab into town and get food for the next few days.
Upon returning our boards the last day, the unfriendly young lady who worked there told us that we had dinged ou boards and needed to pay for them. Now these boards were by no means new, and had several dings in each. They neglected to look at the boards when we took them out,but scrupulously checked them upon return. Im sure this is one of their ways to make a bit of extra cash, they charged us $9 each for dings, and bargained it down to $20 for three dinged boards. Absolutely ridiculous, and very annoying. Another guy while there had a similar issue, and was told that this was common practice at this place.

Overall the place was disappointing at best, and I would not recommend it to anyone. Plan your trip and head to Bocas del Toro. We went there after Rio Mar, and got consistent surf, and a whole range of things to do.. diving, resteraunts, snorkeling. The Rio Mar Surf Camp has great potential, but the lack of good management, the unfriendly staff, ripoff prices, poor food, and isolation from the outside world make it a place that I would not head back to and I will tell everyone to not waste your time and money. Feel free to contact me at davematband41@yahoo.com if you have anymore questions.

By -risas- , 14-12-2006

wow - Eric, you must work there......seems like you're the only one defending the place......and how do you spell your name... eric or erik..

sounds like a buzz 'killer spot' .
keep up the......

pues, pura vida

By riomarsurf@hotmail.com , 30-10-2006

Reply to drunks, jwm and cheap canadians.. - My name is Alan and here is the other side of the story.
JWM is prvably pissed cause I did his chick or ignored his stupidity. Yes there is a charge if you bring booze, cause I have to pay booze taxes to the San Carlos Municipio(we don't sell booze, just beers), these guys were so cheap they will not pay for a beer from the machine, so they did what they did. As for food not being served is because of the hours on which they ordered (past 9pm kitchen closed), the canadians lost a key and did not want to pay for it, therefore the misunderstanding,and finally to clear the cokehead issue, I am a Panama Canal Towboat Captain and work shifts, which means I get pissed tested every so often due to the sensitiviness of my work, i cannot afford to do drugs, my only high is surfing which I have been doing for well over 24 years, sometimes due to this shiftwork i don't have time to meet everyone that comes around which i would reaaly like do, but for all responsible surfers out there know what I mean, thanx for taking the time to read.

By Erik , 23-10-2006

Riomar was great! - we stayed at the riomar surf camp for almost 4 weeks because we liked it so much! food was good (get the plato del dia for only 3 bucks) and it was very clean and well kept. waves were also good with consistent swells. yes the tidal shift is pretty large but once you´ve figured out the best times to surf it´s no problem. there is something for everyone as when the point gets really big beginners or inexperienced surfers can still enjoy riomar front break. the people were nice and well you just cant expect a kiss-your-ass american service mentality when you´re in panama so what does it bother you when there´s a little fuss about food, just ignore it! (there wasn´t any of that anyways when we stayed there last month)so just go there, check it out, enjoy the surf and that´s the most important thing!

By jwm , 23-08-2006

RioMar gets the boot - charging to drink your own drinks? I didnt think Alan would stoop that low, but it sure doesnt surprise me! yeah, the guys that work there are super lazy . . . you ask them to cook you something and they act like its some big inconvenience. they advertise how they cook all this stuff and you have to beg them to make you a hotdog. dont advertise a service that you dont provide. I ended up eating all my meals at the restaurant up the hill, which has great food w an excellent view, although it gets a little pricey after a while. Alan is full of crap and full of himself. the camp is actually fairly nice, great location and good facilities . . . if Alan actually took running the place seriously it would be a good place. luckily a caribbean swell hit and I was able to hightail it outta that place.

By 4 Florida guys , 31-07-2006

$5 EXTRA on top of $5 on top of $5..... - Alan, give me a break. Stayed at Riomar 'surcam' 7-21-06 night. Now, this is classic; Alan charges us $5 to drink our OWN rum and cokes under the big tiki hut. OK, we paid the $35 fee for staying the night, no problem. That is it, I am fed up with that dump and the complete MORONS that 'work' there. I asked for the # for a taxi; after 20 mins of looking at a crappy book of scratch, we call a PANAMA taxi driver. Uggh. Oh, of course the waves sucked and 'we just missed the swell.'

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