New Retreat Location: Why Peru?

We’re Going to Chicama, Peru!

Natalie Small

The idea of hosting SWA retreats in Peru was born in conversation with one of our newest additions to the Surf With Amigas surf instructor team, Natalie. Natalie has been living and surfing in Peru for the past few years where she’s hosted plenty of surf retreats with her non-profit organization, Groundswell Community Project.

The longest left in the world

After chatting about Peru, the waves, the history and the people, Natalie totally stoked us out on holding SWA retreats there and sharing waves in her backyard! The retreat spot, Chicama, is home to the longest left in the world. It was easy to convince the team that it would be EPIC to surf with Amigas on another world class left point break. You know how we love those!

Birthplace of Surfing

Continue reading “New Retreat Location: Why Peru?”

Take a Journey Through Morocco with Jackie

What would it be like to take a surf trip through Morocco? 

If you’re wondering whether morocco is the right surf destination for you, read jackie’s story to take a journey down the coast of north africa with our team of surf instructors and find out!

Our trip to Morocco was epic.

There’s no other word that can properly describe it. I knew traveling with SWA instructors, Alex, Coco, and Michelle, would be perfect. Two regular footers, and two goofy footers; the perfect balance of wild and chill. We decided to arrive in Morocco about ten days early for a little pre-retreat adventure, and to get our bearings on a new continent. Coco and I flew from California to Madrid, and met up with Michelle in an airbnb downtown.

Traveling from the USA over to Europe and staying for a few days is the perfect way to explore more and deal with jet lag before heading to morocco. I recommend it!

Normally around 9 pm, I start to wind down for bedtime, but that’s not how the Spanish operate. So, thanks to the time difference, most nights we ate dinner at 10pm, followed by hours of laughing and roaming through the cobblestone streets. After Madrid, we made our way to the south of Spain for a couple more memorable nights with SWA surf instructor, Alex, in her home turf.


The trip to Spain was short but jam-packed (I think we barely slept). In a flash, the four of us were on our way to Tarifa, where we’d take a ferry to Tangiers, Morocco. 

Arriving to Morocco by ferry was like a scene from a movie. The Moorish architecture and sounds of prayer heightened our senses as we bobbed our way across the straight of Gibraltar. When we arrived, chaos ensued (as it normally does when you arrive to a place where everyone wants to help you). A few hours later we were on our way south, in a rental car we had delivered to us. I’ll never forget that first meal at the gas station passing through Tangier. All the food was fabulous during the trip, but we all agreed that gas station meal was the best meal of the month!

The road trip down the coast was cruisy.

We had no plans, just knew we wanted to get to a point break because there was swell on the way. The point breaks are in the south of the country, so we had a good eight hours of driving that day. We had heard of a wave in a town north of Essaouira, so at some point we decided to exit the highway and call it a night. In retrospect, it’s a bit uncharacteristic of us to not have had a place to stay- normally we’d book a hotel or airbnb and save the trouble of asking around. The phones weren’t working and it was about 10 pm. We had just gotten our first (of many) speeding tickets of the trip and were starting to wonder if we’d even find a good place to stay. We pulled into a gas station and found some girls to ask. They immediately saw our stack of surfboards on the car, and directed us to Mehdi’s place, a guesthouse for surfers. 

We found ourselves completely enthralled by the rich culture all around us- colorful pottery, flavorful food, hot tea all day, and winding marketplaces.

The pre-retreat adventure that was meant to be a few different stops along the coast ended up being dominated by our stay in Safi. We had everything we wanted at this gorgeous Moroccan guesthouse. The owner, Mehdi, who put us in “Kelly Slater’s room,” took us surfing everyday, and sent cookies and tea to our room every evening. While waiting for the point break to turn on, we found ourselves completely enthralled by the rich culture all around us- colorful pottery, flavorful food, hot tea all day, and winding marketplaces.

We got scrubbed down at a local spa with Mehdi’s wife, and bathed our wetsuits in the rosewater fountain after surfing. My favorite aspect of the stay in Safi was the lack of tourists. We were totally out of our comfort zones in a new city on the coast of north Africa, and totally loving it. We stayed till the last possible moment that we could and wound up scoring waves on the very last morning.

side-of-the-road Camel rides? we’re in!

After saying our good byes to our new Safi family, we made our way down the coast to Imsouane, the retreat location! We had a villa to get to and a couple of retreats to run. During this leg of the journey we saw a guy with some camels on the side of the road, so we stopped for a quick lap on the camels to break up the drive. We got lost for a few more hours in a countryside full of argon fields and goats in the trees before we finally arrived to the retreat villa in Imsouane- the Dar Zitoun.


We crashed hard that first night in Imsouane, and I woke up at sunrise to check the surf. I knew immediately we were going to have perfect retreats. The point break is the perfect set up- it’s a super long, perfect right. Maybe the longest wave in SWA retreat location history. The wave is a bit slower, which makes it just dreamy for long boarding. That first session by myself was pure magic, and every session after that did not disappoint. 

-Jackie George


The retreat villa is totally fabulous, the food is delicious, the cultural experience is so rich, and the wave is right out front. What more could you want from a SWA retreat location? Us instructors love going to new locations for retreats and Morocco was exactly the adventure we were craving. We knew a few days into the first retreat, we’d have to come back for more.

Join us for a retreat in Morocco to experience the magic with SWA!

Get Fit For SURF: 10-Minute Ab Workout with Reesie

It’s always nice to mix things up a bit. We know you’ve all been loving Reesie’s online Yin Yoga classes, but this week she’s given us something different! This easy-to-follow, 10-minute ab video targets the core and warms up the abs just right. As a long-time yogi and surfer, Reesie knows just what movements every surfer needs to maintain the perfect balance of strong and flexible. All of us have been so grateful for these online classes that have kept us centered, strong, and in tune with our bodies during the pandemic!

Our advice? Pair this quick ab workout with Reesie’s Yang Yoga class or tag it onto to other short workouts that you love!

As always, donations for Reesie’s online classes are gratefully accepted at Venmo- @Cherise-Richards or PayPal at [email protected]

Practice Yin Yoga with Reesie: Full Class!

The spine is the highway connecting the brain to the body and is home to our spiritual centers, the chakras. It has 76 joints and 24 bones. It’s a big deal. Stretching to maintain a well-oiled spine is vital because it helps to keep the body mobile and fluid (and ready to surf).

The spine is a big deal

So, we’re stoked that we have another opportunity to practice Yin Yoga and get our spines movin’ with SWA’s resident yogi-surfer, Reesie! In this class, “…we’ll bend forward then backward then forward then backward and top if off with a twist”.

Grab one block and a few pillows (or a bolster if you have one), then click the video below to dive in!

Donations for Reesie’s online Yin Yoga classes are being accepted at Venmo – @cherise-richards or paypal – [email protected]

SWA Community Raises More Than $2000 for Local Partners

Surf With Amigas Costa Rica

To say we’re thrilled would be an understatement

The Surf With Amigas community just raised over $2,000 in less than 48 hours to support all of our local partners in Southern Costa Rica while they are out of work due to the COVID-19 situation.

Pedro - SWA Taxi Driver
Pedro // SWA Taxi Driver

We’ll admit that we were hesitant to put out a fundraiser in the first place, knowing that so many of us are struggling financially, but we also realized it wouldn’t hurt to try and see what happens. We’re extremely excited about the success of the fundraiser and how the SWA community has come together to support these deserving folks that we all know and love. However, we’re not surprised that you all rallied to show your support- the SWA community is full of big hearts and the best surf ladies out there.

Hotel Staff (and their surf instructors)

We want to give a BIG thank you to everyone who has been able to donate, and another thank you to everyone who is holding this special group of people in your hearts! If you’re interested in reading the story that inspired this fundraiser or interested in donating, please click here.


As always,

Pura Vida!



Practice Yin Yoga with Reesie

Surf With Amigas Yoga

Yin Yoga for the Hips

Unwind with another virtual Yin Yoga class brought to you by SWA instructor Reesie and her adorable lil’ pup Ruban. Although we can’t practice Yin Yoga in the jungle with all of you as usual right now, we’re stoked to have access to the next best thing… which is Reesie’s donation-based Yin class right at home! Good music playlist and all. This hour-long Yin style class is centered around the hips.

Reesie is accepting donations for her classes through Venmo (@cherise-Richards) or PayPal ([email protected]) but in her own words, “…if you can’t, dude I get it. Either way, hope this feels good!”.

If you missed Reesie’s most recent shoulder class, you can find it here. Enjoy!



Staff Summer Vacation- Nikki Belcher

screen-shot-2016-10-06-at-11-23-09-amAs our off-season comes to a close, I have been reveling in the restoration that this summer brought. Over the last five years of living in Nicaragua, my lifestyle has been very fluid, on-the-go and in many ways, seeking the next adventure. This year, however, has truly been about holding home and nourishing through quality time with family, cultivating a morning meditation practice and studying various natural health modalities.

After wrapping up our summer retreats, I spent two weeks in my hometown of Chicago. With a little one now in tow, time with friends and family is cherished in a whole new way.  To see the joy that comes through my Grandparents in having a great-grandchild is heartwarming. The awe in my parents and sibling’s eyes in being able to share new experiences and create memories with Naia is a blessing that I appreciate far more knowing that our time during our stay is limited. A few of my friends are also new mamas and soon-to-be mamas so to gather together with the next generation of friends and share moments reminiscing about the good-ol-days while simultaneously feeling the richness of where we are now continues to shape and enhance my perspective of our current realities.  



Jamie’s parents also came to visit and being that it was his mom’s first time in Chicago, we explored the city on an architecture boat tour  – which really opened my eyes to the beauty and history of my old stomping grounds.

During our trip, Jamie and I even had the pleasure of enjoying our very first over-night date night (partyyyyy!!). While we didn’t get as wild as we imagined, we saw Wilco at an outdoor venue in downtown Chicago, stayed at a fancy hotel and indulged in what every good Chicagoan loves, hearty food! Now, if you have been to El Coco Loco before, you may already know that I am very passionate about food and that I generally consider myself a ‘pescatarian’. However, when we were recommended the restaurant, The Purple Pig, I simply could not resist! The restaurant offers cheese, swine and wine, showcasing the flavors of Italy, Greece and Spain.  Before I get carried away in the deliciousness of the night, I will stop there. But seriously, it was divine and if you are ever in Chicago, I highly recommend this dining hotspot!



Once we returned to Nicaragua, El Coco Loco finished up their last group of the season and we closed for 4 weeks. During that time, we revamped all of the cabanas, built a new kitchen, spiced up our restaurant/bar area, planted new trees and flowers around the property and the biggest news of all – bought a new house that will soon provide our guests with beach front, luxury accommodation options.

Over the course of the last month and a half, I have been soaking up the quiet time. While I feel very lucky to have an amazing staff who most often cook our fresh and healthy meals, it has been a treat to channel my inner homemaker – playing with new recipes in my own kitchen and brewing up batches of kombucha and fresh nut milks – all while battling one ant colony (ah, the joys of outdoor living) at a time!



I have also been diving deep into my personal practices and studies of yoga, meditation, integrative nutrition and holistic health through essential oils. I am currently feeling very inspired, refreshed and looking forward to sharing all the goodness with all of the awesome Amigas very soon!

Restorative Yoga for Menstruation

Nikki Belcher is the main yoga teacher for the Surf With Amigas retreats in Nicaragua. If you’ve been on a retreat with Nikki, chances are you’ve fallen in love with her unique yoga style. Below is a quick class that all women can appreciate.


This 30 minute practice is for women during any time of their cycle. A gentle and restorative sequence, this class will induce relaxation, ease discomfort and leave you feeling blissful and connected to your innate wisdom.

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 9.26.28 AM


For more from Nikki, check out her 


Announcing New Northern Nicaragua Location!

We are very excited to announce that we added a new location in 2016- Northern Nica 2!Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.05.42 AMJust down the street from our home base, we’ve decided to take over a neighboring hotel for a week.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.05.58 AMThere are super cute beginner waves right out front….Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.33.17 PM

And other options accessible by walking, car, and boat for all levels!

boom peaks holly aposentillo holly point turn

a brand new elevated yoga studio with this view…Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.38.10 PM

new and exciting activities…Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.40.56 PM

and a killer place to hang out and relax.Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.05.51 AMScreen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.05.35 AMAll rooms have air conditioning…Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.06.12 AM Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.06.05 AM…and the food is super yum!   Screen Shot 2016-02-02 at 9.03.23 AM  Come play and learn to surf or improve your existing skills with our awesome instructors. We provide in water and video coaching and pride ourselves on empowering women to push themselves out of their comfort zones. 12265975_1110641248969201_5396947366677264462_o

Normal Price of $1800 but we have some Special Late Booking Summer Deals Available (email [email protected] to inquire)
This retreat is open to women, couples, guys, and families.
The package includes:

  • two-way shared airport transfer (if you get a flight that arrives on the first date of the retreat between 11am and 2:20pm and departs on the last day after noon.)
  • 7 nights accommodation in a shared a/c room
  • 4 deliciously healthy meals per day
  • daily surf lessons with SWA team plus video analysis of every session
  • all afternoon activities such as yoga, horseback riding, volcano boarding, estuary cruising, and other surprises
  • professional video footage of you riding the best wave of your life

Typical daily schedule looks like this

  • 6:30am wake up for buffet breakfast of coffee, juice, cereal, toast, yogurt, fruit
  • 7:30-11am surfing, surfing, surfing!
  • 11:30am delicious lunch
  • 2pm yoga
  • 4pm second surf session or other adventure
  • 7pm dinner with new friends

The dates for this Retreat are July 9-16, 2016. Email surfwithamigas@gmail today to reserve your spot!