Kitesurfing is a sport for passionate people. Those who do it generally love the great outdoors, the wind and the waves. And they usually prefer to kite on huge bodies of water where you can ride without being on top of each other. I met Cyrill, one of these folks, and asked him to tell me about the best unspoiled Latin America kitesurfing spots for wild and empty waters.
Text & photos ©Delphine and Cyrill
An adventurer, Cyrill has already traveled around the world’s kiting highlights and knows them well. He’s a lover of wild spaces and undiscovered lands. He’s also willing – and able in his 4X4 – to drive vast distances just to find ‘the spot’.
Here’s a sample of Cyril’s best unspoiled Latin America kitesurfing spots that he has enjoyed during his travels for their uncrowded waters. All of them are definitely worth seeing, he has even told us the best times to visit. Remember this is an opinion article, we are sure there are many other great unspoiled kite spots – if you know any please leave a comment.
South of Fortaleza in the northeast of this vast country, where beaches are endless, there is a small fishing village on the Ceara coastline. Here, you’ll find a huge lagoon at the mouth of the Rio Pirangi, which provides it with warm water and a constant wind from July to January.
Locals take advantage of this space until the beginning of March and and re-start their seasons in June but don’t tell too many people … it’s a secret. Depending on the tides, you can enjoy the lagoon but also the waves that border it. A side wind and a closed lagoon also bring the board on its edge. For the kites, we recommend using from eight to twelve metres squared, according to the time of day.
The wind is most powerful in the afternoon, making the spot perfect for beginners (few people in the water and space everywhere). It is also ideal for experienced and expert riders: freestyle, strapless, speed etc. Far from the hustle and bustle of the most popular spots in the north of Fortaleza, Parajuru exudes an air of calm Brazil – where life is good. Still relatively unknown, if you can find a room here, book it. There’s been a kitesurfing school here for couple of years too.
We recommend that you stay at the awesome Castelo Vendom. Delphine, your host, will take you by buggy (on request) through sand dunes and cactus, 20 minutes from Parajuru to an even more secret spot. Find out more at: http://www.castelovendom.com
Best time to visit: January to March
A few kilometres from Cartagena, on the Caribbean coast, the small town of Santa Veronica perches on a cliff, buffeted by waves and a strong wind. A large bay extends out from here and the locals are, not surprisingly, always smiling.
Far from the common misconceptions we have about Colombia, here they welcome you with open arms. The kitesurfing is a great too, with a side wind and big waves between one and a half to two and a half metres. You’ll even spot pelicans playing in the wind.
It’s a perfect spot for strapless and freestyle, so more suited for advanced riders. Kites should be from six to ten metres squared. It’s has been ranked one of the best spots in the world for its waves and is the site of a Colombian air festival.
There are a few accommodation options here. We recommend the Casa Agua Vela Hostel which provide an authentic experience and is run by a windsurfer so it is very kitesurf and windsurf friendly – they can even transfer you to and from the airport. This spot is wild but contact Philippe, who runs the Colombia kite club, and he can drop you off in his 4×4. All you have to do is ask.
Best time to visit: March to May
A one hour flight from Caracas, Los Roques is a small, forgotten archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Of the 350 islands and islets, only one is inhabited, Gran Roques. It has a nice village, relaxed atmosphere, almost like it’s at the end of the world.
You find a choice here: http://www.losroquespousada.com/alojamientos.html
Best time to visit: July to September
670 km north of Lima and 500 km south of Mancora, you’ll find the town of Pacasmayo. Much of the Peruvian coast is an inhospitable desert and the spot at Pacasmayo (El Faro), 2km south of the city, is no exception to this rule. The beach is like a hot and inhospitable desert.
The ocean is cold too, although not as chilly as in Lima, but an integral wetsuit is required. The key to this spot is its infinitely long waves, lefts of two to three metres. They are rather slow and forgiving of mistakes. The wind is light enough, 12-20kt in high season.
It’s also true that human bones are commonly found on the beach, which is a bit creepy. This is a spot for an unforgettable time on the waves, easily one of the five best unspoilt Latin America kitesurfing spots. For accommodation the only pace to stay where they welcome kiters is: http://www.elfaropacasmayo.com
Best time to visit: January to March
Near the Costa Rica border, you’ll find a small fishing village of Cardenas on the shores of Lake Nicaragua with stunning views of the two volcanoes on the island of Ometepe. The lake is huge – 180km by 70km – and you can enjoy memorable kite sessions with the Concepcion volcano spewing large clouds of ash in the background.
The wind is strong and the water is warm. The children of the villages have apparently not often seen kitesurfers, which adds to the appeal. Another ‘world’s end’ kind of spot.
A kite school was recently opened on the island of Ometepe, by two French women, this is a spot to visit before the rest of the kitesurfing world finds out. Find out more at http://kiteboardingnicaragua.com/
That’s it for Cyrill’s best unspoiled Latin America kitesurfing spots for quiet waters, we are sure you have your favourites please let us know in the comments.