Best Places To Surf In Costa Rica 2022: Top Full Guide 2022

Best Places To Surf In Costa Rica: Top Full Guide 2022

Costa Rica is a Central American country with a coastline in the Pacific and Caribbean. It’s known for its beaches, volcanoes, rainforests and wildlife. It is also home to some of the best surf schools in the world.

In this blog post, Tavik will walk you through some of the best places to surf in Costa Rica. Let’s dive in.

Costa Rica Surf At A Glance

Surfing Costa Rica

  1. Pros
  • Uber-consistent SW swells in the Pacific
  • It is one of the best intermediate playgrounds in the world
  • Costa Rica is so relaxed
  1. Cons
  • It is getting more expensive every year
  • The number of lines is increasing

When Is The Best Time to Surf in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has surf all year, even during the green season (May to December). The green season has more consistent, larger waves.

Which Side of Costa Rica is Best For Surfing?

The Pacific side is our preference. Surfing on the Caribbean Coast will be done in the Southern Caribbean at Salsa Brava and Playa Cocles. There can be a lot of people when the surf is good. There are also fewer breaks, and they are less consistent all year than on the Pacific Coast.

Best Places To Surf In Costa Rica

1. Best Spots for Beginners:

Playa Grande

Playa Grande

This surf break is located north of Tamarindo and offers a great spot for both beginners and experienced surfers.

It can become crowded, and it is greatly affected by abrupt tide changes.

Be on the lookout for occasional attacks by crocodiles.

  • Location: Tamarindo, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 10.323635, -85.841880
  • Level: Intermediate, Beginner
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor Sand
  • Swell Direction: SW/NW
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: Mid-to-High
  • Months: March-November

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo

This is a popular and laid-back spot for surfing, located in a large bay with a river mouth.

Tamarindo offers consistent waves throughout the year and a long stretch of white sand.

  • It is a popular wave in Costa Rica.
  • Location: Tamarindo, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 10.304308, -85.839798
  • Niveau: Intermediate, Beginner
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand
  • Swell Direction: SW/NW
  • Wind direction: E
  • Tide: Mid-to-High
  • Months: March-November

2. Best Spots for Expert Surfers

Playa Naranjo, Witch’s Rock

Playa Naranjo, Witch's Rock

Witch’s Rock, which is located in a protected natural area, is one of the most popular surf spots in Costa Rica. However, it is rarely crowded.

It breaks right in front of Roca Bruja which is a huge volcano rock cursed with a witch and offers intense surfing experiences.

This wave of world-class quality is not for the weak of heart.

  • Location: Santa Rosa National Park, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 10.793383, -85.676521
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor Sand
  • Swell Direction:
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: Mid-to-High
  • Months: April/October

Playa Negra

Playa Negra Costa Rica Surf

This is a typical right-hand reef break, with a channel that was featured in “The Endless Summer II“.

Surfers looking for pure adrenaline in warm water will find this wave to be consistent and fast.

  • Location: Los Pargos, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 10.194993, -85.830497
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef and Sand
  • Swell Direction: W
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: Mid
  • Months: April/October

Playa Guiones

Playa Guiones

Guiones, a Guanacaste Province landmark for its spectacular sunsets and numerous peaks is also one of the most active waves.

It is a seven-kilometer stretch of sandy beach that will entertain all levels of surfer.

  • Location: Nosara, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 9.931553, -85.663655
  • Intermediate Level
  • Type of Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand and Reef
  • Swell Direction S/NW
  • Wind direction: E
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: March-November

Playa Santa Teresa

Playa Santa Teresa

This beach is white sand and tropical with hollow waves.

It is a beautiful place with many peaks and isn’t too crowded.

  • Location: Cobano, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.642826, -85.169465
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand
  • Swell Direction: S/NW
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: March-November

Mal Pais

Mal Pais costa rica

You will find beautiful Costa Rica surfing beaches and consistent waves on this diverse break.

Although it isn’t easy to access, there are plenty of accommodations and rentals available in the surrounding areas.

  • Location: Cobano, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.599859, -85.142424
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach/Reef Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef and Sand
  • Swell Direction: NW/W/SW
  • Wind direction: E
  • Tide: Low
  • Months: April-October

Boca Barranca

Boca Barranca

Costa Rica’s second-longest left-hand wave offers endless surfing opportunities.

This dreamy spot break is irresistible even in the face of water pollution.

Longboarders and bodyboarders are also worshipped.

  • Location: Boca Barranca, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.962606, -84.738187
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Type of Break: River Mouth Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef and Sand
  • Swell Direction S/SW
  • Wind direction: E
  • Tide: Low-to-Mid
  • Months: May-September

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa, located ten kilometers from Jaco is a reliable surf spot for advanced and intermediate surfers.

Waves can reach 13 feet here, and there are plenty of barrels.

  • Location: Jaco, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.560973, -84.585686
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand
  • Swell Direction: SW/W
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: High
  • Months: April-November

Playa Dominical

Playa Dominical

This is a popular hollow wave, which breaks close to a river mouth and surf village.

Although you can be barreled, closeouts can cause injury and damage to surfboards.

  • Location: Dominical, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.254199, -83.868816
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand
  • Swell Direction: S/W
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: March-November

Pavones

Pavones

This is the second-longest left-hand wave anywhere in the world.

This will allow you to keep your board in place for longer than one minute.

This three-section wave can be crowded especially when it reaches six- to eight-foot.

Get ready for some long paddle sessions.

  • Location: Pavones, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 8.391952, -83.139101
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Point Break
  • Ocean Floor: Boulders and Sand
  • Swell Direction: S/SW
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: March-November

Salsa Brava

Salsa Brava

This is the most popular surf spot in Costa Rica, but it can also be dangerous for novice wave riders.

Helmets are a smart choice as the right-hand barreling wave is fast and hollow.

  • Location: Puerto Viejo, Limon
  • Coordinates: 9.660461, -82.753824
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Reef Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef/Coral
  • Swell Direction: NE/SE
  • Wind Direction: S
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: December-February

3. Best place for all

Playa Avellanas

Playa Avellanas

This beautiful spot surfs XXL waves extremely well and is located 10 kilometers south of Tamarindo

It offers great conditions for all levels of surfing with its five wave peaks – Little Hawaii River Mouth Palo Seco Lola’s.

  • Location: Tamarindo, Guanacaste
  • Coordinates: 10.227528, -85.837565
  • Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Reef Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef and Sand
  • Direction Swell: W
  • Wind direction: E
  • Tide: Mid-to-High
  • Months: May-November

Playa Manzanillo

Playa Manzanillo

Playa Manzanillo, located in the Nicoya Peninsula is a private beach with waves for all levels.

  • Location: Manzanillo, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.690249, -85.203041
  • Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand and Reef
  • Swell Direction: S/NW
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: May-September

Playa Jacó

Playa Jacó

This is one of the best places to surf in Costa Rica for beginners.

You can choose from left- or right-hand waves and it is very popular.

Jaco is the best place to learn to surf in Costa Rica for advanced surfers, especially when there are large swells.

  • Location: Jaco, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.611577, -84.628661
  • Level: Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach Break
  • Ocean Floor: Sand
  • Swell Direction: S/SW
  • Wind Direction: NE
  • Tide: All Tides
  • Months: May-November

Mal Pais

Mal Pais

You will find beautiful beaches and consistent waves on this diverse break.

Although it isn’t easy to access, there are plenty of accommodations and rentals available in the surrounding areas.

  • Location: Cobano, Puntarenas
  • Coordinates: 9.599859, -85.142424
  • Level: Intermediate/Advanced
  • Type of Break: Beach/Reef Break
  • Ocean Floor: Reef and Sand
  • Swell Direction: NW/W/SW
  • Wind Direction: E
  • Tide: Low
  • Months: April-October

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo

Puerto Viejo is a well-known surf spot for many years. Its famous barreling wave, Salsa Brava (the biggest and strongest in Costa Rica), has earned it a reputation as one of the most popular spots to surf. You will need to have some experience, but there are other surf breaks nearby that offer great waves for beginners.

  • Location: Caribbean Coast, 2.5 hours south of Limon
  • Best time to visit: March to December
  • Surf level: Intermediate/ advanced
  • Wave size: up to 16 feet
  • Surf break: Reef (right, left)
  • General Weather: Hot, with occasional showers on most days
  • Crowd level Moderately busy, but quiet on weekends

Playa Samara

Playa Samara

Surfing is one of the many delights offered by Playa Samara to watersport lovers of all levels. The waves are much more gentle than those at other Costa Rica surf spots. This makes it a great spot for beginners and intermediates alike. Intermediate surfers will also enjoy the waves.

  • Location: Nicoya Peninsula
  • Best time to visit: December to April
  • Surf level: Intermediate/ advanced
  • Wave size: 5 feet
  • Surf Break: Beach and Reef (right and left).
  • General Weather: Hot with a wet season from May to November and a dry season from December to April
  • Crowd Level: Private

Conclusion

Costa Rica is world-renowned for its stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and abundance of wildlife. And its surf scene is no different! With consistent waves and warm water year-round, Costa Rica is a surfer’s paradise. Hope that our post can help you choose the best destination to enjoy surfing in Costa Rica.

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