Costa Rica’s Best Spots for Surfing
You might think that Costa Rica’s beaches are beautiful to hang out and swim . But when it comes to Surfing, there are spots that will literally take your breath away!
The swell is good all year round. And with an average water temperature of 30° C you will want to spend plenty of time in the water.
Beaches like Roca Bruja, Playa Hermosa and Pavones belong to the international top class of surfing. A 4x4 car is often needed to access the beaches – on request we organise a car with roof racks to transport your boards. Note that some airline companies do not transport surfboards. However, it is no problem to buy or rent boards in bigger destinations (as Jaco or Tamarindo).
The swell is constantly good on the Pacific, and best on the Caribbean from October until December. Remember to check tide schedules.
- Check out this site for local weather reports: National Institute for Meteorology of Costa Rica (IMN)
- Us Navy wave reports (a great page to find out about coming swells): Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center
Caribbean Coast Surfing
- Puerto Viejo: Playa Negra is an ok surfing spot (beach break, rights/lefts), Salsa Brava is dangerous for its reef, and mostly surfed by locals. It’s considered having among the best waves of the Caribbean but clearly nothing for beginners (coral reef, rights/lefts).
- Playa Cocles: is a good spot with constant waves. From Nov-Dec there are nice tubes too (beach and reef break, rights/lefts).
- Playa Manzanillo: (in the national reserve of the same name), (beach break rights/lefts).
Southern Pacific Coast and the Osa Peninsula
- Playa Pavones on the Burica Peninsula is one of Costa Rica’s best surf spots (left point) as it features the world’s second longest continuous left (over 1 km).
The best surf spots on the Osa Peninsula are:
- Cabo Matapalo (a world class right reef break with good, continuous waves)
- Bahia Drake (coral reef rights/lefts) and Carate (beach break rights/lefts) – which lies in the Corcovado National Park and is therefore a little complicated to get to.
- Playa Dominical is also a famous spot, known for the variety of its waves on high and low tide (rights/lefts) and beginners can also dare a come here.
- Manuel Antonio (good right and left peaks), Punta Quepos (left point) and Parrita (beach break, rights/lefts).
- Playa Hermosa has nice, continuous waves on a 7 km beach, and hosts a famous annual surfing contest in August. Not suited for beginners (right point break).
- Jaco is average, with river mouth surfing (beach break, rights/lefts).
The Nicoya Peninsula and Guanacaste
- Malpaís has some good, constant waves.
- Playa Santa Teresa (beach break, rights/lefts) with its powerful waves is only accessible by 4X4.
- Playa Negra features one of Costa Rica’s best rights and can be surfed with any tide (rights/lefts) and Playa Avellana (rights), are both appreciated by surf aficionados.
- Playa Tamarindo (beach break, rights/lefts) is probably the best spot for beginners and surf lessons are easily available (surf camps).
- Playa Grande (beach break, rights/lefts) is one of the country’s most famous spots with offshore winds and nice tubes.