Surf Locations In Costa Rica
People from around the world come to Costa Rica to enjoy the country and take advantage of excellent surfing conditions. Coastal Spanish helps our students learn how to surf, find the best surf spots, rent surf boards, find good guides, and more! If you want to find out how you can take a Spanish & Surf course, contact the staff at Coastal Spanish or visit this link.
With close to 800 miles of spectacular coastline (Pacific & Caribbean), Costa Rica has plenty of excellent surf breaks to choose from. Costa Rica can offer the surfer areas where you can find idyllic beach breaks to areas where the coral helps form tubes. Since Costa Rica is so small and since there are so many places to go surfing, if you find the surf to be bad on one region, another part of Costa Rica is sure to have good surf. Combine this feature with year round warm waters, laid back locals, an exotic location, and you have found one of the best places in the world to go surfing and meet other surfers.
The best spots to go surfing are on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Of those many of the best are in the Guanacaste province and a short distance from Playa Tamarindo.
Below is a map showing different surfing spots in Costa Rica. Along the coast of the map of Costa Rica you will see red numbers. These numbers indicate popular surf areas in Costa Rica. Below the Costa Rican map you will find a description of each of these incredible surf spots.
Map Of Surfing Spots In Costa Rica
North Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica (Guanacaste, Playa Tamarindo Region)
1- Potrero Grande: This spot is known for its right point break, with very fast and hollow waves. No roads go to this great surf spot. To surf here stop by Playa Ocotal or Playa del Coco and take a rented boat.
2- Playa Naranjo (Roca Bruja): Easily one of the best surf breaks found in Costa Rica. From December to March this surfing spot receives strong off shore winds. Located in the Santa Rosa National Park. No facilities available so be prepared to camp out.
3- Playa Grande Beach break: This surf spot is just 20 minutes away from Playa Tamarindo. A favorite of local surfers in the Playa Tamarindo area.
4- Playa Tamarindo: Playa Tamarindo has two convenient surf spots. The first surf spot is referred to as Pico Pequeño, which is a rocky point just offshore from the Hotel Tamarindo. The other surf spot in Tamarindo is call El Estero. El Estero is a classic river mouth break.
5- Playa Langosta: A popular surf spot that features both a right and left point break that curls off the mouth of a small river. This surfing spot is less than a mile from Playa Tamarindo.
6- Playa Avellanas: Regarded as a good beach break. Less than 10 miles to the south of Playa Tamarindo, Avellanas features hollow rights and lefts.
7- Playa Negra: This surf spot features aright point break with very fast waves. Playa Negra is popular with surfers due to the fact that this surf spot has one of the best breaks found in Costa Rica. Playa Negra is located 4 miles south of Playa Avellanas.
8- Nosara Beach: break: with lefts and rights. About 350 kms from San José. You go from San José to Nicoya and from there to Nosara. It takes approx. 5 hours to get there.
9-10-11- Playa Coyote, Playa Manzanillo, and Mal Pais Beach: These 3 beach areas are known for their consistent lefts and rights. Besides good surfing, this part of Costa Rica is absolutely spectacular.
Central Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica
12- Boca Barranca: River mouth surfing spot with a rather long left. Access to this surf spot is pretty good. In the rainy season the water gets dark which scares off a lot of surfers. However this is runoff from the rains, not contaminated water. This spot has some of the best waves in Costa Rica.
13- Puerto Caldera: This surf spot is just south of Boca Barranca and is known for its good left.
14- Playa Tivives: Known for the waves created off the beach breaks. The surf area has both quality lefts and rights.
15- Playa Escondida: A fantastic point break that peaks up and forms a great left and decent right. Accessible by both boat or by beach.
16- Playa Jacó: A pretty good surfing spot. The beach break is pretty good as long as the surf doesn’t get too big. The breaks will close out when the surf gets over 5 ft.
17- Roca Loca: This surf spot is just to the south of Playa Jaco. There is a rocky point that forms a right which breaks over submerged rocks.
18- Playa Hermosa: This surfing spot has a pretty strong beach break. The area has a big stretch of breaks.
19-20-21-22- Esterillos Este, Esterillos Oeste, Bejuco, Boca Damas:These surfing spots offer good waves and beach breaks. Conditions are similar to those at Playa Hermosa.
South Pacific Coast Of Costa Rica
23- Quepos: Offers a small left point at the mouth of a river next to the city of Quepos.
24- Manuel Antonio: This surf spot features beach breaks with lefts and rights and nice shape.
25- Playa El Rey: This surf spot has both a right and left beach break. Only 25 minutes away from Manuel Antonio in the direction of Playa Dominical.
26- Playa Dominical: Known for quality strong right and left beach breaks. One of the more beautiful areas of Costa Rica.
27- Drake’s Bay: An isolated surf area in Costa Rica that is only accessible by boat. The break gets long and powerful waves. Nearby is Boca del Rio Sierpe that offers similar conditions. Close by is the Corcovado National Park, a truly amazing place in Costa Rica.
28- Pavones: A great left point that is one of the longest found anyway in the world. Excellent shape and is rather fast.
29- Matapalo: If you are looking for the perfect waves to surf, then this is your spot. A fantastic right point located by Pavones.
The Caribbean Coast Of Costa Rica
30- The North Caribbean Coast: This surf area is only reachable via the channels through Tortuguero or by small plane. The area has nice beach break waves.
31- Isla Uvita: This surf spot is located on an island not far from Limon. It takes 20 minutes by boat to reach the island. Once there you will find a good left.
32- Portete: Just north of Playa Bonita. From the southern point you will find a right break.
33- Playa Bonita: This surf spot is know for its dangerous left. The break is powerful and is formed off a point / reef area.
34- Westfalia: This is a long stretch of beach breaks that run from Puerto Limon all the way down to Cahuita. You will experience both lefts and rights.
35- Playa Negra, Cahuita: A great beach break. Currently not very popular because few know about it. Waves are available throughout the year.
36- Puerto Viejo: A powerful wave that comes up over a shallow reef. Nicknamed “Salsa” for its power. The waves can get pretty big and tubular.
37- Manzanillo: A very fast beach break located 20 km from Puerto Viejo.
Check with the staff at Coastal Spanish Language School for information about where and when you can go surfing in Costa Rica!