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Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

Are you searching for the perfect wave? Costa Rica, renowned for its consistent breaks and year-round waves, is a top destination for both beginners and seasoned surfers. With perfect waves on both coasts, including point breaks and beach breaks, reefs, and river mouths, warm waters at 30 degrees, and a wide variety of spots, it's a surfing paradise. Here, you'll even find one of the longest breaks in the world. Discover secluded beaches and popular surf spots waiting to be explored. Let's go surfing in Costa Rica!

Surf Spots in Guanacaste and the Nicoya Peninsula

1. Tamarindo

Tamarindo is one of the most famous surf spots in Costa Rica. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced surfer, you'll find what you're looking for at this beach or the nearby ones. Surf schools are everywhere, offering both group and private lessons. Tamarindo is perfect for introducing your kids to this thrilling water sport with one of their many surf lessons.

2. Playa Grande

For the more experienced surfers, Playa Grande offers bigger waves. You just need to take a small boat to cross the Tamarindo estuary. The trip takes less than 5 minutes and is worth it. Alternatively, you can reach it by car from San José in 45 minutes from the Liberia airport and only 15 minutes from Tamarindo. Playa Grande is part of the Las Baulas National Park, known for protecting leatherback turtles.

3. Playa Avellanas

Playa Avellanas is a hidden gem and one of Costa Rica's lesser-visited beaches. This preserved and paradisiacal spot is perfect for surfing big waves. There are no hotels or constructions, just mangroves and trees, with the famous Lola's Beach Bar as the only restaurant.

4. Nosara 

Nosara is a town with a hipster surf vibe, relaxed and authentic. For surfing, head to Playa Guiones, known for its shoulder-high or overhead waves almost every day. You'll find everything you need to rent equipment or take surf lessons.

5. Mal País and Santa Teresa

Though getting there takes time due to the roads and ferry crossing, Mal País and Santa Teresa are some of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. With beaches like Malpaís, Playa del Carmen, Santa Teresa, and Playa Hermosa, this place offers big and fast waves perfect for experienced surfers.

Man on the beach with surf table

Surf Spots in Central and Southern Pacific

6. Jaco

Popular and touristy, Jaco is ideal for surfing medium to high waves near San José. High tide is better for experienced surfers, while low tide is more beginner-friendly. Avoid weekends due to the crowds.

7. Playa Hermosa de Jaco

Besides being one of the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica for family fun, Playa Hermosa has some of the biggest waves in the country. If you prefer fewer people in the water, visit during the week. Being very close to the capital, the beach gets crowded on weekends.

8. Dominical

Dominical, a small surfer town less popular than Jaco, is perfect for experienced surfers with ideal waves and a preserved environment.

9. Matapalo and Playa Pavones

Matapalo, in the far south of Osa, is perfect for beginners, while Playa Pavones, across the Golfo Dulce, is known for being one of the longest lefts in the world, letting you stay on your board for over a minute. You need to stay several days to wait for the optimal surfing conditions.

Couple surfing

Surf Spots on the Caribbean Coast

10. Playa Negra

Playa Negra is ideal for beginners and intermediates, with not-too-high waves and an authentic local vibe. The Caribbean coast is less popular with tourists, offering peace and tranquility.

In summary, Costa Rica offers year-round waves, with beaches for beginners like Tamarindo, Santa Teresa, and Nosara, and spots for experts like Pavones, Dominical, and Playa Hermosa de Jaco. Have fun and become the master of the waves.

Ready for surfing in Costa Rica? Our tours are designed to give you the best experience on Costa Rica's beaches with personalized surf lessons. Book now with DCR and make your surf vacation in Costa Rica a reality.

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