Top Costa Rica Stand Up Paddle Boarding Destinations

SUP, or Stand Up Paddle Boarding, is a relatively new sport to most of the world, only really taking hold in the early 2000’s. It is something of an offshoot of surfing. Paddle boarding uses a stand up paddle to propel a person across the surface of water, while standing on either a special paddle board or on a surfboard.

Paddle Boarding Costa Rica

This new sport is gaining in popularity, particularly among those who are already traditional-style surfers. Stand-up paddle boarding allows surfers to try a new sport. They can venture out farther, catch more waves per set, and it also offers a better view to see incoming waves, allowing surfers to pick and choose the best.

Best Costa Rica Paddle Boarding Destinations

Costa Rica Stand Up Paddle Boarding Destinations

A fun take on paddle boarding at El Mangroove Hotel in Papagayo

Looking for places to paddle board? The Pacific Coast is a sure bet. Locations with calm waters and inlets are ideal for beginners. It’s especially fun when the waters are clear, generally in the dry season, so you can see marine life from above. Peninsula Papagayo in Guanacaste and the Gulfo Dulce off the Osa Peninsula both are highly recommended. Both destinations are protected from the wild waters of the Pacific and it’s likely you will have the opportunity to see some underwater gems.

Costa Rica Paddle Boarding

Stand Up Paddle Boarding on the Gulfo Dulce

For the experienced paddle boarder, if you can surf, you can paddle. In Tamarindo and further south on the Nicoya Peninsula, there are beautiful beaches popular among surfers for their stronger waves.

Travelers can also experience a calmer version of stand up paddle boarding on Lake Arenal beneath the Arenal Volcano. Lake paddle boarding is a smoother alternative to ocean paddle boarding for in-land adventurists.

Paddle Boarding Costa Rica

Lake Arenal Paddle Boarding

Paddle boarding in Costa Rica is a great way to get out on the water, particularly for those who are either already surfers or prefer not to get soaked! There are even some yoga practitioners who swear by practicing out on a paddle board – paddling into the ocean, then carefully balancing in their poses as they float! More on Costa Rica yoga here.

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