Famous for its surf breaks, Costa Rica is a world class surfing destination for both beginner and advanced surfers. With great surfing on both coasts – including point and beach breaks, lefts and rights, reefs and river mouths – surfers from around the world come to surf Costa Rica and enjoy the warm water and year-round waves. Often what the waves lack in size, they make up for in length. One of the longest left breaks in the world can be found here! Many of the remote beaches and breaks along both coasts are accessible, but the following world class surf destinations are the most popular.
Tamarindo Beach | Guanacaste
Tamarindo hosts several national competitions every year, and the booming development has led to a great restaurants and shops and a fun night life for surf-fans. Tamarindo is quickly becoming a tourism hot spot, partially thanks to the surfing and the availability of eco-tours in an area that avoided attention for many years.
Salsa Brava & Playa Cocles | Puerto Viejo, Caribbean Coast
On the Southern Caribbean Coast, the main attraction of the popular beach town of Puerto Viejo is Salsa Brava, the largest wave in Costa Rica. This famous dangerous surf break is for the most experienced of surfers. Close by, Playa Cocles offers a beach break only slightly less intense.
Jaco Beach | Central Pacific Coast
Jaco is a small yet bustling beach town, geared towards the travelers who come for the waves and stay for the party. The beach is great for new surfers, and there are a variety of rentals and lessons available throughout town.
Hermosa Beach | Central Pacific Coast
To the south of Jaco, Hermosa Beach attracts experienced surfers. It is known for having the most consistent waves in Costa Rica. The beach is truly beautiful, but due to a strong surf, it is often left quiet and empty.
Dominical Beach | South Pacific Coast
Further south on the South Pacific Coast is another surfing hot spot, Playa Dominical. Dominical is pristine and off the beaten path so there aren’t as many tourists as some of the more popular beaches in the north.
Cabo Matapalo & Playa Pavones | Osa Peninsula
Even the Osa Peninsula has some nice surf breaks. Cabo Matapalo, on Osa’s southern tip near Puerto Jimenez, has a few dependable right surf breaks. The waves aren’t too high here so this is a great destination for beginning surfers. Playa Pavones on the other side of the Gulfo Dulce has one of the word’s longest left hand surf breaks, but you won’t find much more than surfing happening there.
Take Costa Rica Surf Lessons.
New to surfing? Lessons are always a great way to start out, and whether you’re 7 or 70, being able to ride the perfect right point break is something to write home about! With water temperatures around 80 F, or mid-20 C, you’ll enjoy a day spent in the ocean as much as at the beach.