Costa Rica Surf Beaches

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Some of the Best Surfing in Costa Rica

 
The Caribbean
 
 
Caca Rio- About 20 kilometers south of the city of Limón, this beach is right off the highway. Just pull over and you’re there. Caca Rio is recommended for experienced surfers only.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Jah Handers(Lowholes)- This beach is hard to find and at least a 30 minute walk, but there is practically no crowd and it’s great for experienced surfers. Just watch out for the reef at the bottom.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Los Tumbos- Only about a 10 minute walk from the city of Limón, this surfing spot is for professionals only, due to the dangerous rocks and powerful surf.
 
Surfers: professionals
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Manzanillo- Access to this beach is through the Gandoca National Park in Manzanillo. After you park, you must hike about 1.5 kilometers on the trail, then continue through the jungle until you hit the beach. Formed by a coral reef, this surf is for experienced surfers.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Cahuita(Black Beach)- Only about a 10 minute walk from the city of Cahuita, this quiet beach is easy to find and great for surfers of all experience levels.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy 
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: low
 
Playa Cocles- About 500 meters from Puerto Viejo, this beautiful beach has been awarded a blue flag for safety and cleanliness. Recommended for experienced surfers.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Grande- Located between Punta Uva and Manzanillo, this beach has areas for all surfers.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Negra- About a 10 minute walk, north of Puerto Viejo, this beach offers sloppy surf, but is good for beginners.
 
Surfers: all
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Punta Uva- With instant access, this beach is good for all surfers, as long as you are mindful of the reef.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef with sand
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Salsa Brava- This is a great spot for professional surfers, but the massive waves can prove to be very dangerous. Salsa Brava is located just east of Cahuita.
 
Surfers: professionals
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Crowd: high
 
The North Pacific
 
Playa Brasillito- Right off the town of Brasilito, this beach is very easy to find and great for surfers of all experience levels.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Camaronal- Located near Samara, Camaronal is a great spot for experienced surfers, if you can get there. The river is hard to cross at high tide or during the rainy season.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: moderate
 
Carbo Reef- This secret spot is an amazing surf for experienced surfers. It’s a 30 minute drive from the city of Liberia.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: very low
 
El Estero- Located right in Tamarindo this is a good spot for all surfers.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: high
 
El Hoyo- You can take a boat from Caldera to get to this surf-spot. Great for all surfers, but watch out for the rocks of the jetty.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: breakwater/jetty
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: low
 
Flamingo Point- 30 minutes southwest of Liberia, Flamingo Point is a good spot for all surfers.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: very low
 
Gulf of Pelcico- Near Playa Negra, this wave break is about a 15 minute paddle. Watch out for rocks.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Islita- Near the town of Santa Marta, this is a good spot for all surfers, with excellent consistency.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: low
 
Junquillal- Between Tamarindo and Nosara, there is a small town called Paraiso. Due west from that town is this great spot for experienced surfers.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Laberinto(Labyrinth)- To get to this surf-spot you have to take the boat from Playa del Coco, between Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point, and tip the driver. This spot is for professionals only.
 
Surfers: professionals
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef with sand
Crowd: very low
 
Little Hawaii- This spot can be found just south of Pena and is good, if not consistent, surfing for experienced surfers.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef with sand
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: low
 
Los Bados-
Location: On the way to Ollie’s Point.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: boulders
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: very low
 
Mal Pais-
Location: A long ways down the rough roads from Cobano.
 
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: low
 
Mar Azul-
Location: 4 kilometers south from Mal Pais at Mar Azul campground.
 
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef
Crowd: very low
 
Marbella-
Location: Near Junquilla.
Surfers: professionals
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Crowd: very low
 
Ollie`s Point-
Location: 270 kilometers from San José, you have to rent a boat from Playa del Coco or Playa Ocotal to get to this popular spot.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Ostional(Playa y Sol)-
Location: Just north of Nosara, outside the village of Ostional.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Pico Grande-
Location: Just outside of Tamarindo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Pico Pequeño-
Location: Just outside of Tamarindo.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very high
 
Playa Avellana-
Location: About 10 kilometers south of Tamarindo.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Crowd: low
 
Playa Coyote-
Location: North of Punta Coyote.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Grande(Las Tortugas)-
Location: In front of the Las Tortugas Hotel on the northern end of the Nicoya Peninsula.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: very high
 
Playa Guiones-
Location: About a mile north of Nosara.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Playa Jackals-
Location: About 3 miles north of Santa Teresa.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
 
Crowd: very low
Playa Langosta-
Location: About 2 kilometers from Tamarindo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Los Cedros(Montezuma)-
Location: Just outside of Montezuma.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: flat rocks
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Naranjo(Roca Bruja/Witch’s Rock)-
Location: Take a boat from Playa Naranjo to this infamous spot.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Negra-
Location: In front of Hotel Playa Negra, near Tamarindo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Playa Nosara-
Location: Just outside the village of Nosara.
Surfers: all
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Playa Pelada(Olgas)-
Location: On the Nicoya Peninsula, near the town of Nosara.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Playa Samara-
Location: Just south of Nicoya.
Surfers: beginners
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Tamarindo-
Location: Just outside Tamarindo.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rocks
Crowd: low
 
Raps-
Location: unknown
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
River Mouth at Avellana-
Location: Playa Avellana near Tamarindo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: high
 
Santa Teresa-
Location: Just outside Santa Teresa, 2 kilometers north of Mal Pais.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Scar-Dog Reef-
Location: About 10 minutes north of Ollie’s Point by boat, near a large rock formation.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Crowd: very low
 
Suizo-
Location: In front of the Hotel Capitan Suizo on Playa Tamarindo.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: low
 
Sunset Reef-
Location: The river mouth by the Sunset Reef Hotel, south of Mal Pais.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: moderate
 
The South Pacific
 
 
Backwash(Matapalo)-
Location: Backwash Bay, Matapalo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: sand bar
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: high
 
Bajamar-
Location: 18 kilometers from Orotina.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: low
 
Bejuco-
Location: 10-15 minutes from Esterillos.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Boca Barranca-
Location: Just north of Puerto Caldera.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Crowd: very high
 
Boca Quepos-
Location: Quepos river mouth.
Surfers: professionals
Wave Type: river mouth
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: poor
Crowd: low
 
Corralillo-
Location: Near Puerto Caldera.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Cutter’s Right-
Location: unknown
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: poor
Crowd: low
 
Doña Ana-
Location: Near Boca Barranca.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very high
 
El Ollo-
Location: Near Puerto Caldera.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: breakwater/jetty
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very high
 
Escondida-
Location: Just north of Jaco.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Eserillos Este-
Location: 5-10 kilometers south of Hermosa.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Crowd: moderate
 
Eserillos Oestse-
Location: 14 kilometers south of Hermosa.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Gully’s-
Location: Just north of The Tree.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very high
 
Herradura(La Isla)-
Location: Near Jaco and Hermosa.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef with sand
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: low
 
Jaco Beach-
Location: Just outside the city of Jaco.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Matapalo-
Location: 18 kilometers southwest of Puerto Jimenez.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef with sand
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
North Playitas-
Location: A rock point about 100 yards north of Manuel Antonio’s northern-most beach.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Pan Dulce-
Location: Near Matapalo.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Pavones-
Location: Near the town of Golfito, on the southern side of Goflo Dulce.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: moderate
 
Perro Fino-
Location: Between Jaco and Playa Hermosa.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: reef
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Agujas-
Location: Near Jaco.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: point-break
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: flat rocks with sand
Consistency: poor
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Bejuca-
Location: About 45 minutes south of Jaco.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Playa Blanca(Punta Leona)-
Location: Just Outside of Punta Leona.
Surfers: beginners
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Caldera-
Location: Just outside Puerto Caldera.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: breakwater/jetty
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
Playa Dominical-
Location: Just outside the city of Dominical.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Escondida-
Location: 30 minutes from Jaco.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-coral
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: reef
Crowd: very high
 
Playa Hermosa-
Location: Just outside the city of Hermosa.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: moderate
 
Playa Manuel Antonio-
Location: Just outside the city of Manuel Antonio.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: high
 
Playa Tivives-
Location: Near Jaco.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: moderate
 
Playitas-
Location: On Manuel Antonio’s northern-most beach.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: low
 
Punta Mala-
Location: 15 minutes from Jaco, between Esterillo and Tulin.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: sand-bar
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low
 
Rick’s Right(Rick’s Reef)-
Location: unknown
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Rio Claro-
Location: On the Osa Peninsula.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: left
Bottom: reef
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
Rio Sierpe River Mouth(Boca del Rio Sierpe)-
Location: South of Dominical, take a boat from the town of Sierpe.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: sand-bar
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: moderate
Crowd: very low
 
Roca Loca-
Location: About 1 kilometer south of Jaco.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: reef-rocky
Wave Direction: right
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: good
Crowd: very low
 
T Box(Corner’s)-
Location: Between Jaco Beach and Playa Hermosa.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy with rock
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: high
 
The Tree-
Location: Near Playa Hermosa.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: beach-break
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Crowd: high
 
Turtle Farms-
Location: Near Play Hermosa.
Surfers: experienced
Wave Type: sand-bar
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: moderate
 
Zancudo Beach-
Location: Near Pavones.
Surfers: all
Wave Type: break-beach
Wave Direction: right and left
Bottom: sandy
Consistency: excellent
Crowd: very low