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Costa Rica Surfing

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Ten Awesome Surf Spots in Costa Rica

Up for a little surfing adventure? Costa Rica is a surf enthusiast’s dream, with great spots for every preference and ability. In fact, surfers come from all over the world to enjoy Costa Rica’s world class surfing. Here are our top ten picks for the all-time best surfing spots in the country.

Playa Hermosa

Just a few minutes from the town of Jaco, and a stone’s throw from the popular Los Sueños Resort, Playa Hermosa offers consistent waves year round, and there are great surf shops, as well as bars and restaurants right on the beach. This is a good spot for intermediate to proficient surfers.

Playa Avellanas

Image by Eden Graziani

Image by Eden Graziani

Located on Guanacaste’s golden coast, this beach is  tranquil and beautiful,  offering great swells year round that come in from both the northern and southern hemispheres. This beach is popular for it’s left and right breaks — in fact, it is known for having some of the best breaks on Costa Rica’s Pacific side.

Playa Escondida

This beach is so well-hidden, you need to take a water taxi just to enter. Once in, you’ll be treated to a world-class surfing wave, with right and left peaks for a powerful ride. Sharp, jagged rocks at low tide make this spot a thrill for experts, but a danger for novices and intermediate surfers. This exclusive beach is located just outside of Los Sueños Resort, Playa Herradura.

Jaco

This lively, yet low-key beach is perfect for newbies. While it is near Playa Hermosa, the waves are not as choppy, and there are schools and world-class instructors available for lessons. You can also indulge in some great food and fun night life in town after a day of surfing. Jaco is a great spot for beginners and is located just ten minutes outside of Los Sueños.

Witch’s Rock

Located in Guanacaste, on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, this secluded spot is dramatically beautiful and offers great waves all year for intermediates and experts. Getting to Witch’s Rock is half the thrill – you’ll need to rent a boat or rent a 4-wheel drive vehicle, and there are no accommodations once you’re there so plan on brining camping gear.

Puerto Viejo

This is the source of Costa Rica’s heaviest wave: Salsa Brava. This wave is a real challenge, and is for experts only. Because it is on the Caribbean coast, it is more isolated, less developed and more laid-back than other surfing spots in Costa Rica, so it’s a completely different experience

Playa Bonita

Located just outside Limon, the yellow sands and picturesque scenery of Playa Bonita make it a draw for visitors. Strong riptides discourage swimmers, but shallow depths offer a powerful break that’s irresistible to expert surfers. Novices and intermediates, however,  should probably try another shore.

Mal Pais/ Santa Teresa

This stretch of shore on the Nicoya Peninsula’s southern tip is not a single surf spot, but a collection of spots that attract surfers of all kinds and abilities. Beginners will want to try out Playa Carmen, while expert surfers will love the challenge of Punta Barrigona and Mar Azul.

Playa Negra

Crystal waters and a tranquil setting make this a great place to relax, while its right point break and well-defined paddling channel make it a great place to surf.

Pavones

Located near the Osa Peninsula, Pavones is known for having some of the longest lefts in the world, and some of the best waves in Costa Rica – if you are willing to wait. The surfing here is capricious, but when it’s good, it is off the charts good.

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