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31 Jul 2023
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Adventures & Tours

If you ask any surfer from around the world, they will tell you that great waves are found in Costa Rica.

Whether they’ve traveled here to discover the iconic waves or they have heard from friends who have, the fame of Costa Rican surf is world renowned.

Although it is a relatively small country, this Central American hotspot boasts 800 miles of coastline, with over 630 of those miles found on the pacific side. All up and down the pacific coast of Costa Rica you can find consistent waves year round.

Luckily for HRG Properties and Rentals, our home in Los Sueños is right next door to the bustling surf Mecca known as Jaco Beach. This surf town is perfectly situated to receive the swells from all directions. Jaco locals can proudly say they get some of the best surf on the Central Pacific Coast.

Today, we will give you a rundown on how to plan an epic surf trip. Costa Rica is an excellent surfing destination, and in and around Playa Jaco there are many surf spots to check out for experienced and adventurous surfers.


Take a Lesson With a Local Surf Camp on Jaco Beach

Photo Credit: Matthew Warner via Flickr CC 2.0

Here at HRG, one of our most popular activities with our clients is going for a surf lesson in Jaco. No worries - you don’t need any experience to give this aquatic sport a try. Our local surf guides will show you the ropes.

Because there are waves all year, we can schedule your surf lesson any day of the week, as long as we plan around the high tide. During low tide, you wont find any surfers in the water. The waves tend to break right on the sand, and even an advanced surfer wouldn’t have any fun out there.

Lesson Description

At the start of your lesson, new surfers will be debriefed on ocean safety and the very basics of using a surfboard. Our top notch surf instructors will assist them in catching their first wave…. And second, and third. Just let our concierge staff know if you want a photographer for your lesson, and you’ll have all of the photo evidence to share with friends back home or to flex on your instagram page.

After a quick break to hydrate and fuel up on fresh pineapple and watermelon, its back out to the water. Our instructors do a great job of pushing you to the next level if you’re ready, or, sticking to the basics in the white water if you want to take it slow.

Either way, the surf guides will make sure you’re having a great time. Coming back to Los Sueños for a shower and a cocktail after catching your first waves is a feeling of satisfaction that cannot be duplicated. Did anyone say, bucket list?! Our concierge staff at HRG would be more than happy to book you a Jaco surf lesson you won’t forget.


Surfing in Jaco: Great for All Levels

For those of you with some surf experience already, there are some great spots in and around Jaco for you to have some fun. For beginners and intermediates, we recommend the south end of the beach. Here, the waves are a bit more calm, and you can find other beginners having fun. From the water, you get a great view of the palm trees, Scarlett macaws, and green luscious mountains that crawl inland from the beach. Just being out in the water here is an experience in and of itself!

Need some gear? The Jaco strip has a number of surf shops that can get you fitted with a board, rash guard, wax, and anything else you might need. We always recommend talking to our staff or local surf schools about the waves and checking for any rips or strong currents.

For intermediate surfers, they might try venturing further north up Jaco beach to a spot known as Morales, named after the street that is perpendicular to the beach break. Here you can find local youngsters honing in on new tricks and maneuvers in their backyard. If high tide is at sunset, you can bet there will be a fun local crowd sharing waves.


Surfing in Hermosa: For Experienced Surfers Only

Photo Credit: Steve OWEN

While Jaco is the perfect hub for surfers of all levels, Hermosa, 5 minutes south, is a dreamy wave for the advanced surfer. Amongst the Costa Rican competitive surfers, Playa Hermosa is known as the “national surf stadium.” It is a place where surfers come from all over to show off their skills. And many spectators flock to the beach front restaurants on Hermosa beach to check out the action. Viewers and surfers alike can feel the power of the ocean at this beach. Hermosa demands respect and we don’t recommend surfing here unless you really know what you’re doing, and we always remind our guests that this is not a swimming beach!

Playa Hermosa is 7 kilometers of surf-able beachfront shoreline. Some popular spots include “El Árbol,” named after the giant beach almond tree in front. “La Cuerva” is named for where the road takes a turn, and “Terrazas” is named after the Hotel Terrazas right in front of it. The good thing for visitors is that you can surf all up and down this beach, so there’s no need to fight for waves.


Secret Surf Spots

No surf trip is complete without going off the beaten path and hitting some little known point breaks. 

The not-so-secret ones include Playa Agujas to the north, and Roca Loca right between Jaco and Hermosa. Playa Agujas is a mild left hand point break, and Roca Loca is an experts-only right hander that breaks off of - you guessed it - some crazy rocks. 

For epic reef breaks only attainable by boat, ask our concierge staff about coordinating a surf charter for you and your crew, to a secret peaky wave where surf legends from around the world have been known to flock to.


World Surfing Games

Playa Jaco and neighboring Playa Hermosa are world famous beach breaks. Their proximity to San Jose and the SJO airport, their consistency year round, and the friendly locals are to thank for their fame. 

But in 2009 they really secured their position as a world class surf break, when the International Surf League brought the World Surfing Games to Playa Hermosa. 100,000 people traveled to Garabito to stay in Jaco, Hermosa, and surrounding areas for what was then known as the Olympic Games of Surfing. Representatives from over 35 countries participated in the event.

A few years later, in 2016, Jaco was selected as the event site. These events really solidified Hermosa and Jaco’s standing as a major international surf destination.


Extended Surf Trip

For those who want to travel around and discover more waves, there is a lot to discover here in Costa Rica. In fact, you don’t have to leave the province of Puntarenas to see several different kinds of waves. Esterillos, 30 minutes south of Los Sueños, offers a similar wave to Hermosa, with some spots a bit more gentle for the intermediate surfer.

Another favorite surf town is Dominical, just an hour and a half south, where punchy waves crash along a sleepy jungle town. At HRG, we love to take our clients across the golf of Nicoya on boat to check out Santa Teresa, a popular bohemian beach town with great waves.


No Surf Trip is Complete Without…

Good eats and a fun nightlife. Another great thing about Jaco is its abundance of eateries, from cheap and local to extravagant luxury. You can be sure to find more than one spot to serve you tasty fish tacos after a day in the waves.

Explore the Jaco nightlife where you can find multiple venues playing live music with cold beer and refreshing cocktails.

When you stay with us in Los Sueños, we’re happy to coordinate private transfers for you to and from Jaco on your nights out. And for the nights when you’re just too surfed-out to go out, we would be more than happy to schedule a private chef to come bring the dining experience into your home.


Jaco: A Surfer’s Paradise

Whether you’re a seasoned surf veteran, or you’re looking to become one, we have it all here in Jaco. Surfing is undoubtedly a part of our community and our daily life here in Jaco and Los Sueños, too. Let us at HRG Properties and Rentals help to show you the ropes and make an epic surf experience that you will never forget.