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12 Jun 2021
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For beginners and experts alike, Costa Rica is the perfect surf vacation destination.

Costa Rica is one of the most exciting and favored surf destinations in Central American, drawing surfers worldwide to catch the warm waves that surge up on both the Caribbean and Pacific coasts. 

Costa Rica's beaches span a full range of shapes and sizes. As a result, every surf beach serves up at least one killer wave, often world-class surf quality. 

Pink, black, white, and beige sand beaches and challenging reefs can all be found up along the coasts of Costa Rica. 

Whether you're a weathered surfer or a newbie, you're bound the find the perfect, challenging, and fun surf spot. 

In addition to the great surf, Costa Rica is still an affordable surf destination that boasts natural beauty, friendly people, and safety. 

The massive coastal province of Puntarenas starts on the Nicoya Peninsula, crosses the Golfo de Nicoya, and extends down through the Central Puntarenas Province and down to the Panamanian border, including the Golfo Dulce. 

Close to Los Sueños Resort, there are many well-known waves such as the river mouth lefts of Boca Barranca, the beginner beaches of Playa Jaco, or the often more challenging tubes of Playa Hermosa. Then, finally, there are the peaks of Esterillos that have flexible, south-facing waves for most abilities.

Learning to Surf in Costa Rica

While experienced surfers from all over flock to Costa Rica to surf famous breaks like Witch's Rock, Salsa Brava, and Playa Hermosa, many first-time surfers come here to learn on any number of the country's beginner-friendly breaks. 

Of course, any break can become too advanced for the beginning surfer if the swell is big enough, but usually, the beaches we deem beginner-friendly are well suited for learning. 

If you're new to surfing, we recommend taking a lesson or two. There are many great surf instructors and surf schools in the nearby area of Los Sueños Resort. 

Reach out to your Concierge at HRG. We can set you up with our go-to local surf instructors, an activity that's fun for adults and children too. About a two-hour lesson, you'll spend the initial portion of the class on the beach, learning safety tips and the basics of surfing. Then, you'll hit the waves, and most new surfers proudly catch their first wave and ride it in before the end of the day. 

Didn't you bring a surfboard with you to Costa Rica? No worries! Surfboard rentals and surf shops abound in Jaco Beach, the town closest to Los Sueños Resort. You'll find everything you need to start surfing, from boards to leashes to rash guards and more. 

Of course, if you're branching out and exploring Costa Rica, there are surf instructors, surfboard rentals, and surf schools all over the country.

The following are some of the best beaches to surf if you're a beginner or just learning:

  • Jaco Beach is near to Los Sueños Resort and at or around low tide is the perfect time for beginners to hit the waves. During high tide, the waves do get bigger, so make sure you're ready for those.  
  • Playa Esterillos is still further down the coast, heading south. The waves can range from gentle to intense, so it's good to judge wisely if you're a beginner.
  • Playa Espadilla is an excellent beach for new surfers that are just learning. Near Manuel Antonio, the south end of the beach during and around high tide produces small and beginner-friendly waves.
  • Playa Tamarindo in Guanacaste, Costa Rica on the Northern Pacific coast. 
  • Playa Guiones in Nosara, which is on the Nicoya peninsula
  • Playa Samara also on hte Nicoya peninsula
  • Playa Carmen in Santa Teresa on the Nicoya peninsula
  • Playa Los Cedros is located on the southern side of Montezuma.
  • Punta Uva on the Caribbean coast is one of the most gentle surf beaches on the East side of the country. Punta Uva is pristinely beautiful, and the water is crystal clear. Punta Uva serves up a relatively consistent right point break.

The Best Surfing Spots in Costa Rica for Those With More Experience.

Costa Rica is host to sensational beaches that span 800 miles of Caribbean and Pacific coastline, making it live up to its name. If you're an avid surfer planning your dream surf trip to Costa Rica, some of the following beaches will be on your "must-do" list.

  • Playa Hermosa is just down the road from the resort but can have high tides and strong swells. Beginners should only go out with a surf instructor. This beach is fine for intermediate surfers. 
  • Playa Escondida is located behind Los Sueños Resort, and unless you're staying in the gated community off its shores, you'll need to take a boat in to get there. 
  • Little Hawaii, Playa Avellanas
  • Salsa Brava, Puerto Viejo
  • Pavones
  • Playa Naranjo
  • Playa Tamarindo
  • Mal Pais
  • Playa Dominical
  • Playa Negra 

Taking the perfect surf vacation in Costa Rica- what you need to know. 

Famous for its consistent, high-quality waves, Costa Rica has become a central hotspot for surfers all over the globe who are looking to catch a wave. Here are a few tips to help your surf vacation be the best that it can be:

Surf Gear

The main surf hubs of Tamarindo, Nosara, Jaco, Quepos, Dominical, and Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side all have well-stocked surf shops, and everything is competitively priced. With high airline charges for surfboards, buying or renting a board in Costa Rica is an excellent option to consider.


With all the abundant wildlife that Costa Rica has to offer, there do come some real dangers, so it's essential to be aware if you're surfing outside of busier tourist areas. At river mouths, especially, Crocodiles can be genuine threats. Of course, like any great surf spot in the world, sharks can also be of concern. So be conscientious and keep an eye out for your safety. 

However, the more significant concern is other surfers—especially where beginners are in the water and still learning surf etiquette. 

Costa Rica is one of the safest countries in Central America. Still, when surfing, don't leave your belongings alone on the beach or in your car. Take precautions just as you would anywhere globally, as petty thievery is an issue on every beach.

The waters off Costa Rica's Pacific and Caribbean coasts are warm year-round, and the waves are consistent, offering surfers an excellent surfing vacation experience. Ready to catch some waves? Reach out today and start planning your Costa Rica surf vacation now.