best surf spots in costa rica

The 8 Best Surf Spots in Costa Rica

There is no doubt that Costa Rica is home to the best surf spots. Costa Rica is known for its high-quality and consistent waves, easily becoming a hotspot for those who are planning to catch a wave.  If you are an avid surfer, a trip to this country will not complete without experiencing a nice surfing day. In this article, let us take a look at the best surf spots in Costa Rica and see why they are worth your visit. 

1. Playa Hermosa, Jaco

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Playa Hermosa is considered as home to the international quicksilver championships. During this event, hundreds of experts crowd every August. It is situated to the south of the town of Jaco, presenting a 6-mile spread of black sand beach. It boasts of strong currents and impressive swells that could reach as high as thirteen feet, thus not suitable for swimming. Surfers love visiting this place during the months of April to November, as these are months when the tide is rising high.

2. Playa Guiones, Nosara

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What this surfing spot has to boast about is more than 300 days in a year of waves that are suited for surfing, making it among the most consistent spots for surfing in all of Costa Rica. The place features a sandy bottom beach, with waves that are usually small enough for newbies to learn. Aside from these amazing surfing conditions, it is also situated on a blue zone coast, where residents are known to live the happiest, longest and healthiest. 

3. Salsa Brava, Puerto Viejo

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Caribbean waves can turn out to be dangerous and fast, making this spot an amazing place for surfing. Salsa Brava is found in Puerto Viejo and has become an attraction to surfing pros from all over the world. Salsa Brava is described as a steep wave that drops the surfer right to the barrel, requiring riders to be fast to avoid being stuck right in the middle. 

4. Little Hawaii, Playa Avellanas

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Little Hawaii is one of Costa Rica’s gems. It is a recommended surfing location for experts and pro surfers. It features offshore waves that can reach up to 18 feet. It is situated right on a reef and is best surfed during low tide. Note that this location is not accessible by public transportation, and only comes with a few cabanas. 

5. Playa Naranjo

playa-naranjo-whitchs-rock – CBCM SURF

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Playa Naranjo is often referred to as the “Witches Rock”, giving the idea that this place is definitely not for beginners. It is different from the Playa Naranjo town, as this beach features a golden sand lineup, along with a huge rock formation that is situated off the share, thus the name. It is situated in the Santa Rosa national park, which means that there are no accommodations available aside from the ones available for campers. 

6. Pavones, Costa Rica

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This town in Costa Rica is a place that is loved by surfers. It offers a specific type of ride that can bring you to the entire village length. It is also known for featuring the second-longest break for left-hand surf in the world, making it a spot that you surely would want to experience. It is located far from the normal spots and is considered a good location to surf in regardless of the season, and even during the rainy season. 

7. Mal Pais

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The town of Mal Pais started off as a small fishing village. Later on, it blossomed into a promising surfing destination. This place offers waves for all types of surfers. Beginners enjoy a long stretch of sand, along with a break that ensures waves are kept below three feet. Experienced surfers go to the nearby Santa Teresa where they enjoy rocky outcrops that go into the sea. As a bonus, Mal Pais also offers the best sunsets in the country.

8. Playa Negra

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What introduced Playa Negra into the surfing pedestal is the famous surfing movie, entitled “Endless Summer II”. It offers some of the best surf experiences in the country. Most surfers prefer riding at high tide because low tide only exposes rocks hiding beneath the surface of the water. For brave ones who ride at low tide, they expect fast and perfect tubes. Surfers love Playa Negra because of its constant swells all year round, with small tide pools that are created along the shore, along with a laid-back lifestyle enjoyed by the residents in the area. 


If you are planning your next surfing adventure, checking out this list of the best surf spots in Costa Rica is the best place to start. While you may not be able to visit all at one time, learning about these wonderful locations will make sure that your next surfing adventure will be a memorable one. If you think that this article is helpful, feel free to share it. You may also leave your thoughts and ideas in the comment section below. 

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