Surfing Style in Costa Rica

Costa Rica SurfingCosta Rica is home to over 700 miles of coastline and two oceans. The areas for surfing are abundant and when one coast is down, the other is raging so you can always find a surf to enjoy. The Pacific side which is almost 5 times longer than the Caribbean side has more sites to offer due to its shear size. Depending on skill level, you can usually find something to suit you and enjoy.

The Caribbean Coast can be divided into the North and South regions. In the north, there are beach breaking waves accessible thru Tortuguero channels. The most common spot is Playa Bonita. Located north of Limon, approximately 3 miles, the waves are powerful in this area. A separate island in this region called Isla Uvita can be accessed by boat for additional adventure in this region.

The South Caribbean area has a little more to offer. Highlights for surfing in this region include Puerto Viejo. This area because of its topography forces the water up only. It runs deep then onto a shallow reef making it ideal from some of the biggest waves in Costa Rica. This area can be dangerous because of the shallow reef so this is not an area for amateurs.

Manzanillo is approximately 13 miles south of Puerto Viego and is considered to be a very fast beach break. Easily accessed and rustic in lodging, this makes for a great area to surf. The Puerto Viejo region is also home to Salsa Brava with some of the best surfing in the months of January and February. This is an experienced surfers area and should be avoided by the beginner.

The North Pacific coast is known for its consistency during the dry season; from December to April. During these months, the offshore winds combine with the swell directions to produce perfect breaks. This area is especially crowded during the Christmas and susequent New Year holidays.

Additional break points in this northern area include Playa Naranjo, by Witch’s Rock in Santa Rosa National Park. This area is accessible by four wheel drive vehicles and camping is permitted. Playa Langosta is situated at the river mouth break south of Tamarindo. Playa Negra is further south and provides a right point break.

Santa Teresa in the Nicoya Peninsula is home to 10 kilometers of white sand beach. The options for surfing in this area are budget oriented. Upscale accomodations have turned this best kept secret into a travelers paradise. If you are looking for a remote good surf area, Mal Pais and Santa Teresa are for you. Travel to this destination from June to August. Although it is considered the rainy season, the morning consists of sun with afternoon showers. These conditions still provide for great surfing without the crowds and the elevated expenses accomodations.

The Central Pacific Coast is home to Jaco where there is always something available to ride. This area is typically consistent for providing rideable waves at one of the nearby breaks. Just south of Jaco is Manuel Antonio, which encompasses surfing with other activities. Here you can experience Canopy tours, rafting or relax on the beautiful beaches. This is an area that can accomodate surfers and non surfers travelling together.

Surfing in Costa Rica can accommodate any skill level – what are you waiting for? – go grab your board and ride the waves!


Filed Under: ActivitiesArticleDashboard submittedFeatured - Living and RetiringJacoLimonManuel AntonioSanta TeresaSurfTamarindo


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