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The Best Surfing in Costa Rica

It’s no mistake that surfing in Costa Rica is so popular. We boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and they just happen to have incredible swells too! The combination of the laidback lifestyle and connection with nature will make your experience in Costa Rica unforgettable.


Looking for a surf spot? We’ve got some ideas to share!


Playa Guiones, Nosara

This is a great destination, even as a standalone spot for the entire trip. This surf spot averages around 300 surfable days every single year! Not only that, the swells allow for both beginners and professionals to hit the water.


This surf spot is so safe that you can surf in both low and high tides, and it is known to have the cleanest waters in Costa Rica. Plus, who doesn’t want water with an 83° F average temperature while surfing in Costa Rica?!

Playa Hermosa, Jaco

If you follow any type of surfing in Costa Rica, then you should know this beach. Playa Hermosa is home to the International Quicksilver Championship each and every August. Hundreds of people come each year for the competition, but the surfing is great almost year round.


The water here is wild, with waves reaching up to 13 feet and strong currents that can pull you far off into the deep sea. We suggest that you have a good amount of experience under your belt before you give these waters a try. We also suggest not swimming in the waters because they can be pretty unforgiving.


This location is ideal for those that want to get away from the big crowds that flow in from the heart of Jaco. There is also a nearby turtle sanctuary, where many turtles go to lay their eggs. This is an excellent beach to check out for anyone, even those without experience surfing, but just make sure to stay safe and keep in the shallow water.


Little Hawaii, Playa Avellanas

This spot is absolutely awesome if you’re an expert or professional surfer. Why do you need to be an expert? The waves can get up to 18 feet high, which would destroy an inexperienced surfer.


Don’t worry though, if you’re with more experienced surfers; there is a spot called El Parqueo a bit to the south that you can try out while the others in your group hit Little Hawaii. Be sure to tell them that the best times to surf Little Hawaii is when the tide is low, to sound like you know what you’re talking about!


Getting to Little Hawaii isn’t the easiest thing to do though. There isn’t a strong public transport system into this area because it’s more of a secret surf spot than other areas. There will be a few small hotels, but there aren’t any big time resort options around here.


Don’t let that hold you back; this is some of the best expert surfing in Costa Rica! If you’re trying to catch some serious waves, you’ve got to get here anyway that you can.


Mal Pais

Some of the most laidback surfing in Costa Rica can be found in Mal Pais. This is because there is a great long stretch of beach called Playa Carmen which is made for beginners with waves maxing out at 3 feet tall.


The more experienced surfers out there should head over to the Santa Teresa area. Here you’ll find a rockier coastline, and because of high swells, this is the perfect combination to create the signature tubes the area is known for.

Playa Negra

For the real fans of surf culture, Playa Negra should be on the to-do list. This is the location that the surf movie “Endless Summer II” was shot, and many surfers come every year just to relive the movie!


The surf here is best during high tide because low tide exposes the rocks below and has been known to cause minor to serious injuries for those who catch them. The takeoff zone here is also quite small, so it is often congested.


Don’t let our warnings hinder you though, if you can handle them the low tide is known for fast tubes. The area also sports consistent year round surfing and right hand barrels. Another cool feature is small tide pools form along the coastline, which everyone loves, especially the kids!


Let’s Talk

If you have any questions about catching all of the killer surfing in Costa Rica, call us at (US) 949-208-1158, or (Costa Rica) 506-2643-2182, or email us at today!