Costa Rica is a small paradise on earth: a smiling and welcoming population, a luxuriant nature and waves galore!
Indeed, this small country in Central America is bordered on the east by the Caribbean Sea and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. It is said that one can surf both sides in the same day.
Surfing at the Caribbean coast
The Caribbean coast takes less swell than elsewhere but can occasionally be exceptional as when the famous “Salsa Brava” from Puerto Viejo starts to walk. But beware, this wave is a real cheese grater, the reef is really close …
Other beaches further south will be preferred by beginner or intermediate surfers.
The Caribbean coast is a beautiful place where the reggae atmosphere makes you want to stay forever. But for surfing, the Pacific coast remains a notch above.
The Pacific coast: the best surfing spots in Costa Rica
In a few years of life here, the number of day “flat”, that is to say without the slightest wave, rises to a little near … well! I can not remember if I have seen the Pacific without movement. Of course, there are days of little surfing. But in my opinion, with a shortboard and a longboard, it is possible to surf every day.
The best known place in Costa Rica for surfing is of course Tamarindo. The right of Playa Grande is really amazing. The only fault: overcrowding. Indeed, the North Americans are very present. It is not for nothing that Tamarindo was renamed “Tamagringo”. It must be said that the famous movie “Endless Summer 2” has largely contributed to the reputation of the place all around the world.
Another unmissable place is Pavones: one of the longest wave in the world; just that. However, it is good to know two or three things: The spot being poorly exposed, it requires a consistent swell. You will have to prepare well because there is not much on site (for example no bank or gas station …). The trip from San José can be tedious.
Playa Samara: perfect for beginner & advanced surfers
Then comes Playa Samara: In addition to the many activities that Playa Samara offers (horseback riding, yoga …) the practice of surfing is one of the inevitable. Samara is the perfect place for the discovery of this sport and the practice at a very high level of enthusiasts.
At the beach of the village, the waves are small, rentals of affordable boards (longboards, paddles …) and instructors are very good advice. The lessons usually last 1 hour, for $ 40, and leave you the option to keep the board for a few hours, extra days.
Around Samara are some well-known spots:
Playa Buenavista: wild and deserted with multiple peaks on sandy bottoms. Only warning: watch out for the crocodiles of the estuary. It’s not a simple rumor!
Playa Barigona: heavenly with powerful left or right quick and tubular, which require a lot of speed.
Playa Guiones: very touristy but who can send! Its big advantage is that it can walk at all tides.
Better exposed for the north swells than the rest of the peninsula.
And finally Playa Camaronal: which is for me one of the best spot of Costa Rica. We can face big long and hollow waves (up to 3, 4 meters) or small and perfect waves according to the conditions. Average or confirmed surfers, beginners abstain!
Other spots exist but will remain in the secret for some time …