The Best Surf Spots Along Costa Rica’s North Pacific Coast
Costa Rica’s North Pacific coastline is home to some of the country’s most pristine beaches and phenomenal waves, making it a surfing haven! Offering a wide selection of surf spots, from slabby beach breaks to barreling points, you are sure to find a wave to fit your surfing ability. When surfing any new exotic surf locale, it’s always recommended to hire the services of a private surf experience, as they know the shortcuts and secret gems!
The southernmost spot on the list offers surfers very consistent waves. Through a windy dirt road, and hard to find, Marbella is regularly a less crowded beach break. Best during mid-tide falling to low, Marbella can definitely hold some size.
Want to find some shade from the tropical sun? Make your way to Marbella at low tide and you will surely find yourself covered in the green room. This is a perfect destination for advanced surfers.
Want a remote surf experience? Make Playa Junquillal your next stop! You won’t have to fight for waves here, as it is rare to see anyone else on the beach, much less in the lineup. During higher tides, there are many A-frame peaks that offer hollow, fast rights and lefts. The waves jack up off a sandbar very quickly, creating a tough, but exciting, drop in. Junquillal breaks very close to shore in shallow water over a sandy bottom. This is an intermediate to advanced surf spot.
Playa Blanca is a short ride from Junquillal and another pretty rural spot, only breaking when there is substantial swell. Though, when it’s good, its really good– often producing double overhead left handers.
Playa Callejones and Playa Negra
Playa Callejones is a lesser known break located south of the more famously known, Playa Negra. This beach break creates fantastic rights and lefts over a sandy bottom. Callejones is best surfed at low or upcoming tide with swell from the north or northwest. This is a great option for surfers who are not yet ready for the heavy conditions of Playa Negra.
Known to be one of the more popular surf breaks in the country, Playa Negra is an incredible reef/point for those seeking a thrilling challenge, with consistent right hand barrels. Although the beach is easily accessible, the take off zone is a very small, accommodating only a few surfers at a time.
Playa Avellanas boasts world-class waves that break consistently year round. There are five main peaks (not including the secret spots), all working on different tides–offering you all day surf sessions if you can handle it!
Ideal for intermediate to advanced surfers, Little Hawaii is directly off of the Hacienda Pinilla Beach Club and provides long rights, enabling you to show off your best maneuvers. The ideal time to surf is mid to high tide. Although, when the tide bottoms out, it still gets really fun down at the Avellanas beach-break by Lola’s (the perfect after-surf beachfront restaurant).
The family-friendly and energetic beach town of Tamarindo offers surf for all skill levels! Tamarindo is the perfect spot for surf lessons. For both beginner and intermediate surfers, Tamarindo provides great breaks for you to practice dropping in on bigger waves and making turns. Just watch out for the crowd in the water, especially during the high season!
Just north of Tamarindo, Playa Grande caters some of the finest and most consistent beach breaks in Costa Rica. The main peak provides surfers with consistent offshore right and left peelers over a sandy bottom.
Access this world-famous break by boat. The waves at Witch’s Rock have a unique sandbar shape, created by the river mouth feeding into the Pacific. The point has clean, glassy waves with offshore winds during the months from December to April. The waves are large stretching about 3 miles onto the beach. The sandbar is probably the best place to surf, with hollow waves suitable for surfers on varying levels. Just be careful and watch out for crocodiles, as they have made the remote beach in front of the break their home!
This advanced surf spot between Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s sits on an exposed reef and only accessible by boat. El Laberinto rarely gets crowded and is best on a southwest groundswell. This right hand reef break is best for experienced surfers, as there are often rips and many sharp rocks below!
This extraordinary right point break located near the Nicaraguan border sits in Santa Rosa National Park. This famous surf destination is accessible only by boat, closest from Playas del Coco and Playa Ocotal. The waves are fast and hollow, breaking over a rocky bottom, best for intermediate to advanced surfers. If you plan to surf here, be sure and use a private surf guide, which relieves the stress and hassle of park entrance fees and finding the remote location…All you have to do is surf your brains out!