Costa Rica is one of the most impressive countries on Earth. It is a small country that has only a few over 5 million inhabitants, representing 0.07% of the world total inhabitants. But it also has 5% of world’s biodiversity, meaning it has a lot of protected areas so the fauna and flora can thrive.
Its rainforests, tropical and exotic birds and animals, over 300 beaches, and waves can convince anyone to visit Costa Rica. This is also what the name of the country suggests, “rich coast”. Costa Rica has become a center of surfing, being visited by over 300,000 surfers every year. The waves are perfect, the weather is mostly nice and the wind is excellent almost every morning.
Costa Rica is the perfect destination for people who love surfing, who are both experienced and beginners, and for anyone who wants to discover the pleasure of the riding waves. But because the country is over 800 miles on the Caribbean and Pacific coastline, it may come difficult to choose the best spot for surfing.
There are surfing spots that are popular among experienced surfers, but also some hidden gems, not anyone knows about. Discovering these amazing places in Costa Rica will make you book your plane ticket and head straight to them. These are just a few, see our Costa Rica surf map for a complete list.
Puerto Viejo is situated on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. This means that those tropical storms that take place in the Gulf of Mexico make the most amazing and impressive waves form. Puerto Viejo is a surfing spot recommended for advanced users because the waves are among the biggest in the country.
If you have always wanted to surf on Hawaiian waves, Puerto Viejo is the place in Costa Rica that can satisfy your desire. Keep in mind that temperatures in Costa Rica are different from the other countries and continents. Its dry season, considered summer, begins in November and ends in April. So, this is the best time to go surfing in this amazing location.
At the same time, if you always wanted to see some impressive and huge waves, you can visit Puerto Viejo during the dry season and witness the biggest waves. You will often see over 20 surfers on a wave, which can lead to some hassling if you do not know what you are doing. Head to Salsa Brava if you want to get barreled, but it is a challenging surfing experience due to the crowd and the reef.
Cahuita is that place that only locals know about, so it is a hidden gem you must visit. Surfing conditions are excellent here during the whole dry season, and the waves are suited for all surfers. You will mostly see novices and intermediate surfers, but the waves can sometimes become challenging even for the most experienced.
The best thing about Cahuita is that it has beautiful sand beaches and a small surfing village, where you will feel the reggae vibe. If you want to avoid crowded places then Cahuita is the best choice. Playa Negra is the most popular beach in Cahuita and is considered one of the most beautiful and cleanest beaches in Costa Rica.
Moving on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, you will discover Tamarindo and its beautiful and amazing beaches. Playa Tamarindo and Playa Langosta are iconic beaches for surfers, so everyone interested in surfing goes there, which can make them crowded during the surfing season.
However, the waves, wind, and the view are incredible, so you could give it a try. The best thing about this place is that you can also find mellow waves, especially at the beginning of the dry season. But if you are an experienced surfer, then you should head straight to Playa Langosta, which is a 15 minutes’ walk from Playa Tamarindo. The waves here are incredible, wild, and challenging.
And if you are interested in more than surfing, Tamarindo is home to a Las Baulas National Marine Park that protects wild animals such as crocodiles, monkeys, and leatherback turtles.
Santa Teresa is a small town located about 150 kilometers from the capital of the country, on Costa Rica’s central Pacific coast. What started as a small village with fishermen and cattle breeders, now it is one of the most important surfing destinations.
Santa Teresa is home to incredible beaches that have waves suited for all experience levels. But one of the most important things is that this part of the country has the best waves between May and November, so right after the dry season ends on the Caribbean coast of the country.
Santa Teresa is home to incredible beaches, such as Playa Hermosa, Playa Carmen or Playa Santa Teresa. Playa Hermosa and Playa Santa Teresa are recommended for experienced surfers, as here are ones of the strongest and biggest waves. This is why there is a surfing championship in August.
On the other side, Playa Carmen is more secluded and suited for novice surfers, as the waves are not so powerful as on the other beaches. Here it is advised to be cautious, as the seabed has some large rock shelves and you may hurt yourself if you are not attentive.
Pavones is a small village located on the south Pacific coast of Costa Rica and it is a popular attraction. On Playa Pavones you can see the longest waves in the world (almost one kilometer!), so this place is also called the surfers’ heaven. The best time to go surfing in Pavones is during the rainy season.
Playa Pavones is a surfing destination that is mostly recommended for pros. The waves here are incredible in length, speed, and size and they can become pretty challenging. So, it is better to be cautious, especially because the rocky seabed is present here also, like Santa Teresa. There are friendlier sandy breaks nearby and less crowded spots where the wave is smaller.
Pavones is a nice destination not only for surfing but for discovering the wild flora and fauna of Costa Rica. You can see here lush rainforests and amazing biodiversity that will help you get to know more about this incredible and wild country. But if you love surfing, this is the place to go. There were a lot of videos filmed here, with surfers riding the wave for more than 2 minutes straight, which is incredibly amazing.
Pavones is about 55 kilometers away from the Golfito National Wildlife Refuge, where you can see thousands of species of birds, monkeys, plants, and trees. So, whenever you want to take a break from the waves, you can go to this tropical rainforest and admire its amazing biodiversity and wildlife.
Playa Naranjo, Santa Rosa (Witch’s Rock)
If you are looking for a secluded and wild place for surfing, Playa Naranjo in Santa Rosa is the place to go. The best thing about it is that it is not so easily accessible such as other surfing destinations. Here you can go only by ferry, so this might be the reason many people avoid it.
Most surfers go to Playa Naranjo by boat to ride the waves and then return in the evening. The trick here is that because Playa Naranjo is part of the Santa Rosa national park, there is no accommodation available. You are allowed to camp here, but do not expect to see restaurants, hotels, and a touristic beach.
The waves here are incredible and many experienced surfers choose this destination for a day of surf. Just as on other beaches, you should pay attention to the rocky seabed and crocodiles, but apart from these, Playa Naranjo offers an amazing surfing experience.
Costa Rica is a small but incredible country that offers amazing experiences to anyone who wants to discover its wonders. Surfing is one of the major attractions of the country, especially because of its location.
Some beaches offer you huge and impressive waves during the dry season, while others should be visited and tried during the rainy one. However, Costa Rica has one of the best surfing spots in the world. And whenever you want to take a break, its wildlife will captivate you.
Author Bio: Emma Coffinet is a content creator for websites, blogs, articles, white papers, and social media platforms. She is keen on capturing the attention of a target audience and she coordinates the essay writing service at college paper writing services and professional writer service agencies. She keeps herself well-read with the changing trends of the web and traveling world. Emma loves to pen down her knowledge in an engaging and simplified way. She also enjoys leading, motivating, and being part of a productive team; equally comfortable working on her own initiative.