My Favorite Waves – The Quepos Rivermouth

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Another great surf break near Manuel Antonio is right in the heart of Quepos, the rivermouth. If you are headed to the Mar Vela Marina it is just to the north of the jetty and can break well out past the rocks. 

This wave does not appear too often as it needs a considerable size swell and a swell direction from the Southwest. It starts working when other beach breaks are two feet overhead or bigger. The wave bowls up on the north side of the rivermouth and then extends for 200-400 meters depending on how big it is, the tide, and the direction. 

It is great for Stand Up Paddlers who want to catch it way outside, and for longboarders who can snatchs some walls from the shoulder. Once past the steep section on the drop, the wall towards the inside is fairly crumbly. The break should not, however, be surfed by beginners unless you are with more experienced surfers, and if it is over waist high can have very dangerous rip currents for the inexperienced surfer. 

The jetty and the steep hill behind the break block the winds a little so here may be glassier than other spots. The best tide to surf it would be around an hour after low tide. At midtide coming in it tends to swamp out and the wave disappears. Also, there is more water flow from the Quepos river during high tide, which pushes out more pollutants from inland. 

You can park right in front of the rivermouth in a small lot, and there is a park with benches and lots of shade. Be sure to secure your vehicle and leave nothing inside. Then you can walk to the left towards the jetty and there is a path down over some rocks to the beach. At low tide there’s lots of sand and you can paddle across the river (20-40 meters) and walk out on the sand bar or let the current pull you out to the break.  This break can be very localized so show respect and space yourself so you don’t crowd the peak. Often there’s a set that swings wide and you will actually be in a better spot to catch the wave. Most of the time though there are only 3-4 other surfers out so there will be plenty of waves for everyone. For more advice on where to surf on your vacation, just visit

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