Riding the Waves: Discovering the 8 Best Surf Spots in Costa Rica

Costa rica has some of the best surf spots in the world. Here are 8 of the top surf spots in costa rica. Costa rica is a paradise for surfers with consistent waves, diverse beaches and year-round surfing. From beginners to experienced surfers, there’s a spot for everyone. Surfing in costa rica brings about the perfect mix of adventure, beauty and culture. In this article, we’ve compiled a list of 8 of the best surf spots in costa rica along with their unique features. Each location has different characteristics that cater to different levels of surfers. Whether you are looking to catch your first wave or a pro chasing some of the most challenging waves in the world, this list has something for everyone.
Riding the Waves: Discovering the 8 Best Surf Spots in Costa Rica
Credit: www.lonelyplanet.com


Overview Of Tamarindo Surf Spot

Tamarindo is the most popular surf spot in costa rica due to its consistent waves and exquisite beach. The beach is well-known for its remarkable sunsets, bustling atmosphere, and lively nightlife.

Surfing Conditions

Tamarindo is perfect for both beginners and advanced surfers. The waves are clear and steady, with a predictable break. The waves usually reach a height of 4-8 feet, and the best break is on the main beach.

Best Time To Surf

The best time to surf in tamarindo is during the dry season (december to april) when the swell is more consistent and waves are larger. However, it is still possible to surf year-round with smaller waves occurring during rainy season (may to november).

Accommodation Options

Tamarindo offers various accommodation options ranging from high-end resorts to budget-friendly hostels. Some of the most recommended accommodations include:
  • Tamarindo diria
  • Capitan suizo
  • Pura vida hostel

Restaurants And Nightlife

Tamarindo has a wide range of restaurants and bars to suit all tastes and budgets. Visitors love to enjoy delicious seafood while watching the waves crashing on the shore. Some of the recommended restaurants include:
  • Nogui’s restaurant
  • Pangas beach club
  • Wok n roll

Other Activities Near Tamarindo

Apart from surfing, there are numerous activities to experience while in tamarindo. These include:
  • Sunset catamaran tours
  • Kayaking through the mangroves
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Zip-lining through the jungle
Tamarindo is undoubtedly an excellent surf spot that provides the ultimate surfing experience with breathtaking views, and endless activities. It’s a delightful destination for surfers and non-surfers alike!


Is a small village located in the southern corner of costa rica, known for having one of the world’s longest left-hand surf breaks. If you’re a surfer looking for adventure, pavones is a place you shouldn’t miss. Here’s what you need to know about this popular surf spot.

Overview Of Pavones Surf Spot

Pavones is a paradise for advanced surfers looking for a challenging and long ride. This spot is known for its impressive wave quality and the lengthy left-hand is surfable for up to 1 minute. The location is remote, with no atms or supermarkets, and it’s a great place to escape and get in touch with nature.

Surfing Conditions

The best way to describe the pavones surf conditions is to say it’s big and consistent, with waves that hold swell year-round. The left-hand wave can be surfed on all tides, though fuller tides tend to be better. You need a longboard or a good fish board to ride this wave. Waves range from 3-10 feet, and they can get even bigger in the winter months.

Best Time To Surf

The best time to surf in pavones is from march until november, with the most consistent swell from may to august. However, it’s worth noting that may to november is the rainy season, and you will likely experience rainfall during your stay.

Accommodation Options

Pavones has a variety of accommodation options. There are several surf lodges to choose from, which often include meals and transportation to the surf breaks. For a more affordable option, there are also hostels and camping areas available. However, it’s best to book in advance during peak season, when accommodation can be limited.

Restaurants And Nightlife

Pavones has a few small restaurants and bars to choose from, serving traditional costa rican dishes and international cuisine. It’s a small and remote village, so don’t expect a wild nightlife scene. However, there are a few bars where you can enjoy a cold drink or two after a long day of surfing.

Other Activities Near Pavones

If you need a break from surfing, pavones is surrounded by lush rainforest, perfect for hiking and exploring. You can also visit the nearby golfo dulce, popular for dolphin and whale watching. For the more adventurous, there’s zip-lining and white water rafting available. Pavones is a must-visit surf spot for those looking for adventure and a challenge. With its impressive wave quality and remote location, it’s an unforgettable experience for any surfer who makes the journey.

Santa Teresa

Overview Of Santa Teresa Surf Spot

If you want to experience some of the best waves in costa rica, santa teresa should definitely be on your list. Located in the nicoya peninsula, this surf town has been attracting wave seekers from all over the world for quite some time now. Here are some key points to note about santa teresa:
  • It is a small but thriving town with a laid back vibe.
  • The beaches are stunning and pristine.
  • The surf breaks here cater to all levels of surfers, with something for everyone to enjoy.
  • The surf culture and community here is friendly and welcoming.

Surfing Conditions

Santa teresa has a consistent surf year-round due to its location in the pacific ocean. However, if you want the best waves, it is recommended that you visit during the months of december through april. Here are some other things to note about surfing conditions:
  • The waves here range from beginner-friendly to expert-level.
  • The best waves are at playa santa teresa and playa hermosa.
  • The surf here is affected by the tides and currents.

Best Time To Surf

The best time to surf in santa teresa is during the dry season, which is from december to april. During this time, the waves are at their peak, and the weather is ideal for surfing. If you prefer fewer crowds, you may want to consider visiting during the shoulder months of may, june, august, and september.

Accommodation Options

Santa teresa has a range of accommodation options for every budget, making it an ideal destination for surfers. Here are some popular options:
  • Hostels: Selina santa teresa, funky monkey, and zula inn.
  • Hotels: Latitude 10, florblanca resort, and casa marbella.
  • Vacation rentals: You can rent an apartment, villa, or a beach house through airbnb or vrbo.

Restaurants And Nightlife

Santa teresa has excellent food options, whether you’re looking for local cuisine or international fare. Here are some popular restaurants and bars:
  • The bakery: A great place for breakfast, coffee, sandwiches, and baked goods.
  • Koji’s: A sushi restaurant that offers fresh and delicious rolls.
  • Banana beach: A popular beachfront bar and restaurant that serves seafood, pizza, and cocktails.
You can find several other restaurants, cafes, and bars along the main strip of town.

Other Activities Near Santa Teresa

While surfing is the main attraction in santa teresa, there are several other activities you can enjoy:
  • Yoga: Several yoga studios offer classes for all levels.
  • Horseback riding: Take a sunset ride along the beach.
  • Zip lining: Get a bird’s eye view of the forest by zip lining through the canopy.
Make sure you check out these activities to make the most of your trip to santa teresa.


Overview Of Jacó Surf Spot

If you’re looking for a bustling surf town with plenty of amenities, jacó is the spot for you. Located on the central pacific coast of costa rica, jacó is a lively beach town with a great surf scene. Here are the key highlights you need to know:
  • Jacó is a popular surf spot due to its consistent waves and accessibility.
  • The town has a wide range of accommodations, restaurants and bars to suit any budget.
  • Surrounded by lush rainforests and home to an array of wildlife, jacó offers plenty of opportunities for adventure beyond surfing.

Surfing Conditions

Jacó is known for its surf break which rolls in steadily from the pacific ocean. The north end of the beach is the best spot for the most consistent waves, particularly from december to april. Here are some additional details:
  • Waves in jacó beach are best for intermediate surfers but also suitable for beginners.
  • Generally, the waves vary in size from 3-6 feet in height.
  • Tides in jacó vary greatly, so it’s a good idea to consult a surf report before heading out.

Best Time To Surf

The best time to hit the waves in jacó is during the dry season, from december to april. During this time, the surf conditions are the most consistent with generally offshore winds. Keep in mind, however, that this is also peak season for tourism, and you can expect the town to be busier and accommodation prices higher.

Accommodation Options

From upscale resorts to rustic surfer shacks, jacó has a range of accommodation options to suit any budget. Some of the most popular options include:
  • Selina jacó: A stylish hostel with private rooms, dorms, a pool, and on-site yoga classes
  • Hotel croc’s resort & casino: A lavish resort with ocean views, on-site casino, and multiple restaurants
  • Jacó lodge: A charming bed and breakfast-style hotel surrounded by a tropical garden

Restaurants And Nightlife

From street food stalls to high-end restaurants, jacó has a plethora of options to suit any taste. When it comes to places to eat, these are some of the best spots:
  • Soda garabito: A local spot serving costa rican cuisine at affordable prices.
  • Lemon zest: A popular restaurant with a creative menu of international fusion dishes.
  • Los amigos: An iconic bar in jacó, known for its lively atmosphere and live music.

Other Activities Near Jacó

While surfing is undoubtedly the main attraction in jacó, there are plenty of other activities to keep you busy. Here are some other activities to try:
  • Zip-lining and canopy tours through the lush rainforest.
  • Exploring the nearby carara national park, known for its abundant wildlife.
  • Visiting nearby beaches, such as playa herradura and playa hermosa.
By following these tips, you’re sure to have an unforgettable surfing experience in jacó. So pack your board and catch those waves!


, a small town on costa rica’s pacific coast, may have been a less-famous surf spot compared to tamarindo or jaco, but it has made quite a name for itself over the years. Renowned for its consistent waves and pristine beaches, it draws surfers from all over the globe. In this section, we will look at why nosara is a must-visit for surfers, what makes it stand out from the other surf spots in costa rica.

Overview Of Nosara Surf Spot

  • Nosara is situated on costa rica’s nicoya peninsula on the pacific ocean’s western coast, 97.5 km southwest of liberia’s international airport.
  • This surf spot offers world-class surf breaks, ranging from intermediate to advanced levels.
  • Besides surfing, nosara offers other water activities such as stand-up paddle-boarding, snorkeling, and fishing.
  • The town is a nature lover’s paradise, with an abundance of wildlife, lush green forests, and rivers for kayaking and canopy tours.

Surfing Conditions

  • Nosara’s surf is consistently great all year round; however, the best waves are between december and april.
  • The waves consist mainly of beach breaks, with swells reaching up to 10 feet.
  • The water temperature is warm, averaging around 80°f (26°c), which means most surfers prefer to surf with just their board shorts on.
  • The best time to surf is during high tide, which offers shorter but more hollow waves and longer rides at low tide.

Best Time To Surf

  • The ideal time to surf in nosara is during the dry season, which runs from december to april.
  • During this period, the waves are larger, consistent, and offer epic surf conditions.
  • The hotel prices and flights are also at their peak during the christmas and new year’s holidays, so it’s best to book in advance.

Accommodation Options

  • There is no shortage of accommodation options for visitors to nosara. You can choose from budget-friendly hostels to high-end luxury villas.
  • Some of the popular hotels in nosara’s include the gilded iguana, casa romantica, and the serenity boutique hotel.

Restaurants And Nightlife

  • Nosara has a broad range of restaurants, catering to all tastes and budgets.
  • Popular local dishes include rice and beans, fresh seafood, and exotic fruits.
  • For nightlife, visitors can enjoy drinks at the beach dog cafe or el chivo restaurant & bar, where you can enjoy live music, great cocktails, and a lively atmosphere.

Other Activities Near Nosara

  • Apart from surfing, there are dozens of fun activities to do in nosara.
  • You could enjoy horseback riding, fishing to nearby reefs, hiking to waterfalls, or taking yoga classes.
  • You may visit the nosara wildlife rescue, which provides care and rehabilitation for a variety of animals, including monkeys, snakes, and birds.
Nosara is undoubtedly a must-visit for surfers seeking an experience of a lifetime. With its world-class surf breaks, warm waters, beautiful beaches, and abundant wildlife, it’s no wonder that it’s becoming one of central america’s top surf destinations. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced surfer, there is something for everyone in nosara.

Puerto Viejo

Puerto viejo, located on the southern caribbean coast of costa rica, is a must-visit destination for surfers who love the thrill of riding waves in a tropical paradise. This laid-back town is not only famous for its vibrant culture and reggae rhythms but is also home to some of the best surf spots in the country. Here’s what you need to know about surfing in puerto viejo:

Overview Of Puerto Viejo Surf Spot

Puerto viejo offers a variety of surf breaks that cater to surfers of all skill levels. The town’s beaches stretch 14 kilometers from cocles in the north to manzanillo in the south, each offering consistently good breaks.

Surfing Conditions

The surfing conditions in puerto viejo are excellent all year round, with warm water and consistent waves. However, the best time to surf is between december and march when the swells are larger, and winds are offshore. April to november is known as the green season, with smaller waves and onshore winds, making it perfect for beginners.

Best Time To Surf

The ideal time to surf in puerto viejo is early in the morning when the wind is calm, and the waves are at their best. Crowds are also smaller at this time, so you’ll have more space to ride the waves.

Accommodation Options

Puerto viejo offers a myriad of accommodation options, ranging from budget backpacker hostels to luxury villas. Choose from beachfront surf camps, jungle retreats, and cozy bungalows tucked away in the forest. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or solo adventure, puerto viejo has a place for everyone.

Restaurants And Nightlife

The town of puerto viejo is known for its exceptional culinary scene, with restaurants offering a fusion of caribbean and international cuisine. Experience the laid-back vibe of the town by checking out the local bars, where you can enjoy a cold beer or a tropical cocktail while listening to live reggae music.

Other Activities Near Puerto Viejo

When you’re not surfing, there’s plenty to do in and around puerto viejo. Explore the nearby cahuita national park, where you can hike through the rainforest, swim in crystal clear waters, and snorkel through colorful reefs. Take a yoga class, go on a bike ride, or get a massage in one of the many spas in town. Puerto viejo is a place where you can truly relax and immerse yourself in the laid-back caribbean lifestyle. Puerto viejo offers the perfect combination of waves, culture, and adventure for surfers looking for an unforgettable experience. Make sure to check out this unique destination on your next surf trip to costa rica!

Playa Grande

Overview Of Playa Grande Surf Spot

Nestled on the southwest coast of costa rica, playa grande is a magnificent surf spot that attracts numerous surf enthusiasts all year long. The beauty of this surf spot lies in its consistency, offering consistent waves throughout the year for both beginners and advanced surfers.

Surfing Conditions

Surfing in playa grande offers a range of conditions for surfers of different skill levels. The beach break creates powerful, hollow waves that break both left and right. However, the waves are relatively smaller and more manageable in the morning and evening, making it an ideal time for beginners. Advanced surfers can challenge themselves with bigger and faster waves during the high tide.

Best Time To Surf

The best time for surfing in playa grande is from december to april. During these months, the waves are more consistent, and there is less rainfall. However, if you are looking for bigger waves, the rainy season from may to november is the best time to visit.

Accommodation Options

Playa grande offers various accommodation options for surfers and tourists. Whether you are looking for budget-friendly lodgings, luxury villas or a hostel experience, there is something for everyone. Some of the options you can consider include:
  • Bula bula surf camp
  • Rip jack inn
  • Las tortugas
  • El manglar

Restaurants And Nightlife

There are plenty of options for dining and enjoying nightlife in playa grande. You can sample local and international cuisines and enjoy cold drinks as you watch stunning sunsets. Some of the popular restaurant options include:
  • Cafe del pueblo
  • El huerto pizzeria
  • Las olas beach club
  • Big burguer

Other Activities Near Playa Grande

Apart from surfing, playa grande offers many other exciting activities for visitors. You can enjoy:
  • Hiking in marino las baulas national park
  • Horseback riding on the beach
  • Visiting the monkey sanctuary
  • Sunset catamaran tours
Whether you are a seasoned surfer or a newcomer to the sport, playa grande offers a memorable experience that is sure to exceed your expectations. With excellent surfing conditions, endless accommodation options and other activities to explore, playa grande is a must-visit destination in costa rica.

Frequently Asked Questions Of 8 Best Surf Spots In Costa Rica

What Are The Best Surf Spots In Costa Rica?

Costa rica boasts of some of the best surf spots in the world, including jaco beach, tamarindo beach, dominical beach, and many more. These beaches offer varying surfing conditions for all skill levels

When Is The Best Time To Go Surfing In Costa Rica?

The best time to surf in costa rica is from may to november. During this period, the country experiences consistent swells, and the water temperature is favorable. December to april is also a good time but with fewer waves.

Do I Need To Bring My Own Surfboard To Costa Rica?

It’s best to bring your own surfboard if you’re a skilled surfer since rental fees can add up quickly. However, beginner surfers can choose to rent surfing equipment from the surf spots at a reasonable price.


As we draw to a close, it’s clear that costa rica is one of the top destinations for surfers. With its diverse range of waves, consistent swells, and warm waters, the country is a surfer’s paradise. Starting from the north, we explored playa grande, witches rock, and ollie’s point, followed by jaco, playa hermosa, and dominical in the central region. Finally, we ventured to the south, discovering pavones and salsa brava. Regardless of your skill level, there is a surf spot in costa rica for you. Imagine the feeling of catching a wave with the sun on your face and the wind in your hair. Surfing is not just a sport but a lifestyle, where you can connect with nature and push your limits. So pack your bags, grab your surfboard, and head over to costa rica to experience some of the best waves in the world.  



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