Escapes

Q:

Where Should I Surf in Costa Rica?

Stevie Mitchell surfs in Playa Grande, Costa Rica.     Photo: Stevie Mitchell

A:One of the most popular places to catch waves in Costa Rica is the Guanacaste province located on the country’s northwestern “gold coast.”

Not only does this province yield some pretty awesome wave breaks, it’s also one of the most heavily visited areas with a booming tourist apparatus. So when you’re taking a break from your board, you’ll find lots of hotels, restaurants, bars, and other activities to fill your time. 

However, you should know that recently Costa Rica has seen an uptick in crime, so we do recommend you review the U.S. Embassy’s safety precautions before heading out. We should also mention that visiting during the dry season (December to April) is probably a better idea than traveling in the rainy season. Otherwise, you'll run the risk of surfing alongside crocodiles that have been washed from river to sea.

Tamarindo

Surfing is all about balance, right? Well, for the right ratio of surfing and partying, Tamarindo should be your final destination. This beach town is lined with hotels, restaurants, bars, and a handful of surf shops in case you want to rent a board. The beach also offers a variety of waves for surfers of all levels: Check out the wave break at the rivermouth, as well as the one at Playa Langosta. Plus, making Tamarindo your home base also places you in close proximity to the famous reef break at Playa Negra to the south, and the popular Playa Grande to the north. 

La Roca Bruja

La Roca Bruja, or “Witch’s Rock,” is located in the Santa Rosa National Park and is probably the most famous wave break in Costa Rica. Accessible only by boat or with a 4x4, off-roading vehicle, the volcanic Witch’s Rock offers a sand bottom beach break that helps create swift, strong, and hollow waves. In fact, these waves are so fierce that only experienced surfers should attempt them. To get there, you’ll need to hire a ride from Witch’s Rock Surf Camp or another licensed camp or tour operator.

Ollie’s Point

If you’ve ever seen the surfing documentary Endless Summer II, then you’ve heard of Ollie’s Point. Also located in the Santa Rosa National Park, Ollie’s Point is right near the border of Nicaragua. Ollie’s Point is only accessible by boat, but tourists and locals alike think it’s worth the travel. First, this point break offers pretty consistent waves and second, the waves roll long. Surf schools such as Ollie’s Point Surf Camp call it “the surf adventure of a lifetime.”

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