Perfect waves, powerful spots, pleasant water temperature, infinite beaches… Costa Rica is a paradise for surfers from all over the globe. It is no coincidence that Costa Rica is called the “South American Hawaii”. It is probably because of “The Endless Summer 2”, a movie directed in 1994 by Bruce Brown, praising the quality of the waves in Costa Rica.
But first, let’s go back to the origins of this sport. It was born in Hawaii at least 300 years ago and basically consists in “finding a good spot and riding the waves standing on a board”.
We offer surf trips for all levels, especially on the Pacific Coast. To select our favorite spots, we relied on 3 criteria: the type and quality of the waves, the beach and the closest city.
If you don’t know which spot to choose, visit the website Wannasurf !
Famous Costa Rican surfers
NOÉ MAR MC GONAGLE
The surf star Noé Mar Mc Gonagle was born in and raised in the small Costa Rican village of Pavones. Growing up in a surfing family with Pavones as his backyard playground, Noe Mar fell in love with surfing at a young age. In June 2015, he won the gold medal at the ISA World Surfing Games that took place in Popoyo Beach in Nicaragua.
If you want to know ode about this competition, go take a look at Terra Caribea’s article about the ISA World Surfing Games on our blog.
Carlos Munoz is also a professional Costa Rican surfer, born in 1993. He started surfing when he was ten years old, although he couldn’t even swim. After a few junior-level competitions, he became the first Costa Rican to take part in the Championship Tour, in the United States.
The best surfing spots and the nicest waves
PLAYA SALSA BRAVA, CAHUITA, PUERTO VIEJO DE TALAMANCA, PLAYA COCLES
Recommended for experimented surfers, the Caribbean Coast can sometimes be quite dangerous. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a small fishing village, stuck between the tropical forest and the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic. From Puerto Viejo, you can reach several beaches like Playa Negra or Playa Cocles, or head a little further to Cahuita and Playa Salsa Brava.
THE NICOYA PENINSULA
PLAYA TAMARINDO, PLAYA NEGRA, PLAYA JUNQUILLAL
Ideal for beginners, Playa Tamarindo is a nice spot to ride big waves for the first time. However, advanced surfers will be able to test their skills too, trying to execute figures. When the tide is low, perfect right-hand waves break on Playa Negra.
Known world-wide, Santa Teresa is reserved to advanced surfers. You can rent a board from little shops or hotels in Salinas, a small town near the beach.
This beach is also known for being an important nesting site for leatherback turtles.
PLAYA JACO, PLAYA HERMOSA
Jaco is a touristic town and the hub of surfers in Costa Rica. From there, you can reach several beaches. For example, you can surf in Jaco in the morning, then head to Playa Hermosa (7 km) in the afternoon. At night, why not have a drink in Jaco’s city center, in one of the numerous restaurants of the town.
Playa Hermosa is a 7-km long playground for surfers given the quality of the waves crashing along the coastline.
This small village is known for having the “second longest left handed wave in the world”. It is on this beach that Red Bull filmed Robby Naish riding a wave for 2,15 minutes and more than 1 kilometer. This place is best for experimented surfers.
To discover new spots and see the meteorological conditions, visit the Magic Sea Weed website.