Points by Region
POINTS BY REGION
Located in the Gandoca-Manzanillo Reserves, 20 km south of
Puerto Viejo, the northern end of this beach sports a fast
break. On contrary, the southern end has virtually no surf
because it is heavily protected by a large coral reef.
Although surf is not a heavily practiced sport at this beach,
diving, sea kayaking, trekking the reserves and abserving the
nesting of turtles in the nearby Gandoca-Manzanillo Lagoon are
among other options. Although the road in is unpaved, a 4WD
is not required. Lodging is rustic and the several
restaurants around can dish up some excellent, typical
caribbean cuisine for starving visitors.
- Puerto Viejo
An area with plenty of surf, but most well known for the
biggest and most powerful wave in Costa Rica, "SALSA BRAVA"
or "MEAN SALSA". This thick, voluminous, Hawaiian-style wave
builds in deep water and breaks on a shallow reef. The right
will usually be steep and tubular and its left will also
provide a short, but sweet ride. Puerto Viejo is
approximately a 3-1/2 hour drive from San José. Plenty of
restaurants and hotel accomodations are available in the
- Playa Negra Cahuita
An execellent beach break, not well known and
therefore not heavily visited. Nevertheless, there are waves
all year round. to reach Playa Negra, take the road to Puerto
Viejo. Take a left about 2 km before the Cahuita National
Park entrance. After approximately a 10 minute drive from
there, you will find the point - a well kept secret with a
few U.S. surfers living in the area. The area hosts a variety
of food and lodging accomodations.
A stretch of beach breaks extending south from Limón to
Cahuita, offering lefts and rights that tend to close out
when the swell gets too big. Food and lodging accomodations
are recommended in Limón or Cahuita.
- Uvita Island
An island off the coast of Limón where a perfect but
dangerous left breaks on a reef. Isla Uvita is about a 20
minute boat ride from Limón with passage available only at
certain times of the year.
- Playa Bonita
A point/reef break known for its very thick, powerful and
dangerous left. Access is a short and easy drive up the coast
- The North Caribbean Coast
This endless stretch of beach breaks is located along the
coast of the Tortuguero National Park where some of Costa
Rica's largest rivers meet the Caribbean Sea. Extreme
conditions and the presence of sharks at these river mouths
can deter any hardcore surfer. Most tourist visit the area to
sportfish at these river mouths or boat through the
Tortuguero canals and access its rich biodiversity. July to
November visitors come to witness the nesting of the Green
Turtles. Overnight lodging is available. The most practical
ways to get there are to fly or rent a boat from about 2 km
north of Playa Bonita or from a small port 7 km north of
- Potrero Grande
A very remote right point break with very fast and hollow
waves. Located about 270 kms of San José with no road access.
You can rent a boat out of Playas del Coco or Playa Ocotal.
There are no facilities there, but camping is a possibility.
- Playa Naranjo (Roca Bruja)
One of the best beach breaks in the country, with very strong
offshore winds from December to March. This remote spot is
located in the Santa Rosa National Park, about 38 km. north
of Liberia. A good 4WD is a must. For long stays, camp
grounds are set up but no facilities are available. It is
also possible to boat over from El Coco or Ocotal. Don't
forget your mosquito net!
- Playa Grande
Beach break located about 20 minutes north of
Tamarindo. It is recent addition to the National Park System
as an effort to protect the area as a nesting ground for
Leatherback Turtles. It is accessible by road, or an easy 45
minute walk across the Tamarindo Estuary and down the beach.
A couple of accomodations and restaurants are available.
- Playa Tamarindo
A good, central location for North Pacific surfing. Plenty of
hotel and restaurant accomodations are available and easily
accesible, along with local surf shops and ding repair
facilities. Surf spots consist of: Pico Pequeño, a rocky
point; El Estero, an excellent river mouth break and Henry's
point, another rocky point break.
A right and left point break that curls off the mouth of a
small river, located 1 km south of Tamarindo. Easily
Surfers have the choice of a good beach break, an estuary
break and the weel-known reef break,"Little Hawaii". Located
10 km south of Tamarindo and now easily accesible by a graded
road. Some accomodations and restaurants are available.
- Playa Negra
One of the North Pacific's best right reef point breaks.
Located 350 kms from San José and accessible all year round
although a 4WD during the wet season is recommended. It is
only 5 km south of Playa Avellanas but normally accessible by
4Wd only. Several food and lodging accomodations are
available in the area.
A beach break with lefts and rights. The 350 km drive from
San José across the Nicoya Peninsula takes about 5 hours.
Food and lodging accomodations exist in the area.
- Playa Coyote, Mal País and Cabuya
Good beach breaks and reefs in a remote area in the Nicoya
Peninsula where a 4WD is a must due to the rivers and heavy
mud. Roads are more reliable and accomodations improve as one
travels from Coyote south to Mal País.
CENTRAL PACIFIC COAST
- Boca Barranca
A river mouth with a very long left, located 100 kms from San
José and easily accessible just off the main coastal route.
Accomadations abound as Boca attracts hundreds of surfers
from around the globe.
- Caldera Port
This excellent left is located 3 km south of Boca Barranca
and breaks off of a jetty/rivermouth near the port. Best on a
- Playa Tivives and Valor
Featuring a variety of waves from beach breaks
(Tivives) to a rocky point (Valor). Good quality rights and
lefts located 10 km south of Boca Barranca just off the paved
coastal route before the exit to Jacó down the coast.
- Playa Escondida
A horseshoe reef break with a left and right. On good swells
the spot can get rather crowded with locals dominating the
- Playa Jacó
One of Costa Rica's most visited surf towns located
approximately two hours from San José (140 km). It hosts a
wide range of tourist attractions,surf shops, ding repair
facilities, hotels, cabins, campgrounds and restaurants. Jacó
Beach itself is a fun beach break, and home to some of Costa
Rica's best surfers. It tends to close out on larger swells
but its central location and wide range of amenities make it
a good base for surf adventures.
- Roca Loca
The "Crazy Rock" is located at the southern tip of Playa
Jacó, just off the cliff from the coastal highway. This
tricky wave breaks right over submerged, shallow rocks and is
best during large swells.
- Playa Hermosa
The most consistent beach break in the area (10 minutes south
of Jacó) where deep waters off the coast and exposure to
different swells have built up a variety of sand bars.
The preferred sand bar to surf is located in front of a large
tree known as the "almendro".
Explore up and down the beach
for a perfect A-frame peak of your own. Accomodations are
- West Esterillos, East Esterillos, Bejuco, Boca Damas
An area with good potential for those willing to go a little
out of their way for surf. Plenty of beach breaks with
conditions similar to those of Playa Hermosa. Access is easy
and some accomodations exist.
SOUTH PACIFIC COAST
A small left located at the mouth of the estuary just outside
of town, and several good beach breaks in the area. Quepos is
about 45 minutes south of Jacó. With Manuel Antonio National
Park and white beaches just over the hill, tourist
accomodations and restaurants abound.
- Playa Espadilla
Located at the end of the road into Manuel Antonio and
just before the entrance to the National Park, this beach
break can be loads of fun when large swells make it into the
bay. Most surfers prefer the hefty right at the northern end
of the beach. Abundant accomodations, restaurants, bars,
entertainment, surf shops and ding repair are easily
- Playa El Rey
Beach break sporting many peaks. After 25 minutes south of
Quepos on the unpaved road to Playa Dominical, turn right at
Roncador. Accomodations and restaurants are recommended in
Quepos or Manuel Antonio.
- Playa Dominical
Another powerful and consistent beach break much like Playa
Hermosa with a more exuberant, tropical landscape. Other
semi-secret reef breaks and river mouths lie in the area.
Accessible by dirt road traveling south of Quepos or a 4-5
hour drive on the Pan-American Highway over the mountains
from San José. Several pleasant accomodations and resraurants
- Playa Drake
Accessible only by boat and quickest from the town of Sierpe,
this remote area offers several areas of long, powerful waves
during a big swell. the right at Rio Claro is about a 30-45
minute walk along the coast and through the jungle from Drake
Bay. True adventures can explore the coastline of the
pristine and distant Corcovado National Park, approximately 1
1/2 hours by boat. Several hotels, cabins,campgrounds and
restaurants exist at Drake Bay, but camping is required in
This excellent right point is located across the Golfo Dulce
from Pavones and can often be seen breaking from there during
large swells. Surfers can drive there by the Pan-American
highway. 4WD is recommended. It is also possible to rent a
boat out of Pavones or Golfito.
Local airlines can fly you down to Puerto Jiménez where you can catch a taxi to the
point. Several remotely located accomodations exist but
camping is a must if you want to wake and see the break from your bed.
Considered one of the longest lefts in the world, this point
is located 400 kms south of San Jose (8 hours by car). For
those unwilling to drive, local airlines can fly you to
Golfito, where you may catch a bus or taxi to Pavones. Good
accomodations exist on the point and surrounding area but
camping is a possibility if you are not afraid of heavy rains
during peak swell months.
- Punta Burica
Very remote and little reef breaks south of Pavones and
accessible only by boat. Nearest accomodations are in