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Fast Facts

Home > Adventures > Surfing > Points by Region


  • Manzanillo
    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 area.

  • 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.

  • Westfalia
    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 from Limón.

  • 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 Limón.


  • 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.

  • Langosta
    A right and left point break that curls off the mouth of a small river, located 1 km south of Tamarindo. Easily accessible.

  • Avellanas
    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.
  • Nosara
    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.


  • 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 big swell.

  • 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 peak.

  • 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 available nearby.

  • 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.


  • Quepos
    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 accessible.

  • 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 are available.

  • 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 other areas.

  • Matapalo
    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.

  • Pavones
    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 Pavones.


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