Top 5 surfing destinations in Costa Rica

photo by Timo Balk

Costa Rica is a country for adventurers, for those who want to explore the beauties of nature, to immerse themselves in different cultures, but also for those who like sports above anything else. Sports, from the tame to the extreme, are well represented in Costa Rica, but perhaps one of the most popular activities for tourists coming to Costa Rica is surfing. The beautiful, pristine beaches and amazing breaks draw surfers from all over the world to Costa Rica, both amateurs and beginners, as well as professional surfers. Whatever your preferences in surfing, chances are that you’ll find what you are looking for in Costa Rica. Here are our picks for the top 5 surfing destinations in Costa Rica.

Santa Teresa Beach

If you want to mingle with the hippest surf crowd, then you should set up camp on Santa Teresa beach and show off your skills with a surfing board. Santa Teresa is lined with all sorts of surf camps, interesting bars and resorts, and there is a medley of surfing spots that will satisfy even the pickiest surfer. One of the best spots is La Lora Amarilla, which gets its name from the bar in front of which it is located.

Cabo Matapalo

photo by Laura Desobry

Cabo Matapalo is not a destination for the faint of heart or for beginner surfers, because the rocky breaks you can find here tend to be quite dangerous if you are inexperienced. However, if you have been surfing for quite some time and you are not afraid of a challenge, then the breaks at Cabo Matapalo on the Osa Peninsula will provide you with some awesome adrenaline rushes.

Playa Tamarindo

Playa Tamarindo is the archetypal Costa Rican surfer’s beach, and no surfing holiday in the country is complete without catching some waves at Tamarindo. The breaks are medium-sized, so great for beginners, and there are quite a few amazing surfing camps and schools along the beach. If you want something more hardcore, you should try the neighboring Playa Langosta.


photo by Arturo Sotillo

Pavones is world famous is surfing circles, and it has one of the most interesting point breaks that you can find anywhere in the world. The waves at La Cantina spot can take you on a 3 minute ride – that’s a kilometer! However, this left point break is not very consistent, so you should do some research to make sure that you visit the beach on a good day and you can take advantage of this awesome wave.

Playa Hermosa

The best thing about Playa Hermosa is that it delivers consistent and tall waves, and it is illuminated at night so you can even surf at night! This beach hosts several surfing competitions a year, and even when it’s not, it tends to be really crowded with surfers looking for a perfect wave, so it is obvious why Playa Hermosa is in the top 5 surfing destinations in Costa Rica.

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