Best Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica (2020)

The rich coast, commonly known as Costa Rica, is a country sandwiched between the Caribbean Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Besides delicious cuisines, vibrant nightlife, Costa Rica is one of the best destinations for surf lovers.


Both the Caribbean and Pacific coastlines have warm water and consistent waves. What’s more, these sandy beaches are less crowded as compared to beaches in Australia or Hawaii.

With temperature ranging from 26°C-27°C, breaks and swells, Costa Rica is undeniably an ideal surfing destination for both beginners and pros.

To get the finest experience, take a yoga and surfing package. Your surfing event will be much better as the yoga part of the package prepares you in terms of balancing and flexibility on the paddle.

Let’s dive in and see some of the beaches you can visit.

Beginner Friendly Beaches

  1. Tamarindo surf town

Named as the most popular beach in Costa Rica by Forbes Magazine, Tamarindo is a beginner-friendly beach 67km from Liberia International Airport. The surf town has two main beaches-Playa Tamarindo and Playa Langosta. While both the beaches have waves of varying sizes, striking white sand, the latter experiences big waves ideal for experienced surfers.

Playa Tamarindo, on the other hand, is ideal for beginners because it has waves, knees to chest high, safe for a surfer who’s never been to an ocean. Worth noting, the beach has a beach break and it’s great for surfing between March and November.

  1. Playa Jacó

Located in Jaco is the exquisite Playa Jaco beach, an exciting and ultimate spot for beginner surfers. The beach break can give a wave of up to 10ft high, especially between April and November. The 2.5 miles stretch of this beach is beginner-friendly, but it’s advisable for a beginner to stick to the south end of the beach. It’s a perfect getaway because it’s the closest beach from San Jose.

  1. Playa Dominical

Another beginner-friendly surf spot is Playa Dominical as it has swells that close soon after they reach above 8ft. The laid back town is less developed than Playa Jaco, but you can be assured of good surfing experience.

  1. Playa Grande

Besides being home to sea turtles, Playa Grande is a premier surf destination. Grande is famous because it’s a beach known for the most consistent surfing waves and the availability of locals who are willing to train newbies. If you’re looking to develop your skills and learn more techniques as well as surfing etiquette, look at the package details of this beach.

  1. Mal Pais

Mal Pais started as a small fishing village. Today, the town is not only beautiful but also incredible for surfers who are starting their sporting journey. Stick to Playa Carmen where breaks are below 3ft. After a thirsty ride, head to one of the bars in the area for a cold margarita.

Ideal for Slightly Experienced Surfers

  1. Witch’s rock 

Getting to this beach is particularly interesting, mainly because it attracts a large number of tourists, yet the road remains terrible. Why? To prevent poachers from escaping quickly, the roads in this town have to remain, well, not perfect. However, the beach is accessible via a boat. It experiences beach break in front of Roca Bruja, a volcanic rock believed to have been cursed by a witch.

There is a catch.

Be on the outlook for an occasional crocodiles that inhabit the river mouth.

  1. Playa Guiones

 Famous as surfing and yoga hotspot, Playa Guiones is an ideal destination for intermediate surfers. Different sections in this spot have various wave peaks, and thus using your paddle when the swell is significant could be exhausting. If you’re still new to surfing sport, get a yoga and surfing package to smoothen your surfing experience.

  1. Manuel Antonio  

Looking owards a getaway between May and November? Manuel Antonio is not only home for surfing spot but also is a national park and thus its popularity. With gentle and all levels of waves, this beach is ideal for intermediate surfers who wish to have fun as naturally as it can be. The beach is less crowded and has all the amenities you might need.

  1. Playa Negra

Have you watched endless summer II? Well, Playa Negra is the beach featured in the movie and watching it, you’ll understand why surfers consider this beach home. The beach tends to be busy though surfers prefer doing their thing when the wave is more substantial as it protects them from rocky bottom. The swells are around throughout the year, but the laid back lifestyle is a reason to visit the town.

  1. Nosara

Nosara is named among the top 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic. New York Times considers it the best destination to visit in Costa Rica. Characterized by the long and dark beach, Nosara is ideal for intermediate surfers whose goal is to have the time of their life.


Ideal for Advanced Surfer

  1. Little Hawaii

Alternatively known as Playa Avellanas, Little Hawaii is a surfing beach ideal for experts. With waves reaching over 18ft, this beach is up for adrenaline junkies. With the reef and sand ocean floor, this spot experiences reef break. Its located 10km south of Tamarindo and is characterized by five types of waves peaks; thus can be ideal for beginners too as long as the waves are mild. Grace the beach any time of the year, but between May and November is the best time to surf.

  1. Pavones

Pavones is the second-largest surfing corner in the world. It’s a small town in the southern Pacific Zone nearby south of Dominical. Perfect breaks characterize the beach and thus have always attracted surfers across the world. Considering it has a rocky bottom, this surfing space is not for the light-hearted but people with healthy and strong feet and up for a long thrill.

  1. Salsa Brava

Are you a badass? If so, this destination is your choice. Located on the Caribbean Coast, Salsa Brava is one of the beaches offering powerful and substantial wave breaks. With coral reef at the floor of the ocean, you’re about to experience an exceptional surfing thrill.

  1. Playa Cocles

Located in Puerto Viejo, Playa Cocles is a perfect surfing destination for beginners. Considering it’s located on the Caribbean coast, the area is less developed but has eateries, boutiques, and yoga studios.

The coast has some of the best breaks and thus host surf tournaments every year.

If you’re not surfing, try scuba diving and snorkeling.

  1. Playa Hermosa

Located south of Jaco, Playa Hermosa is one of the best surfing spots for the experienced. The town is especially prevalent in august when expert surfers from all over the world flock here to showcase their talent. The beach is characterized by high swells and strong currents and, therefore, not ideal for swimming. It has, therefore, become a perfect destination for surfers looking for less crowded areas. The swelling reaches 13ft between April and November.

Final thoughts

It’s essential to consider and plan on what you want to get during your vacation. For instance, the distance between a beach and the nearest airstrip is a crucial factor to consider because it determines the time you’ll spend navigating Costa Rica. Check the wave qualities, your skills and facilities nearby before planning your trip.

Contact Samasati Yoga and Wellness Retreat for a customized yoga and surfing package in Costa Rica.