Spring break is just around the corner and it also happens to be the best time of year to catch waves on Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast. Costa Rica is a popular destination for surfers from around the world and Puerto Viejo has hosted some of Costa Rica’s most legendary surf competitions and events. This Afro-Caribbean town is an international hub for surfers with its laidback vibe and world renowned beaches.
The warm waters of the Caribbean and it’s variety of waves makes the area a surfer’s paradise for all levels. The waves in this region are at their best November through April. Of course if surfing isn’t your thing, there are a ton of other activities like kayaking, SUP, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Calm tide pools found in nearby beaches are a great place for families with kids.
Any seasoned surfer will want to make a trip to Salsa Brava at some point in their lives. You’ll find this legendary right break, which is considered the biggest in Costa, within the Puerto Viejo region. Salsa Brava, loosely translated as “angry sauce”, breaks over a sharp reef, featuring fast, powerful and barrel style waves. The swells build up at 5 feet holding up to more than 16 feet. Broken boards, bones, and gnarly cuts are a risk at this shallow beach break.
You’ll find another popular surf spot about a 5 minute bike ride from Puerto Viejo. Playa Cocles is a beach break that offers rights and lefts for intermediate and advanced surfers; however, beginners can be taught with an instructor. The crystal clear water is surrounded by the jungle with tropical wildlife, and lifeguards are available for help. It’s recommended to be cautious of the strong currents, but there is a lot of space to spread out and practice. Best time to surf is around high tide.
A little bit farther, about a 30 minute bike ride from the center of Puerto Viejo is the quiet Punta Uva Beach. This is a great spot for beginners or intermediate surfers when the waves at Playa Cocles are too big. Most of the area is located within the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge and it’s known for its right reef break, white sand, and beautiful scenery. This is even a great place to bring the whole family as there are calm waters for kids to swim.
New to surfing?
Lessons are always a great way to start out, and we have the perfect Package that will not only get you riding killer waves, but will also condition your mind and body with daily Yoga. Get the ultimate vacation experience with our Yoga and Surf Retreat Package!