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Special valid to Nov 15, 2009
Best time from December to April.
Access by boat only from El Coco beach. A 2 mile stretch of beach with hollow sand bottom beach breaks creating long lefts and rights. Better on high tide, try to avoid it during dead low tide if possible.
Access by boat only from El Coco beach. Right point at the river mouth with fast, hollow waves that roll on the beach endlessly breaking over a rocky bottom. Take off at a series of rocks with slow entry. Like all the spots in the North Pacific, it is better on high tide, avoid it during dead low tide if possible.
Beach break with perfect left and right peaks, holds waves up to almost double-overhead. A very consistent break, Playa Grande almost always has fun, ride able waves, and catches more swell usually than Tamarindo.
Rights and lefts breaking over rocks and sand in front of a rivermouth. Usually a little bigger than the nearby breaks in Tamarindo. Very fun surfing, but not always perfect waves. Best conditions at mid - high tide with offshore flow.
Tamarindo is accessed by paved road all the way from San José (4½ hours) or by shuttle plane (no boards over 7 feet) into the local airport. To get to Playa Grande you need a 4x4 vehicle. From San José take the Carretera Interamericana to Liberia. It takes about 4 hours to drive from San Jose to Liberia. Once you get to Liberia, start driving towards Tamarindo. The closest gas station is in Filadelfia, so make sure to gas up on the way down. Once you pass Belen, there will be signs all the way to Playa Grande. It takes about 45 minutes from Liberia to Playa Grande.
Tamarindo is centrally located on the coast to offer easy access to a wide variety of surf breaks for all abilities including beach, river mouth and of course, reef breaks such as Witches Rock and Ollie's Point. Tamarindo is a great place to use as home base to explore many of the area breaks to the north and south.
However, the real attraction of Tamarindo is its central location between the world famous break of Playa Negra (south) and Witches Rock (north). Logistically, Tamarindo provides the easiest place to explore the most surf in the shortest time. Moreover, Tamarindo offers a wide variety of accommodations from beachfront hotels, condominiums to private house rentals. This is the best place on the Northern Pacific coast to go for the perfect mix of a variety of waves, accommodations, restaurants and nightlife.
First time visitors to Costa Rica tend to fall in love with this tropical paradise although, many return visitors will opt for quieter destinations such as Playa Grande or Nosara. It's also very close to Playa Avellanas and Playa Negra.
Playa Grande is a good option for those looking to avoid the crowds often found in Tamarindo and surf world class waves right out their front door.. Grande offers one of the area's most consistent waves and there are several private house rentals located right on the beach. This offers surfers a more remote option than Tamarindo while still offering easy access (15 minute drive) to the amenities of the town.
Best time from December to April. For those looking for a remote vacation experience, these are the ideal destination.
A series of rights and lefts from a rivermouth offering a series of peaks including reefs and beach breaks. The northern end of the rivermouth boasts an outside reef break, "Little Hawaii," which works best on a west or northwest swell and is ideal for long boarders. The rivermouth is a rock bottom right that can get very hollow and best at low tide in the am.
12 kilometers south of Tamarindo offering epic right-hand reef/point break. Very consistent, perfect and powerful, known as one of the best breaks in Costa Rica. Playa Negra starts to really turn on when it's a couple feet overhead, and can hold almost triple overhead without closing out. Very playful and fun surfing when its around head high. Negra can get crowded easily.
Avellanas and Negra are accessed by a dirt road from Huacas (just outside of Tamarindo). Check road conditions before driving (beach and internal road available).
It offer some excellent surfing and for those looking for a remote vacation experience, these are the ideal destination. There are comfortable & affordable accommodations here within walking distance to the surf however the only services offered other than those found in nearby Tamarindo, are those at the hotel. This is an ideal location for surfers looking for a more relaxing, remote surfing vacation with less nightlife and more dawn patrol sessions.
Although most travelers opt to stay in Tamarindo and make the drive to these breaks, if you choose to stay at these locations for your surf vacation, the best way to enjoy these breaks is to stay at the respective hotel in front of the break.
A beach break and a left reef that work better on higher tides. There are many peaks with hollow, fast rights and lefts. The waves jack up off the sandbar creating a tough entry. On a large enough swell, try surfing at Playa Blanca directly in front of the Iguana Azul which offers double overhead epic lefts.
Located between Junquillal and Ostional, this is one of the area's most consistent breaks offering excellent conditions with the presence of offshore winds. No services.
Beach and reef break with rights and lefts that works on higher tides and south to southwest swells. Located north of Nosara.
Great beach break with peaks and shallow rock reef lefts that get barreling with a large south or southwest swell.
A rock reef on the north side which is best with a north swell at incoming high tide. Not very consistent and gets very crowded
A beach break with a left point that works better at high tides and early in the morning. This area offers some of the most consistent year-round surf ranging from head-high to double overhead and much less crowded than the Tamarindo area.
Located way down between Nosara and Mal Pais. Nice beach break that is surrounded by rocks. This break is very consistent and offers surf year-round Best conditions from the south, or southwest.
Short right hand reef break directly in front of Olga's Bar/Restaurant in Pelada. Usually best at mid to high tide, with a decent size swell. Good when it's closing out elsewhere.
Nosara is accessed by taking the ferry from Tempisque Ferry across the Nicoya Peninsula and then drive for 2 hours until reaching Nosara. There is also a small airport.
Nosara has become increasingly popular amongst traveling surfers as it offers a more laid back, relaxed atmosphere than its bustling neighbor to the north, Tamarindo, while boasting world class surf almost all year. The small community of Nosara offers visitors a unique experience with a variety of moderate accommodations, activities such as surfing, fishing, horseback riding and more.
Nosara has become a popular destination for repeat visitors to Costa Rica who are looking for a different experience than Tamarindo or Hermosa. This is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful areas and the only noise that you will hear in Nosara is the sound of the waves crashing and the monkeys howling.
Best time December to April
Good lefts and rights at this hollow beach break. Tends to pick up more swell than nearby breaks and holds shape better at low tide. Take a right at the crossroads and continue 3km. Best conditions on west/southwest swell.
An offshore reef break at the north end of the beach with the same name. When the swell is big, it works, fickle otherwise.
A beach break that peaks with some rock reef. This wave offers a long right wall and a shorter left breaking over a sloping sand bottom. When these breaks get big, try the nearby reef breaks in Manzanillo or to the south of Carmen. Best conditions on west/southwest swell.
A lefthander with a fast take off followed by a long workable wall. Gets hollow with size and offshore winds. Needs a good swell. Not for beginners.
A long lefthander wraps round the point turning into a great hot dog wave as it moves through the inside. Needs a lot of swell to work properly. Not for beginners.
Mal País is accessed by taking a ferry from Puntarenas to Paquera and then driving about 1 hour on mostly paved road into town. From Guanacaste drive south through Nosara, Sámara and Coyote, ford the Río Bongo and continue through Manzanillo to Malpaís. Several stretches between Coyote and Manzanillo are along the beach, so make sure the tide is low. This route is only possible with a 4x4 during dry season.
Mal País is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, is another rising, yet still fairly untouched, surf destination in Costa Rica. Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is a very small community scattered along the pale, gold beaches with a beautiful backdrop of green vegetation.
This area is ideal for surfers looking for a remote surfing experience with no nightlife, just good, consistent waves and a great atmosphere. Most waves in the area are best for intermediate surfers, however a large swell will put the area's more fickle reef breaks in epic form for advanced surfers.
Best time May - November
a long left point break in front of a rivermouth, when it's working the ride can last almost a kilometer! Considered the second longest wave in Costa. Excellent long board wave, and for hitting the lip on a short board. You can see the break and people surfing from the road when crossing that small bridge in Puntarenas. Best on a south swell at low tide. Also it's best to surf it early to avoid crowds and catch it glassy. The wind usually comes onshore in the early afternoon. Water can be extremely dirty after a rain so be prepared!
This break needs a large swell from the south/southwest. Just to the south, you will find "El Hoyo" which is a thick, hollow right hand which forms off a jetty and breaks over a sand bar. It is more consistent than Boca Barranca. To get to “El Hoyo," you must enter the port and "convince" the guard to let you through. Stay in Jacó and travel to Caldera in the morning. Caldera does need a swell before it starts working. Surfing at high tide is best.
Offering a variety of lefts and rights, beach breaks and rocky points (Valor). Tivives offers rights & lefts breaking with strong currents; the mouth of the river creates and almost perfect, tubular left (beware of crocs & dirty water). Valor is accessed by paddling across the river. Best at incoming high tide with a south swell.
a horseshoe, A-frame reef break with a powerful, hollow left and mellower right. Be aware of low tides as rocks are exposed. Best at mid - high tide with a southwest/west swell. Boat access only from Herradura Bay.
long beach with lefts and rights breaking and sand bottom and rocks. This area is smaller than Hermosa and a good option for beginners. Best in front of Cabinas Alice at the south end, in front of Disco in the middle, and in front of Copacabana at the north end.
Powerful, rocky right hand reef break off a large exposed rock. Lots of water moving around. You have to descend a steep cliff then paddle out in a small channel. It's best surfing this break with someone who has surfed there before, so they can show you the safe way to paddle in and out. Experienced surfers only! Best surfing when the tide is low.
Powerful and consistent beach break that sticks out into the Pacific, assuring constant swell. You will rarely be surfing under head high here. It can be perfect sometimes, delivering a nice barrel, but at other times you might see the barreling waves all over the place, but have trouble finding that perfect wave for yourself! Hermosa is actually a several mile long stretch of beach, and you can go surfing anywhere along beach.
a fast, hollow right breaking in front of a group of visible rocks. Several other breaks just south of this break offer less punishing waves breaking over a sandbar. Best conditions on a west/southwest swell from low to mid tide incoming.
a very consistent sandbar located at the entrance to the dirt road in Hermosa. This wave breaks close to the beach and is generally hollow with rights and lefts. Best conditions on a southwest/west swell at mid - high tide incoming.
breaking in deeper water than most of the hotel breaks, this break also offers a sand bottom with rights and lefts. Best conditions on a south/southwest swell at mid- high tide incoming.
breaking in even deeper water creating a little more size, more sand bottom rights and lefts. Generally bigger than northern breaks of Hermosa. Best conditions at low to mid tide and a west/southwest swell.
located in front of the Soda Tulin about 10 minutes south of the Backyard, this break is consistently a few feet bigger than the hotel breaks. There is also a rivermouth break further south (with crocodiles) with a perfect line-up in ideal conditions. Best conditions at low tide on a west swell.
You can either surf Esterillos east or Esterillos west. Beach break peaks, usually with good shape. Both lefts and rights. Surfing is similar to Jaco/Hermosa. It closes out more at low tide, but can still produce a barrel. Better surfing it Mid-high tide
One of Hermosa's greatest advantages: located just 2 hours on paved road from the international airport in San José
Playa Hermosa and nearby Jacó is THE definitive surf Mecca of the central pacific coast. This area arguably offers the most consistent year-round surf with over 3 ½ miles of steep beaches with excellent exposure to swells from almost any direction. Playa Hermosa is a small community of surfer friendly hotels and small restaurants & all accommodations are located beachfront with surf right out the door. Because the surf in Playa Hermosa is more challenging than nearby Jacó, this area attracts a more experienced surfer.
Playa Jacó, located just 2 hours from the International airport, has become one of Costa Rica's most visited beach towns, especially amongst the traveling surf community. Jacó is a small, yet extremely active town geared towards surfers, parties & nightlife. As you walk down the "strip," you will find countless surf shops, restaurants, bars, discos and a variety of accommodations.
Access by boat only, a very strong, and hollow right. This wave is best at low tide filling in with a mid size to large swell from the northwest or west.
Long left with some perfect sections that breaks right in front of the town, visible from the road. Slightly sheltered from swell, need to be some size before this break even starts working, but when it's good it's good. Mostly a fishing town, Quepos is right between two favorite areas for surfers: Dominical/Pavones and Jacó/Hermosa. This is a great place to stop for lunch when traveling. Mostly it gets checked, and surfers continue on
a short beach break located at the northern most end of the beach in Manuel Antonio. Best conditions with a medium to large swell from the south/southwest at mid to high tide. With a big swell, you can also surf the outer reef with offers long, open rights, ideal for long boarding by paddling across the river... beware of crocodiles!
With the presence of a large swell, this beach break offers a strong & often tubular left and right. Best conditions at mid to high tide and a large swell from the south/southwest.
Very similar to Playa Hermosa; this isolated beach break offers lefts and rights that close out with the presence of a big swell. Always bigger than nearby breaks so if you are in Manuel Antonio with non-surfers and are looking for relief, check this place out. No crowds with several peaks and is only accessible via a palm plantation about 15 minutes south of Quepos. Best conditions at mid - high tide incoming.
Manuel Antonio is accessed by a paved road (almost completely) from San José (3 hours) or by a shuttle flight into the local airport in Quepos (no boards over 7 feet).
Manuel Antonio is a beautiful town located about 45 minutes south of Hermosa offering beginner surfers, or surfers traveling with non-surfing partners, an excellent destination. Manuel Antonio combines breathtaking jungle and ocean views, exotic beaches, unique wildlife, a wide variety of adventure activities, friendly local & tourist community and plenty of restaurants and bars creating an unforgettable experience for travelers of all walks of life.
Although this area is not known as a prime surfer destination like Jacó, there are some fun beach breaks at the local beaches and some excellent uncrowned breaks within a short drive.
Best time from May to November
Strong beach break with lefts and rights. Fairly consistent break, located about 45 minutes south of Quepos. The northern end of the beach offers bigger sets while the southern end is better for intermediate surfers. Best conditions at mid - high tide.
Dominical is accessed by a dirt/gravel road from Manuel Antonio (1 hour) which can be accessed by paved road from San José or shuttle flight into the local airport of Quepos.
Dominical is a good option for those looking for similar conditions to Playa Hermosa in a more relaxed atmosphere. The surf here is mostly beach break, however, tends to close out on bigger swells as it is not as steep as Hermosa. There is a point break just to the south which offers some good surf on a bigger swell.
Where the Talamanca Mountain Range gently slopes into the South Pacific Ocean and waterfalls cascade down and spill onto the beaches, you will find the small town of Dominical. Dominical, is a small laid back town surrounded by pristine rainforest and beautiful coastlines. This surfer’s paradise offers great surf, numerous local restaurants, bars and a wild nightlife. Dominical is geared towards serious surfers who wish to avoid the heavy crowds of Playa Hermosa and are looking for a more relaxed, tropical atmosphere.
There are a few breaks, rarely surfed due to the fact it is very hard to get there. Rio Sierpe is rumored to be an excellent rivermouth break. Uncrowded surfing for the hardcore! Daily flights are available from San José.
Best time from May to November
A powerful and steep right hand wave that breaks best at mid tide offering fast rides. Because it faces the open ocean, it picks up more swells & is more consistent than nearby breaks. Best conditions at mid tide and a west/southwest swell.
A large, yet slow right that breaks over a reef in the middle of breathtaking Backwash Bay. Due to the steep beach, the waves generally jack up creating steep sections; great long boarding. Not as consistent as Matapalo, however, when it is going off, outshines Matapalo. Best conditions from mid- low tide and south/west swell.
A long right point break that needs a large swell to work. With ideal conditions, you can expect up to 500 yd tubular rides. This wave has several fast sections that break over a rocky bottom. Best conditions with a large swell from the south at mid tide.
Access to Matapalo is via a paved road from San José all the way down south (there are some sections towards the end that are not paved…4x4 recommended) or via a shuttle flight to the local airport of Puerto Jimenez and then a one hour ride into Matapalo.
Situated on the extreme tip of the Osa Peninsula, Matapalo combines dense jungles, breathtaking beaches, world class surfing in a peaceful, remote setting. However, there are several downsides to staying in Matapalo. First of all, the surf is not very consistent. Second, because this area is one of Costa Rica's few remaining pristine destinations, the "locals," (which in this case, any American who got there before you), are not very welcoming to new faces. Also, it is important to mention that this area is extremely remote and all power here is provided by solar energy. There are no restaurants, bars, shops and therefore, all hotels include all meals in their stay (which means rustic accommodations, does not mean "rustic" prices!
Best time from May to November
The legendary Pavones... point break left, with great distance in rides - almost .75 miles. Yes, that's miles. Obviously, one of the longer breaks in the world. This break is erratic but when it's good, it's really good.
a reef break with rights and lefts located just south of Pavones. Good place to check out if Pavones is too small or too crowded. Best conditions at mid to high tide with a swell from the south, or west
Access by boat only (South) - Welcome to the end of the world. Very, remote & powerful reef breaks located on the very tip of Costa Rica on the border of Panama. Best conditions with a swell from the south or SSW. Accessible only by boat.
Access to Pavones is achieved via a paved road all the way down south about 8 hours drive) or fly into Golfito (no boards over 7ft) and catch a taxi ride down to Pavones.
Legendary left point break that can deliver rides almost 3/4 mile long on a good swell. One of the best, longest waves in Costa Rica! Surfing Pavones can be incredible when it's good, but it's fickle. Rideable on all tides, but it tends to close out less on mid-high tides. On low tides the cobblestones become more visible, and the paddle in and out becomes a lesson, but at least the rocks are smooth.
The wave has several sections which allow for carving, pumping and, of course, showing off for the folks sipping on their Imperials at the Cantina at the end of the break. This area is extremely remote and if you can catch it on a good day, the logistical nightmares surrounding your arrival will be well worth it.
However, there are many things to consider before traveling to Pavones. Due to its location on the interior of the Golfo Dulce, it is blocked from many swells and can go for weeks with no surf. Moreover, once the swell hits, it is common to see a large crowd of international travelers (+ the protective locals) battling for position. We recommend not going here until you know there is surf... because once you get there; it's a long way back!
Best time November to March
Stretch of beach break lefts and rights visible from the road between Limon and Cahuita. Consistent waves year-round, but it closes out if it gets overhead. Pick your own break and go surfing!
Access by boat only, this island located off the coast of Limon offers an excellent, yet, dangerous left that breaks on a reef. This is most powerful left in Costa Rica with three sections and facing a coral reef. Best days offer waves with 10 ft faces.
Offers a great beach break with waves year round. Best conditions in the early morning with swell from the south or east at almost any tide.
offers both lefts and rights however the right is generally faster, with a steep entry. This is most powerful wave in Costa Rica and the best conditions with an easterly swell which can produce up to triple overhead surf.
This beach break offers a more consistent break with lefts and rights breaking close to the beach. This wave tends to jack up with a big swell due to the steep beach entry, beware of currents! Best conditions in the early morning before the winds blow it out. However, you can surf here all day as the wind often improves the lack of form.
Drive 2-3 hours east from San José until you reach Limón and take a right and continue for one hour until you reach Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo has certainly most known for being home to what has been called the heaviest wave in Costa Rica: Salsa Brava. Salsa, although fickle, has definitely earned this reputation offering a thick "sauce" breaking over a shallow reef. The wave is very competitive and certainly, for experts only. More intermediate surfers can check out the beach break just south at Playa Cocles.
The Caribbean coast is quite different than the Pacific as you will find it is not as nearly built up and the culture/atmosphere is even more laid back than other parts of Costa Rica.
Lessons can be arranged directly at surf shops. They will take you out, usually at low tide, and teach you to catch and stand up on whitewater and smaller "inside" waves. If the conditions are right and you are doing well, they'll try to get you into some bigger waves. Here are some schools, for more information please contact us.
Located at the heart of Las Baulas de Guanacaste Nature Preserve in Playa Grande (Tamarindo), the surf camp lies 100 meters from a large, white sandy beach. A sanctuary for both turtles and surfers, this beach has some of the best beach breaks in the country. Accommodation is in cabanas and the surf camp also has a self catering kitchen and barbecue for guests to share, as well as a swimming pool. The camp is 15 minutes walk and boat crossing from Tamarindo, on the other side of the river estuary. Inquire Now!
They offer surf lessons for all levels, located in the heart of Tamarindo. This location allows for fast access to famous beaches like Avellanas, Playa Grande and Playa Negra. We also have trips available for experienced surfers who seek great adventures at the world renown Roca Bruja "Witch Rock" and Ollie’s Point. Inquire Now!
Located in the thick of the jungle in a secluded community served by dirt roads, far away from the commercial beaches of Tamarindo and Jaco The local vibe is “pura vida” in and out of the water.
Your guides and teachers will immerse you in the friendly, unspoiled rural community. Our goal is to make your journey the trip of a lifetime. You will not be a tourist on your trip, rather a member of the community as we will dial you in as a local. There are many lesson packages to choose from. Inquire Now!
Safari Surf School is the premier surf school and surf camp in Costa Rica. In addition to instilling a passion for surfing, you'll also be immersed in native culture and treated to local style. This is the only surf school included in "Best Outfitters on Earth" By National Geographic Adventures". Safari Surf School is an ISA certified school. The Safari Surf School instructors are licensed in CPR and life saving technique. You can also add yoga lessons into your daily routine and if yoga’s not your bag then they offer additional full body massages as a substitute! In the area you can also go canopy, snorkeling, horseback riding, hiking, taking an ATV to the waterfalls, kayaking, and fishing. Inquire Now!
Del Mar, is located on the beautiful Central Pacific Coast, an ideal surfing spot for all levels. They offer well-rounded program with a mix of surfing, yoga, hiking, and massage. A day at camp often begins with an early morning hike into the surrounding mountains, where you can see monkeys, toucans and the amazing views of the sunrise; it’s a great spot to check the waves too! After hiking, if the tide is right, you will go straight to the ocean where the experienced bilingual instructors take you to the perfect surfing spot for your ability. Catching and standing up on your first wave is a once in a life time experience that you will never forget! Inquire Now!
New surf school just steps from beautiful Playa Hermosa beach near Mal Pais and Santa Teresa. Shaka provides world class surf instruction with the beginner, intermediate and adaptive surfer in mind. Our resort welcomes families, couples, single travelers, or groups. The camp is a quick 3 minute walk to one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in our region. The beach is very quiet, secluded, and has an amazing sand bar beach break which is great for all levels of surfing. The break offers year round warm water and excellent waves. Playa Hermosa is just north of Santa Teresa and south of Manzanillo. It is a residential living community surrounded by endless beaches and tropical rainforests; you will enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean, landscape, and local wildlife. Inquire Now!
Costa Rica Surf Camp is located in beautiful Playa Dominical, one of the greenest areas of the country with wonderful waves and people. Costa Rica Surf Camp offers a variety of options so you can have the best vacation, surfing experience and enjoyment of tours in the Dominical area where the water and air temperatures are 85 degrees. Playa Dominical breaks 365 days a year so students and visitors can count on having waves for their surfing vacation. Beach break is safer than reef break and offers small waves on the inside for beginners, and larger waves outside for advanced surfers. Playa Dominical is a small surfing town with night life at a few bars and restaurants, and small friendly hotels. Inquire Now!
Tropical Surf School was founded in 2004, in need for qualified, professional surf-instruction in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. Many people, including tourist and ticos, have wanted to learn to surf but it hasn’t been easy to find good, qualified surf instructors in the area. Quepos is very near one of the most visited national parks in Costa Rica, Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio is known for spectacular coastal scenery and an incredible diversity of wildlife. Here there is a great balance between nature, scenery, wildlife, and world-class accommodation and restaurants. The area is also known for consistent waves, year-round, with options for beginners and experienced surfers alike. They know where to find waves to suit anyone; smaller waves to start on, or larger, more powerful waves for the more experienced. Inquire Now!
Since the time when surfing started in Hawaii, many adventurous surfers came to Costa Rica and discovered our waves; but kept them a secret. Eventually as time went by, many of the local people became interested and now, surfing is one of the most popular sports in Costa Rica and in the world!
Because of Costa Rica's perfect surfing conditions, it has turned out to be one of the hottest places to visit and it is ideal for both the beginner and professional surfer. The warm water, beautiful beaches, sunny skies, spectacular nature, easy going locals, friendly sharks!...but especially the great variety of waves makes Costa Rica just perfect. Costa Rica also has an unusual strategic position that within just a few hours you can surf at sunrise at the Caribbean coast, and later in the day, watch the sunset over on the pacific side, catching a different set of waves!
For instance on the Caribbean / Atlantic side, you have amazing reef breaks like the very famous Salsa Brava and Isla Uvita, and also the beach breaks like the one in Cocles Beach and Manzanillo. This will also give you the opportunity to see more of the different kinds of Costa Rican cultures. Enjoy the jungle and the mixture of cultures between the black Afro-Jamaican and the indigenous people of the Bri-bris. Get the Rastafarian way of life and have great snorkeling in the Gandoca-Mazanillo Refuge. Enjoy a fresh lobster and the local dish of rice and beans (cooked with coconut milk) along the sea in Puerto Viejo or other laid back villages.
Then, go over to the Pacific side where you have the world's longest left side waves in Pavones, the well known Witch's Rock for the perfect left and right break with the longest barrels, and of course Hermosa's beach break where you always come out with a great smile! Over on the Pacific side you have the cowboys, the real "ticos", the mixture of the best quality service and food and where you can just indulge watching the most astonishing sunsets that you will never forget. Try Mal Pais' west facing beach. Incredible surfing, too!!
Every beach in Costa Rica has a specific "direction". So when the swell (waves in a particular direction) comes, not all the beaches have conditions for the waves to be perfect. So if you are travelling only for a short time and you want to have a good surf vacation, it is better that you get a guide. In this way you don't waste time and miss the waves.
Almost every beach is "surf-able" but you must know which time of the day is the best time. Over at the Pacific side you have the high and low tide. When there is low tide, the water goes back, it get dryer, shallower, there are currents, and in some beaches the waves will completely disappear. And when there is high tide, the water is nearer the shore, the waves are thicker and that makes them more difficult to catch. So depending on the beach, the waves could be better in low tide, and in others it would be better on the high tide.
For those who haven't yet had the magic experience of riding the waves, but are willing to try it out, there are plenty of options. The first thing that you must know is that anyone can surf, no matter if you are 8 years old or 70 years old, as long as you are careful. You can rent your own surf board and try it by your self if you have plenty of time, or have someone, like a surf guide, who can instruct you. Surfing is something that will get you addicted to once you can ride a wave, but before you get to do that magical point you will have to be careful. If you are on your own, you need to take care of other surfers or people who are around you, with the waves, and even with your own board! So surfing by your self requires strong will, determination and observing.
Nowadays there are many ways to learn. You can practice outside on the sand, and learn about the different kind of waves, the pop up, and the safety tips. Instructors usually make learning to surf a nice experience instead of a life threatening experience! (Joke!)
Whether you are going to body surf, kayak surf, boogie board or regular board surf, Costa Rica is the perfect place to do all of that. Then, enjoy and have a wonderful time going to volcanoes, hiking thru great nature, and savoring the local flavor and friendly people. Pura Vida!