It’s no secret that Costa Rica is home to dazzling beaches and endless sunshine, but did you know that it’s also a surfer’s paradise? From secluded surf breaks to glassy barrels, you’ll find everything you need to drop in on the best waves in Costa Rica. Oh – and we’ll even give you tips and tricks to tackle the biggest wave in Central America: Salsa Brava.
Playa Guiones, Nosara
If you’re searching for a consistent, all-levels wave in Costa Rica, look no further than Playa Guiones. Not only can you surf during both high and low tide, but Playa Guiones has surfable waves for over 300 days a year. The average water temperature is a balmy 83 degrees Fahrenheit and the sandy bottom beach break makes it excellent for both experts and beginners, depending on the day. Because of this, Nosara is known for its ideal surfing conditions and community of incredibly healthy, happy people (have you read about the Blue Zone?).
Playa Grande, Tamarindo
Arguably one of the most popular surf spots in Costa Rica, Tamarindo is home to top-notch surf competitions and world-class surfers. There are a large number of places to visit in this laid-back surf community, and Playa Grande is the perfect place for all-level surfers to enjoy an adventurous day hanging ten. Be warned: at times it can become a little crowded, but there are countless breaks to explore nearby. You can quite literally hop from wave to wave all day long!
If you visit in March, you might be lucky enough to catch the Tamarindo International Surf Film Festival. Enjoy two evenings of films, food, raffles and music with an awards ceremony in this little slice of paradise.
Roca Bruja (Witch’s Rock), Guanacaste
The name says it all – this gnarly surf spot is not recommended for the causal surfer or novice. Roca Bruja is an unpredictable and at times dangerous break known for perfect barrels and big swells. It was featured in the iconic movie “Endless Summer II,” making it forever cemented in the hearts and minds of surfers across the globe. This spot is not easy to get to, so we recommend you go with a local or hire a tour company to help you find your way. Rumor has it that crocodiles have been seen in these waters, so if you glimpse them simply wave and paddle in the other direction. Unlike Playa Guiones, the waters here are typically quite cold. Don’t go without a full-body wetsuit.
Salsa Brava, Puerto Viejo
Salsa Brava is not for the faint of heart. This behemoth of a wave is one of the most dangerous and challenging surf spots in the world. It throws fallen surfers into a perilously dangerous and shallow reef break, often referred to as the “cheese grater.” Helmets are recommended – even for the seasoned pros – and you’re likely to have an audience on a good day. Despite the dangers and challenges, professional surfers flock to Puerto Viejo to test their skills. When big swells from the east collide with winds from the south, Salsa Brava is a truly beautiful sight to see.
Are you ready explore the best waves in Costa Rica? Grab your board and book your trip today.