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surfing beaches in costa rica​

the Best Surfing in Costa Rica

The best surfing in costa rica

Have you ever wondered which places in Costa Rica are recommended for surfing? What is the best surfing beaches in costa rica? You’ve probably dreamed of going on an unforgettable vacation, combining a trip to one of the most beautiful countries in the world and your favorite sport—Surfing. Costa Rica is indeed the place to make that dream come true. The beautiful beaches and perfect waves attract surfers from all over the world and are suitable for all experience levels.

best surfing in Costa Rica

Table of Contents

Caribbean Coast and Pacific Coast Surf

Costa Rica has two coastlines: One borders the Pacific Ocean, and one borders the Caribbean Sea. The most famous surfing beaches can be found on the Pacific side, although there are still many surfing beaches on the Caribbean side. Together these shorelines offer a variety of waves and beaches and create a multi-faceted experience for anyone on vacation. From one coastline to the other, a relatively short five-hour drive makes it easy to travel to both, even if you are only visiting for a few days. The diverse coastlines create a variety of types of waves throughout the year: breakouts, beach breaks, break breaks, reef breakers, right and left waves and long and high waves. Many websites are frequently updated with the types of waves and the conditions of all of the beaches in Costa Rica. 

Costa Rica map Surfing

Surfing Season in Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s geographical location creates perfect surfing conditions all year long. As a result of the proximity of the equator to the Pacific coastline, a wave system is produced by a sea storm, and it moves in a certain direction from both the north side of the Earth (November to March) and the south side (throughout the year). Surfers also enjoy the comfortable water temperature in Costa Rica, which stays regularly between 22-27 degrees Celsius – surf packages

Wet Season vs Dry Season

Costa Rica does not have typical seasons like most of the world. It has only two “seasons”—the dry season and the wet season. In the dry season, from January to April, the weather is summery, but not entirely. The climate varies according to the geographical location. The dry season is indeed rain-free, especially at the northwest Shoreline. In contrast, the rest of the coastline facing the Pacific may still get some rain during the dry season. The Caribbean coast on the eastern side of Costa Rica tends to be rainy throughout the year, and there are no significant climatic differences between the rainy season and the dry season. However, in September and October, the Caribbean beaches have a dry and sunny period, unlike the rest of the country that is even rainier than usual.

During the wet season—May to December—rainfall rises. But even during this period of rain, sunny days frequent the coastal area. If it rains, it doesn’t usually start until the afternoon. Keep in mind that mountainous and other isolated areas may be difficult to navigate during the rainy season.

Today’s Weather – surfing beaches in costa rica

Best Season to Travel and Surf in Costa Rica

You can take a trip to Costa Rica in both the dry and wet season. When choosing the time of year to travel in Costa Rica, you should not only take the weather into consideration but also the number of vacationers. The dry season is a busy season for tourists, especially during the holidays of Christmas and Easter. In the dry season, prices are higher and tourist sites are crowded, but the weather conditions are more comfortable, and entertainment venues are open late to allow you to enjoy more shows.

In the wet season, the amount of tourists decreases significantly, prices go down and it is easier to find affordable accommodations. You may encounter some rain, but you will still enjoy many sunny and pleasant days. If you want to escape the rain, you will be a relatively short drive away from another location where the weather will most likely be more dry.

For those who plan to surf in Costa Rica, there are no limitations when choosing a season to travel or a surfing beaches in costa rica, as Costa Rica is known for its great waves throughout the year. If you’re a beginner surfer who plans to take surfing lessons for the first time, you’ll find suitable beaches all year round, and experienced and professional surfers will enjoy great breaks in both seasons.

8 Best surfing beaches in costa rica

That the list of the best surfing beaches in costa rica:

  1. Pavones

  2. Matapalo

  3. Dominical

  4. Utiva

  5. Jaco

  6. Boca Barranca

  7. Santa Teresa

  8. Tarmarindo

Pavones | Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

Surf at Pavones

A small town in South Costa Rica that boasts the longest wave in Costa Rica and the second longest in the world, Pavones is a must-have for any experienced surfer. The notorious waves brought the legendary windswept Robbie Nash to the town, who managed to continuously surf for more than a mile and for more than two minutes. However, these beautiful waves are not consistent throughout the year. It is recommended to visit during the rainy season, April to November, when Sawal begins.

Surfing skill required

Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

Wet season, April to November

Driving time

6-7 hours from San jose

Surf at Matapalo

A reserve located on the Ausa Peninsula in front of Pavones, Metapalo is a discovery that tourists hardly know—a virgin jungle and paradise for experienced surfers. The waves are on a global scale with three excellent point breaks.

Surfing skill required

Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

Wet season, April to November

Driving time

3-4 hours from San jose

Dominical | Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica
Matapalo | Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

Surf at Dominical

Dominical is a coastal town visited by surfers from all over the world due to its exceptionally high waves. You can stay in hostels right on the beach, close to the ocean and magnificent waves. The beach is perfect for experienced surfers—but the high currents and proximity of coral reefs to the beach make it unsuitable for swimming. The advantage of this is that tourists rarely reach the town unless, of course, they are obsessed with surfing. The beach in Dominical also perfect for beginners.

Surfing skill required

Beginner, Intermediate & Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

All seasons

Driving time

3-4 hours from San jose

Uvita | Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

Surf at Uvita

Uvita is a coastal town located in the heart of “Marino Blena” Nature Reserve, especially popular between December and April when you can watch the whales migrate. Unlike other surfing beaches in costa rica, this narrow strip of land is surrounded by the sea on both sides. It is a beautiful beach with white sand and clear blue water and has excellent conditions for swimming and a variety of water sports. The Uvita beach is suitable for the whole family. There are many sea and land attractions in the area, and the waves are perfect for beginners. Anyone who wants to learn to surf will surely find a reputable surfing school.

Surfing skill required

Beginner surfer

Recommended Season

All seasons

Driving time

3-4 hours from San jose

Jaco surfing hotel in Costa Rica

Surf at Jaco

Jaco is the most modern coastal town in Costa Rica. The city is accessible and is only an hour’s drive from the San Jose airport, making it comfortable for families. It has all the necessities for a trip with the family like a variety of hotels, restaurants, and many attractions. The beach in Jaco is perfect for beginner and expert surfers, and you can find surfing schools and various shops that sell and rent equipment for surfing. Jaco is the best choice among other surfing beaches in Costa Rica. Experienced surfers also visit Jaco because it is only a short drive to beaches for more professional surfers—such as Hermosa Beach, which is just five minutes away—with pipes and Beach Break for experienced surfers only.

Surfing skill required

Beginner, Intermediate & Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

All seasons

Driving time

1-2 hours from San jose

Boca Barranca | Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

Surf at Boca Barranca

Boca Barranca is a beach just north of Jaco, known for its very long left wave that sometimes reaches a mile long. They are the second longest waves after those of Pavones. The beach is very accessible and comfortable, has parking and showers, and is spectacular in its beauty. It is recommended to visit during the dry season, because the wet season causes erosion from the river, bringing dirt.

Surfing skill required

Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

Dry season

Driving time

1-2 hours from San jose

santa teresa costa rica The Best Surfing in Costa Rica

Surf at Santa Teresa

A surfer’s village located at the southern tip of the Nicoya peninsula, Santa Teresa is great for both experienced and beginner surfers. The unique location of the beach creates three major breaks, each giving different surfing conditions ranging from waves reaching huge heights to gentle waves that are suitable for novice surfers. The village has surfing schools, surfing equipment shops and convenient access.

Surfing skill required

Beginner surfer

Recommended Season

All seasons

Driving time

5-6 hours from San jose. including ferry.

Tarmarindo Surfing Beaches in Costa Rica

8) Surf at Beaches Around Tamarindo

Tamarindo is a small town in the western Nicosia peninsula and is very friendly and comfortable for tourists. The beach in the city is extremely accessible, and the sea is suitable for beginner surfers. The town has shops and surfing schools, and around the city there are other extraordinary beaches. Professional and experienced surfers are recommended to travel to the beaches located north and south of Tamarindo, such as Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, and more.

Surfing skill required

Beginner, Intermediate & Experienced surfer

Recommended Season

All seasons

Driving time

4-5 hours from San jose

Costa Rica Surfing Culture

A surfing trip in Costa Rica allows you to not only experience the physical act of surfing beaches in costa rica, but it also gives you an opportunity to immerge yourself the surfing culture. Surfing for sport is an inseparable part of the daily lives of Costa Rican residents who live in coastal towns like Jaco, Puerto Viejo and Tamarindo. In these cities you can find surfing schools, a place to rent or buy surfboards, surfing equipment stores and anything else you could possibly need on a surfing trip. In these towns you will get the best tips from the locals who are experts on the waves and their beach conditions.

What Else Does Costa Rica Have to Offer?

Despite its small size, Costa Rica is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries in the world. In addition to its picturesque beaches, it is recommended that you travel and see the rest of the country’s natural wonders—the rainforests, diverse species of animals, volcanoes, nature reserves, tree trekking, horseback riding and breathtaking views—all waiting for you in Costa Rica.

Are You Planning a Surfing Trip to Costa Rica?

My name is Tony, the owner of the Las Orquideas Hotel and surfing school in the coastal town of Jaco, and I would be happy to host you during your visit to Costa Rica. Our surfing school offers surfing lessons from ages five and up and provide an English-speaking teacher. We are here to help you discover the best surfing beaches in costa rica.

Tony

Best Surfing in Costa Rica: Riding the Waves at Izu’s Place in Jaco

Surfing enthusiasts and adventure seekers often find themselves drawn to the pristine shores of Costa Rica, a tropical paradise renowned for its world-class surf spots. Nestled along the Central Pacific coastline, the vibrant town of Jaco stands out as a haven for surfers, offering an array of surf breaks suitable for all skill levels. Among the numerous surf centers that dot Jaco’s coastline, Izu’s Place emerges as a true gem, providing an unmatched surfing experience that combines thrilling waves, expert guidance, and the breathtaking beauty of the surroundings.

1. Introduction

Costa Rica, with its lush rainforests, diverse wildlife, and stunning coastlines, has long captured the hearts of travelers seeking adventure and relaxation. At the heart of this enchanting country lies Jaco, a town that has become synonymous with exhilarating surfing experiences. Among the surf centers that dot Jaco’s coastline, none compare to the exceptional offering of Izu’s Place.

2. The Allure of Costa Rica’s Surfing Scene

Costa Rica’s unique geographical location blesses it with consistent waves year-round, making it a haven for surfers of all levels. With warm waters and abundant surf breaks, it’s a dream come true for those who love to ride the waves.

3. Jaco: A Surfer’s Paradise

Jaco’s vibrant atmosphere, stunning sunsets, and lively culture make it a prime destination for surfers. Its long stretches of beach offer diverse waves, catering to beginners and seasoned surfers alike.

4. Izu’s Place: Where Surfing Dreams Come True

Nestled along Jaco’s coastline, Izu’s Place is a surf haven that has garnered a reputation for excellence. With its team of skilled instructors, top-notch equipment, and a passion for surfing, it’s the ultimate destination for those seeking an unforgettable experience.

5. The Waves Await: Surfing Opportunities for All

Whether you’re a novice eager to catch your first wave or an experienced surfer looking for a challenge, Izu’s Place has the perfect wave for you. From gentle rollers to more challenging barrels, there’s something for everyone.

6. Expert Guidance and Surfing Lessons

Izu’s Place takes pride in its experienced instructors who tailor lessons to individual needs. Whether you’re looking for a one-on-one session or a group lesson, their patient guidance ensures you’ll be riding the waves in no time.

7. Embracing the Pura Vida Lifestyle

At Izu’s Place, surfing isn’t just a sport—it’s a way of life. Immerse yourself in the “Pura Vida” spirit as you connect with fellow surfers and embrace the laid-back, joyful vibe that Costa Rica is known for.

best surfing in Costa Rica

8. Accommodation and Amenities

The comfort of Izu’s Place extends beyond the waves. Enjoy cozy accommodations that cater to all budgets, along with convenient amenities designed to enhance your stay.

9. Exploring Beyond the Waves

While surfing might be the main attraction, Jaco offers a plethora of other activities. From zip-lining through the rainforest to exploring vibrant local markets, there’s no shortage of adventures to embark upon.

10. Safety and Sustainability: Izu’s Place Commitment

Izu’s Place is dedicated to not only ensuring your safety in the water but also to protecting the environment. Their commitment to sustainability reflects their deep respect for the ocean and the surrounding ecosystem.

11. Getting to Izu’s Place in Jaco

Reaching Izu’s Place is a breeze. Whether you’re flying into San Jose or arriving from another part of Costa Rica, convenient transportation options make getting to Jaco simple.

12. Testimonials: Stories from Satisfied Surfers

Don’t just take our word for it. Hear from individuals whose lives were transformed by their experience at Izu’s Place, as they share their stories of conquering the waves and forging lasting friendships.

13. Why Choose Izu’s Place for Your Surfing Adventure

What sets Izu’s Place apart? It’s not just the waves or the stunning location—it’s the unwavering dedication to creating an experience that goes beyond surfing, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

14. Unforgettable Memories: Capturing the Essence of Jaco

Jaco isn’t just a place; it’s a feeling. Whether it’s the thrill of catching the perfect wave or the warmth of the local community, the essence of Jaco is something that stays with you.

15. Conclusion

In the heart of Costa Rica’s surf paradise, Izu’s Place stands as a beacon for surfers seeking an unparalleled experience. With its exceptional waves, expert instructors, and a commitment to fostering a community of surf enthusiasts, it’s a destination that truly embodies the spirit of adventure and camaraderie.


Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Jaco suitable for beginner surfers? Absolutely! Jaco offers a variety of waves catering to all skill levels, including beginners.

  2. Do I need to bring my own surfboard? While you’re welcome to bring your own, Izu’s Place provides high-quality rental boards for your convenience.

  3. What’s the best time of year to visit Izu’s Place? Anytime is a great time, as Costa Rica enjoys consistent waves year-round. It’s best to check for local conditions before planning your trip.

  4. Are there activities for non-surfers in Jaco? Of course! Jaco offers activities like hiking, zip-lining, and exploring the local art scene, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

  5. Is Izu’s Place committed to environmental conservation? Absolutely. Izu’s Place is dedicated to promoting sustainability and respecting the environment, both in and out of the water.

Izu's Place

150 Metros Este de Pops,
Jaco Centro, 33345 Jacó,
Costa Rica

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