Surfing in Costa Rica

Surf in Costa Rica and stay at great surf accommodations

PURA VIDA – Situated between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica, which means “the rich coast” is a tiny sliver of land. The country is a fascinating picture of contrasts and contradictions. There are only 120 km as the crow flies between the Caribbean Sea to the East and the Pacific Ocean in the West. North-eastern Costa Rica consists of great marsh land, whilst inland areas are dominated by mountain ranges soaring up to 3800m; the South is a jungle and the Northwest features dry grassland plains.

The national language is Spanish, the currency is the Colón and the Costa Ricans are called “ticos”.

Since the late 90’s the prices have dramatically risen, and the “Switzerland of Central America” lives up to its name. However, low-budget travel to Costa Rica is feasible but tricky. Surf camps, surf hostels and guest houses (Cabinas) have a good reputation and offer more than just accommodation. Surf travellers interested in more luxurious accommodation will find plenty of possibilities: Cosy and comfortable lodges, boutique surf hotels and specialized surf resorts.

As is usual for the tropics, temperatures are constantly blissful all year round, averaging about 30° Celsius. The East coast of Costa Rica is damper and more tropical than the dry Pacific Coast. Generally the seasons are divided between a rainy season lasting from May to October, and a dry season from May to October and “verano” (summer), from November to April: the latter is the main journey time for Costa Rica. Verano not only sees really good waves hit the Pacific coast, the surf at the Caribbean Sea is heavenly. There is also a constant offshore wind on the Western (Pacific) coast.

The majority of the surfers are Americans, with some Europeans and “ticos” thrown in for good measure. Generally, the better the surf spot, the more locals you’ll find. The most popular spots at the Pacific coast are Witches Rock and Playa Tamarindo. You only get little reef breaks on the Northwest coast, but you do get dozens of world class beach breaks instead. Most surfers at the Caribbean Sea are found in Puerto Viejo - not only for the good waves, but also for its relaxed atmosphere of the town.

Currency: Colon CRC
Size (sq km): 51.100
Coastline (km): 1.290
Population: 4.253.877
Language: Spanisch, English

Surf spots

Pacific Central/Puntarenas
Spot Costa Rica Pacific Central
Pacific North/Guanacaste
Playa Carmen
Playa Santa Teresa
Mal Pais
Manzanillo outer reef
Playa Coyote
Witch's Rock
Ollie's Point (Portrero Grande)
Playa Avellanas - Little Hawaii
Playa Avellanas - El Estero
Playa Avellanas - La Purruja
Playa Avellanas - Lola’s
Playa Avellanas - Palo seco
Playa Tamarindo
Pacific South Costa Rica
Surf Spot Cost Rica Pacific South
Caribbean Coast Costa Rica
Spot Region Caribean

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