Best time to visit Costa Rica

Surfing in Costa Rica

In Costa Rica you will find some of the best waves on the planet


Surfing is one of the top activities in Costa Rica. There are plenty of great spots such as Jaco, Tamarindo, and Puerto Viejo, which make an effort to attract surfers. The best waves are during the rainy season on the Pacific coast and during the dry season—on the Caribbean. Therefore, you can choose whatever place and time are​ more appropriate, but be aware that during the wet season the roads become almost impassable.

Practical info

What are some good places in Costa Rica to go surfing?

Costa Rica has numerous excellent spots for surfing, with destinations catering to all levels of expertise. Playa Hermosa and Playa Jaco are easy wave breaks ideal for beginners, while Tamarindo is perfect for those at the intermediate level. Esterillos Oeste, Pavones, and Playa Negra have the largest waves suitable for seasoned pros willing to take on a challenge. Show more

When is the ideal time for surfing in Costa Rica?

May to November is the perfect time for surfing in Costa Rica, especially for those wanting to experience the big swells of the Pacific coast's rainy season. For surfers along the Caribbean coast, however, December to April is typically the dry season's best time for riding waves. However, surfers should note that wave quality may be affected during the dry season due to the wind's strength. Show more

What distinguishes waves on the Pacific coast from those on the Caribbean coast in Costa Rica?

Although both coasts of Costa Rica offer surfing, there is a marked difference in the type of waves present. The Pacific coast's waves are stronger, more consistent, and larger than those on the Caribbean coast. Some of the world's most well-known surf spots exist on the Pacific coast, while the waves in the Caribbean are smaller, making it the ideal location for beginners and intermediate surfers. Show more

What precautions should you take when surfing in Costa Rica?

Safety during surfing is essential, and there are specific precautionary measures to consider while surfing in Costa Rica. Make it a point to check weather and wave conditions before entering the water. Surf in a company of at least one other person since the water can be rough in some areas. Whenever possible, avoid strong currents and undercurrents, which can move surfers out to sea unexpectedly. Additionally, prevent dehydration and sunburn risks by applying sunscreen and staying hydrated. Show more

What types of water activities can you engage in besides surfing in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica has a plethora of water activities to choose from besides surfing, including kayaking, white-water rafting, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddleboarding. The country's crystal-clear waters are home to amazing coral reefs and a wide range of sea life on display. Costa Rica offers endless opportunities to explore its stunning rivers, waterfalls, and lakes, making it a coveted destination for water lovers. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin