Surf Packages To Costa Rica
If you're a surfer - or even if you dream of becoming a surfer - then Costa Rica is a country you should no way, under any circumstances, overlook.
There are reasons why Costa Rica is a renowned surf destination, famous as one of the best in Central America and the world. With two tropical coastlines and year-round warm, tropical, and consistent Pacific and Caribbean waves, it's no surprise at all that Costa Rica is a major draw for anyone looking for a surf vacation.
From novice beginners trying to stand up on a board for the first time to the most hardcore of pro-surfers, Costa Rica has a wave for everyone.
Costa Rica owes its popularity as a surfing vacation spot to its natural beauty and natural wonders. It was surfers who were instrumental in turning many a tiny beach hamlet into a bustling tourism destination.
Surfers were coming to Costa Rica as far back as the 1950s and they were among the original tourism pioneers in the country.
Costa Rica has its own special Surf Day (October 19), which recognizes surfing as an activity of particular tourist and economic importance. In short, surfing has been instrumental in shaping tourism in Costa Rica and in regenerating beach communities.
And as long as Costa Rica keeps receiving some of the best waves on the planet, surfing will remain vitally important.
So whether you're starting on your surfing journey or you're an old hand, welcome to Costa Rica's surf scene. Let's help you plan the best surf vacation of your life.
Where Are the Best Costa Rican Surf Vacations?
Costa Rica's varied coastline offers a myriad of options for anyone looking for a surf vacation.
There are soft beach breaks for beginners; barreling point breaks for more advanced wave riders, reef breaks, river mouths, lefts, rights, etc.
Costa Rica delivers no matter what kind of board you like to ride, what wave you want to surf, or what level your skills are at.
But where to go? With so much coastline and so many waves, the choices out there can confuse a first-time traveler to Costa Rica.
And that's where we come in. We can put a personalized surfing vacation package together for you that matches your surfing with your favorite type of hotel. It's simply a matter of understanding which locations are better suited for which type of travelers and which kind of surfers.
Below, we'll take a quick spin around Costa Rica's shores so you can get an idea of where to surf.
The northern Pacific coast of Guanacaste is arguably the center of Costa Rica's surf scene, with Tamarindo and the beaches surrounding it comprising the main core.
1994's Endless Summer II movie, the sequel to the iconic Endless Summer, was what put Tamarindo on the map, although surfers have been coming here since the 1970s.
If you're looking for a bustling town built on the back of surfing, then Tamarindo is the place, and it's a perfect base for any surf trip to Costa Rica. Surfers flock each year to enjoy Playa Tamarindo, Playa Langosta, Playa Grande, Playa Avellanas, and other beaches.
Tamarindo also offers a base point for boat trips up to the Santa Rosa National Park, where two of Costa Rica's most remote yet famous surf breaks - Witches Rock and Ollie's Point - can be found.
Fun fact: Ollie's Point is named after U.S. Colonel Oliver North, who ran a secret CIA airstrip that supplied the Contras in Nicaragua in the 1980s. How's that for some international intrigue to go with your surfing?
Another great thing about Tamarindo is that it's excellent for learning to surf. Tamarindo Beach in town offers small yet consistent waves perfect for beginners, while the surrounding beaches attract the more experienced. You'll find plenty of surf schools in Tamarindo, or we can arrange surf lessons for you and your family/friends if you want. Let us know!
Tamarindo is also great for accommodations, with hotels and rental homes to suit all budgets and tastes.
Staying on the Pacific side and moving south from Tamarindo, you start entering the Nicoya Peninsula, which stretches down from here to Santa Teresa at the bottom, with miles and miles of surfing in between.
This coastline is a surfing mecca, with communities like Nosara and Santa Teresa featuring prominently in travel publications in recent years. These two communities, in particular, have nailed the concept of blending surfing with wellness. As a result, you'll find plenty of surf-oriented hotels with yoga programs and amazing spas to enjoy in this part of Costa Rica.
Many beachfront accommodations dot the coastline, and the long, open beaches offer plenty of opportunities to grab a peak alone.
The low season is ideal for those travelers who enjoy less crowded but popular locations, as the high season brings more visitors than other areas.
Central and South Pacific Coast
The Central Pacific region of Costa Rica provides some of the heaviest waves in the country and a few surprises. For example, right at the port of Caldera is the left-hander known as Barranca, which is almost a mile long.
This wave is particularly great for longboards, and its ease of access means it gets crowded at times.
Further south, you'll find the more famous breaks of Jaco and Hermosa. Alongside Tamarindo in Guanacaste, these beaches are major Costa Rica surf scene centers. Jaco is the main town, while Hermosa is famous for its international surf competitions, and both beaches are very different.
The horseshoe bay of Jaco provides a much softer and easier wave, suitable for beginners. However, it closes out quickly, so more advanced surfers will find more fun elsewhere.
Hermosa is a long, dark-sanded beach with a genuine board-breaking wave. Fast, and with plenty of barrels to catch some shade from the sun, this is one of Costa Rica's premier locations for surfers.
Traveling further south, the beaches are less crowded but offer excellent surfing. Esterillos provides high-quality, off-the-beaten-path surfing for visitors who want lesser-known destinations. Further south is Dominical, home of big waves and small town surf culture.
The very south of the country is home to two of the best waves available, Pavones and Matapalo. Both are secluded spots and closer to nature, facing each other on opposite sides of Dulce Gulf.
They are also a little more fickle than other beaches but will reward the adventurous traveler. Pavones is home to one of the longest lefts in the world, while Matapalo is only for those who know what they're doing.
It often surprises people to learn that the very best Costa Rica surfing exists on the Caribbean side of the country. The Pacific is visited more, for sure, and there's a longer coastline and more beaches on that side.
But serious surfers - the most serious surfers - will want to head to Puerto Viejo on the southern Caribbean coast near the border with Panama.
Here they'll find Costa Rica's most famous break, the Salsa Brava. This exposed reef break is Costa Rica's most prominent and heaviest wave. The Salsa Brava is not for beginners or intermediates. Only experts need apply here, and you'll even see many of them surfing with helmets and water shoes to protect themselves.
Other, less fearsome, breaks around Puerto Viejo too for surfers seeking something more mellow.
Puerto Viejo is a laid-back beach town with a reggae vibe that's been seeing a resurgence in recent years. Long associated with budget travelers and backpacking surfers, Puerto Viejo has matured somewhat and is home to fantastic upscale and boutique hotels.
Getting a Personalized Costa Rica Surf Trip
Knowing the most popular surfing beaches and communities and having deep local knowledge of where the best waves are is key to a successful surf trip.
Some surfing spots are less crowded than others, or closer to other adventure or nature activities if you want to change the pace. But, of course, if the whole family wants to hit the beach and try the surf, that's possible.
With that understanding, it's easier to make a travel itinerary that adjusts to your personality and needs. Costa Rica Vacations can take the hassle away, leaving space only for fun and sunny days.
To make your surf package unique and full of the best waves, contact us today and let us help you plan the ultimate surfing vacation package to Costa Rica.
FAQs About Surf Trips and Packages to Costa Rica
Does Costa Rica have good surfing?
Costa Rica has some of the best and most consistent warm water surfing in the world.
What side of Costa Rica is best for surfing?
Both sides are excellent. The Pacific side offers more variety of beaches and places to stay, while the Caribbean side has arguably the best wave in Costa Rica.
What is the best time of year to surf in Costa Rica?
You'll find great, consistent waves all year round in Costa Rica, although the Pacific side sees bigger waves from May to December and the Caribbean side from December to April.
Is Costa Rica good for beginner surfers?
Costa Rica is great for surfers of all abilities, including beginners. Ask us about the best places to go for surfing lessons for you and your family.