Swells, lifestyle, nature…those words are probably the most accurate ones to describe what surfing in Costa Rica is like. And it´s not surprisingly that the country ranks in the top ten surf spots worldwide. But also the land of Pura Vida itself offers a plentitude of beaches and coastlines where surfers wend their way to enjoying the country´s swells, lifestyle and nature. Therefore it´s actually pretty difficult to decide what Costa Rica´s best surf spots are (keeping in mind that the country has a total of 1234 km coastline – 212 km on the Carribbean and 1022 km on the Pacific).
Nevertheless, there are 4 different beaches that should definitely be placed in the list of Costa Rica´s best surf spots. Not because those 4 are home to the country´s biggest waves, but because a surfer´s heart will beat faster for sure by just experiencing the atmospheres of those unique places while riding along the country´s most scenic and beautiful beaches.
Starting in the north, Tamarindo once was a small and quiet fishing hamlet in the area of Guanacaste. But the rumours that along the idyllic town on the Pacific coast the region´s ‘surf mecca’ can be found, spread quickly and made Tamarindo a popular destination. The best time to surf there is May to October, although beginners should enjoy the consistent swells and breaks from the beach, by watching the more advanced ones, as the waves can get pretty high.
Nosara is a great deal for all kinds of surfing-levels, ranging from excited children to begin a potential surfing career up to riding pros, who also wouldn´t wanna miss this relaxed spot. Thanks to its endless white-sand beaches, natural surroundings, pure and friendly locals and its laid-back athmosphere, Nosara has made it into the list of National Geographic´s world´s best surf towns. So if you´re interested in surfing beside some howling monkeys and a vibrant flora, while experiencing pinturesque sunsets, Nosara is definitely worth a visit.
Serving up with one of the world´s longest rides, Pavones stands out as being a truly surfer´s place and not much more, after all. Although it is located 8 hours away from the capital San José in the country´s south and is not too easy to access, one will not regret the arduous journey – as long as the 2-3min wave-ride will allow your feet to get out of bed the next morning. Unfortunately a surfer must be very patient to catch a good swell regarding the town´s location on the interior of the Golfo Dulce. But when it hits, it really hits!
The best time to surf the Caribbean coastline, is in contrast to the Pacific, from October to April, making the country an awesome surf-destination all year round. Although it should be considered that the swell is less reliable than on the Pacific. Puerto Viejo is located south on the Caribbean and is famous for its “Salsa Brava”, the most powerful waves of the country. Inexperienced surfers should better step aside for the veterans faced with the fact that many boards have been victims to these gigantic waves, that sometimes carry more than 20 surfers at a time. Furthermore Puerto Viejo is the perfect place for inhaling the typical Crribbean flair and listening to some of the best Reggae songs.
By Alena Kalb
The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
San Jose, Costa Rica