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Where are the best surf beaches in Costa Rica

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Join us on a journey to discover some of Costa Rica’s best surf beaches, each with their unique charm and surfing potential.

Costa Rica, home to a myriad of golden beaches, lush rainforests, and vibrant culture, is renowned among surf enthusiasts from around the globe. One of the unique features of this abundant country lies in its dual coastlines, allowing surfers the opportunity to ride the waves of both the Pacific and Caribbean oceans. This Central American paradise truly is a surfers’ dream destination, whether you’re just starting out on the board, or you’re a seasoned wave rider.

Pacific coast rollers
Let’s begin our journey along Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline, stretching along the western side of the country. This rugged and dramatic shoreline is characterized by pristine sandy beaches, dominated by towering cliffs and the country’s iconic lush rainforests that cascade down to the water’s edge. The Pacific coast stands out from its Caribbean counterpart thanks to the raw power of its waves, which create a whole host of exciting opportunities for surfers in search of exhilaration. Some of this coastline’s highlights include:

Tamarindo
Tamarindo Beach is renowned among surfers worldwide, thanks to its spectacular sunsets and abundant wildlife. It also provides surfers with some exciting waves to tackle, leading this small town to gain a reputation as a top destination for surfers.

Tamarindo’s beauty lies in its strategic location, which has also resulted in its development as a cosmopolitan coastal town. Nowadays, there are various large resorts, with lots of places to eat and shop. Tamarindo is also well-connected, which results in plenty of visitors keen to enjoy its surfing opportunities.

Santa Teresa
While Tamarindo might be world-famous, Santa Teresa is perhaps its opposite; far from the well-trodden surfer routes, this stunning small town emerges as a Pura Vida hideaway, quietly tucked away on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. Perhaps the world’s best-kept secret, Santa Teresa is home to secluded beaches, stunning sunsets, and fantastic surf opportunities – not to mention a true sense of authenticity. Lacking large resorts and their accompanying tourists, Santa Teresa makes up for what it lacks in flamboyance with its unassuming beauty. There are also plenty of shops and restaurants here, making it a great place to enjoy a vacation. The waves can be feisty here, too, so it’s worth considering taking a lesson or two if you’re a first-timer in the area.

It is worth making a detour here: This off-the-beaten-path haven is home to some hidden gems, such as Costa Rica’s ultimate surf and yoga retreat (https://www.surfandyogacostarica.com/), where you can enjoy the thrill of riding the waves and all the wellbeing benefits of yoga and meditation in the very same stay.

Hermosa
Hermosa attracts experienced surfers from all over the world, but it’s not the place for beginners as the waves are consistently large. It’s often quieter than some of the better-known beaches, but bear in mind that the sand here is black – it’s best not to walk on it barefoot as it heats up quickly.

Caribbean Coast
Let’s move to the other side of the country and find out what Costa Rica’s eastern coast has to offer its surfing visitors. Generally speaking, the Caribbean coast is said to offer a more laid-back vibe. The beaches here are known for their coral reefs rather than their giant rollers, with gentler waves that appeal to surfers first starting out. That’s not to say this coastline doesn’t sometimes experience more substantial waves, and it’s worth consulting this wave height forecaster before visiting – especially if you’re a surfing novice.

Puerto Viejo
Puerto Viejo is home to a great selection of restaurants and bars while preserving a relaxed vibe. Surfers head to Puerto Viejo to enjoy the surf and soak up its colorful architecture, lively markets, and abundant wildlife. Puerto Viejo can be prone to some more lively waves, so it’s a good place for more experienced surfers to hone their skills.

Playa Chiquita
Playa Chiquita blends natural beauty with an enviable laid-back atmosphere. What’s more, it enjoys a consistent, gentle swell, making it an excellent setting for beginners – as well as others who perhaps need to hone their skills before heading westward to the Pacific! Playa Chiquita enjoys beautiful, lush surroundings, which only add to its allure. This unrivaled backdrop makes for an exhilarating place to unwind after a day enjoying the simple pleasures of riding the waves.

Whether you’re after the adrenaline rush of larger, more spirited waves, or you’re after a beginner-friendly destination, there’s a Costa Rican surf beach for everyone. The only problem might be choosing where to head to first!



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