At just 9 degrees from the Equator, only on of North America’s east coastlines (Baja California Mexico south of Sayulita) is blessed with excellent surfing conditions. In addition, the vast majority of surfing there is of recreational interest only, as the waters are generally too deep for serious surfing, although the surfers do stay in awe of the huge waves rolling across their beaches. Still, even here, visitors can get a taste of new wave action as the surf season hits full swing from mid-November to early January. Surfing in Costa Rica offers some of the best surf in the world.}
However, many people who make the trek across the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy this heavenly body of water to find the place a bit too hot for their liking. So, what is there to do on an arid strip of land at two thousand meters altitude? Fortunately Costa Rica has many alternatives, including Costa Rica surfing, which is unlike any other. In fact, many people who make the trek across the Atlantic Ocean to enjoy surfing in Costa Rica do so because they have had no prior exposure to the cool waves rolling across the beach. Not surprisingly, the country is quickly becoming a favorite of surfers from around the world.
For those seeking to surf during the high season (which runs from November through March), the best place to hone your skills are the country’s most surfing-friendly locations, notably its famous two-kilometer-high beach in Playa Blanca and the five-kilometer stretch of beaches along the Gulf of Nicoya. For less experienced surfers, two kilometers of white sand beaches on the north coast of Santa Ana and a less crowded, less frequented southern coast are a good place to start. The waters are calmer and the surf is harder than in other locations, though there are more waves in the area. Beaches along the Gulf of Nicoya tend to be less crowded, but offer equally good conditions. If you can’t get to one of these beaches, there are plenty of alternatives along the Pacific Coast.
Most experienced surfers are tempted to head to northern Costa Rica’s more famous surfing destination of Cabo de Rama for the real excitement. Located only a few hours east of San Jose, Cabo has grown to become Costa Rica’s biggest tourist draw, attracting even more surfers in the process. However, many of those who go are drawn to the less developed southern coast for the more challenging breaks, which are still less crowded than on the north coast. There are also less expensive hotels along the beaches, giving travelers the chance to experience the true flavor of Costa Rica.
The low season (the part of the year when surfing is least likely to be available) is the best time to visit northern Costa Rica for the surf. The majority of the North Pacific coast is fairly quiet, with only a few areas that are crowded and full of inexperienced surfers. This means that you can take advantage of all of the beautiful beaches, rather than just the ones that get crowded. The south and central Pacific coast, however, is a different story and is packed with beautiful beaches and plenty of experienced surfers.
No matter where you head in Costa Rica, you’re bound to find great surfing. The country’s best spots are found along the Pacific, and even a day trip to nearby Panama City offers some of the best breaks in the Western Hemisphere. A surf trip to Puerto Plata is another great choice, with stunning cliffs, spectacular overlooks and plenty of open water to enjoy. Another area that is popular with tourists is the eastern side of Santo Domingo, with numerous large break spots including the popular Playa Escondido. In this area you’ll find a variety of water sports, including windsurfing, kayaking, jet skiing, wakeboarding and surfing. Costa Rica is a great place to go surfing, so regardless of where you plan your surfing trip, you’re sure to have some of the best breaks anywhere.