Costa Rica has been termed the "Hawaii of Latin American surf". This is due to the warm water, uncrowded surf and thousands of perfect breaks. Because of this, an average of 10,000 surfers travel there every year. Most of the country accomodates, with travel guides, hotels, and car rentals. There are plenty of travel guides written about where to go and how to get there.
Because of the climate special provisions may be necessary. There are two seasons in Costa Rica: the dry season, late December through April, and the wet season, the rest of the year.
The Caribbean side of Costa Rica offers great surf in the winter and spring seasons. Hurricane season is between late May through early September and then December through March when Atlantic storms push through the Caribbean. In the latter season swell can reach 20 feet!
Famous breaks on the Caribbean side include Isla Uvita by boat, Puerto Viejo (very big), and the mecca Salsa Brava.
The Northern Pacific coast is best during the rainy season when the surf is bigger. During the dry season the wind is largely offshore but the swells aren't as big. Good breaks include Playa Naranjo, Playa Grande, and several breaks from the town of Tamarindo. South of Tamarindo lies beach after beautiful beach full of great spots including Playa Negra.
Central Pacific surf is best during the rainy season (mostly July through December) as the Caribbean dies down. Boca de Barranca, just south of Puntenares, has one of the world's longest, yet slowest lefts. Caldero, Playa Tivives, and Valor are also good breaks. Most of the surfing in this region centers around Jaco, with Playa Hermosa, Escondida, Esterillos Este and Oeste, and Boca Damas just to the south.
Southern Pacific surf is less consistent but has the Pavones left, up to one kilometer and called the 'temple of zoom'. Some say they have surfed for three minutes on one wave. The biggest waves occur during the rainy season.
Back to Surf Seasons.