From beautiful, wide beaches in Guanacaste to the tropical, exotic beaches of the Caribbean, surfing Costa Rica is fantastic. In most parts of the country, you find great surf breaks and surf towns as well as wild beaches, stunning sunsets, healthy food, yoga, and more.
Whether you are a surf beginner or an advanced surfer this Ultimate Guide for surfing Costa Rica contains everything you need to know.
Best time for surfing Costa Rica
One of the reasons why Costa Rica is one of the most popular countries for surfing in the world is because the waves are consistent all year round, and the water temperature is pleasant too. So no need for a wetsuit. However, the two different seasons impact the surf conditions in Costa Rica.
The green season also called the rainy season, is from May until November and brings bigger waves to the pacific shores for more advanced surfers. Usually, the months of June and July are pleasant with short showers and lots of sunshine too.
The best time for beginner surfers in Costa Rica is the Dry Season, from December to April. This season is considered summer and brings many sunny days and smaller, fun waves. During this time is the high season in Costa Rica which also brings more visitors.
Surfboard Rental in Costa Rica
If you are looking to rent a surfboard in Costa Rica, you can do that at almost every surf school. Usually, the rental price is 15 USD per board per day. We made the experience that the good boards are typically rented out early in the morning, so it can get tricky to find the right board for you in the high season.
If you plan to come surfing Costa Rica for a more extended period, it makes sense to either bring your own board or buy a surfboard here.
Best Surfshop in Costa Rica
If you want to buy a surfboard in Costa Rica, you can find shops in most popular surf towns. While most shops sell imported surfboards from the US, we were looking for a board made in Costa Rica. That is how we found Cheboards. Juan Diego is a passionate surfer and shaper and runs the company with his wife, Mareike. We love buying from small and local brands, so when we first visited their shop in Tamarindo, we knew this was the right place for us.
Juan Diego Evangelista has been involved with surfing most of his life. He started surfing at seven and shaped his first board at 14. Since then, he has caught innumerable waves and shaped over 3’000 surfboards on his treks around the world. Ten years ago, he and his wife Mareike opened Cheboards on the road to the popular beach town of Tamarindo.
In addition to Cheboards, they have two other surfboard brands, Evangelista and Lightning Bolt. They also make balsa wood boards; their newest addition is a wood furniture line.
Your custom-made Surfboard
Cheboards has a good quantity of boards available for selling at their shop. They always have stock of all their different models and sizes. Besides, they offer custom and made-to-order surfboards. They have different models and sizes, and you can choose every color you want. Stefan and I decided on the CB2, a classic longboard suitable for all levels. When we came to Cheboards to place our order, we got a fantastic consultation from the staff. They also have a great selection of fins and a self-made board bags that you can buy at the store. It takes six weeks for your Surfboard to be made.
Best surfing beaches in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is a wonderful country for surfers because there are many different places to surf all over the country. These are the best beaches for surfing Costa Rica.
Playa Guiones, Nosara
Our favorite beach town Nosara is one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica. The main beach of the town is called Playa Guiones and it’s the best surf beach in the area. There are many surf schools and rentals in town, and it’s an excellent place for beginners and advanced surfers.
Playa Grande, Tamarindo
Tamarindo is the most famous surf town in Costa Rica and offers different beaches to surf. Playa Grande in the city’s north offers long rides suitable for all levels. Generally, Playa Grande is less crowded, so finding your spot is not a challenge.
Playa Santa Teresa
Are you looking for the trendiest surf town in Costa Rica? Then Santa Teresa is for you. Lots of surf camps and schools, some of the best beaches for surfing in Costa Rica suitable for all levels, and great vibes. It’s like the Canggu in Bali and has many great food options and spectacular sunsets.
Playa Hermosa, Jaco
Further south, you find the cute, hippie beach town Dominical, which is a great place to surf on the central pacific side. There are surf schools and rentals around here too, but the big waves are most suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers.
Pavones, located on the most southern part of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, is famous as the second-longest left point break in the world. This spot is for intermediate to advanced surfers outside of small days.
Caribbean Surfing Costa Rica
Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast does not only offer great vibes; it isis a surfer’s paradise too. Playa Cocles is suitable for all levels and an excellent place for beginners as there are several surf schools as well. Salsa Brava is the heaviest wave in Costa Rica and pushes through a narrow, shallow reef. This break is only for experts.
Best Surfcamps in Costa Rica
Whether you are new to surfing or want to improve your skills, booking a surf camp can be very helpful in making progress. There are several fantastic camps for surfing Costa Rica.
Selina Nosara – Offers All-inclusive surf camp packages including daily surf lessons, accommodation, and a breakfast buffet.
La Point Santa Teresa – This is a popular, international surf camp offering weekly All-inclusive surf camps, including 2 surf lessons and 3 meals per day and accomodation in a lush and beautiful place. The camp also offers yoga, other activities, and time spent with like-minded people and instructors.
Dreamsea Surfcamp, Playa Avellanas – Another International Surfcamp that opened a new camp in Costa Rica on an amazing surf beach close to Tamarindo. Playa Avellanas is a stunning beach with great surf and is still a secret among visitors and surfers. They offer weekly surf camps, including daily surf lessons, surfboard hire, a breakfast buffet, and all evening meals.
Safari Surf School, Nosara – All-inclusive weekly surf camp with a professional surfer as an instructor, including lovely accommodation at some of the best hotels in Guiones. Daily surf lessons, including video analysis.
Costa Rica is named one of the best surf destinations in the world for a reason. The many fantastic surf towns and beaches all over the country and the consistent waves make it a great place for surfers all year round. And most importantly, the Costa Rican Pura Vida lifestyle brings the best vibes for your surf trip. Whether you are an experienced surfer already or you want to start learning during your next holiday, we think that surfing Costa Rica is for everyone.