Surfing Hotspots in Costa Rica – Surf & Travel

Costa Rica, located in Central America, is a surfer’s dreamland. With beautiful beaches and a wide range of breaks, surfers of all different levels have no shortage of areas to choose from.

Here are the top surfing hotspots that we recommend that you start with.


Tamarindo is one of the most popular surfing destinations in Costa Rica and for good reason. Located on the northern pacific coast, the area offers easy access to a wide variety of surf breaks including beach, rivermouth and reef breaks.

Due to its popularity, there is a wide range of accommodations, restaurants and nightlife.

Costa Rica???s Surfing Hotspots


Hermosa is the surf mecca of the central pacific coast. With consistent surfing year-round, surfers flock here to take advantage of the long stretch of beach and the variety of breaks.

The area also offers lots of great activities including yoga, canopy tours, horseback riding, kayaking and fishing. In addition, nearby Jaco is well known for its parties and nightlife.

Mal Pais

Mal Pais is located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. The area is largely untouched which makes it ideal for surfers that are looking for a quieter location to surf.

The waves are good and consistent and you avoid the crowds of the larger areas.


Dominical is a small town located in the South Pacific Ocean. The surf in Dominical is mostly beach breaks. However, serious surfers will love the relaxed atmosphere of this location.

While, it’s quiet during the day, the town comes alive in the evening and is known for their wild nightlife. The area also has several great restaurants.

Costa Rica???s Surfing Hotspots

Playa Avellanes

Located just outside of Tamarindo, Playa Avellanes is another remote surfing location. Many surfers stay in Tamarindo and take a day trip to Playa Avellanes. However, if you do want to stay in this quiet town, there are some housing options available.Playa Avellanes doesn’t offer much nightlife or restaurants. It’s all about surfing here.


If you’re interested in doing more than surfing, but still being in a laid back environment, Nosara offers the best of both worlds. Nosara is a small community with excellent surfing, but there are also other activities available such as fishing and horseback riding.

In the evenings, watch the amazing sunsets as you hear nothing else but waves crashing (and possibly some monkeys howling).

Manuel Antonio

Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most visited areas. In addition to good surfing, Manuel Antonio has one of the most popular national parks in the country. There are also beautiful beaches, a friendly community and great restaurants. The surfing here is best suited for beginner surfers.

Costa Rica???s Surfing Hotspots


After receiving a degree in journalism, she pursued a career as a professional photographer that has allowed her to travel extensively. When not traveling, she lives in Atlanta where she is working on opening a photography studio and bar that's inspired by her favorite cities around the world and merges her love of food, culture and art.