When I'm out and about exploring Costa Rica, I see a lot of people carrying surfboards on their way to the beach. Although I don't personally tend to hang around the beach much, being a tree frog and all, surfing is one of the most popular things to do on a vacation in Costa Rica.
Since we only have two seasons here, choosing when to hit the beach on a surfing vacation is a matter of personal preference. Many surfers choose to visit between December to April, as the weather is hot and the seasonal rains have yet to fall. However, tourists should know that because of the incredible weather during the dry season, the beaches can get pretty crowded. If visitors want a little more space to test the waters, a visit during the wet season between May and November may be best.
For serious surfers, the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica is one of the most popular places to surf in the country. Featuring miles of pristine beaches, crystal-clear water and some truly impressive waves, there's no better place to grab a board and catch some waves. Surfers come from all over the world to surf the infamous waves of Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point, and both spots can be surfed on the same day if you take a boat tour usually leaving from Playas del Coco.
Tourists who want to try surfing for the first time, or practice their skills, should head to Nosara. The general atmosphere is very casual, perfect for beginners and novices. The area is also popular with longboarders, due to the gentle coastal winds and consistent swells.
For the best year-round waves, Playa Santa Teresa is unbeatable. With miles of coastline, steep beaches and swells from almost all directions, intermediate surfers will find that Playa Santa Teresa and neighboring Mal Pais are ideal. The nearby communities are very friendly and accommodating, and tourists who don't own their own gear can rent a board for the day at one of the many surf shops that line the beach.
Visitors who want to sample the laid-back atmosphere of Playa Santa Teresa and Mal Pais without the crowds can spend some time in Dominical. The waves and conditions here are challenging, although the region is usually a little quieter than other resorts with similar swells and beaches.
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