Surfing in North Puntarenas

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With more than 20% of tourists coming to Costa Rica to surf, North Puntarenas is among the most popular places to go surfing in the country. Extending all the way from the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in the north to Dominical in the south, this province has a number of fantastic surf destinations that are well worth visiting.

Mal Pais & Santa Teresa

On the Nicoya Peninsula, Mal Pais and Santa Theresa are two of the most famous beaches to go surfing. The perfect place to relax and chill out, these beach towns are known for their consistent breaks and good swells throughout the year. Mal Pais is also one of Costa Rica’s trendiest destinations. Santa Theresa lies just a few miles north of Mal Pais and is a more secluded area. The waves here are superb and are meant for the expert surfer.

Nearby Jaco

Along North Puntarenas’ Central Pacific Coast, Jaco is the most well known destination for surfers from all across the country. A beach party town, one major reason for Jaco’s popularity is its close proximity to the capital San Jose and the Juan Santamaria International Airport. A bustling busy place with plenty of accommodations, restaurants, hotels and activities for all to enjoy, many surfers can be found hanging out in Jaco. The swells here are excellent, with the best time to surf being the rainy season.

Other Locations

Just south of Jaco sits Playa Hermosa, a mecca for surfers from all across the globe. Host to the international Quicksilver Surf Championships held every year in August, this quiet beach is for serious professional surfers only. The waves here reach as high as 13 feet with very strong currents. A little further south of Playa Hermosa lies the Esterillos area, with Esterillos Oeste having some good surfing opportunities.

Dominical is one of the best surfing destinations in the province. An isolated quiet beach ideal for the serious surfer who wants to escape the touristy crowds, surfing here is amazing. Offering a more mellow pace of life, the breaks in Dominical are big and consistent ideal for advanced surfers who want to test their skills.

With so many places to surf at it is no wonder that North Puntarenas has becomes so popular with the surfing crowd, offering plenty of accommodations as well as restaurants and surfing gear rental shops, you can also learn to surf on beaches like Mal Pais and Jaco.

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