Surfers Guide to Costa Rica

Surf adventure on the way to the remote Playa Coyote
Surf adventure on the way to the remote Playa Coyote

If your idea of carry-on baggage is a surfboard, Costa Rica is everything you ever hoped for in a vacation destination.

For a relatively small country, Costa Rica has miles of pristine beaches, crystal-clear water and a variety of waves that are perfect for novices and experienced surfers alike.

Getting to the Surf

Fortunately, many of Costa Rica's best surfing hotspots are easily accessible from major urban centers like the capital of San Jose, meaning less time spent traveling and more time riding the waves.

With friendly, knowledgeable locals who are just as serious about catching the perfect wave as you are, a surfing vacation in Costa Rica is an unforgettable experience.

What to Bring

No gear? No problem. Many resorts in Costa Rica offer board rentals, so even if you have never surfed before or don't have your own board, you can still enjoy everything that this exciting water sport has to offer.

However, bear in mind that the condition of rental surfboards may not be that great, so bring your own whenever possible.

Regardless of whether you plan to hit the beach on the Caribbean or Pacific Coasts, Costa Rica has a wealth of open shorelines and secluded coves, ideal for visitors who want to test their skills or learn the ropes.

Surf Spots

The waters off Costa Rica's coasts are warm year-round and the waves are consistent, offering visitors a great surfing experience. From Witch's Rock to Pavones, the surf conditions in Costa Rica are among the best in the world.

Surfers travel to Costa Rica from around the globe for the fast, hollow rides and pristine coastline.

The waves off the Pacific coast are sizable year-round, but April to December is considered to be the best time to hit the waves.

Our helpful guides on seasonal weather information, surf conditions and the best beaches can help you plan a surfing vacation you'll never forget.

Some of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica are not easily accessible by road, meaning it'll take a little longer to reach them, but the waves make the journey well worth it. Costa Rica offers visitors an ideal blend of challenging surf, beautiful scenery and fewer crowds than other destinations such as Hawaii - all the ingredients for a spectacular trip.

Before you pack your board, be sure to check out our individual surfing guides for more information on how to make the most of your trip. With a little planning, taking a surfing vacation to Costa Rica could be the water sports adventure of a lifetime.

Explore all of Costa Rica’s surf towns, surf breaks, and surf culture.