Surf's up in Tamarindo

Fun Surf at Tamarindo Beach
Fun Surf at Tamarindo Beach

Tamarindo is a coastal town/district in the northwestern Costa Rican province of Guanacaste. It is a popular destination for surfing because of its beautiful beaches, long waves, and favorable weather conditions. On the whole, Tamarindo is more developed than some other parts of Costa Rica, offering paved roads and other tourist-friendly amenities. With that said, the surfing areas tend to be remote and difficult to access, although the effort it takes to get there is well worth it. Regardless of your experience level, Tamarindo offers a surfing experience you'll be sure to remember.

Secluded Surfing at Witch's Rock

Witch's Rock is a stone outcropping near the Playa Naranjo beach in Santa Rosa National Park. Because of its relative inaccessibility (it can only be reached by boat) and lack of development due to being located within a national park, it is not a popular spot for surfing in Costa Rica. This means that if you want to be able to surf in peace and relative solitude, Witch's Rock is the place to go.

It's not only the solitude that makes Witch's Rock a desirable surfing destination, however. Witch's Rock features versatile conditions that suit the individual style of every surfer. Do you prefer waves that break to the right or the left? It doesn't matter; Witch's Rock has an A-frame wave that breaks in both directions. Whether you prefer large outside waves or smaller inside swells, Witch's Rock provides both.

Challenging Surfing at Playa Grande

For the experienced surfer looking for a challenge, no Costa Rica surf vacation is complete without a trip to Playa Grande, located along the northern coast. Playa Grande offers some of the most consistent waves and favorable wind conditions in the world. For that reason, it is a popular surfing destination and may become crowded, particularly on weekends.

Playa Grande is not a surfing spot only for the experienced surfer. On the contrary, all experience levels will be able to find a wave to ride. For the avid surfer, however, Playa Grande offers some of the most challenging waves anywhere in the world and is a must to add to your itinerary. The largest and most challenging waves can occur when the wind is lower, usually in the morning or late evening.

Historic Surfing at Ollie's Point

Ollie's Point is a famous surfing spot. Though named after infamous American military figure Oliver North, who was involved in a political scandal involving nearby Nicaragua, the area is better known for being featured in the surfing documentary The Endless Summer II. The reputation it garnered from the movie is well deserved. Ollie's Point is known for large, powerful waves that provide long rides. However, it is best to attempt this at high tide. Not only are the waves more favorable during this time, but during low tide, underwater rocks are exposed that can pose a hazard to surfers. Ollie's Point is a popular surfing destination in spite of the fact that it can only be reached by charter boat, and when the waves are hitting consistently, it can become quite crowded.

The Best Times to Visit

The time of the year, as well as the time of day, makes a difference as to the quantity and quality of waves. For consistently reliable waves at any time of the year, Playa Grande is your best bet. If you want to surf Witch's Rock, the best time of year is December through March, during the dry season. Generally speaking, waves are larger and stronger at high tide than they are at low tide, although in some areas (such as Playa Grande) the waves may be hitting at mid-tide as well.

These are not the only surfing areas in Tamarindo, but they are some of the best. If you're looking for a stellar surfing experience and don't mind getting off the beaten path to find it, Tamarindo is the place to go.