Costa Rica Surf






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Break Descriptions
The Caribbean
1 -Manzanillo A very fast beach break located 20 km from Puerto Viejo, Limon. Here you find rustic lodging and typical food. Located close to an unpaved road, and easy to get to
2 - Puerto Viejo A very thick and voluminous wave that comes from deep water onto a shallow reef, also called "salsa", for its juice power. This place gets very big and tubular (legitimate big wave). Salsa is approximately a 3-1/2 hour drive from San Jose and there is a restaurant and accommodation close to the point.
3 - Black Beach, Cahuita An excellent beach break, not well known and therefore not heavily visited. Nevertheless, there are waves all year round.
4 - Westfalia A stretch of beach breaks extending south from limon to Cahuita, offering lefts and rights that tend to close out where the swell gets too big.
5 - Playa Bonita A point/reef break known for its very thick, powerful and dangerous left. Located 5 km north of limon (downtown).
6 - Portete A small bay located north of playa Bonita. With a right working off the southerly point. Since it is close to limon, you will find easy access.
7 - Isla Uvita An island off the coast of Limon. Here you will find a good left. Isla Uvita is about a 20 minutes boat ride from Limon with passage available at certain times of the year.
8 - The North Caribbean Coast Good beach break waves accessible via Tortuguero channels or by private plane. You can rent a boat to take you through the channels near Puerto Moin, 15 km north of playa Bonita.
North Pacific Coast
9 - Potrero Grande A right point break, with very fast and hollow waves. Located 270 kms from San Jose with no road access. You must go to playas del coco or playa Ocotal and proceed from there by rented boat.
10 - Playa Naranjo (Witch's rock) one of the best breaks in the country, with very strong off-shore winds from December to march. This wilderness point is located in the national park of Santa Rosa. You must go totally prepared for camping since there are no facilities. A good 4wd is a must, and don½t forget you mosquito net.
11 - Playa Grande Beach break, located about 20 minutes north of Tamarindo. Accessible by road.
12 - Playa Tamarindo Here you will find two mains points : a- Pico Pequeño a rocky point in front of the hotel Tamarindo, and b-el estero, an excellent river mouth break.
13 - Langosta A right and left point break that curls off the mouth of a a small river, located I km south of Tamarindo.
14 - Avellanas Good beach break, ½guanacasteco½ featuring very hollow rights and lefts. Located 10 km south of Tamarindo.
15 - Playa Negra A right point break with very fast waves, 350 kms from San Jose. Playa Negra is one of the best breaks in the country. Located 5 km south of playa Avellanas.
16 - Nosara Beach break, with lefts and rights. About 350 kms from San Jose. You go from San Jose to Nicoya and from there to Nosara. It takes approx. 5 hours to get there.
17 - 18 - 19 - Playa Coyote, Manzanillo, and Mal Pais Beach breaks, with very consistent lefts and rights and several points. A 4 wd vehicle is recommended. Now you can find a lot of places to stay.
Central Pacific Coast
20 - Boca Barranca A river mouth with a very long left, located 100 kms of San Jose with excellent access, paved road. Many places to stay. Dark water during rainy season scares off many. Boca Barranca and any other nearby beach are no contaminated. Boca Barranca offers some of the best waves pf the country.
21 - Puerto Caldera This spot has very very good left located 3 km south of Boca Barranca, Puntarenas.
22 - Playa Tivives and valor Featuring a variety of waves from beach breaks (Tivives) to a rocky point (valor). Good quality rights and lefts.
23 - Playa Escondida Excellent point break that peaks up forming a very good left and a surfable right. Accessible by land I you are a member of the beach club there (fresh water shower on the beach for member and guests), or by taxi boat to the cove to the south. You can rent a boat from playa Jaco or playa Herradura.
24 - Playa Jaco Can be good beach break when the surf is not too big. Tends to close out when it gets over 5 feet. Playa Jaco is approximately 2 hours from San Jose( 140 km), and the waves are not always dependable. One of its principal attraction has been surfing, this because of its location on the central pacific and it being so close to great quantity of places, specially playa Hermosa, playa Escondida, and Boca Barranca, Puntarenas. Jaco is a growing center of tourism enjoyment, with hotels, cabins and camp grounds.
25 - Roca Loca Located 1.5 km south of playa Jaco. A rocky point with rights that break over submerged rocks. To get the point, you will have to climb a small hill.
26 - Playa Hermosa and Others Very strong beach break. This long stretch of break peaks working any given day, but the preferred sand bar is located in front of a large tree known as the Almendro. The waves conditions are generally best when the tide is rising. Don½t forget the tip the kids who open the gate for your car.
27, 28, 29, 30 Esterillos Este, Esterillos Oeste, Bejuco, Boca Damas. Beach breaks, good wave forms, the points located very close to playa Hermosa, making easy access and many nearby accommodations. The wave conditions are very similar to those of playa Hermosa.
South Pacific Coast
31 - Quepos This small left `point is found at the river mouth in the city of Quepos, easy access with many restaurants and accommodations.
32 - Playita - Manuel Antonio Beach break, lefts and rights with good shape. This coastal area needs larger swell for the surf to show.
33 - Playa El Rey Rights and lefts beach break peaks. Best access to get there is taking the road to playa Dominical, 25 minutes from Quepos, in Roncador go right 11 kms and you will be there.
34 - Playa Dominical Good, strong beach break with lefts and rights. Beautiful landscapes and very tropical.
35 - Drake's Bay and area Accessible only by boat. This remote break offers long, powerful waves when the swell is running. Boca del Rio Sierpe, is another place with exciting potential for the same kind of waves . Corcovado national park is an adjacent kingdom of lush, tropical wilderness, approximately 1-1/2 hours by boat.
36 - Pavones Excellent left point, considered one of the longest in the world. Good shape and very fast. It is located 400 kms from San Jose (8 hours by car). Bring camping gear if you wish to hang there. Out on the peninsula across Pavones, a half-hour boat ride away, is reputedly a series pf right points the equivalent of Pavones½world class lefts.
37 - Matapalo Excellent right point located in front of Pavones, you can get there by road from Pavones or by car from Golfito. Perfect waves. 38 - Punta Burica Very remote reef breaks. Accessible only by boat, No accommodations. Not much known. If you really want to get away...


Airlines are not always helpfull in allowing huge boards on planes.

The most practical and least expensive way to surf here is to buy a board and sell it when you leave.  Delta and American Airlines charge $100 extra each way for boards, bags included.  Used boards in good shape can be found much cheaper than the cost of flying one down here.  An added benefit is that boards bought down here don't get beat up on the plane and a surfer can sell the board when they are done with it and get some money back.  If you decide to deal with airline restrictions and fees instead of going without their favorite boards, here are the rules:

Delta Airlines doesn't allow any baggage over 80 inches long according to the company's Web site.  Longboarders must find another airline or buy a
board down here.  Unfortunately, long boards at reasonable prices can be difficult to come by.  Delta's policy is that anything over 62 inches costs an extra $100 dollars each way.  This means that all but the youngsters who can still float on a 5-foot board can expect to pay $100 each way.  Boards must be checked in a case designed to protect them or the passenger must sign a limited release tag which says that the company will not be responsible when your board gets trashed – which it will if you don't have the proper packaging. 

American and Continental both have larger bag restrictions – 115 inches.  But American's over-sized package price matches that of Delta.  Continental's is $20 cheaper.  Some clients are telling us that
the Dutch airline Martinair flying out of Orlando and Miami is the least restrictive rule on boards.

Sometimes airlines have baggage embargoes during peak seasons. Continental will not allow boards in Central
America with exception of Costa Rica . Continental will allow one board bag with two boards only.
The most important item is good racks to carry the boards once here so look at this page especially the TOYOTA hardtop landcrusier which is the modern version of the old WOODY.



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