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Surf Spots in Guanacaste, Costa Rica

If you’re visiting the Guanacaste region, be sure to check out what put this Costa Rican region on the map – surfing.

Whether you’ve never held a surfboard or are an expert wave rider, Guanacaste has the surf spot for you. Located on Costa Rica’s north Pacific coast, Guanacaste is famous for its warm climate, steady swell and world-class surfing conditions. The Guanacaste region is your best bet for surfing in Costa Rica. Don’t miss these killer surf breaks –

Tamarindo, Playa Langosta & Playa Grande.

With the vibrant town of Tamarindo at the center, these 3 adjacent beaches offer great surf for all experience levels. Tamarindo is full of surf schools offering cheap lessons and board rentals and features several waves that offer warm water and consistent surf year-round. Walk south on Tamarindo Beach and you’ll reach Playa Langosta, a less-populated beach with bigger waves. Head north from Tamarindo and you’ll come to Playa Grande, another renowned Gold Coast surf break. Although it takes 25 minutes to drive to Playa Grande, you can paddle across the Tamarindo Estuary (another great surf spot) on your board or take a $2 ferry.

Playa Avellanas

Located 9 miles south of Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas is a chilled-out surf spot loved for its consistent waves and dominant reef break known as “Little Hawaii.” Beware – Little Hawaii can be a challenge even for experienced surfers, so use caution or go with a group if you’re just starting out. The best time to surf is when low tide is turning to high. Rip currents can be strong so exercise caution when swimming and surfing.

Playa Negra

A 10-minute drive south Avellanas is neighboring Playa Negra. Literally translated, “Playa Negra” means “black sand,” but Playa Negra’s shores are actually golden brown, named from its unique strips of dark-colored sand that line the beach. Similar to Playa Avellanas, Playa Negra is relatively unpopulated by the general tourist crowd and is famous for its surf. A handful of surf shops line the beach, offering board rentals and lessons, but Negra isn’t quite as beginner friendly as nearby beaches such as Tamarindo. Experienced surfers favor Negra for its killer reef point breaks and consistent barrels.

Witch’s Rock

Even if you’re new to surfing, you’ve probably heard of Witch’s Rock. Literally, a giant rock sits off the beach where the surf spot gets its name. Famous as a world-class wave surfed by the pros, Witch’s Rock is a consistent beach break that was even featured in the Endless Summer II surfing documentary. The break offers both lefts and rights and is located in Playa Naranjo – inside Santa Rosa National Park.

Ollie’s Point

Close to Witch’s Rock, Ollie’s Point is another world famous point break that is only accessed by boat. You can take a boat from Playas del Coco or Playa Ocotal. Many surfers choose to take a boat to hit up Witch’s Rock and then jet over Ollie’s, a wave that offers a long right with several access points best for experienced surfers.

Playa Marbella

Playa Marbella is over an hour’s drive from Tamarindo and Langosta, but the surf makes it worth the trip. Locals love Playa Marbella for its non-crowded beach and consistent waves – even when the swell isn’t great. Marbella is best suited for advanced surfers as its waves can get tall and challenging.

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