Playa Tamarindo is the hub of Costa Rica’s North Pacific surfing community. Costa Rica is well known for its excellent surf conditions and along with the many beaches that line the fantastic Nicoya Peninsula coast, Playa Tamarindo offers some of the best breaks in the region. Nearly every other person strolling down the main street in Playa Tamarindo has a surfboard in hand; this is what Costa Rica surf is all about!
The best Costa Rica surf vacations can be enjoyed right in Playa Tamarindo. The layout of the Tamarindo ensures that both novice and expert surfers can catch their kind of waves. Playa Tamarindo turns out left and right beach breaks which are suited for beginner surf lessons in Costa Rica. During high tide towards the north of the beach, at the estuary, the long rights are especially popular with long boarders.
Offering one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, Playa Tamarindo has continued to reign supreme with a steady flow of surfers dropping in from around the world. Consistent swells and offshore winds provide good surf conditions throughout the year. To catch the biggest waves in Tamarindo then make sure to travel to Costa Rica between November through December. It is important to keep in mind that Playa Tamarindo has strong rip currents and barely submerged rocks, so be careful and use when swimming at this beach in Costa Rica.
There’s no doubt that Playa Tamarindo offers plenty of waves to ride and visitors should come expecting the crowds, especially during high season. If you are planning a surf trip to Costa Rica then make sure that Playa Tamarindo is top of your list. The region that surrounds Tamarindo is known to be one of the best surfing areas in Costa Rica and there are many nearby beaches that are worth a visit. Playa Avellenas and Playa Negra are popular surf spots with surf charters to Witches Rock and Ollies Point available. Witches Rock (Roca Bruja) is located at Playa Naranjo and Ollie’s Point and is accessible only by boat. Withes Rock and Ollies Point are two world-class break frequented by avid surfers from around the world.
If you are new to surfing then have no fear, there are plenty of surfing schools in Tamarindo Costa Rica that offer surf lessons for beginners to the more advanced. Specialized surf shops at Playa Tamarindo are well stocked and offer surfboard, boogie board and long board rentals.
Surfing Beaches Near Playa Tamarindo
Paddle across the Tamarindo estuary with your surfboard to reach the mile-long crescent shore at Playa Grande, Costa Rica. Use caution when swimming at Playa Grande as the currents can be very strong. It’s advised to swim and surf with others while visiting Playa Grande and not to swim alone.
Costa Rica’s Playa Grande has consistent left and right beach breaks at all tides and is much less crowded than the beach at Playa Tamarindo. At Playa Grande, it’s likely that it’s just going to be you and the waves! Although Playa Grande is one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, surfers aren’t jostling for position on every break.
Playa Grande is one of Costa Rica’s protected beaches belonging to Las Baulas Marino National Park and is the most important nesting area for leatherback turtles. Avoid the higher end of the beach at Playa Grande where you can find the softer sand. This part of Playa Grande is where leatherback sea turtles lay their eggs every year. Leatherback turtles come to Playa Grande from October to March. During this time no visitors are allowed onto the beach without a tour guide after 6 p.m.
Playa Langosta is a popular surfing hotspot in Costa Rica. Located just 1 kilometer south of Playa Tamarindo, Playa Langosta has some excellent breaks that come off the rocky estuary of the Rio San Francisco. Waves are slightly bigger than at Playa Langosta than at Playa Tamarindo and surfing is best during mid tide to high tide. If you are looking for some peaceful surfing away from the crowds at Playa Tamarindo, then head to Playa Langosta!
Playa Langosta does pick up during high season so be aware that this isn’t always the secluded get away as it can sometimes seem. Several condominiums, vacation rentals and hotels are located close to the beach front at Playa Langosta Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s Playa Avellanas serves up excellent surfing conditions year-round. Playa Avellenas is celebrated for its special surf break known as “Little Hawaii”. Playa Avellanas is located approximately 16 kilometers away from Playa Tamarindo and is accessible via Villa Real. The waves are best surfed on low to medium tide. Little Hawaii is located to the north of Playa Avellanas and surfing is ideal for advanced wave riders as it can waves can occasionally reach 18 feet! Playa Avellanas can be quite a secluded surf spot in Costa Rica during the weekdays, however; weekends and high season can bring the crowds!
Made famous by the classic surfer flick, Endless Summer II, Playa Negra is considered to be one of the best surfing spots in Costa Rica, offering consistent waves and surf breaks. The dark-sand beach at Playa Negra is located just 5 kilometers south of Playa Avellanas. Expect to see plenty of surfboards at Playa Negra as a sweet hollow right break with speedy waves attracts expert surfers from around Costa Rica and beyond.
Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point
Witches Rock, located at Playa Naranjo, is one of the top rated surfing spots not only in Costa Rica but the world. This three mile long stretch of beach has hollow beach breaks throughout its coastline. Witches Rock, or Roca Bruja, creates fantastic left and right offshore breaks and are at their best from December through April. Ollie’s Point also serves up fast breaking right waves best experienced during low and mid tide. This surfing site can be accessed only by boat. Difficult access to these special Costa Rica surf spots make the beaches at Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point much less crowded options for surfers exploring the region that surrounds Tamarindo.
Tamarindo Surfing Suitable for All Levels
Many of the surfing hotspots in Costa Rica’s Nicoya Pensinsula have strong currents so it goes without saying that excellent swimming skills are necessary for surfing in Tamrindo. There are plenty of beaches for beginner surfers to find their fins at Playa Tamarindo, but it’s best to leave the bigger waves to the expert surfers. Costa Rica is famous for its surfing and if you love to ride the waves, the Playa Tamarindo has everything you need to for a perfect surf trip. That being said, don’t bite off more than you can chew and make sure to stay within your surfing abilities to ensure a safe vacation in Costa Rica!
Tamarindo Costa Rica Surf Packages
The majority of Costa Rica surf lessons in and around Playa Tamarindo include professional instruction, surf boards and other equipment such as a wet suit. A safety induction and initial shoreline walk-through will be given before getting into the ocean. Professional, bilingual surf instructors are offered at nearly every surfing outfitter. A lot of surf packages in Costa Rica include refreshments. The tropical sun rays in Costa Rica are strong so don’t let cloudy weather deceive you! Make sure to wear and take along plenty of sun block with an SPF 30 or above. Some Tamarindo surf packages offer transportation from your accommodation to the beach. For additional information on surfing in Tamarindo, contact Escape Villas at 1-800-340-2407 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- ISA Certified: International Surfing Association (ISA) Certified Surf School Programs available in Tamarindo for all surfing levels.
- Beginner Surf Packages: Lessons to help stand on the surfboard; include safety information about how to get out of a current, how to read waves, surfing etiquette, how to get out to sea, balance on your board and cruise the waves. Beginner surf lessons are usually offered with long boards help with stability.
- Intermediate Surf Packages: Packages include trips to the beaches in Tamarindo with stronger beach breaks. Designed to show how to improve technique and use your surfboard to the best of your ability. Intermediate lessons offered with short boards for improved maneuverability and increased speed.
- Private Surf Lessons: 1 to 4 hour surfing lessons. Multi-day classes available for the duration of your Costa Rica beach vacation. Special rates for bookings of two or more days.
- Semi-Private Surf Lessons: 1 to 4 hour surfing lessons for you and a friend
- Group lessons: 3-4 students per surf instructor with groups of up to 10 people
- Overnight Surf Trip: Overnight trip includes surfing, snorkeling and fishing charter tours to Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point passing by Playa Tamarindo, Playa Avellanas and Playa Negra. This is one of the best surf tours in Costa Rica! Keep an eye out for amazing Costa Rican marine life including mantarays, eels, tropical fish and sea turtles while snorkeling!
- Budget-Friendly Surf Package: Minimum of five people. Includes water, fruit and an ice cooler for being-along snacks. Leaves at sunrise and visits the best surf spots on Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula.
- All-Inclusive 1-Day Surf Charter: Daily surf charter to the best surfing hot spots in Costa Rica’s North Pacific. Includes breakfast, lunch, snacks, beer and non-alcoholic refreshments. Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, fresh bread, tropical fruit, coffee and fresh-squeezed juice. Lunch includes chicken fajitas, grilled sandwiches or hamburgers.
- All-Inclusive Overnight Surf Charter: Overnight charter for 2 days and 1 night for up to six people include comfortable cabin facilities with two bathrooms and a shower. Includes five delicious meals, snacks and refreshments. Returns top Tamarindo as the sun sets across the gorgeous coastline of the Nicoya Peninsula. Breakfast includes eggs, sausage, fresh bread, tropical fruit, coffee and fresh-squeezed juice. Lunch includes chicken fajitas, grilled sandwiches or hamburgers. A delicious dinner of filet mignon, rich and vegetables, barbeque chicken and potatoes or your catch of the day also included. Snacks include fresh fruit, chips and salsa and veggie crudites.
- Guided Surf Tours: Full-day or half-day guided surf tours to the best surfing beaches in and around Tamarindo. Includes a visit to a secret surf spot only known by the locals!