Surf in Costa Rica

From North to South: Surf Beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula

jennparker Costa Rica , Playa Grande , Playa Tamarindo Leave a Comment

The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is blessed with waves all year around. While some months historically receive bigger swells than others, you can almost always find a wave breaking somewhere. The Nicoya Peninsula is lined from north to south with breathtakingly beautiful beaches where waves regularly break.

In keeping in line with the unspoken surfer’s code, we can’t tell you everything about every wave. But we can provide you with a key attribute for each beach and what level of experience is necessary. Each beach is home to several different breaks and peaks.

The Nicoya Peninsula is an amazing part of Costa Rica to explore from a surfer’s standpoint. If you are really adventurous, taking a surf road trip down the Nicoya Peninsula is an incredible way to experience the variety of waves this diverse coastline has to offer!

Beaches in Costa Rica

Barrels on the Nicoya Peninsula

*BF: Beginner-Friendly (when there isn’t a big swell)

*IA: Intermediate/Advanced

Playa Grande (IA)

Grande is a punchy beach break with multiple peaks up and down the long stretch of beach.

Playa Tamarindo (BF)

Excellent beginner beach with multiple breaks, both left and right, as well as a river mouth. Watch out for crocodiles in the river though!

Playa Langosta (IA)

There is a beach break, river mouth break, point break, and a reef break in Playa Langosta. It is typically a bit bigger and more powerful here than the surrounding beaches and is not ideal for inexperienced surfers.

Playa Avellenas (BF)

There is a beach break, river mouth break, point break, and reef break in Playa Avellenas. This is a fantastic place to spend the day on the beach and in surf. There are waves for all different levels here.

Beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula

Dreamy surf on the Nicoya Peninsula

Playa Negra (IA)

Playa Negra is a challenging reef break that is not well-suited for inexperienced surfers. There are a lot of rocks and the waves can be big and heavy here. For the experienced and patient surfer though, you might get the barrel of a lifetime.

Playa Marbella (IA)

Marbella is a very heavy beach break.

Playa Guiones (BF)

Perfect beach for both beginner and experienced surfers. This expansive beach break is mainly sand bottom and there are peaks all up and down the beach.

Playa Hermosa (BF)

Just north of Santa Teresa is Playa Hermosa. On a small to medium swell day this beach can be great for beginner and intermediate surfers. On a big swell, it can be all-time for the experienced surfer.

Beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula

So many places to surf on the Nicoya Peninsula

Playa Santa Teresa (BF)

Santa Teresa is host to several breaks that are suited for all different levels of surfers. You won’t have a problem finding a surf guide or instructor down here, if you are just starting out or want to improve your surfing skills.

Mal Pais (IA)

Mal Pais is just to the south of Santa Teresa and has several breaks that an experienced surfer will love. You can expect sharp rocks and a lot of current though, so be careful.

Montezuma (BF)

Montezuma is a great place for novice surfers. There are three main breaks, and two of them, Playa Grande and Los Cedros is especially wonderful for beginners.


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