With hundreds of beaches along the coast, surfers have long flocked to Costa Rica’s waves, staking out breaks before the destinations had paved roads or supermarkets. In fact, many of Costa Rica’s more popular beaches have been surfing destinations for decades. With so much good surf, it’s hard to mention every worthy break, but the destinations listed below are some of the most accessible and popular surfing spots in Costa Rica. Get a personal perspective about surfing in Costa Rica with our Costa Rica Surf Guide.


Set high above the enchanting national park, Manuel Antonio boasts world-class views and beaches. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Zip Lines   Hiking   Guided Tours  

Once a quiet surf beach and fishing hamlet, Tamarindo has evolved to be the area’s most developed and accessible tourist town. Rated 7.9/10 by visitors.

Shopping   Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Santa Teresa is an excellent place to do just that so be prepared to kickback and unwind. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Surfing   ATV Tours  

Playa Jaco is the closest beach to San Jose, the Central Valley and is one of the most visited coastal destinations in Costa Rica. Rated 7.7/10 by visitors.

Kayaking   Zip Lines   Surfing  

Referred to by locals as "little Hawaii," Playa Avellana packs extraordinary offshore waves that can reach up to eighteen feet, making it an ideal destination for experienced surfers from around the world. Rated 8.3/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Golf   Catamaran Tour  

Known for its laidback attitude and famous for it's surfing, Puerto Viejo beckons visitors to come experience Costa Rica’s eccentric side. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.

Snorkeling   Night Life/Bars & Rest   Hiking  

Separated from Tamarindo by the Matapalo River is Grande Beach (Playa Grande) located within Marino Las Baulas National Park, Grande Beach is the site of the arribadas of the leatherback turtle. Rated 9.2/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Boat Tours   Hiking  

Nestled along parts of Guanacaste's most lovely coastline is Brasilito Beach, a sprawling grey-sand beach and charming town. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Sport Fishing   Snorkeling   Catamaran Tour  

Playa Hermosa on the Central Pacific Coast of Costa Rica is situated about 3 miles (5km) south of Jaco and is one of the best surf destinations in the country. Rated 8.7/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Scuba Diving   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Nosara's beach town of Guiones is a tucked-away delight with lucrative real estate, vibrant flora, and a world-class white sand beach. Rated 8.9/10 by visitors.

Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

About 27 mi (44 km) south of Quepos is the quaint and growing beach town of Dominical. Rated 8.5/10 by visitors.

Marine Mammal Observation   Surfing   Night Life/Bars & Rest  

Matapalo is a small town in the Guanacaste region, near the Pacific Coast. Rated 8.5/10 by visitors.

Situated on the tip of the Osa Peninsula in southern Costa Rica, the small town of Cabo Matapalo provides visitors with backdoor access into some of the country's most beautiful and least visited places: Corcovado National Park, Golfo Dulce, and Isla del Cano. Rated 10.0/10 by visitors.

Bird Watching   Hiking   Surfing  

Pavones Costa Rica is a small town located in the southern Pacific Zone about 1 1/2 hour drive from Golfito.


Playa Bejuco is only about 35km north of Manuel Antonio and about 30 km south from Jaco but the atmosphere could not be more distant from the more popular destinations.


Playa Negra is a beautiful dark-sand beach famous in the surfing community for its right-hand barrel waves. Rated 8.8/10 by visitors.


Esterillos Oeste is a small town on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific Coast, in the province of Puntarenas.

Surf Lessons  

Playa Cocles is a small village on the Atlantic Coast south of Puerto Viejo, Limon in the Caribbean lowland Zone.

Surfing   Hiking  

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