In this area there are three major beaches for surfing. One of them is Potrero Grande, which offers
excellent waves and wind conditions for this type of sport.
To get there, you must take a boat from the Coco beaches (21miles or 35 km from Liberia). This area
lacks services so you must bring your own food and water.
There is also Negra Beach, which has hotels, cabins, and camping areas, as well as restaurants and
bars. You can get there by arriving from the northeast, crossing La Amistad Bridge over the Tempisque
River. It is also recommended to use a four-wheel drive vehicle.
Another important sector is Witch's Rock, located in the Santa Rosa National Park . Its fast waves with
perfect tubes make it one of the favorites; however, keep in mind that toward the Naranjo River there
might be crocodiles. It is accessible by land or sea; if going by land, a four-wheel drive must be used
due to road conditions.
Other beaches recommended for this sport are: Naranjo Beach, Grande Beach, Tamarindo,
Langosta Beach, Avellanas, Junquillal, and Nosara.
The main focal point for surfers is Jac贸, which offers an enormous variety of hotels and lodging as well
as restaurants, bars, entertainment centers, and shopping. It is also a good area for surfing.
Among the most recommended beaches in the Central Pacific are Escondida Beach and Boca
Barranca. The latter is one of the favorites because of its long wave measuring around 3,117 ft (950 m).
Another noteworthy option is Hermosa Beach, which is known for having some of the most consistent
waves in the world. This factor, and its proximity to Jac贸 (2.5 miles/4 km), led to its being chosen as the
location for the 2009 World Surf Championship that brought together the best international surfers and
attracted millions of spectators worldwide.
The beach runs some 5 miles (8 km) long and is excellent for surfing; however, visitors should take
precautions due to the strong currents and waves.
Aside from these beaches, others that attract surf enthusiasts in this area include: Esterillos, Palo
Seco, Roca Loca, Bejuco, Dominical, Damas Island, and Manuel Antonio, among others.
It is worth mentioning that in all these areas it is possible to find hotels, cabins, restaurants, and other
facilities. In general, the bus system provides easy access.
Located some 12 miles (20 km) from Corcovado National Park is Cabo Matapalo, a beach that offers
world-class waves. To get there, take a share taxi that departs from Puerto Jim茅nez everyday or an all-
terrain vehicle due to the various river crossings.
Continuing along toward southern Golfito is Pavones Beach, which has one of the best waves in the
world, running more than half a mile (1 km) long. Transportation is available by air or land.
If you continue along the highway that runs south, parallel to the coast, you will find Punta Banco, a
series of beaches with left and right breakers for 2.5 miles (4 km), which makes it very popular among
surfers, although it is not ideal for swimming. Simple lodging is available. Keep in mind that access is
difficult, so it is recommended to use an all-terrain vehicle.
One of the most frequented beaches by surfers is Puerto Viejo, also known as Salsa Brava due to its
strong waves and huge tubes. Only experienced surfers should attempt this spot.
1.2 miles (2 km) away is Cocles, another beach with good waves as well as cabins that are popular
among surfers. There are also lifeguard posts.
Bonita Beach and Uvita Island also possess world-class waves. However, these points are only
accessible by boat.
If you are looking for something calmer, continue along to Manzanillo, where you will find a variety of
lodging options and beaches suitable for surfing such as Punta Mora and Grande Manzanillo Beach.
Costa Rica, with its 908 miles (1,466 km) of coastline, has more areas
for surfing than you can imagine. Along both coasts, there are almost
always great conditions for surfing.
For your safety:
- Before entering the waters, become familiar with beach characteristics like dangerous currents, weather
conditions, waves, and type of ocean bed (sand or coral), etc.
- Always remember to wear a leash in order to keep your board close to you, for your safety, as well as that
- Always be aware of ocean conditions since it is a dynamic environment that can change easily.
- Never surf in areas that are beyond your skill level. There are certain beaches that are suitable only for
experts due to their risk.
- If you are a beginner, look for areas to surf where there are few people and avoid running into swimmers.
- If there are other surfers in the area, respect their space.
- If quick surf lessons are offered, make sure that the instructor is an expert; if it is a company, make sure it
- Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.
- Always use sunscreen to avoid burning.
- Crocodiles can be found on some beaches. Ask a coastguard, Red Cross personnel, or locals if they can
be found in the area.