Surfing and Kitesurfing Facts
- Surfing and kitesurfing spots within 50 km
2 (kitesurfing), more than 60 (surfing)
- Best time to travel - kitesurfing
December to April
- Best time to travel - surfing
- Recommended apparel
Bikini/swimsuit or Lycra for UV protection recommended
- Flight connection
Situated on the Nicoya Peninsula, Santa Teresa is a surfing paradise with no fewer than 16 surf spots for all skill levels, leaving surfers delightfully spoilt for choice. Despite Santa Teresa’s growing popularity as a surf destination, the former fishing village with its beautiful white-sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets has lost nothing of its charm.
Top Surf and Kite Spots around San José
Tamarindo – a Gem for Beginners and Advanced Surfers
Discovered as a surf beach in the 1980s, the “Jewel of Guanacaste” is popular with locals and with tourists alike. The long white-sand beach stretches from the rocky outcroppings in the south to the Tamarindo estuary in the north. Wave breaks at the El Estero surf spot is particularly good and the result of an unusual sandbar formation paired with the consistent currents of the Tamarindo river. This surf spot is especially suitable for surf newbies. Surfboards can be rented in Tamarindo and the surf spot reached on foot (there is also no shortage of surf instructors). Advanced surfers will find their ideal surf spot in neighbouring Playa Grande, which is considered one of the best surf beaches in the Guanacaste province.
Riding the Perfect Wave in Pavones
Goofy riders listen up: Pavones hosts one of the world’s longest left-hand waves! Surfing left-handers at this beautiful surf spot on the tropical Pacific coast can last up to three minutes. Besides first-rate surfing, Pavones is home to a rich diversity of animal species and offers exciting adventure tours.
Kiteboarding in Bahia Salinas
Situated within the Santa Rosa National Park, Bahia Salinas is one of the few places in Costa Rica that offers ideal kiteboarding conditions. By the way, the Blue Dream Kitesurfing School on Playa Papaturro was the first of its kind in Central America and enjoys an excellent reputation.
Caribbean for Experts
Costa Rica‘s Caribbean coast is primarily popular with advanced surfers. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is one of the country’s most visited surf spots. Right in the center of town you'll find "Salsa Brava", the famous right-hand reef break for experienced surfers. But Cocles, Playa Bonita and Isla Uvita also boast word-class waves – though Isla Uvita can only be reached by boat. For those seeking a little more tranquillity, it can be found in the lovely village of Manzanillo that also has numerous surf beaches.
Kitesurfing and Windsurfing on Lake Arenal
It doesn’t always have to be the ocean! With side on-shore winds in the range of 4-8 on the Beaufort scale, windsurfers and kiteboarders are in for a real treat on Lake Arenal! This idyllic location with views of the Arenal Volcano (one of the most active volcanoes on the planet) is one of the best inland surf spots in the world.
Recommended surf schools
The following schools are excellent schools to learn how to surf: