Point and beach breaks, lefts and rights, reefs and river mouths ...
Point and beach breaks, lefts and rights, reefs and river mouths, warm water and waves year round make Costa Rica a favourite surfer's destination. Some beaches may be hard to get to but are totally un-crowded (sometimes you'll be the only one surfing there all day), and even the easily accessible ones tend to be much less crowded than the beaches of Hawaii, southern California, and Sydney.
The waves are often quite big, though not as huge as the almost mythical ones in Hawaii. But they make up for this in length, with fast kilometre-long waves at Pavones on the south Pacific coast giving rides of two or three minutes. It's an athletic challenge to stay upright on such a long wave.
Dedicated surfers bring their own boards from home. Most airlines accept a surfboard (properly packed in a padded bag designed for surfboards) as one of the two pieces of checked luggage. However once in Costa Rica, the two domestic airlines either don't allow them or charge extra for them, and many surfer prefer to rent a 4x4 to give themselves mobility. SANSA airline will not accept boards longer than 7 feet, 2 inches. At the end of the trip you can easily sell the board in Costa Rica.
A few places rent equipment. These are mainly in the popular coastal towns and villages such as Jacó, Quepos, Tamarindo and Puerto Viejo de Talamanca. In the San José area there are the Mango Surf Shop or Tsunami.
There are dozens of surfing areas and some of the best are shown on the surfing map below. Most of the north Caribbean has wonderful waves, but few surfers ride them because of riptides, heavy surf and shark reports, especially near the river mouths.
Text by Lonely Planet.
Click on the map to go to the beaches!
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