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Caribbean Surf Spot Guide


Guide to Surf Spots on Costa Rica’s Caribbean Coast

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Bright colors, whimsical Bohemian culture and an enigmatic aura define the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. Its towns and beaches have gained tremendous popularity in the recent years, people from all over the globe travel to the Caribbean coast to experience quaint, hip culture and tropical nature. The capital of the Caribbean coast is Limon. It features six counties which include Pococí, Guácimo, Siquirres, Matina, Puerto Limón, and Talamanca. The coast is a sanctuary for surf enthusiasts, sport fishermen, snorkelers, divers and nature lovers. Popular surf spots on the Caribbean Coast are:


Surf Breaks

Playa Bonita

Playa Bonita is a beautiful beach located north of Limon. It is very popular among the locals who go there to spend weekends. It features a beach break which can get really big before closing out and a reef break with shallow, fast and hollow waves. The waves break to the left. The best time to surf the reef break is at a mid tide while for the beach break, high tide is great. The surf spot is inconsistent and requires a big swell to work. Dry season offers the best surfing condition.

Los Tumbos

Los Tumbos is a surf break located south of Playa Bonita. It presents fast, hollow and tubular waves that break to the right over a sandy bottom. The waves are world class, fairly consistent and extremely powerful, suitable only for professional surfers. The waves ride up to 300 meters with swells holding up to 10 feet. You will find Los Tumbos mostly crowded with locals and bodyboarders.

Isla Uvita

Isla Uvita, translated into Island of Small Grapes, is a secluded island encircled by reef located just 40 minutes boat ride away from Limon. The deserted island has a reef break with powerful, fast and hollows waves breaking to the left over a sharp and shallow reef bottom. The waves are known to get triple overhead without closing out. Their length range from 50 to 150 meters. The waves can get even bigger when the swells are picked up from Southeast, East and Northeast direction. Isla Uvita is only safe for experienced surfers. The island is completely undeveloped and devoid of crowds.

Playa Westfalia

Playa Westfalia is found on the southern region of Limon. The beach break is not very popular. The waves tend to close out when the swells get a bit large. The water is very polluted and crocodiles and sharks have been spotted in the area.

Playa Negra

Playa Negra, also known as the black beach, is found in Cahuita. The waves are regular, rather sloppy and break to the left and right over a sandy bottom. When the break picks up swells from east and northeast, the waves tend to get hollow and break far outside. The best time to surf is at a high tide. The break is great for beginners because the waves gentle and easy to ride. Also, the area is mostly uncrowded. Watch out for sea urchins and sharp reef.

Barco Quebrado

Barco Quebrado is a beautiful beach nestled in a cove encircled by cliffs, rocks and dense forests. The beach is located in Limon Barco Quebrado features a rivermouth at Rio del Banano which remains consistent throughout the year. The waves are regular, fairly short and quite fun to ride. They ride up to 50 meters breaking over a sandy bottom. They ride to left and right but favor the rights more. The waves are best ridden when the wind blows from the southwest and nice swells are picked from the northeast, east and southeast. The swells can hold up to 6 feet. Windswells are more common than groundswells. Watch out for rip currents, undertows and jellyfishes.

Punta Uva

Punta Uva is a small beach town located south of Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The exposed reef break offers multiple peaks scattered throughout the beach. To access the break, you have paddle out into the water for about 100 meters. The waves are regular, hollow and very fast breaking to the right direction. Even though the waves can be a bit demanding, they are real fun to catch and ride. On normal days, the waves go up to 150 meters while on good days they can be as high as 300 meters. The spot is best to ride when swells rise from the north teamed up with wind blowing from south and southwest. The break is suitable for all sorts of surfers. The spot hardly sees any crowds. Watch out for sea urchins. jellyfishes and exposed rocks.

Salsa Brava

Salsa Brava is a powerful and heavy reef break boasting a Hawaiian style barrels and juice. The break is only suitable for seasoned and professional surfers.The waves are good to ride throughout the year but the months between December and March offer the biggest surf. It is a right hand reef break featuring fast, hollow and powerful waves that break over a sharp reef bottom. The waves are very consistent and mostly short ranging from 50 to 150 meters. The epic waves team up with big swells from the east and winds from the south creating a strong and heavy Hawaiian style barrel waves. The surf develops in deep water and bursts over a shallow reef with a fast and long right. The swells build up at 5 feet holding up to more than 16 feet. There are many rocks, undertows and rips so watch out for them.

Playa Cocles

Playa Cocles is a pretty beach located a few kilometers away from Puerto Viejo. It features a beach break that peels to right and left over a sandy bottom. The waves are very long riding up to 300 meter and real fun to ride when the tide is high. The break is not very consistent and tends to close out when big surfs get hollow. It is great for intermediate to advanced surfers. There are many rip currents and undertows in the water so watch out.

Playa Manzanillo

Playa Manzanillo is a major town for snorkelers but it also has good reef breaks for beginners. The waves are world class, consistent and break to the right over a sharp reef bottom.

Cocaine Point

Cocaine Point is a surf spot that was created in 1991 after an earthquake. It is an exposed reef rocky break located across the water in Limon Province on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The break is consistent throughout the year and peels to the right over a reef bottom. To work Cocaine Point requires lots of swells from the north and northeast direction. Windswells are more than the groundswells and the wind direction is best from the southwest. The waves are regular, powerful and hollow riding up to 300 meters on good days. The surf is good to go during all tides. The waves are quite fun and easy to ride perfect for all sorts of surfers. The spot can get crowded sometimes usually on weekends. Watch out for rips, undertows and rocks.

Surf Forecast

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