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Jaco’s Regional Surf Spots Guide


Surfing in and around the Jaco area

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Jaco’s Regional Surf Spots Guide

Jaco is a coastal city located on the Central Pacific coast of Costa Rica in Puntarenas Province. Lying by the coast,Jaco's Regional Surf Spots Guide
Jaco is blessed with a cluster of sandy beaches, imposing mountains and a diverse wildlife. Herradura and Playa Hermosa, two renowned tourist beaches are on northern and southern sides of Jaco respectively. About 15 miles north to Jaco, a nature reserve by the name of Carara National Park is situated which is famous for having one of the world’s largest populations of Scarlet Macaws. There are plenty of shops, private beach points, accommodations and many activities to do, especially water sports. Surfing is quite big in Jaco. Surf enthusiasts from all the world come to the town for a dose of its fun waves.

Surf Breaks in Jaco

Playa Esterillos

Playa Esterillos is a vast banana shaped golden sand beach situated on the southern side of Playa Hermosa, only a short drive away from Jaco, in the Central Pacific region of Costa Rica. The beach is separated into three parts, Esterillos Este in the east, Centro in the middle and Esterillos Oeste in the west.

Esterillos Oeste

Esterillos Oeste is regarded as a great platform for beginners and novices while the central portion of the beach, Centro, is perfect for veterans. The beach break waves have rights and lefts between 50 to 150 meters in length which can go up to 300 meters on a good day. The best time to surf is when the tide is mid range.

Esterillos Este

Esterillos Este boats faster and stronger waves that break pretty nicely over a sandy bottom during upcoming tide. However, the spot is least popular of the three.

Esterillos Centro

The middle portion of the beach, Esterillos Centro, is perfect for seasoned and professional surfers. It is found right in front of the hotel called La Felicidad. The powerful waves of Centro can be compared to those of Playa Hermosa’s. The beach break waves have good rights and lefts riding from 50 to 150 meters in length which can go up to 300 meters on a good day. The best time to surf is at a mid to high tide.

Playa Agujas

Playa Agujas presents a point break with a left peak offering quite an entertaining ride. The waves are fun with a fairly good length best ridden at a mid to high tide. The spot is great for all levels of surfers and mostly deserted.

Playa Escondida

Playa Escondida, the hidden beach, features a reef coral waves with fast and powerful world class waves. The waves break to the left over a sharp reef bottom. It is only suitable for experienced surfers. The spot can be reached by renting a boat from Isla Herradura.

Playa Jaco

The long beach of Jaco features a small beach break with lots of peaks. The waves break over a sandy bottom to the right and left. Although the waves have an average quality with an ordinary power, they remain consistent throughout the year and provide a great base for all sorts of surfers. Most of the time, the waves are short reaching about 50 meters in height. However on a good day, the waves can even reach the length of 300 meters. The best time to surf is two hours before a high tide. During a low tide, beginners can learn to surf in the whitewater

Playa Hermosa

Playa Hermosa is a 8 kilometers long stretch of beach boasting a number of consistent beach breaks. The beach features huge waves and swells hit the shore with full on power as it has no protection. The beach break features fast, powerful and hollow waves that break to the right and left over a sandy bottom. The waves are short riding up to 50 meter on a normal day while on a good day it can go up to 150 meters. Good swells are raised from Northwest, West and Southwest and wind blow from Southeast, East and Northeast. The best tide movement is at rising and falling tides during a mid tide. There are different kinds of sandbars that result in a creation of pounding and tubular beach breaks.

Other beach breaks found along the beach are:


Terraza is a fast, hollow right break fronted by a large group of visible rocks. There are few other breaks just south of it which are less potent and break over a sandbar. The best time to surf is during the mid tide coming from a west or southwest swell.


It features a very regular and clean sandbar present right at the opening to the dirt road in Hermosa. The waves are hollow breaking nearby the beach with lefts and rights.


Almendro is located in front of a tall Almond Tree breaking in deep water and featuring a sand bottom with rights and lefts.


Tulin is in front of the Soda Tulin south of the Backyard. The break is consistent and a bit bigger than other breaks. Surfers will also find a rivermouth break on the southern end of the beach.

Isla Herradura

Playa Herradura is not a major surf beach and does not offer any big waves for surfing. However, the beach is quite popular among the locals. A bit out to the sea Isla Herradura is present. It features a reef rocky break with a long left breaking over a rocky bottom. The break is inconsistent running up to 500 meters on a good day. You can reach the surf spot by paddling out or through a boat ride. Due to the presence of many rocks, the break is potentially dangerous and is only recommended to experienced surfers. Surf enthusiasts will be happy to know that the spot is almost always deserted.

El Gato

The waves of El Gato break right in front of Punta Guapinol just south of Jaco. The best time to surf the spot is at an upcoming tide. The break has a rocky bottom so be careful.

Roca Loca

Roca Loca is reef rocky break with powerful waves. Advanced surfers should head out to Roca Loca, which is quite a challenging point with clean breaks in deep water over the reefs.

Surf Forecast

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