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Mal Pais


Mal Pais

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Surf Spot: Mal Pais
Break Type: Beach break
Difficulty Level: All surfers
Ride Direction: Right and left
Tides: Low and mid tide – rising tide


Mal Pais is a small beach town located on the southern tip of Nicoya Peninsula in Puntarenas Province of Costa Rica on the Pacific coast. It is a tourist friendly place with a warm ambiance. Featuring consistent waves all year round, Mal Pais lures thousands of surfers from all over the globe. Because of its incredible surf breaks and other sport opportunities, the town has gained tremendous amount of popularity. Moreover, international and local surfing competitions are held every year in Mal Pais for advanced surfers. On your surf vacation to Costa Rica, get ready to brave the raging waves of Mal Pais!Surfing in Santa Teresa and Mal Pais

Mal Pais boasts a number of popular surfs spots including Mar Azul, Playa El Carmen, Punta Barrigona, Los Suecos and the Sunset Reef.

Playa El Carmen

Playa Carmen presents a great beach break with several peaks that break with a long right and a short left. Swells of excellent height are raised southern and northern hemisphere throughout the year. The waves can be surfed at all tides but high tide offers the best condition. The presence of multiple peaks allows the people to disperse which helps in avoiding crowds. The surf breaks over a sandy bottom but during a low, rocks might be exposed. The waves of Playa El Carmen are forgiving so beginners and intermediate surfers can easily practice.

Mar Azul

Mar Azul is a left handed reef break featuring rock formations, multiple peaks, overhead swells and infrequent breaks. The break offers a daring challenge to experienced surfers. The swells are raised from Northwest, West, Southwest while good wind blows from Southeast, East, Northeast. The best time to surf is at mid to high tide. The break is only recommended to professional surfers.

Punta Barrigona

Punta Barrigona is a reef break with a long left that turns into a massive hot dog wave. It is only suitable for advanced surfers. Big swells come from West and South and breaks directly in Mal Pais.

Sunset Reef

Sunset Reef is a left hand rocky reef break forming large barrels. The surf is very fast at first and then results in large ride-able wall. Experienced surfers can have a lot fun when strong swells rise with great winds. Watch out for the shallow reefs.

Surf Camps

There are numerous surf camps, schools and shops in Mal Pais. Surfers will find most of them right on the beach. One of the most recognized surf school is Blue Surf Sanctuary. Blue Surf Sanctuary offers surf lessons, fabulous accommodations and features great deals. It operated in both towns! The trainers and instructors are highly experienced and make sure that students learn to surf properly and enjoy the adventure as well.  Other great camps are Mal Pais Surf Camp and Resort, Mal Pais Surf Camp and Kelea Surf Spa.

Surfing in Mal Pais

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