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Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula Surf Guide


Surf Spots of the Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula of Costa Rica

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Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula Surf Guide

The South Pacific region of Costa Rica is a bucolic oasis of Costa Rica featuring the biggest prehistoric rain forest, a diverse peninsula, a number of nature reserves and many urbanized and tourist friendly cities. The Osa Peninsula is also found in the southwestern region, in the Puntarenas Province on the Pacific Coast. Considered as one of the most ecologically diverse and beautiful places in the country, the peninsula has become an ideal tourist destination. It is simply a wonderful platform for sports, wildlife viewing, nature exploration and luxurious retreat. When it comes to surfing, the Osa Peninsula again impresses its visitors with its diversity.

Surf breaks found in the South Pacific region are:

Punta Burica

Punta Burica is located on a far off location on the border of Panama hidden away from the rest of the world. It presents powerful reef Southern Pacific and Osa Peninsula Surf Guidebreaks with best conditions when a swell is from the south. The surf spot can be accessed through a boat ride.

Punta Banco

Punta Banco is located on the southern side of Pavones and can be accessed by a boat. It features a reef break with both rights and lefts. Surfers come to surf here when the surf spot of Pavones get too crowded. The best condition to surf occurs when the tide is mid or high with swells from the south or west.


Pavones is a perfect place for surf enthusiasts who want to pick up and ride long waves and large swells in seclusion. The waves are sectioned in numbers that allow a surfer to carry out various maneuvers. The waves provide a long, continuous euphoric ride of two to three minutes. Best time to surf in Pavones is during the rainy season, from April to October, when the waves are at their peak. Often, the swells from Golfo Dulce block the waves and there are no surfs for weeks, but as soon as the swell hits, the long waves lure plenty of surfers.

Playa Zancudo

Playa Zancudo is a small village in Puntarenas Province nearby Golfo Dulce in Costa Rica. It features a very consistent beach break with a large rivermouth that go left and right breaking over a sandy bottom. The spot is great for all levels of surfers. The waves are gentle, fun with ordinary power providing a good base for beginners. The beach break of Playa Zancudo remains secluded most of the times

Playa Carate

Playa Carate is a beach break present in Golfo Dulce working best when offshore winds blows from the north northeast. Groundswells are much more common than windswells. The swells are best from the southwest direction. Be cautious around rips and rocks.

Playa Matapalo

Playa Matapalo is found in Cabo Matapalo, a coastal town located at the outermost point of the Osa Peninsula. The beach is also known as Hog Hole among the locals. It boasts consistent waves for surfers of all levels. One of the best things about the beach is that it is mostly secluded even on weekdays. Watch out for rips, undertows and rocks.

Backwash Bay

Backwash Bay features a large and slow reef break present in the center of Backwash Bay. The waves are quite steep and not as consistent as the breaks in Matapalo, but the sectioned waves are great for long boarding sessions. Surfing is best when the tide is mid to low with swells from the west or southwest.

Pan Dulce

Pan Dulce, or sweet bread, is the smallest break. It is a long beach break that breaks to the right and often requires a larger swell. Best time is during the mid tide with a large swell from the south. It is a great area for beginners.


Eclipse is a rivermouth break found in Golfo Dulce. The break is fairly consistent offering both right and left handed breaks. Groundswells are more common than windswells and the best swells rise from the south and southwest. Low tide offers perfect condition to surf. The break is hardly ever crowded. Watch out for rocks and jellyfishes.

Rio Sierpe Rivermouth

Rio Sierpe Rivermouth provides a perfect challenge for advanced surfers. It features fast, long and hollow that break to both left and right powerfully. The break can be accessed by renting a boat from Dominical. The break is mostly uncrowded.

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