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Surf Spots on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

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Surf Spots on the Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica

There are many surf spots found on the beaches of Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica. The whimsical towns of Costa Rican Caribbean Coast are known for their multiculturalism, bohemian vibes and plenty of sports opportunities. Beaches and other attractions of Puerto Viejo, Limon and Cahuita have become quite famous among surf enthusiasts, sport fishermen, divers and nature lovers. Popular surf breaks found along the Caribbean Coast are:

Limon

Surf Spot: Playa BonitaPlaya Bonita

Break Type: Beach break, reef break
Difficulty Level: Experienced surfers
Ride Direction: Left
Tides: High and mid tides

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

Surf Spot: Los Tumbos
Break Type: Beach break
Difficulty Level: Experienced surfers
Ride Direction: Right
Tides: All tides

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

Surf Spot: Isla Uvita
Break Type: Reef-coral break
Difficulty Level: Experienced surfers
Ride Direction: Left
Best Swell Direction: Southeast, East, Northeast
Tides: All tides

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

Surf Spot: Playa Westfalia
Break Type: Beach break
Difficulty Level: All surfers
Tides: High tides

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

Surf Spot: Playa Negra
Break Type: Beach break
Difficulty Level:
All surfers
Ride Direction: Left and right
Best Swell Direction: East, Northeast
Tides: All tides – Rising and falling tides

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.

Salsa Brava

Surf Spot: Salsa Brava
Break Type: Reef coral
Difficulty Level: Experienced surfers
Best Swell Direction: East
Ride Direction: Right
Tides: All tides

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

Surf Spot: Playa Cocles
Break Type: Beach break
Difficulty Level: Experienced surfers
Best Swell Direction: East
Ride Direction: Right and left
Tides: High tides

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

Surf Spot: Playa Manzanillo
Break Type: Reef break
Difficulty Level: All surfers
Ride Direction: Right
Tides: High tides

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.

Surf Camps

Popular surf camps on Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica include Surf For Life, Nomad Surfers Surf Camp, Hostel Crocodile Surf Camp, Totem Surf School and Tours and Totem Hotel Beach Resort.

For more information on Caribbean Coast surfing, visit:

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