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Surfing in Costa Rica

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Surfing in Costa Rica

Surfing at Cedros in Montezuma

After a few decades since Hawaiians brought surfing to the world, this extreme water sport has become a worldwide phenomenon, and Costa Rica is as dedicated to the sport as any other nation. Many surfers travel to Costa Rica to experience and catch its famous waves, or to search out little-known spots hidden among the many remote coves.

Nowadays, professional surfers and enthusiasts have flocked to Costa Rica, whose name means “rich coast.” The country is located in Central America with Nicaragua in the north and Panama in the south. What makes Costa Rica a surfer’s haven? Two large bodies of water surround it to the east and west—the Carribean Sea and Pacific Ocean, respectively.

Aside from having the Pacific Ocean and Carribean Sea as their background, Costa Rica is a good place to surf since its coasts offers regular and consistent waves, especially on the Pacific side. The different beaches and underwater terrains surrounding Costa Rica create a variety of different breaks. One can often find different types of waves on any particular beach. Beginners will have a good chance to learn the different techniques in riding these different kinds of waves—from easy to difficult ones, since there are so many surf camps in the country. Costa Rica also makes a great training ground, and is a favorite stop in the surf circuit for the professionals.

One of the top surf spots in Costa Rica is the little village called Mal Pais. It is located in Puntarenas Province, Costa Rice and is at the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. It has been recently recognized by Forbes Magazine as one of the most top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. Before Mal Pais village got its tourist spot reputation, it was a remote fishing and cattle-farming village. Nowadays, the people are trying their best to preserve the beauty of its nature. Even though hotels and other tourist-friendly businesses have opened up, Malpais pristine beauty can still be seen in their mountain ranges and scenic beaches.

Playa Carmen, one of the main surf beaches in Costa Rica, borders another top tourist town called Santa Teresa. The town has white sand, jungle-covered hills, and surfable waves 24/7. With the recent popularity as a tourist destination, locals have thrived with hotels, restaurants, etc. Aside from Playa Carmen, beaches such as Manzanillo and Playa Hermosa can be found in Santa Teresa.

Both Mal Pais and Santa Teresa villages are located along the Pacific Ocean coast, on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. The beaches of Puerto Viejo de Talamanca—or simply known as Puerto Viejo—fronts the Carribean Sea on the other side of the country. This coastal town’s surf scene is best known for a very powerful wave called Salsa Brava. Salsa Brava gives surfers an estimated 100-200 meter ride, and is definitely not for amateurs.

There are many more beaches, bays and peninsulas in Costa Rica where surfers can enjoy consistent waves. Competitions and surf camps are thriving in the country. Summer time in Costa Rica, which is in the months of December to April, is the best time for surfing.

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