The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information
Avellanas is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Tamarindo area. There is nothing but pristine beach wilderness, shaded by crooked old trees and backed by scrub, mangroves and pasture land.
The long ribbon of beach unfolds until Tamarindo's Playa Langosta in the north, and Playa Negra in the south. Some stretches are rocky and feature tide pools, other parts have powdery coral-colored sand and turquoise water.
Avellanas has no village and there are no shops around. It is just a scattering of small, laid-back hotels and cabinas where surfers hang out. Those who
need more luxury find a large, all-inclusive resort to the north, halfway between Playa Langosta and Avellanas.
See below: Map of surf spots and hotels in Avellanas
The focal point of Avellanas is Lola's beach bar which offers stylish and comfortable lounging with a front row view to the surf, and their pizza is famous. Lola's is named after the capricious diva of Avellanas, an eccentric big pig who used to bathe in the surf of Avellanas.
For most visitors the biggest attraction of Playa Avellanas lies off shore. Avellanas boasts some of Costa Rica's best surf spots drawing surfers from all over the world.
Surf conditions in Avellanas are perfect throughout the year with swells coming in both from the Northern and Southern Hemisphere. Dry season is from December - April with blue skies and steady offshore winds. Avellanas offers a variety of different surf spots spread out along the beach. Most breaks are for experienced surfers.
In front of Lola's parking lot is La Purruja, a left hand reef break, though not very consistent. In general conditions are best during rainy season.
A few steps north of Lola's is El Parqueo, a beach break with long, smooth waves which make them suitable for less experienced surfers. Dry season months and mid-tide is the best time to surf this spot.
El Palo means "dead tree" referring to the giant dead mangrove tree that stands here the sand. The beach breaks are both lefts and rights, forming little barrels.
In front of the river mouth, El Estero de Avellanas is said to be one of the best
surf spots in Costa Rica.
El Estero offers rights and lefts which surf over reef and sandy bottom, forming perfect A-frames. Best surfed in dry season and on a low incoming tide.
The most northern surf spot of Avellanas is across the river mouth, a 20 min walk from Lola's:
Little Hawaii is a favorite of local surfers and should only be surfed by experts. The right hander surfs over rocks and can sometimes reach heights of 18 feet. Best surfed on low to medium tide.
There is no public transportation to Avellanas. From Tamarindo it's a 16 km drive via Vila Real. Follow the signs to Hacienda Pinilla, from where you continue for another 3 km. The previously precarious road has been fixed and you can now reach Avellanas even during rainy season.