The Travel Guide to the Peninsula de Nicoya, Costa Rica, with detailed Maps, Hotels and Tourist Information
Tamarindo is a surfing hot-spot which anchors the surf community of the North Pacific coast of Costa Rica. Consistent swells and offshore winds provide good surf conditions throughout the year.
The beach right in the center of Tamarindo offers good surf conditions also for beginners to learn on. Surf is best during mid-high tide.
At the north of the beach is El Estero, the rivermouth, whose solid right beach break is especially popular with long boarders.
Nearby, in front of the Tamarindo Diria hotel is Pico Pequeno, a rocky point which is best surfed at mid tide. When there are southern swells experienced surfers can also surf over the rocks at Isla Capitán, a small islet in the bay of Tamarindo.
[ Hyperlinks to detail maps are marked in orange color ]
Across from the Tamarindo rivermouth is Playa Grande which has the most consistent waves in the area. When Tamarindo gets too crowded you can paddle with your board across the river to get to the surf spot "La Casita" with its fast beach break. Walking further north you find another set of left and right beach breaks.
1 km south of Tamarindo is Playa Langosta where a right and left point break comes up fast and curls off the estuary of the Rio San Francisco.
Crossing the river and walking on for around 40 minutes you arrive at the next great surf spot: Avellanas, also nicknamed "Little Hawaii". Surf is good low and high tide with beach breaks featuring very hollow rights and lefts. To reach Avellanas you can also drive 16 km from Tamarindo via Villarreal and Pinilla.
Another 5 km south of Avellanas comes Playa Negra, reputedly one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. It's a right point break with very fast waves best to be surfed during transition of the tides. Only for experts.
To reach the famous, remote surf spots in the north, like Ollie's Point and Witches Rock you can arrange a surf tour with a
local surf shop.
Various hotels in Tamarindo also specialize in surf vacations and will organize a tour for you.