Surf in Santa Teresa and Malpais
Surf in Malpais /Santa Teresa
The beaches of Mal Pais and Santa Teresa host some of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. There are a variety of world-class breaks with ideal surf conditions throughout the year.
The main surf beach, Playa El Carmen, is on the border between Malpais and Santa Teresa. It has a good set of sand bars
that offer some nice lefts and slightly longer rights. The break of Playa Carmen is popular with long-boarders but you can always find a
few hot short-boarders pulling tail slides, aerials and 360s. Rip tides and beach breaks at Playa Carmen are less powerful than in other
surf spots on the Pacific side of Costa Rica, which makes it well suited for surf beginners.
The waves tend to get heavier, faster and steeper as you head north towards Playa Santa Teresa where you find various point breaks, such as the "Suck Rock".
Overview of Surf Spots:
Surf Map of Malpais and Santa Teresa
Surf in Mal Pais:
A long right and a shorter left, surfing over sand. It is the best break for beginners learning to surf.
The other surf spots in Malpais are more challenging and not suited for beginners:
A reef break with a long lefthand which wraps around the point turning into a great hot dog wave. This area needs a lot of swell to work properly. Watch out for the rocks.
Another lefthand reef break with a fast take off followed by a long workable wall. Gets hollow with size and offshore winds and also needs a good swell to work. Take care as surfing over the shallow reef can be dangerous.
Malpais, Punta Barrigona
Surf in Santa Teresa and further north:
Usually bigger and more hollow than Playa Carmen, Playa Santa Teresa presents a variety of beach breaks, point breaks and high swells for the more experienced surfers. The surf is better at low tide when waves tend to be faster.
A long sandy beach with easy going beach breaks, both lefts and rights, well suited for surf beginners. Also popular with kite surfers.
The reef is offshore at the north end of the beach. Very fickle wave which needs a lot of swell to work.