Playa Negra

Playa Negra, Costa Rica

Playa Negra is one of Costa Rica’s most sought after surf spots. Its famous right-hand barrel is formed by a narrow channel between rocks where the surf rushes over a shallow rocky bottom.

Surf Playa Negra
Surfing Playa Negra

As the take off zone for riding the waves is concentrated on a small spot the line-up is crowded with only two dozen surfers, which can gather quite easily. Playa Negra is famous in the surfing world since it was featured in the surf cult movie "Endless Summer II".

Playa Negra Costa Rica
Watching the surf at Playa Negra

The surf of Playa Negra is very consistent year-round and it attracts the pros among the surfers. Most people come to surf during high tide as low tide exposes rocks under the water. At low tide only dare devil lunatics surf the fast, perfect tubes.

When Playa Negra is too crowded or dangerous to surf you can walk over to some lesser known breaks like Playa Callejones to the south, or drive north to the surf beach of » Avellanas only 2 km north of Playa Negra.

Map of Playa Negra


The pristine beach of Playa Negra features dark sand and rocky outcroppings with tide pools. For swimming there is a protected stretch of beach around 100 m south of the famous break.

Right in front of the break sits Hotel Playa Negra with its huge thatched rancho where you get food and drinks while you can watch the surfers frolicking in the waves.

1 km inland is the small village of Pargos, a cluttering of houses, restaurants and lodgings. Accommodations range from low-key surfer cabins to sophisticated boutique hotels with gourmet dining. The atmosphere in the small village feels peaceful and laid back, and maybe it’s the great surf of Playa Negra which puts this happy grin on the faces of most people you meet there.

See also: » Surf Spots in the Tamarindo Area

How to get to Playa Negra:

Costa Rica Playa Negra
On the way to Playa Negra

From Santa Cruz drive until the village of "27 de Abril" where you first take a left and then soon after that a right turn. Continue on a new paved road for 16 km until you reach Paraiso. In Paraiso turn right and you will arrive in Pargos /Playa Negra after another 4 km.
From Tamarindo drive via Vila Real, follow the road signs to Hacienda Pinilla, then to Playa Avellans from where it’s another 4 km to Playa Negra.

A private bus service from Tamarindo serves the route Avellanas – Playa Negra. For schedules and bookings call Avellanas Express: 2653 1400.