Surf in Santa Teresa and Malpais
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”.
Surf Spots in Malpais and Santa Teresa
A long right and a shorter left, surfing over sand. It is a good break for beginners learning to surf.
The following 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.
Santa Teresa to Manzanillo:
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.
On Playa Hermosa you will find a long sandy beach with easy going beach breaks, both lefts and rights, well suited for surf beginners.
The reef in Manzanillo is offshore at the north end of the beach. Very fickle wave which needs a lot of swell to work.