Surfing Basics for a First Timer in Costa Rica

A tropical beach lined with coconut palms and thatched huts.

Warm water, secluded beaches, and some of the most renowned coffee in the world make Costa Rica a paradise for surfers of every level. Prime surfing destinations in Costa Rica can be found right down the Pacific coast. Grab your board and join us as we share some information basics for surfing in Costa Rica.

The Attraction of the Surf in Costa Rica

Since the ‘60s and ‘70s, surf-loving travelers have been sharing glowing reports back home about the surf opportunities in Costa Rica. With quiet beaches and constant peaks, this surfer’s paradise couldn’t seem to get any better! 

Although you’d expect that such a destination would quickly turn into a commercial surfing tourist destination, the pristine coastline and lush jungle background have been protected by strong sustainability policies from the Costa Rican government and conservation movements among the general public. Rather than large international comps and surf paparazzi, you’re more likely to find groups of volunteers tagging turtles — and honestly, that’s exactly how we like it!

Finding the Right Beach

There are so many places to surf in Costa Rica, but a few, in particular, are ideal for beginners. If you’re still finding your surf legs and need something a little more manageable, try the following beaches for catching your first waves in Costa Rica:

  • Playa Carmen
  • Playa Hermosa
  • Santa Teresa on the Nicoya Peninsula
  • Playa Avellanas on the Guanacaste Province’s Golden Coast
  • Playa Guiones on the Nicoya Peninsula
  • Playa Hermosa in the North Puntarenas Province
  • Playa Dominical in the Bahía Ballena

At each of these locations, you’ll be able to find locals to guide you to the best part of the beach for beginner surfing and help you get into the rhythm of the Pure Vida lifestyle.

Surfing Basics at Santa Teresa

Naturally, our favorite spot for catching the surf in Costa Rica is the kilometer-long stretch of sand in Santa Teresa. Located 0.5 miles from top-end restaurants and a mere 75 feet from Casa Teresa, this beach has a laid-back vibe that attracts its fair share of high-profile visitors as well as honeymooning couples and groups of friends.

The best waves at Santa Teresa Beach generally form at a depth of 2 – 4 feet, but larger swells can also be seen when the conditions are right. The south end has a few rocks that you’ll want to watch out for and a current can form at the turn of the tide. Keeping these things in mind, you can definitely enjoy long days riding the waves against the spectacular backdrop of lush green rainforests.

Planning Your Stay

The inside view of Casa Teresa, looking out towards the ocean.

If a surf vacation in Costa Rica is just what the doctor ordered, be sure to book ahead to avoid missing out on the best accommodation. The peak surf season is from May to December when the “green season” produces the most exciting waves. 

The Santa Teresa town offers plenty of board hire options, so you won’t have to lug your surfing board halfway across the world! There is also a vibrant local community that will be happy to share their surfing knowledge and expertise.

Take Your Surfing in Costa Rica Experience to New Heights

For the surfing experience of a lifetime, consider a luxury vacation rental like Casa Teresa. With unmatched proximity to the beach and the shops as well as your own private chef and wellness coach, Casa Teresa provides the ultimate way to enjoy the complete Costa Rica experience by yourself or with a group. Contact our friendly concierge staff to inquire about booking a surfing basics trip in Costa Rica that you’ll never forget!

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