Surfer’s Paradise in the Southern Pacific Zone of Costa Rica

Costa Rica is one of the top Surfing destinations in the world. Thousands flock to its beautiful rich coast every year to take advantage of prime breaks. Playa Hermosa just South of the city of Jaco is a popular destination for many surfers. But did you know that the area from Dominical to Pavones boasts some of the best surf and untouched beaches in Costa Rica?

The surfer town of Dominical has grown to become a affordable stop on anyone’s surfing
tour. Known as the most consistent surf spot in Costa Rica, Dominical is a must stop on any experienced surfers trip. Note that this beach is not at a beginner level, the high tides are powerful and the currents strong and low tide is shallow! Dominical is not recommended for swimming and never leave anything of value in your car.

Many surfers have relocated to the Dominical area and now call it home. This has drawn
attention to the town and brought a number of surf events to its beaches. In May 2012
Dominical hosted the 4th circuit of the Copa Quicksilver Olympus 2012 National Tour. One important difference at Dominical is that the beach has lifeguards, which the community have worked hard to keep over the years! Annually there is a local surf competition to raise funds for the lifeguards as well as other fundraising events. To find out more about supporting these hard working guys visit www.dominicallifeguards.org, you can also find daily surf reports for Dominical Beach here!

A short 2 km drive South of Dominical brings you to the cove of Dominicalito Beach. Dominicalito is a great place for beginner level surfers. The cove is rocky, so high tide is best for surfing since one doesn’t have to battle past the rocks. Dominical Surf Adventures surf school about lessons and tours! The point at Dominicalito provides advanced surfers with taller walls at low to mid tide with SSW swells, waves break on a shallow rock ledge. Dominicalito is a stunning cove to enjoy at low tide, with beautiful rock formations and perfect sunset views.

10 km South of Dominical brings you to Playa Hermosa, not to be confused with Playa Hermosa South of Jaco. Hermosa is a 2km long stretch of palm tree lined beach and serves as a great surf spot for beginner to intermediate surfing. Beginners can take best advantage of mid to high tide.

Advanced surfers usually group at the North end near the point. It remains a favorite among those living in the area. The beach has ample parking and usually remains a safe option. Playa Hermosa is a must stop for any South Pacific trip to Costa Rica; uncrowded, clean, beautiful, what more could you ask for?

The town of Uvita is home to the Marino Ballena National park, host of the famous Whale’s Tail sand bar. This coastal town has grown to provide all the basic services and necessities one might need, along with boasting some of the most beautiful beaches! With calm snorkeling and whale watching boat tours, it is a must stop. At Chaman beach one can find some of the best beginner surf in the area during mid to high tide. High tide is also prime for intermediate surfers who want to experience a tranquilo surf. There is ample parking, though again you do not want to leave anything of value in your car. The Flutterby House Hostel is nearby and provides cheap backpacker accommodations. Don’t forget to visit Playa Ballena where the Whale’s Tail is located for a beautiful beach destination, there you can also snorkel and walk the sand bar at low tide. Visit www.enuvita.com for more information on businesses in the area.

10 km South of Uvita is Playa Arco. This is best accessed at Villas Leonor restaurant
(purchasing of a meal is required). Arco is practically untouched and is never crowded. The surf is good for beginner. Another 3 km brings you to Playa Ventanas. Seeming like something out of Jurassic Park movie, this beautiful cove beach is a great beginner surf spot. The waves are best from low to mid for learners. Ventanas means “windows”, visit the 2 caves to the North of the cove, at low tide you can walk through them. Parking is located on the property adjacent to the beach, a $1 fee per person is charged for access. Again, do not leave anything valuable in your vehicle.

150 km South of Uvita is the small town of Pavones – it is the hidden gem of surfing in Costa Rica. This is surfers paradise! www.crsurf.com says this about Pavones “One of the longest lefts in the world. With a double overhead southwest swell it can break for 600-700 meters, two minute rides. When there is no swell, it can go flat, with surf maybe waist high with a rising tide. Best tide is around high tide so the wave breaks in deeper water and one can make more sections. At low tide there are lots of slippery barnacled cobblestones to walk over to get to the wave. Can get very crowded with over 100 surfers on it when it is good. And many of them are locals so give respect and wait for the right peak to take off on. The drift also helps to spread out the lineup.”. Pavones itself is undeveloped, there is no bank in the town, so bring necessities and cash with you. If you are a advanced surfer, Pavones is sure to find a place in your heart, as it has for many!

There are also a number of other surf spots located along this section of Costa Rica. Playa
Matapalo, Rio Terraba, Punta Banco, to name a few more.

The South Pacific zone of Costa Rica is a rich coast. Rich with wildlife, waterfalls, jungle,
untouched beaches and some of the best surf in the world. You do not want to miss out on this stretch of Surfer Paradise!