In Costa Rica you will find some of the best and most popular surfing destinations in the world.

Playa Santa Teresa

Playa Santa Teresa is located on the Nicoya Peninsula and is one of the most popular villages for surfers and yoga lovers.

Santa Teresa is one of the most charming and beautiful places on the Nicoya Peninsula. This small but beautiful beach hosts one of the best places for surfing. Today, Santa Teresa beach has become a benchmark for more experienced surfers.

Surfing 1

This beach is an exposed beach break that usually has waves and can work at any time of the year. Offshore winds blow from the northeast. Groundswells more frequent than windswells and the ideal swell direction is from the west northwest. Waves at the beach break both left and right. Best around low tide. When it’s working here, it can get crowded. Take care of the strong rips here. We would love to help you find your passion for surfing but arranging private lessons.

Undoubtedly, Santa Teresa beach is one of the experiences you can not miss in your Costa Rican getaway.

Playa Carmen

Surfing 2

Playa Carmen is known by everyone in Costa Rica for belonging to the incredible group of beaches that make up the so-called Playa Malpaís. This incredible group of beaches is found along the Central Pacific coast in the Gulf of Nicoya.

In Playa Carmen you can enjoy the warm Costa Rican sun and enjoy splendid conditions to relax and disconnect from the cosmopolitan atmosphere of everyday life. Along with its coast, you can practice a myriad of activities, including yoga and pilates, among many others.

Thanks to its privileged position you can take the opportunity to get to know the Santa Teresa beach and the well-known Playa Malpaís, which are known for their magnificent natural conditions.

Playa Carmen is one of the small paradises of the Central Pacific that you can not miss in your visit to Costa Rica.

Playa Malpais

Surfing 3

Malpais beach is one of the best known beaches on the Nicoya Peninsula, thanks to its active waves and lively atmosphere. It creates a perfect combination of fun and natural beauty. The Malpais beach is loved by many as are the Santa Teresa and Carmen beaches, which are positioned one after the other.

Many different activities can be performed on this beach, include such as diving, snorkeling, and more. Although the king of sports here is surfing, as its great waves and its beautiful landscape make a perfect place.

Malpais beach is one of the experiences that you can not miss while visiting the south of the Nicoya peninsula.

The beaches of Malpais 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 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

Surf Map of Malpais and Santa Teresa


El Carmen:
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:

Punta Barrigona:
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.

Sunset Reef:
Another lefthand reef break with a fast takeoff 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:

Santa Teresa:
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.

Playa Hermosa:
A long sandy beach with easy-going beach breaks, both lefts, and rights, perfect for your first few private surf lessons.

The reef is offshore at the north end of the beach. A very fickle wave which needs a lot of swell to work.