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Northern Pacific

Northern Pacific / Nicoya Peninsula / Guanacaste Province/ Costa Rica

Costa Rica’s Northern Pacific Coastline consists of numerous jutting points, coves and long stretches of sandy beach, along the Nicoya Peninsula, making for a vast amount of surf breaks that seem to work year round on a variety of swell angles.  The Nicoya Peninsula / Guanacaste Province of  Costa Rica is exposed to swell from the northwest and southwestern Pacific Ocean.

Although southern swells tend to have more size, power and consistency during the spring and summer months, the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica is also exposed to clean northwest swells and steady offshore winds, known as “Papagayo Winds”, that pick up during the fall and winter months.

Famous surf spots in the Northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica include Ollie’s Point, named after Col. Oliver North and his secret “contra” military base used to train guerillas and launch attacks on the Nicaraguan Sandanista government during the 80′s, which was just inland from the waves that break along the northern end of Portreo Bay, where the rivermouth lets out, replenishing the sediment that forms the break at Ollie’s Point.

Just south of Ollie’s Point is another break that was made famous by the surf movie, “The Endless Summer”, called Witch’s Rock (Roca Bruja in Spanish).  Witch’s Rock breaks on the northern end of Playa Naranjo (Orange Beach) on the Parque Santa Rosa National Park.  The wave is formed and named because of a magnificent rock outcropping that sits about a 1/4 mile offshore from where the rivermouth estuary deposits its sediment.  Witch’s Rock is an incredible beach break that works on most south swells.  The rock breaks up large swell bands that reform into A-frame peaks on the shallow sandbars, producing a world-class barrel for surfing.

Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point are accessible by boat from Playa Coco.  Most of the coastline between Playa Coco and Tamarindo is devoid of any waves worth searching for.  On a big swell, Playa Flamingo will will break, as well as, Brasilito, but your best bet for consistent waves within driving distance is Playa Grande.

From Tamarindo to Santa Teresa, there are tons of waves to explore.  Playa Grande, Playa Langosta, Playa Avellanas, Playa Negra, Junquillal, Marbella, Ostional, Nosara, Guiones, Camaronal, Santa Teresa, Mal Pais.

The following is a list of surfing destinations in the Northern Pacific Region (Nicoya Peninsula/Guancaste) of Costa Rica:

Playa Coco

Playa Flamingo

Playa Grande


Playa Langosta

Playa Avellanas

Playa Negra






Playa Santa Teresa

Mal Pais



If you need further assistance in planning your next surfing vacation to Costa Rica, please feel free to contact us anytime at info@surfingcostarica.com.

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