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Tamarindo Surfing

Introduction to Surfing in Tamarindo

Tamarindo remains to be the most popular and well known, “surf mecca” on the northern pacific coast.

This area is centrally located on the coast to offer easy access to a wide variety of surf breaks for all abilities including beach, rivermouth and of course, reef breaks such as Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point, Tamarindo can be acces to by air or land a short drive of 1:15 minutes on Private Transfer from Liberia Airport or rent a car

Tamarindo is a great place to use as home base to explore many of the area breaks to the north and south. There are several breaks in town including the rivermouth of Tamarindo and the more challenging break at Langosta.

However, the real attraction of Tamarindo is its central location between the world famous break of Playa Negra (south) and Witches Rock (north).

Logistically, Tamarindo provides the easiest place to explore the most surf in the shortest time. Moreover, Tamarindo offers a wide variety of accommodations from beachfront hotels, condominiums to private house rentals.

This is the best place on the northern pacific coast to go for the perfect mix of a variety of waves, accommodations, restaurants and nightlife.

First time visitors to Costa Rica tend to fall in love with this tropical paradise although, many return visitors opt for quieter destinations such as Playa Grande or Nosara. It’s also very close to Playa Avellanes and Playa Negra.

Getting There

Tamarindo is accessed by paved road all the way from San José (4½ hours) or by shuttle plane (no boards over 7 feet) into the local airport.

Playa Grande is accessed by paved road from San José and a 10 minute ride on the dirt road just outside of Tamarindo or by shuttle plane into the local Tamarindo airport (no boards over 7ft).

Tamarindo is one of the best surf destinations as it is a great place to use as base to explore a wide variety of surf breaks within a short distance. Breaks within walking distance include the rivermouth, Langosta, Pico Pequeño (to name a few) and within a short drive you can surf Grande, Avellanes, Negra and a boat trip away from Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point.


Isla UvitaWitches Rock

Access by Boat Only. 2 mile stretch of beach with hollow sand bottom beach breaks creating long lefts and rights. Take off can be steep, however offshores generally keep the wave open and easy to surf.

Best conditions: with a west/southwest swell at incoming to high tide.

Ollie’s Point

Access by Boat Only. Right point at the rivermouth with fast, hollow waves that roll on the beach endlessly breaking over a rocky bottom (hence, Endless Summer II). Take off at a series of rocks with slow entry.

Best conditions: at outgoing to mid low tide and south/southwest swells.Offers a great beach break with waves year round.

Playa Grande

Exposed beach break just north of Tamarindo with hollow peaks. Can get crowded at the main peak but there are plenty of fun lefts & rights on the outside ref. & beach break.

Best conditions: at mid – high tide with offshore flow.

Playa Langosta

Exposed beach break just south of Tamarindo with hollow peaks. Can get crowded at the main peak but there are plenty of fun lefts & rights on the outside reef & beach break.

Best conditions: at mid – high tide with offshore flow.


Solid right beachbreak with hollow waves as they hit the inside reef..

Best conditions: on a due WEST swell with offshore flow and at mid-high tide.

Pico Pequeno

A lava finger reef with a right that can be mushy to barrelling.

Best conditions: at a mid tide. Located south of the rivermouth.

Things to Avoid

Avoid trying to enter by car the center of Tamarindo on a Friday night between 5 – 7. Due to increased traffic, this becomes a parking lot!

About Avellanes and Negra: Avoid parking at the beach with any valuables in the car. The remoteness which makes this area so attractive, also makes it an easy target for petty theft while you are in the water!

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