The warm water with the incredible waves lures surfers from all over the world to this Latin American country. Costa Rica has been a top surf destination for years. Just about every coastal town hosts a surf shop where lessons are available for those who want to give surfing a try.
Sunset Playa Hermosa
The ticos, a nickname referring to a local, have embraced not just the sport but also the culture with its comfortable clothes and laid back attitude. The country’s official website for tourism even provides a map showing the best areas for surfing.
If the waves are too daunting spending the day on the beach watching those in the water is just as enjoyable. The owner of Backyard Bar and Hotel in Playa Hermosa, Nick Kauper, has taken advantage of the surf scene. “Every Saturday at 4pm we hold a surf contest right on the beach in front of the bar,” says Kauper.
On contest day the beach is littered with locals and tourists enjoying the sun and the spectacular show going on in the water. “Some of these surfers are the best in the country,” says Kauper. That is no surprise since they make 360s and aerial tricks look easy.
Whether on the Pacific or Caribbean coast, easy in Costa Rica is finding a spot on a beach where you can watch a surfer riding waves. The country has 762 miles of coastline and the beaches are as different as the two bodies of water surfed.
If you go to Playa Hermosa, which is just outside of Jaco, while watching the surf contest you will be sitting on black sand. On other beaches such as Santa Theresa, on the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, the sand is soft and snow white.
Thankfully getting around the country is not difficult and this means even a short trip can include stops at several diverse beaches.