A vacation in Costa Rica presents lots of adventures from an exploration of the country's incredible biodiversity to the taste of delicious dishes but there’s no doubt that surfing is the country’s most popular outdoor activity. With the Caribbean Sea raging on the east side and the Pacific Ocean swelling on the Westside, most of the beaches in the country are characterized by rushing currents and high waves that offer absolute satisfaction to the most elite surfers. Though there are lots of exciting beaches around the country, these are the best when it comes to exciting waves.

10 Playa Guiones

The waves at Playa Guiones are pretty moderate for an enjoyable swim but the right and left breaks are incredibly consistent. The beach is characterized by soft white sand, beautiful palm trees, and surrounding lush vegetation. It is a great spot for beginners and even advanced surfers who want a laid-back surf vacation free from the crowds.

9 Playa Avellanas

Playa Avellanas has all it takes to be called an exciting surf spot in Costa Rica. Its waves are big and consistent all year round. The beach is not a place to find much tourists as they always prefer the nearby Tamarindo but locals frequent here nevertheless and it remains one of the most exciting surf spots in Costa Rica that offers some of the biggest lefts and rights.

8 Playa Santa Teresa

Located in one of the most remote parts of Costa Rica, Playa Santa Teresa is a vibrant destination for surfing enthusiasts. The beach is characterized by big swells and consistent waves making it one of the best surf destinations in Costa Rica. The high breaks are best suited for experienced surfers but parts of the beach also cater to the needs of less-experienced surfers. Its unique characteristics include the soft white sand and the views of the surrounding hills carpeted with lush vegetation. The beach is one of the favorite spots for both locals and tourists (obviously) so even sitting on the shores watching surfers in the roaring tides is entertaining.

7 Witches Rock

Nothing spooky, just an exciting and scenic beach in Tamarindo with amazing sunsets. The strong waves on the beach appeal more to experienced and adventurous surfers who often have to deal with the difficulty of reaching the beach due to its remote location. The beach is named after a giant rock standing majestically in the ocean and constantly being bombarded by the troubling waves. Both beginners and advanced surfers have spots where they can enjoy the waves and the many instructors are available to make it easier as well.

6 Salsa Brava

Salsa Brava is a Caribbean reef break that presents some of the biggest waves in the world. Located in Puerto Viejo, the beach features a unique atmosphere characterized by reggae music and a more Caribbean vibe. The waves here are not in any way suitable for beginners. Even experienced surfers are at risk of getting spun real hard and getting their boards shattered. This makes the warm waters less crowded as beginners are only guaranteed safety on the shores.

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5 Pavones Beach

Pavones combines mighty waves with remoteness to create a surf paradise that invites surfers from all over the world. It is a mecca for experienced surfers as beginners can get pretty scared when faced with the swelling and lengthy waves which are known to stretch more than a kilometer giving room to a long ride. The beach is located in Pavones - one of the southernmost regions of Costa Rica and while it might be difficult to get here, the beach’s reputation of presenting the second longest left waves in the world makes it worth the hassle.

4 Playa Dominical

The surf in Playa Dominical is fun and exciting as the waves are always consistent. It's like a steaming pot of water on a fire, the activity never stops. The waves are mostly moderate and suitable for beginners but they are also known to swell to dangerously high levels as well so don’t feel too relaxed. The laid-back and crowdless atmosphere of the beach makes it more enjoyable for those who want the excitement without the crowds.

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3 Playa Jaco

Many areas in Costa Rica present waves that scare beginners but not Playa Jaco. This beach presents a safe stage for beginners to enjoy a good time and there are lots of instructors as well for those who want some lessons. But not just for beginners as the waves are also strong enough to give advanced surfers the satisfaction they want. The black sand on the beach can get hot throughout the day which makes flip-flops necessary to keep the feet safe.

2 Playa Grande

Playa Grande is ideal for advanced and beginner surfers as different parts of the beach present different wave strengths. The beach has a sandy bottom and the breaks are mostly moderate to allow swimmers to enjoy the fun as well although it is not advisable for amateur swimmers as the waves can pull them into the sea. Playa Grande is 21 km from Playa Tamarindo and most people go there so expect a lesser crowd here.

1 Playa Tamarindo

Endowed with amazing surf breaks, Playa Tamarindo is a surfers paradise and the most popular in Costa Rica. The beach has become synonymous with surfing due to the strong waves constantly characterizing the waters. This is the perfect place to catch those waves that rise more than 10 feet. Playa Tamarindo is best left for the experts as the surf breaks can be steep and dangerous. It does get crowded here so be sure to book in time to get past the lines.

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