Costa Rica has two main seasons. The dry season, which runs from November to May, and the wet season from May to November. During July and August, the country experiences a special, mini-dry season known as El Veranillo de San Juan.
Tourism in Costa Rica peaks in the dry season thanks to consistently sunny skies with no chance of rain and temperatures in the 90s. But for those of us chasing waves, we need to look abroad—paying particular attention to the our cradle of swell, the Pacific Ocean
Early Season Favors Beginners
New surfers or those looking to work on the fundamentals might find November to February to their liking.
As we celebrate the new year, we get medium-sized pulses from the north-west that combine with late-season south swells to produce super fun, perfect waves. By February, we start to receive slightly larger swells from the North Pacific that result in bigger waves in the waist-to-head-high range with a perfect angle for Tamarindo.
And whenever a good swell comes, it is generally met with all-day offshore breezes that result in perfectly groomed surf from sun up to sun down.
Mid-Season Swells Shift Southward
As March turns to April, the southern hemisphere’s engine fires up. The swell season turns on, and intermediate and advanced surfers begin their migration back to Tamarindo. Larger swells increasingly originate out of the South Pacific and produce very consistent surf in the chest-to-overhead range. March and April are also known for predominant offshore winds and epic conditions. Late season north-west swells are not out of the question either.
Intermediate and advanced surfers can find plenty of world class waves lighting up the nearby beaches, while beginners remain protected in Tamarindo by Isla Capitan—an island that knocks down the larger south swells.When it’s head high at one of the advanced spots, Tamarindo remains playful in the thigh – chest high range.
End Season Draws Powerful Southern Swells
Once we reach May, Costa Rica is transitioning out of the dry season. An occasional tropical downpour offers some relief to the heat and generally signals a lull in tourism. The wind this time of year is generally offshore in the morning, light onshore by lunch, and then glassy for sunset. The sunsets this time of year are nothing short of spectacular.
As the crowds depart, powerful swells from the South Pacific start to arrive. For advanced surfers, the consistent swells produce some of the strongest surf of the year and continue throughout the rainy season, which we’ll cover in another blog post.
Regardless of when you choose to visit, you’ll find great surf, warm temperatures, a relaxed vibe, and a Witch’s Rock team committed to making your trip one to remember.