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-season known as El Veranillo de San Juan.
During the rainy season, overall tourism begins to wane while the biggest swells of the year start hitting the reefs and beaches around Tamarindo.
Early Season Delivers Waves for All
May and June serve up some of the best waves of the year. The South Pacific is cranking out swells from the southwest—right in line with the direction our coast faces—to consistently produce waves in the head high and overhead range.
For intermediate and advanced surfers, fast, technical breaks abound up and down the Guanacaste coastline. Beginners, though, remain comfortable at the beach break at Tamarindo. Facing slightly north and protected by the island, Isla Capitan, the beach in front of the surf camp does not receive the full force of the South Pacific swells. Generally, Tamarindo is about half the size of neighboring beaches
Plan to paddle out in the morning when you can expect blue skies. If rain occurs, it’s likely to occur in the afternoon. Not to worry, though. After a morning of charging waves, you may enjoy lounging under a veranda, sipping coffee, and listening to the quiet hum of the raindrops.
Mid-Season Transforms the Land
In July, the Guanacaste region has transitioned to its “green” season where the landscape—normally one of the driest parts of the country—comes alive with color. Flora comes alive as a result of the early season rain.
Afternoon showers generally pause for a two-month break, replaced with blue skies and off-shore winds all day. Waves are still firing, but visitors who plan to hike or take canopy tours during this time may also enjoy the waterfalls, rolling creeks, and lush views of the forests that only occur during this time.
By September, the afternoon rains return to Tamarindo and the blue skies come and go with less consistency. Winds are generally light offshore in the morning before turning onshore by lunch. However, an afternoon shower can suddenly clock the winds back offshore, rewarding lucky surfers with a surprise session and an empty lineup.
Late Season Adds Turtles to the Mix
Arriving in October, November or December? There’s a chance you may end up competing for space with the world’s largest sea turtles.
Just north of Tamarindo in Las Baulas National Marine Park in Playa Grande, an estimated 800 leatherback turtles come to shore to lay eggs. The turtles can grow up to seven feet long and can weigh more than 2,000 pounds. For those interested in getting up close to them, tours are available. Times vary, but the tours always occur at night.
And it’s a good thing—because with the South Pacific engine slowing and the North Pacific one turning back on, Tamarindo receives plenty of fun combo swells for all abilities with good weather and wind conditions.
So, there’s no need to worry about making a choice between turtle sighting and surfing.
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.