The Ultimate Costa Rica Road Trip


Whether you’re hitting these breaks for a day trip from Tamarindo, traveling with the WRSC crew on a guided adventure down the coast, or going for the long haul road trip, you’re not going to want to skip out on these spots. Beautiful beaches, quaint towns, and pumping waves dominate this list. If you’ve got the time, take the scenic route, hug the coast, and find some waves all to yourself. So grab some friends, hop on the next flight, and get ready for the trip of a lifetime!

1. Tamarindo

Obviously, the first stop on the list is with us in Tamarindo. Tamarindo is the perfect launching point for your trip. Score waves while gearing up, enjoy great food at Eat at Joe’s, cold beers from the Volcano Brewing Company, and live music at El Vaquero. The surf couldn’t be better either. Paddle straight out to Playa Tamarindo to score epic beach break waves or cross the river and explore Playa Grande. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a boat to Witch’s Rock or Ollie’s Point for a taste of the world class waves that put Tamarindo on the international surfing map!

2. Playa Avellanas

Just under an hour’s drive down the coast lies Playa Avellanas. The famed wide open beach of Playa Avellanas welcomes surfers and non-surfers alike. Enjoy a nice meal or drink at the famous Lola’s Restaurant and Bar right on the beach. Don’t worry surfers, there are plenty of waves to be had. For the more experiences surfers there’s a great left handed reef break called La Purruja at the South end of the beach. El Estero is a picturesque A-frame that forms right on the river mouth. And finally, there is a sizable right-hand point break, Little Hawaii, that can handle some serious swell. For those in the learning process, the beach is riddled with plenty of sand bottom peaks that work with almost any tide.

3. Santa Teresa

The New York Times called Santa Teresa “the next Tulum.” By that, they mean that Santa Teresa is a small, peaceful, former fishing village that is home to gracious people, beautiful beaches, and warm water. What the New York Times doesn’t know is that Santa Teresa, located on the Southern portion of the Nicoya Peninsula, also has pumping waves. In recent years, this spot has become a favorite for surfers and non-surfers alike. Yet, the chill small town vibe remains, despite new additions in lodging and restaurants. In terms of surfing, Playa Santa Teresa offers a particularly hollow beach break that works exceptionally well in low tides.

4. Playa Hermosa

Further South, outside the party town of Jaco, lies Playa Hermosa. This 7 km stretch of enchanting black sand packs a fearsome punch. Often compared to Mexico’s premier big wave spot, Puerto Escondido, Playa Hermosa is the place to be for serious surfers. While this powerful stretch of beach can attract a crowd, the further south you go the farther you’ll be from a crowded lineup. The surrounding hills, rainforest, and town offer plenty to do out of the water from rainforest canopy exploration to a crazy night out. While it is a bit of a drive from Tamarindo, if you’re looking for massive beach break waves, Playa Hermosa is a must.



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