14 of the Best Longboard Waves in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a surfing paradise for longboarders.

With its consistent waves and perfect weather, it's no wonder that longboarders from all over the world flock to this Central American country to ride the best longboard waves in Costa Rica.

In this article, we're going to explore the best longboard waves in Costa Rica and discuss why they are such a popular destination for experienced surfers.

Also, check out our guide about the Costa Rica Surfing Season.

14 of the best longboard waves in Costa Rica

With waves for all levels, Costa Rica is a great place to learn or improve your skills as a longboarder.

You can find good waves all year round, and there’s plenty to do when you’re not surfing.

We know that a great surf trip starts with finding the right spot.

Let's take a look at the best longboard waves in Costa Rica:

1. Playa Nosara

If you're a fan of longboarding, Playa Nosara in Costa Rica is the place for you.

This beach has some of the best longboard waves in the country, perfect for beginners and experienced surfers alike.

The best time to visit is during the dry season from December to April when the waves are at their most consistent.

And while there may be a bit of an international surf crowd, the beach remains relatively uncrowded due to its remote location.

So pack your longboard and head over to Playa Nosara for some unforgettable surfing experiences.

2. Playa Naranjo (Witch's Rock)

Playa Naranjo, also known as Witch's Rock, is a surfer's paradise.

Located on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica, this beach boasts some of the best longboard waves in the country.

While it may be crowded at times due to its popularity, the consistent swells and playful peaks more than makeup for it.

Additionally, the nearby Witch's Rock is a popular spot for experienced surfers looking for a challenge.

However, be sure to check in with locals about conditions before heading out – the rugged terrain and strong currents can make for dangerous waters if you're not prepared.

Overall, Playa Naranjo is worth a visit for any surfing enthusiast.

Just remember to bring your board and practice caution when hitting the waves.

3. Playa Grande

Playa Grande should be at the top of your list.

Located north of Tamarindo in Costa Rica, Playa Grande offers some of the best longboard waves in the country.

But it's not just a great surf spot – it's also a beautiful natural area filled with wildlife.

Keep an eye out for sea turtles and crocodiles near the river mouths as you ride the waves.

It's a perfect spot for both beginners and experienced surfers, with various breaks to choose from.

So pack your board and head to Playa Grande for an unforgettable surfing experience.

Don't forget to bring your camera – this may just be one of your favorite surf spots yet.

4. Playa Tamarindo

Along with its spectacular sunsets and delicious restaurants, Playa Tamarindo is known for its great longboard surf waves.

Surfing enthusiasts travel from all over the world to catch a ride on Tamarindo's famous waves, often touted as some of the best in all of Costa Rica.

With its mellow swells and relatively uncrowded lineup, novice and experienced longboarders alike can enjoy a day out on the water.

And when you're done catching some waves, be sure to check out the town's lively nightlife scene or take a stroll through nearby wildlife reserves.

Playa Tamarindo truly has it all for any kind of beach-goer. 

5. Playa Avellanas

Located on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, Playa Avellanas is an up-and-coming surf destination for both longboarders and beginners alike.

The best wave can be found at the north end of the beach, where a long left-breaking point break connects with an inside section that offers several short rides.

It's a fairly mellow wave with little to no current or crowds, making it perfect for longboarding.

In addition to surfing, Playa Avellanas also offers stunning scenery, with lush mangroves lining the shore and numerous trees providing shade on the beach.

The nearby town of Tamarindo also has a variety of shops and restaurants to explore after a day spent catching waves at Playa Avellanas. 

6. Playa Negra

If you're a longboarder looking for the best waves in Costa Rica, look no further than Playa Negra.

This right-hand reef break offers consistently fast and hollow waves, perfect for carving those longboard turns.

Playa Negra's iconic section was famously featured in the surf movie, “Endless Summer II.”

That said, beware of the sharp reef below and bring your reef booties to protect your feet!

But with swells hitting all year round, Playa Negra is definitely worth the extra caution.

7. Playa Guiones

Located in the province of Guanacaste, Playa Guiones is a paradise for surfers.

With its long stretches of sandy beach and consistent swell, it's no surprise that Guiones boasts some of the best longboard waves in all of Costa Rica.

The waves here are known to be powerful and fast, with thrilling rides for experienced surfers. In addition to its legendary surf spots, Playa Guiones also offers a variety of restaurants, cafes, and shops for those looking for a break from the waves.

Whether you're a seasoned surfer or just starting, Playa Guiones is worth a visit.

8. Playa Manzanillo

This secluded beach offers waves for all levels of surfers, but it's particularly well-known for its longboard waves.

The shore break is perfect for beginners, while experienced surfers will enjoy the challenging outer breaks.

And with only a small number of visitors each day, you won't have to worry about overcrowding or competition for the best waves.

9. Playa Santa Teresa

This secluded beach may not be the best-known spot for surfing in Costa Rica, but it's known for having some of the best longboard waves in the country.

The shore break is perfect for beginners to learn and practice, while experienced surfers will find a challenge and thrill in the outer breaks.

Plus, with only a small number of visitors each day, you won't have to fight for your spot or deal with overcrowding.

So if you're looking for a laid-back yet exciting surfing experience, this beach is worth checking out.

And who knows? You might even have the best waves all to yourself.

10. Mal Pais

Located on the Nicoya Peninsula, this small town offers year-round smooth waves perfect for longboarding.

The beach itself boasts stunning views and clear water, making it a prime spot for both surfing and relaxing.

There are also plenty of local shops and restaurants to enjoy after a day on the waves. Due to its remote location, Mal Pais often sees smaller crowds compared to more popular surf spots like Tamarindo or Jaco. 

11. Boca Barranca

Located just outside the city of Puntarenas, this spot offers a consistent, easy-to-ride left-breaking wave that is perfect for cruising on your longboard.

While it can get a bit crowded during peak surfing season, the friendly local community and breathtaking views make it worth the wait for a good set.

Overall, Boca Barranca is a must-visit spot for any longboarder seeking good wave conditions and an authentic surf experience in Costa Rica.

12. Playa Hermosa

While Playa Hermosa may not be as well-known as its neighbor Jacó, it offers some of the best longboarding waves in Costa Rica.

The smooth consistency of the waves allows experienced longboarders to smoothly ride for extended periods, while also providing a gentler introduction for beginners looking to try out their first rides.

13. Playa Dominical

Playa Dominical in Costa Rica should be at the top of your surf destination list.

This beach is known for its consistently strong, long waves – perfect for getting plenty of speed and doing some smooth turns on your board.

In addition to great surfing conditions, Playa Dominical offers a charming, laid-back atmosphere with plenty of budget-friendly accommodations and tasty restaurants. 

14. Pavones

If you're a longboard surfer, Pavones in Costa Rica should be at the top of your bucket list.

Known for having the second-longest left-hand wave in the world, it's a surfer's paradise.

The wave can reach up to eight feet and can last for a full minute – definitely enough time to catch some great rides.

Plus, with its location in Costa Rica, you'll be surrounded by beautiful scenery while you surf.

It can get crowded during high tide, so make sure to plan accordingly and bring plenty of energy for some longer paddling sessions.

But trust us, any effort will be worth it once you experience this one-of-a-kind wave.