Costa Rica: Surfing in Tamarindo

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on November 13, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, Baja California Sur, Belize, Chile and Easter Island, Galapagos Islands, Jessica Labrencis, La Paz, Manaus, Peru, Tamarindo, vacation package.

Costa Rica: Surfing in Tamarindo

Costa Rica has long been a surfer's paradise, and Tamarindo is one of the best spots in the country. Located on Costa Rica's northwest Pacific coast about 45 minutes from Liberia's airport, Tamarindo is a laid-back beach community with a half-dozen different surf spots, as well as restaurants, nightlife, and some shopping.

Todd Cutter of Tamarindo-based Alacran Surf Tours says Tamarindo's appeal is its variety of surf breaks in a compact area. "Most surfers enjoy the variety of surf breaks offered within such a short distance of Tamarindo, in addition to those within walking distance of the area's hotels, says Cutter. "Surfers can enjoy surfing at the river mouth in either Tamarindo or Playa Langosta, or a number of accessible breaks such as Playa Grande, Negra, Avellanes, and of course Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point." Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point are among the most renowned surf spots in Tamarindo.


Unlike "exclusive" spots where only experienced surfers are welcome, both newbies and seasoned surfers can enjoy Tamarindo's waters. A wide array of local shops rent surfboards and offer lessons, but there are also multi-day surf camps for those who want to devote more time to surfing. December through April are the prime surfing months in Tamarindo, but it's possible to surf all year.

Several surf camps offer single- and multi-day programs. Tamarindo Adventures offers 90-minute surf lessons and one- and two-week surf camp programs for beginning and advanced surfers. Tamarindo Surf School offers one-, three-, and seven-day surf lessons ($30, $500, and $1,000 respectively) and Witch's Rock Surf Camp has daily and weeklong lessons for beginning, intermediate, and advanced surfers. Seven-day packages start at $690 including surf lessons, accommodations, and breakfast.

Cutter's website, has a wealth of information about surfing in Tamarindo and other areas of the country.

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