Costa Rica is not known for offering tremendous size in its waves, but rather, consistent head-high surf at any time of the year. Many people think that the best way of surfing in Costa Rica is to rent a car and try to follow the surf. This, with very few exceptions, is the best way to spend a lot of unnecessary time in your car and miss the waves. Costa Rica’s surf areas are defined by location and seasons which make surfing in Costa Rica very user friendly.
The Coasts – When and Where
The Northern Pacific Coast is generally the most consistent destination from December ~ April. During this season, strong offshore winds combine with ideal swell directions to put breaks like Witches Rock, Playa Negra and Playa Grande in perfect form. The Central and Southern Pacific Coasts are generally best between May ~ November as the south swell season creeps in while the Caribbean Coast tends to pick up the best conditions from November ~ March. These are certainly generalizations which are by no means, guaranteed. However, using these characterizations is the best way to plan your vacation.
Tip: Surf More, Drive Less
The most efficient way to take advantage of surfing in Costa Rica is to pick one or two towns to use as your home base and use your rental car by day to explore the nearby breaks. As most breaks are located within less than an hour drive from your home base (and over half are located within 10 minutes), this will allow you more time in the water and less time on the road.