Introduction – Surfing in Puerto Viejo
Best Times: November ~ March
Puerto Viejo has certainly most known for being home to what has been called the heaviest wave in Costa Rica: Salsa Brava. Salsa, although fickle, has definitely earned this reputation offering a thick “sauce” breaking over a shallow reef. The wave is very competitive and certainly, for experts only. More intermediate surfers can check out the beach break just south at Playa Cocles.
The Caribbean coast is quite different than the Pacific as you will find it is not as nearly built up and the culture/atmosphere is even more laid back than other parts of Costa Rica.
Drive 2 hours East from San José until you reach Limon and take a right and continue for one hour until you reach Puerto Viejo.
Puerto Viejo is an ideal location for laid back surfers and travelers looking to avoid the more commercialized Pacific coast.
Access by Boat Only.
This island located off the coast of Limon offers an excellent, yet, dangerous left that breaks on a reef. This is most powerful left in Costa Rica with three sections and facing a coral reef. Best days offer waves with 10 ft faces and is accessible only by boat from Limon.
Offers a great beach break with waves year round. Best conditions in the early morning with swell from the south or east at almost any tide (L&S).
A thick Hawaiian style wave that builds in deep water and breaks over a shallow reef. Offers both lefts and rights, however the right is generally faster, with a steep entry. This is most powerful wave in Costa Rica and the best conditions with an easterly swell which can produce up to triple overhead surf.
This beach break offers a more consistent break with lefts and rights breaking close to the beach. This wave tends to jack up with a big swell due to the steep beach entry …beware of currents. Best conditions in the early morning before the winds blow it out. However, you can surf here all day as the wind often improves the lack of form.
Things to Do
This Caribbean getaway is home to reggae music, nightlife and an overall, unique experience for surfers, backpackers and “eco” tourists. Get yer jam on.
- Rafting Pacuare River - Take a rafting tour at Pacuare River!
- Snorkeling In Cahuita - Explore the underwater wildlife in pristine conditions.
- Canopy Tour in Puerto Viejo - 4 hours of cable rides in a lush tropical setting.
- Take a Tour To Tortuguero - Take a tour to Tortuguro, Check out the National Park, and get in some jungle kayaking!
Things to Avoid
None. It’s really laid back.