What Costa Rican Wave is Right for Your Skill Level: Our Nosara Wave Guide

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So, you’re thinking about taking a surf trip to Costa Rica? Regardless of your skill level or prior surfing experience, Costa Rica has a wave for you. For beginners, Costa Rica’s Pacific coastline stretches for hundreds of miles and is dotted with friendly beach breaks that are ideal for learning. For intermediate surfers, Costa Rica has a variety of waves that are perfect for progression, like sizable beach breaks and slow rolling rocky points. Advanced surfers will get their fill at Costa Rica’s notorious barreling beachies and seemingly endless left points. To find out which wave you should be surfing on your next Costa Rica surf trip, continue reading below.

Playa Guiones

Costa Rica Waves

Playa Guiones, our home break, is a peaky beach break that holds size and satisfies surfers of all levels. A Costa Rica surf trip to Nosara is not complete without a Playa Guiones session. Playa Guiones stretches over 4 miles long, so there are plenty of peaks to spread and find space in a crowd. The wave at Playa Guiones, even at size, isn’t particularly heavy, therefore it’s a great introductory wave for intermediates to take on bigger surf. While the paddle out can be long, there are always shallow areas for beginner surfers to practice the fundamentals.

Playa Garza

Costa Rica Waves

Playa Garza is home to Costa Rican waves, including a beginner-friendly beach break and a handful of point breaks. When Playa Guiones is absolutely maxed out swell-wise, our Nosara surf school takes our guests to Playa Garza, where our guests will surf beginner-friendly beach break peelers while fishing boats bob in the background. There’s a handful of high-quality point breaks accessible by boat from Playa Garza that peel off the nearby cliff faces. The most popular point break in the area is the right-hand point that breaks across the bay about 500 yards out to sea. The point breaks near Playa Garza are ideal for intermediate and advanced surfers. By boat, surfers will have access to cruisy points and heavier slabs. Make the most of your Costa Rica surf trip by taking a boat to the near-empty peaks surrounding Playa Garza.

Playa Nosara

Costa Rica Waves

Just north of our home break, Playa Guiones, Playa Nosara offers surfers an alternative Costa Rican wave that packs a bit of a punch. Unlike Playa Guiones, Playa Nosara is a hollow and powerful wave perfect for advanced surfers. Playa Nosara also has a handful of left-hand reef setups that work on smaller swells. If you’re an advanced surfer on a Costa Rica surf trip, Playa Nosara is well worth a look.

Playa Pelada

Costa Rica Waves

Just past Playa Nosara to the North lies Playa Pelada, one of our favorite Costa Rican waves. Pelada is a reef break that’s less consistent than its neighbors. When it’s working, Playa Pelada provides surfers with speedy rides over a rocky reef. This wave is best at high tide due to the rocks.

Playa Ostional

Costa Rica Waves

Located north of Playa Pelada, this costa rica wave is a consistent beach break with fast-breaking, hollow waves. Ostional is one of the region’s most popular waves due to its consistency, barrel sections, and long rides. The area is also a popular location to spot Oliver Ridley Sea Turtles.

If you’re planning a Costa Rica surf trip and looking for the best guides in the business, check out our guide surf tours! If you’re new to surfing and want to learn from the best, head to our website to book your stay and surf lessons at our Nosara surf school, Safari Surf School.