Surfing Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresa Discover Costa Rica's North Pacific surf towns

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North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresa

The North Pacific side of Costa Rica is famous for its beautiful long white sandy beaches, warm sunny days and mix of lively & laid back surf towns.

The 3 main surf towns are Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresa.

Tamarindo is probably Costa Rica's most popular surf town. You could call it a village but it has grown in recent years and is now home to a great mix of cafés, bars and some of the country's best seafood restaurants. The town is big enough to cater for those looking for a family surf holiday, a bit of luxury and also for those who want to mix a bit of partying with surfing.

Further south is Avellana & Playa Negra, often selected as the most beautiful beaches in Costa Rica with crystal clear water and year round consistent surf.

Nosara further on south is a village version of Tamarindo. It is growing in stature as a surf town and has a more laid back vibe than its larger neighbour. The town has 3 stunning beaches best suited for beginner and intermediates.

At the southern point of the Nicoya peninsula are the small beach towns of Santa Teresa & Mal Pais. While they are not completely off the beaten track they are far enough away to feel like a true escape into paradise! They are not overdeveloped and retain a very relaxed, chilled out vibe where surf and local traditions mix harmoniously. The area surrounding the peninsula has world class waves and are also perfect for learning and intermediates.
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Weather Conditions

J/F M/A M/J J/A S/O N/D
Air Temp (°C)
31°
32°
30°
32°
32°
31°
Wetsuits
Rain

Surf conditions for Beginners:

Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JAN for BEG level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon FEB for BEG level
F
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAR for BEG level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon APR for BEG level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAY for BEG level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUN for BEG level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUL for BEG level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon AUG for BEG level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon SEP for BEG level
S
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon OCT for BEG level
O
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon NOV for BEG level
N
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon DEC for BEG level
D

Surf conditions for Intermediates:

Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JAN for INT level
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Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon FEB for INT level
F
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAR for INT level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon APR for INT level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAY for INT level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUN for INT level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUL for INT level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon AUG for INT level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon SEP for INT level
S
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon OCT for INT level
O
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon NOV for INT level
N
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon DEC for INT level
D

Surf conditions for Advanced:

Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JAN for ADV level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon FEB for ADV level
F
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAR for ADV level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon APR for ADV level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon MAY for ADV level
M
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUN for ADV level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon JUL for ADV level
J
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon AUG for ADV level
A
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon SEP for ADV level
S
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon OCT for ADV level
O
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon NOV for ADV level
N
Surf Conditions in North Pacific - Tamarindo, Nosara & Santa Teresaon DEC for ADV level
D

Rain

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Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv
Surf Lessons / Guide available on site
Suitable for: Beg/Int/Adv

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It's difficult to capture the beauty of the north pacific coast in just a few short words. Costa Rica is often voted the happiest place in the world and it is easy to see why. Both locals, beach goers and surfers mix together to create a laid back beach culture unlike any where else in the world. All towns are easy to get around on foot although of you want o explore a lot of different beaches a car is handy.

Tamarindo
A Tamarindo surf holiday is the perfect option as a base to surf and to explore the surrounding area. The towns population is approximately 5,000 people. It sits next to the protected Parque Nacional Marino Las Baulas de Guanacaste encompasses 200kms of beach & land and is famous as the nesting area of the world's largest species of turtles. A great day trip involves watching the turtles hatch on the beach.

Other activities include zip-lining, horseback riding, fishing trips snorkeling and diving.

Nosara
The main village of Nosara is a few kms inland but most of the activity is along the three main beaches Playa Nosara, Playa Guinoes and Playa Ostional. Each beach is connected by dusty back rounds that pass along the coast and over lush hillsides. The beach fronts are not overdeveloped thanks to the area being part of the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. As well as surfing the area has become very popular for Yoga. It is not a main tourist destination so it is less busy than Tamarindo making a surfing holiday in Nosara a very laid back and relaxed break.

Santa Teresa
Santa Teresa is in the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in the region called Mal Pas. A surfing holiday in Santa Teresa is a dangerous prospect as you may never want to leave! Just picture yourself surfing all morning, snoozing under a palm tree in the afternoon and come nightfall watching the sunset from the beach and you will know what we mean. The area stretches over 5 kms.

Surfing is the main activity in Santa Teresa and it has led to the rise of an interesting mix of international & local Tico surf culture. The village has a nice variety of cafés, restaurants and bars with everything from local salsa to international DJ's. Many of the restaurants have international chefs whio have set up home in Santa Teresa.

There are plenty of other activities such as the waterfalls in Montezuma, zip lining through the jungle, snorkeling, diving and trips to many of the other beaches and small villages down the coast.
How to get to Tamarindo
The best option is to fly to Liberia airport. From there Tamarindo is 45 minutes away. You can then get a public bus which takes 2 hours or a private transfer or hire car which will take you less than an hour. The roads are very scenic and in very good condition.

You can fly into San Jose airport and get a connecting 40 minute flight to Liberia. Or alternatively you can get a 6 hour bus.

How to get to Nosara
Nosara has its own airport 15 minutes from Nosara beaches. It is not an international airport so you will need to connect from San Jose or Liberia airports.

Nosara is a two hour drive from Liberia Airport and 4-5 hours from San Jose Airport.

How to get to Santa Teresa
Tambor airport is 45 minutes from Santa Teresa. You can fly to San Jose and get a connecting flight to Tambor, it only takes 20 minutes.

Shared transfers
Share a taxi or mini bus with our shuttle bus partner here

Car Hire
We have a discount car hire section on our website where you can rent a car. Rent your car from the airport and drive. Choose a 4x4 if possible as some of the roads can be rough.
The norther Pacific side of Costa Rica is best know for its fun waves rather than epic 10 foot advanced surf!

Air temperature in the north is the same year round 32°C. The seasons are divided in two: dry Season from December to April and wet season from May to November. Dry season is the busiest time for tourism in Costa Rica and they call it their summer.

The areas of Tamarindo, Nosara and Santa Teresa are year round surf destinations. The bigger swell season is from April to October. From December to March you tend to get smaller but clean 4 foot waves and is probably the best time to go. Wind is not usually a big factor but as with most places the morning will be best for glassy offshore conditions.

Surf beaches around Tamarindo
The main surf beach in the area is Playa Grande, a very consistent long beautiful beach break for intermediates. La Casita across the estuary is a fast beach break. El Estero is the fast rivermouth, great for longboarder surfers.

Surfing Tamarindo beach itself is great for all levels with Pico Pequeno & Pico Grande for more advanced. Further south is Playa Langosta, rocky underneath the surface and offering fun waves. Playa Avellanas is the most stunning beach in the area and suits all standards. One of Costa Roca's best. Playa Negra further south is an excellent right hand reef break over crystal clear water.

Surf beaches around Nosara
The main surf beach in Nosara is Playa Guiones. It is a swell magnet, an ultra consistent beach break with many peaks. Playa Samara is also great for beginners, a gentle wave and a good longboard spot. Playa Pelada is a sandy beach but the break is reef and is better for intermediate to advanced. Further north is Ostional offering heavier hollow waves for the more experienced. Marbella is more remote, a beachbreak and long left point break.

Surf beaches around Santa Teresa
Playa El Carmen is the most popular spot in this laid back Santa Teresa surf area. It is an excellent open beach break for all standards. Surfing Playa Santa Teresa is a mix of sand and volcanic rock which create some barrel riding waves. Hermosa offers gentler waves, an excellent spot for beginners.

That's just a few of the many ideal surf breaks you can experience when on a surfing holiday in Tamarindo, Nosara or Santa Teresa. Come Surf with us...

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