Surfing Costa Rica - Playa Hermosa and Jaco

Playa Hermosa is one of the top Central Pacific surfing beaches in western Costa Rica. Overlooking the mouth of the Gulf of Nicoya, the Hermosa beach is located just 60 miles from the Costa Rican capital, San Jose. The beach offers several surfer friendly accomodations and excellent water & waves conditions.
13. 11. 2013 Comments: 0

We are glad to introduce you probably the finest guide to Costa Rican surfing sites here on CR Surf was established in 1999 to help surfers to find the best surfing spots that line the coast of Costa Rica. The company has published more than 600 surf reports and helped thousands of surfers with planning their Costa Rican vacations. CR Surf has always aimed to support sustainable, community led tourism on both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts of Costa Rica.

Surfing Hermosa Beach

We´d like to begin on the western CR coast and to start with the beach called „Beautiful“ in Spanish – Hermosa. Most of Hermosa´s water area has strong rip currents and heavy waves. Visitors should not consider swimming or surfing at Hermosa unless they are experienced in heavy surf conditions. The main (tourist popular) gray-sand beach stretches for about 8 miles outside the Nicoya Bay. Other areas and suitable surfing spots are scattered along the western coast.


Playa Hermosa South (Almond Tree)

The Tree is a massive almond tree that sits on the old road running parallel to the beach in Playa Hermosa, the spot is about 400 meters of the Backyard Hotel. Even though it is notorious for theft, many people park here and surf right out back where the drift tends to spread apart the crowds. Best best from head high to double overhead. Bigger surf closes out and at low tide it closes out. So get there between midtide and high tide. If you keep driving south down the dirt road, you may find other empty peaks. 

Playa Hermosa North (Terraza)

Hotel Terraza del Pacifico sits in front of this beachbreak at the north end of Playa Hermosa. It works best 1-2 hours before high tide, at dead high breaks right on the shore (good for skimboarding) There are a couple of rocks that boil up at lower tides and provide a nice takeoff spot. Waves break both left and right. Crowds can be bad, but other peaks are located farther south that break the same.

Roca Loca (Crazy Rock)

Roca Loca is a right that breaks off a big rock at the far south end of Jaco bay, and just north of Playa Hermosa. It starts working at overhead and will hold surf up to triple overhead, but often closes out at that size. Lots of theft so leave nothing in your car, and the hike down from the parking area to the narrow take off spot is tricky. It is rarely crowded and works best at midtide.

Jaco Beach (Jaco)

Jaco is one of Costa Rica´s most visited beach towns, especially among the surf traveling community. Playa Jaco is a beachbreak that breaks smaller during southern swells since it is sheltered in a more west facing bay. Best size is chest high to a foot overhead, any bigger and it closes out.  Best tides are two hours before high tide. There are a lot of peaks along the 3 kilometer beach, but a few better ones get crowded with tourists and locals on the weekend. The low tide whitewater reform is a great place for beginners to learn and lessons are usually given here.

Playa Escondida

Escondida is a true A-frame with a short barreling right and a longer left that also throws out when it is big. Only access is the boat or through Los Suenos Resort. There are only 2 peaks, inside and outside, so it can be crowded with six people on it. The rock shelf sticks out at lower tides, so you have to be careful. 

How to Get There

There are two international airports located in Costa Rica. San Jose International Airport and Liberia Costa Rica Airport. For getting to Jaco from San Jose Airport (Tobias Bolanos International Airport) you have to travel 60 miles (100km) West by State 27 Road until Orotina village and to continue by Costanera Sur 34 South. Expect almost 2 hour drive to reach Hermosa.

For more information about surfing spots in Costa Rica go to:

Source: Costa Rica Surf website and FB profile  Thanks to Greg Gordon. All images are property of Costa Rica Surf. Photographers: Justin Gillis, Augie Misiak, Nestor Rago and David McNeill. Video: Youtube  Text: Michael and CR Surf

13. 11. 2013 Comments: 0
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