Guanacaste Surf Breaks in 2024 for Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced Surfers

Guanacaste Surf Breaks in 2024 for Beginner, Intermediate, & Advanced Surfers

Tamarindo is a renowned destination for surfers of all skill levels, offering an impressive array of surf breaks that cater to beginners, intermediates, and advanced surfers alike. The surf conditions in Tamarindo benefit from both NW and SW swells, making it possible to catch waves throughout the year. 

The pesky thing about pinpointing the best surf breaks in Costa Rica is that they have the unruly habit of evolving on a whim, so getting updated info is key.

To this end, here’s our guide to the top 12 Guanacaste surf breaks for 2024, categorized by skill level (and a couple of noteworthy insider’s hot-spots):


Beginner Surf Breaks in Tamarindo

Tamarindo Beach 

Where: The main beach area of Tamarindo—Iguana Surf Camp is located roughly in the middle, right across the road from the beach.

Description: Tamarindo Beach is renowned as the best Guanacaste surf spot for beginners, and we run most of our surf lessons for first-timers there. This beach break features a soft, sandy bottom and gentle waves, making it perfect for beginners. Mid- to high tide offers the safest and most consistent conditions. 

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Capitán Suizo

Where: Far south side of Tamarindo Bay.

Description: Chillin’ at the southern tip of Tamarindo Bay, Suizo is the perfect spot for beginner surfers to catch mellow waves. With its sandy bottom and laid-back vibe, this beach break offers gentle, consistent waves just right for learning. The water’s a bit deeper here, so you won’t have to worry much about rocks. Surfing is best during mid to high tide, and even more experienced surfers can have a blast on the right day. Plus, the scenery is stunning, making it a top choice for a relaxed surf session.

El Parqueo

Where: Across from the parking lot at Palya Avellanas, 6mi south of Tamarindo.

Description: A sweet spot for beginners looking to step up their game. This Guanacaste surf break offers a mix of mellow waves and fun rides, especially on calmer days. The best beginner conditions are on the southern end. El Parque is a bit of an insider’s secret, so you can practice your new craft without dodging the crowds.

Intermediate Surf Breaks in Tamarindo

Pico Grande & Pico Pequeño

Where: Center of Playa Tamarindo.                                                                                         

Description: Pico Grande boasts consistent, larger waves that break both left and right, making it ideal for practicing various maneuvers, especially during high tide when the waves are at their best. Next to it is Pico Pequeño, which offers smaller yet steeper waves, perfect for those looking to challenge their technique with quicker rides. Both breaks are centrally located and easily accessible from Iguana Surf Camp, and both are best surfed at high tide.

El Estero, Tamarindo

Where: North end of Tamarindo Beach, at the river mouth.                                  

Description: If you’re looking for a little more excitement, head to El Estero, revered for its solid left waves and changing conditions due to the shifting sandbar. High tide is the optimal time, but it’s unsuitable for beginners due to strong currents and potential hazards. Intermediate surfers should likewise pay close attention to the fast-changing conditions and even the odd chance of spotting crocodiles near the river’s mouth.

Casitas, Playa Grande

Where: Southernmost section of Playa Grande.

Description: Playa Grande is known for offering some of the most consistent Guanacaste surf conditions of all. With dependable waves and a sandy bottom, it’s absolutely perfect for intermediate surfers (and even intrepid beginners) in mid to high tide. The setting of Casitas Beach is also jaw-dropping as it’s within the Las Baulas Marine National Park – an absolute must-visit spot while you’re in Tamarindo.

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Advanced Surf Breaks in Tamarindo

Main Peak, Playa Grande

Where: Playa Grande, a short shuttle bus ride north from Tamarindo (5mi.)

Description: Head here a couple of hours before peak high tide, and you’ll find the best surf conditions in the region. Beware, though, this Guanacaste surf spot is uber-popular with local pros. In peak season, you can easily be out there with 100 surfers, so it’s best for advanced surfers who can handle competitive lineups. Mind you, Playa Grande is long and hosts a variety of breaks, so finding a quieter spot is not too difficult.

Witch’s Rock, Santa Rosa National Park

Where: About a 2-hour’s drive north from Iguana Surf Camp.

Description: Famed for its consistent and powerful left-hand break, Witch’s Rock is a paradise for advanced surfers seeking a thrill. This break is not for the faint-hearted, making it a popular venue for high-stakes surf competitions. If you don’t quite boast world-class skills, don’t be discouraged. Mid- and high-tides provide an opportunity for seasoned surfers to enjoy the waves without the intensity found at low tide. 

Want to explore off the beaten path? Join us on a wicked surf day out to Witch’s Rock!

Isla Capitán

Where: Half a mile offshore, at the southern end of Tamarindo Bay.

Description: This deep water, offshore spot offers challenging waves for experienced surfers. It is accessible by jet ski or a long paddle and is best surfed at low tide due to its rocky reef bottom. Have non-surfing travel buddies? Isla Capitán is one of the most idyllic snorkeling spots around Tamarindo, so ask us about organizing a boat and gear for a fantastic day offshore.

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Additional Notable Guanacaste Surf Breaks in 2024

  • Henry’s Left & Henry’s Right (Advanced): Henry sneaks in some pretty wicked rides right in the heart of Tamarindo (on the southern end) Henry’s Left offers nice, smooth left-hand waves that are perfect for laid-back rides. Right next to it, Henry’s Right has punchier right-hand waves, giving a bit more excitement. High-tide surfing here is a must!
  • Playa Langosta (Intermediate to Advanced): This rocky-bottomed beach has fast currents and big waves, providing an impressive challenge for skilled surfers. Surf near the river mouth with caution.
  • Playa Negra (Advanced): Famous for its narrow peak and thrilling right break over a reef. Best surfed during off-peak hours to avoid crowds. An advanced surfer’s dream spot!
  • El Palo (Intermediate): Right opposite a dead tree trunk on Playa Avellanas, El Palo has slightly hairier waves then El Parqueo but intrepid beginners might also enjoy the challenge. 

Learn to Surf with Iguana

As one of the best surfing schools in Costa Rica, we pride ourselves in offering an exceptional surfing experience for beginners and experienced surfers alike. From group, private and semi-private surf lessons to multi-day camps where surf takes center stage, our focus is on getting you to fall head over heels in love with surf! Our Stellar Packages include accommodation in our beachfront hotel and loads of awesome extras. 

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Iguana Surf Camp Promotion

Join an Iguana Surf Camp this June through September – the ideal months to surf in Tamarindo – and take advantage of our special promotion: bring a friend and get 50% off your stay in a private room. Whether starting out or looking to refine your skills, our expert instructors and prime location will ensure an unforgettable surfing experience. Don’t miss out on this fantastic deal!

The best surf breaks in Costa Rica, right here in Tamarindo, are just 1.5 hours from Liberia airport. So come on over this summer and enjoy the surfing trip of a lifetime! Contact us to know more.

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