Three days exploring Tamarindo, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Location: Tamarindo
Surf Spots: Langosta, Playa Grande, Tamarindo Bay, Avellanas, Playa Negra
Road Trip Playlist: Clay Marzo Just Add Water Soundtrack
Hostel Accomodation: Oveja Negra (amazing!)
Favourite Bars: Sharkys, The Beach Access
Favourite Breakfast Spot: Kahiki Restaurant
Favourite Dinner: Wok n Roll

On saturday morning last week we set off on a Rica Surf road trip with three girls to go and find waves in the North of Costa Rica up in Guanacaste. The swell was perfect, coming in at 5 feet and 20 seconds, and leaving us dreaming of pealing right hand point breaks and peaky beach breaks. Harriet is visiting from England, and having spent three days getting back into the groove of surfing in Jaco, we thought it would be a nice idea to take her exploring and surfing the northern beaches. The North of the country is stunning with a huge choice of waves. Even at this time of year when you can expect a lot of rain here in Costa Rica, it tends to remain much drier up there and the water is still the gorgeous picture perfect turquoise that you see on the postcards. We drove 5 hours up to Tamarindo from Playa Hermosa, and arrived in time for a super fun sunset surf session in the Tamarindo Bay. It’s a great wave when it works, with fun wedgy lefts and rights breaking off a set of rocks sat in the centre of the bay. It generally needs quite a bit of swell to produce a fun sized wave, so with the predicted forecast we knew we were going to score some good surf. The great thing about the Tamarindo area though is that even with little swell you can always find a wave to surf. In other words if you end up driving up there and being fronted with a flat bay in the middle of town, don’t freak out because there are plenty of other spots where you will be able to find some fun surf :-).


Just North of Tamarindo is Playa Grande, which is a much better facing direction and much more open to picking up swell, so if the main bay looks flat head to Grande to find waves. While we were up there however, because of the size of the swell and the direction, we surfed Langosta on our first morning which is a ten minute drive south of Tamarindo. It was super hollow when we arrived and pretty heavy, breaking on a shallow sand bar, but between the closeouts we scored some fun barrels and had a great session! The next two surf sessions we hit up Avellanas and Playa Negra accompanied by our local surfer boys Beto and Miguel :-). You can find these waves a further 20 minutes South of Tamarindo. We arrived at Avellanas on the low tide and walked down to the rivermouth to find an overhead A-Frame style peak and little crowd. Perfect!The great thing about the Northern beaches of Costa Rica at this time of year is the offshore winds. You can wake up to a glassy surf in the morning, the offshore starts to blow at around 10am/11am, and then you can expect a glassy sunset session. It’s a dreamland. We ventured to Playa Negra after Avellanas, a right hand rocky point break that works well on a mid to high tide. The conditions were great, although we were still a little early for the tide and it was looking really shallow and rocky. We ended up heading back to town for breakfast at our favourite restaurant Kahiki. They do the best and biggest breakfast in town, and its amazing value. We worked our way through the menu over the course of the three days between the five of us. There were burritos as big as your head, amazing local gallo pinto with fried cheese, extra orders of pancakes for only $1, unlimited coffee, granola fruit plates, and my personal favourite; nutella filled strawberry topped cinnamon sprinkled french toast. Oh Yeahhh.
Tamarindo was awesome. We scored amazing waves, ate amazing food and enjoyed amazing company. The town itself is really fun with loads of great bars, clubs and hang outs, and there’s more surf spots than you can count on your fingers and toes. People tend to be turned off by how built up the town is and the reputation it has for being a tourist hotspot, but as a travelling surfer I thought Tamarindo rocked. Everything is reasonably priced, the nightlife is buzzing, the surrounding beaches are gorgeous, and the waves are insane! Thank you for an incredible three days!! We will be back soon 🙂

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