Like to party after Costa Rica surfing?

I thought you might.

You’ll love Jaco on the fabulous central Pacific Coast.

But before I tell you about Jaco, here are a couple of great surfing beaches a little north of there.

The first, Punta Caldera, is about a 30-minute drive north of Jaco and you’ll enjoy its unspoiled and spectacular scenery, left breaks and A-frame type right wedges. The locals say the best time to surf is high tide.

And, if you’re experienced, you might head south about four miles too. . .

Surfing around JacoPlaya Tivives. This is a beautiful surfing beach, with very large swells and wonderful right and left breaks. It’s easily accessible but not heavily used and you’ll love its pretty mile-and-half long brown beach.

A river drains into the bay and you’ll sometimes find almost perfect tubular left waves there but beware: there are dangerous crocodiles in the river.

Jaco: Party ‘Til You Drop
OK, party animal. Enough talk about crocodiles and pretty vistas. Costa Rica surfing is fun but where’s the party?

You guessed it. Jaco.

One of the favorite destinations for many Costa Rica vacations.

Jaco is a famous spot for surfing.

It’s only about two hours from San Jose, easy to reach, and has great night-life but…

for now

Avoid swimming or surfing RIGHT IN FRONT OF Jaco Beach because its water has become so contaminated that in August 2008 the Costa Rica health ministry issued a warning that it’s dangerous to your health.

Unfortunately, you may not see beach signs warning of the dangers (probably due to local business pressure) but the water here (we’re talking close to shore—not farther out) is simply not good at the moment.

My advice? Go to Jaco to play at night but, until the problem with the water is fixed, surf a nearby beach instead.

Like . . .

Tivives (a bit north) or

Playa Hermosa, just a ten-minute drive south of Jaco.

Don’t confuse this Playa Hermosa with another of the same name on the Gold Coast (and a Blue Flag beach). Or another having the same name but on the southern Puntarenas coast below Dominical, also a very, very popular surfing spot in Costa Rica.

This five-mile-long beach below Jaco is one of the favorite Costa Rica surfing beaches for professional surfers.

And, it’s excellent water. One of many beautiful Costa Rica beaches right along here.

However, unlike Jaco which has good waves for beginners and experienced surfers, Costa Rica surfing at Hermosa is really suited for experts with waves reaching 13 feet and very strong currents.

How good is the surfing here? Well, every August the International Quicksilver Surf Championships are held here. Then, hundreds of the world’s best surfers travel Costa Rica to descend on this beach during the day and party at Jaco during the night.

Pretty good surf, I’d say.

Want this black-sand beach almost to yourself? Come any other month and, by the way, the best surfing months are between April and the end of November.

So, if your Costa Rica vacation includes a Costa Rica surfing adventure, check out these beaches.

Pura Vida!

Tips to Learn Surfing
  • 5) Practise Activities to Help You Surf
    Conditioning and cross training are important for those who wish to hit the surf in Costa Rica more than a couple of times. Improving your cardio will allow you to surf longer and enjoy more of your Costa Rican surf vacation. If you live near mountains, take up snowboarding, if not, practice skateboarding. Although this may seem silly as they are entirely different activities, the movements are similar and will keep you in shape. Just as a hockey player plays golf in the off-season, a surfer should be snowboarding when not around waves.

4) Weight Train Your Arms and Chest
Surfers are constantly “pushing up” to get on the board, to lie down and paddle, and to get up to his/her feet after a wave. Push-ups, bench press, and bicep curls will help tremendously with your surf experience, not to mention the attention you will get from the girls with your new beach body!

3) Get the Surf “Stance” Down
Bend your knees, keep your arms out, focus on an unmoving object in front of you and keep your feet firmly planted. The stance is important but so is being able to find your balance once you get into your stance. Practise is the only way to perfection, so keep trying!

2) Learn to Talk Like a Surfer
One of the most entertaining parts of learning how to surf is learning the surfer lingo. What does ‘catching a wave’ actually mean? Do Costa Rican Surfers actually say gnarley, dude, and right on? What are breaks, rides, and surf? The Surf Lingo Dictionary can help you, however, learn from the locals and the surf lingo is not entirely universal.

Things to do in Jaco and Vacation Rentals Recommendations

1) Keep getting up and don’t give up
Keep getting up – no matter how sore your arms may be or no matter how tired you are of falling off! Once you catch that wave, you will realize, it is totally worth it!

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