Learning to Surf in Costa Rica


Costa Rica is probably one of the hottest surfing destinations in the Central and North American region. Each year thousands of surfers, at all skill levels, come to Costa Rica. The water is warm and swells can be found to accommodate anyone’s needs.

There are professional competitions in places like Jaco Beach and Playa Hermosa. There are also areas that are suitable for beginners. If you are new to the sport, and want get a serious jump-start, you can even attend numerous surf camps throughout the country, which provide the fastest-tracking to become the Big Cahuna.

Places to Learn

I just moved here two months ago, and I am still learning how to surf! I am very athletic and have done well at any sport, but learning to surf requires a lot of practice!! I learned the hard way of where the best spots to practice are!

The best place to start learning how to surf is in Jaco. The waves are smaller, there are plenty of surf instructors just craving the business, and it is very excepted in Jaco that there are a lot of people learning to surf. The only thing about Jaco is that the waves are super small and close out!


So for me, I want to go big or go home! In Hermosa, which is only a 5-minute car ride away from Jaco, the waves are so much better! They are big. They have shape; and, it is a little more of a challenge than in Jaco. The trick is to pick the best time of day to surf there and also pick a spot that isn’t super populated with other surfers. I learned the hard way and went out into the ocean where there were a ton of other surfers!

Hermosa is a small little town with a ton of competitive and aggressive surfers. When I say aggressive, I mean that they chase after the waves and are more likely going to catch it than me! The waves are big and powerful and can crush you if you don’t know how to read them right. It’s very intimidating and scary when you’re still practicing! The locals will beat you to the wave every time, or if you’re about to hop on it, they wont share a wave with someone still trying to learn. If you take it and fall immediately, they will get pissed that you ruined the chances of them getting to ride that wave!

Insider Tips on Learn to Surf

I have heard stories about the local surfers kicking people off the beach for trying to learn while it’s the high tide! It is their playground, and we are just visitors here! Some of these kids have lived here their whole life and surfing is their life…their everything! My best advice is to start in Jaco, and come to Hermosa after you have learned the basics. Then after that, come to Hermosa and get on a secluded part of the beach where there aren’t a lot of seasoned surfers being greedy with the waves. It will keep you out of trouble and keep you from embarrassing yourself! If Hermosa is too intimidating, there is also another beach about 15 minutes south of Hermosa called Esterillos! Esterillos has only a 1/3 of people trying to surf the waves, and the shape of the waves there are perfect for beginners! The waves are big but not too big to where you would get hurt. It’s up to you – now you’re at your own risk!!!

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