Regions: Central Pacific: Jaco and Hermosa
Costa Rica has quite a reputation among surfers all over the world. The main cities’ proximity to both oceans, and the quality of the waves are some of the main reasons for their attraction. Any surfer will find the right spot. Different beaches get plenty of the big waves that true surf fanatics live for, while others are just right for beginners. The Pacific coast boasts some of Costa Rica’s most famous beaches for surfing, such as Jaco and Playa Hermosa.
The surf in these beaches, as in all of the country, is complemented by the comfortable water temperatures (forget about bringing a wetsuit with you), the beautiful scenery all around you as you ride the waves or bathe in waters, and the very convenient accommodations and restaurants.
A lively town
Jaco Beach is extremely close to San Jose -about two hours by car-, and consists of a 6.44 mile stretch filled with tourists, surfers and a constant young Costa Rican crowd. Surfing in the waters of this beach is perfect for surfers, but is only recommended for good swimmers. Several strong currents can be quite dangerous.
The town itself thrives on tourism. There’s wide offer of places to say, from small one room cabins to luxury hotels. Jaco’s charm lies mostly on its beach life, sunbathing, games on the sand, horse-back riding and walks along the shore, as well as an active night life.
A complete infrastructure makes visiting a comfortable experience. You will find everything you could possibly need: medical services; hardware-stores; supermarkets; drug stores; endless restaurants, hotels and cab; casinos; bars and discotheques.
In the waters
Intermediate and expert surfers swear by Hermosa’s perfectly cascading waves, that regularly reach heights of 8 to 13 feet. Every year an annual competition brings hundreds of experts from all over the country and the world. It’s usually held in May and also involves a lot of partying. In both beaches you can find learning programs where beginners can sign up and learn the basics of the sports.
Just two miles down the coast of Jaco, Playa Hermosa is an idyllic surf community (in a miniature scale). Don’t be confused. Located in the Nicoya Peninsula, a beach with the same name is certainly very different.
In contrast to its upscale namesake in Guanacaste, this Hermosa in the middle of the Pacific region, is just right for specific purposes. You can enjoy long days, swaying on hand made hammocks on the beach, delight yourself as you catch the perfect wave, or watch as the waves roll onto the long black sand beach. Life here is pretty laid back.
Even though most come to Hermosa to surf, or watch others practice this fascinating sport, there are enough things to do around this town to keep nonsurfers busy for a while. Between July and December, there’s a good chance to see thousands of turtles emerge from the water and lay their eggs. Tours on horseback are also available to a waterfall, the turtle hatchery, or the mountain top. Ask around for canopy and kayak tours, snorkeling and surf lessons.
Costa Rica Travel: Travel Information & Tips
No matter how beautiful a destination may be, it needs easy access and be reachable within the limitations of an average vacation period. Costa Rica is only two and a half hours away from Miami!