Del Mar Surf Camp - SURF Images

Del Mar Surf Camp - SURF

The big variety of surf suitable for every level of ability from beginner to superstar is one of the major elements that attracts surfers to Jaco Beach and Playa Hermosa.

Some of the spots are well within the Golfo de Nicoya but most from Jaco to Playa Hermosa face southwest and directly into all that south swell streaming up from the Southern Ocean.

From well inside the Golfo de Nicoya close to Puntarenas and heading south, the main surf spots from Jaco Beach to Playa Hermosa are:

Located more than 30 miles inside the Gulf, Boca Barranca is a long, river mouth left that is preferred by longboarders.

Caldera is a port town within the Gulf of Nicoya. Just outside of town and within the secure area of the port, El Hoyo is a right wedge off the jetty that is popular with bodyboarders. Coralillo is a left point that is about a mile walk from the port. Best on a large swell with the tide coming up.

Still well within the Golfo de Nicoya, Playa Tavives is a beach break north of the mouth of the Rio Jesus Maria, while Valor, Bajamar and Guacalillo are all left points strung out along hard to access coast, south of Caldera. Valor and Bajamar are close to each other near the mouth of the Rio Jesus Maria but well off the main road, while Guacalillo breaks along cliffs close to where the highway comes back to the ocean.

Near the town of Agujas there is another left point that requires a big swell to break. This is a good beginner break, but well off the beaten path.

Hidden away in a bay but a quick, 10-minute boat ride from Herradura, Playa Escondida is a hollow left and a weaker right that is one of the more powerful, challenging waves in the area. Gets big and gets hollow and also gets crowded, but if you don’t mind the shallows at low tide, you can get some to yourself.

Playa Jaco is about 2.5 miles of beach breaks from north to south. Kind of the Costa Rica version of Kuta Beach, Playa Jaco has accommodation from hostels to Five Star hotels, bars, restaurants, surf shops and a fun scene. The surf is generally bigger on the north end of the beach, but conditions vary with sandbars, tide, etc.  One of two accommodation provided by the Del Mar Surf Camp, the Hotel Club del Mar is at the south end of Jaco Beach, and overlooks all of it.

Roca Loca Costa Rica. Say it three times fast. Between Jaco and Playa Hermosa, Roca Loca is one of the most challenging waves in the area: A Black Diamond right breaking off a big rock, into more rocks. This place can handle big swells from the west, and is best on a low tide coming up.
Around the corner from Jaco and facing directly into the southern ocean, Playa Hermosa is three  miles of beach, with a variety of beach breaks and reefs and even a river mouth – a smorgasbord of surf breaks in a short area.

Depending on who you talk to, the breaks a fast, hollow right called Terraza, a consistent sandbar called Backyard, a right and left peak called Almendro/Almond Tree, a deeper-water peak called Corners, Cabinas Las Olas, the Gate, Gullys, the Tree and the river mouth break at Tulin.

Beyond Playa Hermosa, Del Mar Surf Camp will take guests as far south as Quepos, and the surf spots include: Esterillos is a beachbreak powered by lava fingers that picks up even more swell than Hermosa. Further south, Bejuco is a hollow beach break.

Some of these surf spots are permanent, some of them change as the sandbars change, but the truth is, it’s around 40 miles as the toucan flies from Jaco Beach to Quepos, so this area offers a lot of surf spots and a lot of consistent swell in a few miles of beach and that is why it has become so popular with surfers who have been coming back for years, and first timers who have heard the buzz.