Surfing Page

Playa Hermosa is one of Costa Rica’s most consistent and heaviest spots with a variety of sandbars up and down the 10 Km long beach. It is for the intermediate to advanced surfer so if you are a beginner there are other breaks in the area listed below. Hermosa’s conditions change rapidly depending on the tides, winds and swell activity. Two keys to surfing Hermosa as well as the rest of Costa Rica: know your daily tides and winds.

Playa Hermosa (The Backyard)

Description: sand bottom, rights and lefts. One of the most consistent sandbars in Hermosa, breaks close to the beach and is a hollow and powerful wave. If crowded move to the north in front of Rancho Grande Hotel for a nice right, or the south in front of the Backyard Bar for the left.
Tides: Best at a mid to high tide incoming, dies at dead high tide unless there is a swell.
Swell: Best on a southwest/west swell.


Description: 1 Km. north, bottom mixed with rocks. A fast hollow right breaks in front of a group of visible rocks, high performance barrel. Watch for smaller groups of rocks on the inside at lower tide. A good left breaks just south of the Terraza over a sand bar, another A-Frame peak breaks south of that in front of the Hotel Fuego del Sol.
Tides: Best from a lower to mid tide incoming.
Swell: Best on a west/southwest swell.

The Tree

Description: 1 Km. South of the hotel, sand bottom rights and lefts. Accessible by beach road. Breaks in deeper water than the hotel. A favorite for locals traveling from San José on the weekends. Do not leave valuables in car while surfing. If crowded move to the north for another peak or to the south towards the Pig Farm.
Tides: Best at a mid to high tide incoming.
Swell: Best on a south/southwest swell.


Description: 6 Km. south of the Hotel Backyard, down the dirt road. Accessible by dirt road. Breaks far out and is a healthy paddle. Usually 3' bigger than the Hotel, tends to close out less with longer sections. It is the spot to surf January through March early morning when it is small in front of the Hotel Backyard. Surf in front or near Tulín river mouth another 2 Km South. Paddle out before river mouth, infamous for crocodile sightings yet lines up perfect like a point break.
Tides: Best around a dead low tide.
Swell: Best on a west swell (January through March).

Roca Loca

Description: A deep water right which breaks over reef in front of small grouping of exposed rocks 50 m. off the coast. One of the heaviest spots on the Pacific Coast. Paddle out through a narrow 8' wide channel visible on the inside reef at low tide. Paddle straight out then veer towards the right as you get past the inside reef section. Take-off zone is in front of the rocks though you can take-off to side of them. Not a very shallow reef yet one must be aware of the tides and takes-off positioning. Go first time with a local. Use a bigger board. It is a good indicator of west swell, if it is working chances are other reef breaks are working.
Tides: Best around a dead low to incoming tide.
Swell: Best on a clean west swell.

Playa Jacó

Description: A 5 km. long beach with lefts and rights breaking over sand and small river rocks. Usually half the size of Hermosa yet gets very peaky and fun. A good alternative to the close out of Hermosa, great for beginner surfers. Best spots are in front of Cabinas Alice at the south end, in front of La Central Disco in the middle and in front of Hotel Copacabana at the north end. Perfect for beginners.
Tides: Best at a dead high tide incoming.
Swell: Best on a west/ southwest swell.

Playa Escondida

Description: A high quality 'A frame' peak, right and left, with the left being longer and hollower. Breaks over reef and has some juice although usually not too big so a short board will work but a bigger board is recommended for the drop. Reef gets exposed towards lower tide so do not surf past a mid tide. Gets crowded so go early or later in the afternoon before dark.
Tides: Best from a mid to high tide rising. At dead high gets mushy. Surf able with the tide dropping to a mid tide.
Swell: Needs a decent swell, works on any direction but best on a southwest/west.

Little Fiji

Description: Located further out to sea past Escondida, accessible by boat. A deep water reef break which needs a large swell to work.
Tides: Best at a low tide incoming.
A big left and a makeable right. Bring your big gun. Have experience.

Puerto Caldera

Description: Located right off the highway to the left, visible underneath a bridge you cross over shortly after the port. A high quality left which breaks off a jetty and in front of the river mouth.
Tides: Best at a low to mid tide rising.
Swell: Needs a large south/southwest.

Boca Barranca

Description: Located a 45 min. drive north of the hotel. Follow signs to Puerto Caldera/ Puntarenas. An extremely long left in front of a river mouth which can go for up to 500 yards. Not very hollow, ideal for long boards. Paddle out to the north of the river mouth. Breaks over sand and small river rocks. The ride of your life. River mouth can get dirty after a rain. Protect all open cuts, bring alcohol to clean out ears after surfing. Pay to park your car in the lot on the point. Perfect wave for longboarding.
Tides: Best around a dead low tide incoming.
Swell: Best in a due south/southwest swell. Perro Fino is a good indicator.


Generally speaking it stays glassy until 8:30 a.m. and around 5 p.m. It is best to surf early morning with the sun rising at 5 a.m. all year round.

Peak south/southwest swell through November although swell enters all year round and can get big at anytime.

Hermosa tends to close out at 8”+, it is then that you will need to head to the local reefs and point breaks listed above.


Your concierge will be available for information and booking of all the exciting tours in the central pacific region and throughout Costa Rica. We make booking your tours informative and easy. Some of the tours available are as follows:

Carara National Park, Manuel Antonio National Park, Paos Volcano, Volcan Arenal & hot springs, Waterfall Bijagual, Canopy & zipline (located behind Casa Hermosa), Sea kayaking, Surf lessons and guided tours, White water rafting, Rainforest aerial trams, Sportfishing offshore & inshore, Crocodile tours, A.T.V. tours, Tortuga Island boat and snorkeling, Dolphin watching tour, Diving, Banana boat, Parasailing, Wakeboarding, Hang gliding and aerial photography, Jet ski