The surf at Playa Negra in Costa Rica


Anyone who loves the surf knows that one of the best places in the world to do it is in Playa Negra, in Costa Rica. Without a doubt, this beach is one of the best surfing destinations in the world. Perhaps this is due to being on the Pacific coast. Everyone knows how peaceful this ocean can be.

Costa Rica is one of the best countries in America for surfing, and not only because of Playa Negra. Having coasts on the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, it is bathed by excellent crystal clear waves. Even though there are magnificent beaches on the Caribbean side, the largest number of surfers go to the Pacific side. Coincidentally, the area where Playa Negra is located.

The coastline that faces the Pacific Ocean is home to a line of beaches with world-class waves that challenge surfers. Among them, the destination par excellence is the Guanacaste peninsula and, especially, Playa Negra.

Playa Negra

Playa Negra is considered one of the best beaches to surf in Costa Rica. Its waves attract dozens of intermediate or professional surfers every day. Despite its name, it also has white sand. Although it is best known for its waves, the sunsets you see there are just as incredible.

This beach is located in the province of Guanacaste. Precisely on the northwest coast of this Costa Rican province. Its waves, channel, and breakwater have been attractive, not only for surfers but also for filmmakers. An example of this was the documentary Endless Summer II, which was filmed on the shores of Playa Negra.

In general, it is a perfect place to take long walks on the beach or even relax under a tree. Before reaching the beach, you only have to cross a very short path.

Among the activities and services offered on this beach, there are the bar-restaurants right in front of the beach if you are interested. Near Playa Negra, you can find numerous hotels, cabins, rental houses, and restaurants. There are also kiosks to rent surfboards and take lessons if you want. It is very close to Avellanas and Tamarindo, two popular beaches where you will find almost any additional service.

On the other hand, you have magnificent rental houses in case you want to stay near the beach and be able to better watch the waves. Study the beach from the comfort of a comfortable home. There is something for all tastes and budgets. Some of them are just a few meters from the water.

Most of the road to access the beach is made of ballast and is in fairly good condition. You can take a car if you wish and store it there because there is parking in the houses.

What to expect from Playa Negra and the surf in Costa Rica?

Costa Rica is a country with several volcanoes, so the existence of a lava reef at the bottom of the channel is not surprising. That’s why those who want to surf in Playa Negra, Costa Rica, wait for the tide to come in. That is when the best waves appear and the danger of the stones at the bottom of the sea disappears.

These waves are not weak at all. Contrary to what many may think, surfing in Playa Negra, among all the other beaches in Costa Rica, has nothing to envy other famous beaches in this sport such as Hawaii, South Africa, California, and Brazil.

At peak times, this beach can have up to a dozen surfers at a time chasing waves. Much of this is facilitated by easy access to the beach. This was not always so. Previously, it was very difficult to access during the rainy seasons. However, thanks to road improvements, access was no longer a problem. They have even been able to connect it with other nearby beaches, such as Tamarindo.

You mustn’t confuse Playa Negra, in Guanacaste, with Playa Negra in Cahuita, on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica. They are two completely different beaches.

If you are going to surf in Costa Rica, in Playa Negra there are plenty of lodging variants

Most travelers heading to Playa Negra prefer to stay very close to the waves. Very close to the beach you can find several restaurants, small shops, hotels, and rental houses. However, you can also find all this a little further inland, just a few minutes from the coast.

Other pieces of information of interest in Playa Negra

Known as one of the best beaches to surf in Costa Rica, Playa Negra is located in Los Pargos, 36.6 km from Santa Cruz, between Playa Blanca and Playa Lagartillo. Its popularity is increasing, especially among young people, cataloged as one of the most important destinations in the world for surfing.

It has a wide variety of bars, discos, and restaurants as well as hotels and lodgings scattered everywhere with very reasonable prices. These facilities include a surf shop.

Additionally, there are countless opportunities for excellent shopping. With its sandy beaches, tropical vegetation, and many interesting attractions close by, it’s a great opportunity to experience the best of Costa Rica.

In summary, it has:

If you are not decided yet to surf in Playa Negra, Costa Rica, you must know that it also has:

  • Sunrise view: Yes. The best tones in Costa Rica.
  • Swimming: Yes; but with dangerous currents.
  • Beach extension: almost 2 km of coastline.
  • Sand: White, black and brown color
  • Shadows: Yes.
  • Accessibility: Yes. Very good.
  • Underwater Stones: Lava Reef.

How to Get There: You can get there in three ways: by car, by bus, and by plane. However, none directly. By car from San José you have to drive north towards Puntarenas and then follow the highway towards Liberia until you reach Limonal. Continue to La Amistad bridge and then follow the road for 500 m after reaching Santa Cruz.

Then turn left towards Tamarindo. Continue for about 15 km, pass through 27 de Abril, turn left towards Junquillal, and continue for about 13 km more until you reach Paraíso. There, turn right and follow the road for about 4 km until you reach Playa Negra.

To go by bus, you have to take the San José – Santa Cruz route. This is a 5-6 hour trip. From there you take the Santa Cruz – Playa Junquillal/Playa Negra. It’s simple.

By plane, you only have to fly to the Tamarindo airport, the closest one.

Join The Discussion

Compare listings