Surfing predominantly makes a significant portion of Costa Rica’s tourism industry and Salsa Brava is one place in this coastal country that keeps surfers drawn to this beautiful paradise. Because of the surfing vibe of this beach, it’s no wonder even non-surfers love it.
It’s a small town in this side of Puerto Viejo, Limon. Almost everyone know each other so this can be a good point for you to have a blast in Salsa Brava and have a memorable surfing trip.
Before the surfers, tourists and the existence of tourism in Salsa Brava, Jamaicans were the primary settlers of this island. They were the ones who built the Panama Canal which became a great source of mainly fishing and farming.
Up to this very day, this Caribbean beach is still heavily influenced by the Jamaican culture with restaurants serving spicy dishes and blasting reggae music. Overall, this influence has helped in sustaining the easy, relaxing vibe of the place.
There are a lot of reviews of surfers that will tell you that the waves in Salsa Brava are one of the biggest and heaviest. You have to believe them when they say that. This surfer’s spot is not for beginners because the deep, hollow waves that could reach to mountainous height can almost take your breath away. Others have even called it suicidal.
If you’re a rookie at this and you’re just say, testing the waters, Salsa Brava may not be the place for you to actually surf but you sure can watch a lot of pound-for-pound wave action here. Playa Grande and Tamarindo have friendlier waves if you want to check them out.
The Coral Reef Break
Salsa Brava is distinguished for its coral reef break which produces hollow and big waves as well as fast rights. Swells come from the east and the wind comes from the south. An average ride her is quite short but intense at 50 meters but at really good days, it can reach to up tp 150 meters.
There are two take-off peaks in Salsa Brava. The first one is a round bowl section which gives surfers occasional left tubes and backdoors. This area is generally for locals and expats or those who have come here consistently and continuously enough to be considered far from a newbie. So if it’s your first time in here, be polite and make sure to not get in the way of those who live here.
The second take-off area is located north of the first. This one occasionally shifts which makes it easier to allow less condensed packs. The waves here can still be quite a challenge. It’s been said that you’re either inside the tube or on its shoulder.
Although it may not be your usual pristine white sand and crystal blue waters, Salsa Brava’s main attraction which is surfing makes it one of the top spot for powerful waves and consistent breaks in the entire world.