Playa Negra Surf Spot Guide

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Playa Negra, despite it’s name (“black beach” in spanish) is a white sand beach in Los Pargos intro in the Guanacaste Province of Costa Rica located south of Tamarindo. Playa Negra has become one of the famous holiday hot spots in the country particularly among surfers. The beach is an ideal platform for family respites, romantic retreats, backpacking vacations and all sorts of getaways. There are many restaurants, markets, accommodations, bars, surf camps and other amenities nearby the beach. Moreover, noted surf towns such as Paraiso, Playa Avellanas, Playa Junquillal, Playa Langosta, Santa Cruz and Tamarindo are found in close proximity to Playa Negra.


Playa Negra lies on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica boasting a beautiful black colored sand dotted with clean tide pools, rocky bedrocks and protected areas for swimming. description The beach has a thrilling and super consistent reef rocky break that gained instant attention when a cult surf movie, Endless Summer II, came out. For wave riders, the break and its right hand barrels are quite a delightful treat. Even if you are not a surfer, you will still find a few good things for entertainment. The beach is secluded brimming with rough beauty and tranquility. You can enjoy picnics, exploration of outcroppings and tide pools, swimming within protected areas, sunbathing and horseback riding. Playa Negra is encircled by dirt roads and to reach it, a 4-wheel drive vehicle is required. Playa Negra features several options for accommodations. For budget minded travelers, students and backpackers, there are modest surf camps, hostels, cabinas and hotels. Luxury hotels and resorts for a deluxe retreat are also found. The beach has a wide range of restaurants and cafes with numerous kinds of cuisines. Whether you are craving for a pizza, a juicy burger or local seafood, you won’t be disappointed with the options. Some of the popular places located nearby Playa Negra include Playa Avellana, Santa Cruz and Tamarindo. Three nature reserves are also a short drive away. They are Santa Rosa National Park, Rincon de la Vieja National Park and Ostional National Wildlife Refuge.

Surf Spots

    Playa Negra

    surf The grey sand beach is an awesome surf point for surf enthusiasts looking for a thrilling ride. The beach features a consistent reef rocky break with right hand barrels. The waves are fast. hollow and quite powerful that ride up to 150 meters. The break is real fun to ride particularly at mid to high tide. The reef is shallow and at low tides, sharp underwater rocks and coral are exposed making the break unsuitable to surf. However, ideal tubes are generated during low tides that may attract dare devils. The beach is easy to access and is considered one of the best surf beaches in Costa Rica among veterans. The take off point is quite small so when the break is crowded, it is really difficult to take off.

    Playa Callejones

    Playa Callejones is found south to Playa Negra. The beach is not as popular as its neighboring one but it boasts great beach break with nice rights and lefts that break over a sandy bottom. The break is a nice platform for beginners and intermediate surfers looking for fun.

    Playa Avellanas

    Avellanas boasts impressive waves, heavy swells and a pretty beach. The beach features a good number of breaks that are consistent throughout the year. Huge swells are gathered from North, Northwest and West hemispheres with great offshore winds blowing from the East and Southeast. The waves often ride up to 18 feet. Popular breaks at Avellanas include La Purruja, El Parqueo , El Palo and Twin Peaks. La Purruja is a left hand reef break which is irregular and best surfed during the rainy seasons between May and November. A little north to La Purruja, you will find. It is a beach break featuring consistent waves that break in both directions. It is a good platform for beginners who have just started surfing. It is best surfed at a mid tide during the dry season. A short walk away, surfers will find a dead Mangrove tree fronted by a beach break named El Palo. El Palo boasts small barrels that break to both directions. On the northern side of the beach. Twin Peaks are found. They have high peaks, heavy swells and large waves reaching up to four feet!


    Playa Marbella is situated between Junquillal and Ostional. It boasts two amazing spots for surfers which remain consistent throughout the year. They are Playa Frijolar and Playa Coco. Playa Frijolar features a point break with clean, hollow waves with barreled sections that break to the left over a sandy bottom. The break has shifting sandbars that need to be in correct position for proper surfing. The best time to surf Playa Frijolar is at a mid tide. The break is excellent for beginners who are not yet ready to ride the powerful waves of Negra. Playa Coco is a beach break with huge, hollow A-frame barreling waves that breaks to left and right. The break is recommended to experienced and intermediate surfers.

    Playa Lagarto

    Playa Lagarto is a pretty beach town encircled by tall hills, sublime jungles and shimmering shorelines. The beach is known for its diverse marine wildlife and its reef break. It features A frame waves that generate perfect solid tubes when teamed up with offshore winds. The break is ideal for all levels of surfers. The spot is mostly secluded and waves are super fun to ride.

    Playa Junquillal

    Playa Junquilla is a long stretch beach found south from Tamarindo. The copper colored beach is popular for its spectacular shores, wide range of sporty activities, friendly atmosphere and Ecologiical Blue Flag status. It features two surf breaks; a beach break and a left handed reef break superb for dvanced surfers. The best time to ride the break is at a high tide. The waves are fast and hollow with high peaks riding up to 300 meters. Heavy swells rise from the southwest hemisphere and best wind direction is from northwest. The waves are consistent all year round but the best time to surf is from December to March.

    Little Hawaii

    Little Hawaii is a popular local surf point found across the rivermouth in Playa Avellanas. It features right handed rocky inlet that breaks over rocks. The spot is best ridden at low to mid tide. Little Hawaii boasts demanding waves with shallow reefs hence it is recommended to experienced surfers only.

Surf Camps

Popular surf camps in Playa Negra are:

    Costa Rica Wave House

    wave-house Costa Rica Wave House is a surf camp and a hotel found in Playa Negra excellent for families, couples and solo travelers looking for an adventurous and deluxe getaway. The camp offers charming accommodations, fun surf trips arranged by Real Surf and many other thrilling activities. Costa Rica Wave House is spread over an expansive area of 3,800 square feet. The house is appointed with all the modern day amenities and features five bedrooms, four bathrooms, three spacious living rooms, four television set with a satellite system, two kitchens and air conditioners in each room. The Real Surf Program provides classes surf and SUP classes to all levels of surfers.

    Hotel Playa Negra

    negra hotel Hotel Playa Negra is a boutique hotel featuring own restaurant, surf camp and a surf shop. The surf shop allows students to rent and buy the equipment and other accessories. The classes are held on Playa Negra and are divided according to a student’s surfing skills. Experienced surfers can book advanced surf lessons at Witch’s rock and Ollie’s Point. The hotel has a number of surf packages that include daily surf classes, yoga sessions, meals, transport service and accommodations.

    Peace Retreat Costa Rica

    peace Peace Retreat Costa Rica is a luxury surf camp and yoga retreat located in Playa Negra. The resort is owned and operated by Hali and Kevin McQuillan who wish to their passion for surfing and yoga with others. The retreat has its own yoga platform, a teacher training facility, comfortable hostel and lavish guesthouses. It has a cordial environment perfect for families with kids, couples and backpackers.

Surf Shops

On the beach and its nearby places, you will find a few great surf shops. Some of them are listed below:

    Marea Llena Surf Shop

    cabinas-als Marea Llena Surf Shop is a part of Hotel Cabinas Las Olas. It is a low key hotel found in Playa Avellanas, which is regarded as one of the most popular surf beaches in Costa Rica. The shop offers a variety of surfboards, fins, leashes, wax, ding repair kits, surf gear bags, clothes, souvenirs and many other things. Boards on sale and rent are available and clients can also order a custom surfboard. To know about prices and availability, check out Marea Llena Website, email them at or call at (506) 2652-9315.

    Pargos Adventures

    pargos Pargos Adventures is a surf shop and tour company located in Playa Negra. The shop is owned by Javier Quiros, a veteran surfer, who has years of experience. Pargos offers surf expeditions, guided tours for hiking, stand up paddling trips, mountain biking and snorkeling tours. At the shop, you will find a comprehensive range of surfing equipment, beachwear and surfboard rentals. The shop provides high quality product within reasonable prices. To contact them, visit Pargos Adventures Website, email at or call at + 506 8356 2038 / 2652 9136.

    Hotel Playa Negra Surf Shop

    negra-hotel Hotel Playa Negra is a boutique hotel featuring its own restaurant, surf camp and a shop. At the shop, surf accessories, surfboards for sale and rent, beach clothes, souvenirs, jewelry and medicines are all available. Along with offering surf lessons, the hotel arranges horseback riding tours, massages, sailing trips to Witch’s Rock and Ollie’s Point, tours to national parks, fishing trips, mountain bike tours, yoga sessions and zip lining tours. If you have any queries, visit Hotel Playa Negra Website. You can also them email at or place a call at (506) 2652 – 9134.

Other Activities

    ATV Tours

    atv To experience jungles, imposing mountains and pristine beaches of Costa Rica in a short time, ATV tours are one of the best ways. Drive through the panoramic coasts, forested trails and spectacular landscapes. The tours are guided by professionals who are bilingual and ensure safety of their clients. During the tours, stops will made for lunch breaks and other activities such as swimming and wildlife watching. To see more about ATV Tours (called “Quads” in Costa Rica), click here: ATV Tours and Rentals

    Canopy Tours and Zip Lining

    canopy There are several options for zip lining and canopy tours for tourists near Playa Negra. There is great platform for zip lining situated a short walk away from the beach. The tour is about two hours long in which you can enjoy impressive views of the ocean, dense forests, and amazing tropical fauna like howler monkeys, many types of birds, squirrels, iguanas and butterflies. The tours are quite safe and suitable for kids and adults alike. Canopy Tours and Zip Lines are basically two names for the same thing. Some of the outfits teach you more about the life in the jungle canopy, while others focus on the adrenaline rush of “flying” over the forest on their cables.

    Marino Las Baulas National Park Tour

    Parque_Nacional_Marino_Las_Baulas_CRC_07_2009_6270 Playa Negra is approximately 24 kilometers away from Marino Las Baulas National Park. It is a nature reserve and marine park housing the largest population of leatherback sea turtles and their nesting colonies. The park has four beaches, Playa Ventanas, Playa Grande, Carbon and Playa Langosta. Playa Grande is renowned for supporting numerous turtles and their eggs during the nesting season. Many travelers visit the park just to see the turtles, especially between the months from May to October. The park’s underwater area is also protected, however in some portions, scuba diving, snorkeling, stand up paddling and other water activities are allowed. Marino Las Baulas is home to more than 174 species of birds along with various kinds of animals. Moreover, there are plenty of mangroves, estuaries and swamps at the mouth of the Matapalo River and the San Francisco River to explore.

    Stand Up Paddling

    sup Stand up paddling tours are popular in Playa Negra and its nearby areas. You can join one of SUP schools to take lessons and go on expeditions with them. Progressing from flat water, rivers, canals to sea, you will soon master the art of paddling. During the river SUP tours, you get to observe plenty of beautiful scenery and colorful wildlife.

For more information on Playa Negra, please visit:

Playa Negra – an article on the beach on
Playa Negra Regional Surf Guide – Lots more information about surfing in Playa Negra on
Playa Negra – All about the town on

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