Geoff McCabe

Santa Teresa and Malpais Surf Map

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Costa Rica in general is a huge tourist destination for surfers, and there will be dozens of them on any given flight landing in the country. Both coasts, but especially the pacific side, have great waves.

The Southern Nicoya Peninsula is home to dozens of great surf spots, both beach breaks and point breaks. Tourists don’t usually hit the points much because they aren’t always working as well, and plus most surfers don’t have a rental car, but prefer instead to stay in a hotel or rental villa within walking distance of a great surf spot, and then will surf there.

Most of Santa Teresa has good surfing anywhere from Playa Carmen through Playa Santa Teresa, although there are several rocky spots, and a few places that are downright scary and dangerous, with hidden rocks underneath beautiful waves. Be sure to ask at your hotel unless you’ve seen the beach at low tide. Several of the famous hotels, such as Florblanca, have rocks in front and guests are sometimes surprised to discover they have to walk a few minutes to find a place to swim or surf.

North of Santa Teresa is a long rocky stretch until you get to Playa Hermosa, where there’s a couple hundred meters of safe sandy white beach without rocks, and a nice point break.

Malpais doesn’t have any beach breaks, but has a few point breaks that are usually deserted. Except for exceptional days, the waves will be breaking better at the beach breaks of Playa Carmen and Santa Teresa, so most people don’t bother to go down here unless they happen to be staying near to places such as Mar Azul or Sunset Reef.

Not show on the map are the breaks on the other side of the peninsula in Montezuma and Cabuya, which are smaller and more finicky because they need a south swell.

For much more detail about surfing in the area click here:

Various articles about Surfing here
Surf Guide for St Teresa/MP

Map of Surf Spots in Santa Teresa