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Guanacaste Surf Break Survey
By Charlie Foerster

Within a 30-minute drive from Samara you can find six distinct beaches that offer a variety of conditions and challenges for surfers. Aside from Samara and Carrillo, which are partially protected by reefs across their bay entrances, these beaches are completely open to the Pacific Ocean and the full strength of the swell and currents. Novice surfers and swimmers should exercise caution when big swells roll in to these beaches.

Playa Izquierda
*advanced skill level only; point break*
Is a small, rocky beach, hidden between Buena Vista and Samara, is recommended for experienced surfers only. The waves here are big, fast and heavy. Not recommended for low-tide surfing since the rocks producing these waves are breaking the surface right in the drop zone.

Playa Barrigona
*medium to advanced skill levels; beach and point break*
Is arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in Guanacaste, with white sands, crystal clear water and no development. The waves here are fast and heavy with consistently strong currents; offshore winds and a big swell can produce quality tubes. The river mouth just as you enter the beach is the best spot for beach breaks and a point break on the rocks at the western end of the beach creates a left can roll on for 70 meters or more.

Playa Buena Vista
*beginner to advanced skill levels; beach and point break*
Has wave quality that tends to be a bit schizophrenic. One day can feel like a mushy, disorganized washing machine, and the next day you’ll find perfect two-meter tubes rolling off in either direction all down the beach. The waves here can be fast and heavy but manageable with either a short or long board. Unfortunately, big swells normally result in very strong currents and closed-out waves up and down the beach.

Playa Camaronal
*medium to advanced skill levels; beach break*
Is one of the best surf beaches in Costa Rica. Strong currents make it dangerous for recreational swimming but for surfing you can’t ask for much better. Fast, heavy waves become tubular with offshore winds and a big swell can result in 4 to 5 meter faces. Camaronal is best surfed on a rising tide but waves can be found most hours of the day.

This page brought to you by Escuela de Surf C&C.

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