Surf Spots in and around Nosara

Taking it’s namesake from the thick, imposing trees growing all over the peninsula the Guanacaste province stretches from north of Tamarindo through to Malpais on the Southern tip. Somewhere in between is the place we call home – Guiones Beach, and the waves that break here are one of the reasons US surfers began to start visiting in search of exotic, uncrowded surf in the early 1970s. Fast forward nearly half a century and all it takes is a quick glance at some of the crowded lineups to see that many areas have fallen victim to their own success. However, the Guanacaste peninsula is home to hundreds of kilometers of south facing beaches and with a little exploring it’s still easy to find perfect uncrowded waves.

From placid beach breaks to remote, life changing points and reefs the wilderness of the Nicoya Peninsula can hold serious rewards for surfers willing to explore a little. The same holds true in and around the coastline surrounding Guiones and Nosara. Just because the lineup at Guiones looks like there’s insufficient room to swing a pelican doesn’t mean it’s the only spot working, and it’s often wise to remember that a little local knowledge goes a long way. Check out’s guide to some of the area’s more well known surf spots outside of Guiones Beach. For every spot listed here there’s a multitude of other spots dotted in, around, and in between, but the chances of us revealing those work out to around the same us waking up to the site of Guiones looking like pipeline. Enjoy!


Surfer after surfing in the sunset at Playa Guiones, Nosara
Name: Playa Lagarto

Type: Reef
Skill Level: Intermediate
Direction: Right and left
Tides: All tides
Location: Lat: 10° 7’24.78″N Long: 85°47’45.21″W

Great A-frames blown back by offshore winds is why this secluded beach has a growing underground reputation with more adventurous surfers. It’s remote, difficult to find and uncrowded. Word is there’s an epic left point break tucked away somewhere in the area, but we wouldn’t know anything about that. Keep your eyes open for a monolithic white structure at the the entrance to the property.

Name: Playa Marbella

Type: Sand – Reef
Skill Level: Intermediate – Advanced
Direction: Left and right
Tide: Mid and high tides
Location: Lat: 10° 5’12.45″N Long: 85°46’44.84″W
The machine like tubes that break perfectly on the shoreline of Marbella are considered some of the best in Guanacaste. Irregardless of size this place goes off, which may explains why when it’s on the line up can get densely packed with all surfers hunting a slice of the action. That said, there’s more to this place than meets the eye and a short walk North will score you some great beach break action.

Name: Ostional

Type: Beach break
Skill Level: Intermediate
Direction: Right and left
Tides: High tide
Location: Lat: 9°59’46.02″N Long: 85°42’1.13″W

Ostional’s international fame is due to the teeming ocean turtle population that shows up regularly to lay eggs here. If and when it’s in the mood it can also deliver some powerful surf. Great views, clear waters and heavy lips are some of the reasons that more experienced surfers find Ostional to be a good choice when looking for a little more power than what’s on offer at Guiones.

Name: Pelada Beach

Type: Beach break, reef break
Skill Level: Intermediate
Ride Direction: Right and left
Tides: All tides
Location: Lat: 9°57’6.32″N Long: 85°40’33.64″W
This picturesque beach is a legendary spot in it’s own right, but maybe not for the reasons you’d expect. Mythical tales abound regarding the southern point which supposedly delivers an indo-esque left in the right conditions, or the reef in the center of the bay which is rumored in mega swells to hold surf as tall as the palm trees that line the shore. However the truth and the reality of such stories may well be two different things. One thing that’s agreed on is that the once fun right point that breaks out front of Olgas bar hasn’t been the same since the 2012 Nicoya earthquake, the epicenter of which was directly off the local coastline.

Name: Guiones Beach

Type: Beach
Skill Level: Beginners to advanced
Direction: Right and left
Tide: All tides – Rising and falling tides
Location: Lat: 85°40’33.64″W Long: 85°40’11.88″W
Guiones is the focal point of the local surf scene, and it’s forgiving waves have cemented it’s reputation as a surf school Shangri-La. Sand bottoms, multiple peaks and gentle rides make the perfect platform for novices looking to kickstart their surfing career. It’s worth noting that it’s reputation for attracting beginners is twofold; first, see the reasons outlined above. Second, it’s location makes it a swell magnet and rarely if ever does a day go by when there’s nothing to ride. That said, it would be a mistake to assume that Guiones is the sole domain of the novice.

Name: Camaronal Beach

Type: Beach
Skill Level: Experienced
Direction: Right and left
Tide: All tides
Location: Lat: 9°51’39.76″N Long: 85°26’22.87″W
This remote, secluded beach skirts an extensive area of nature reserve South of Playa Samara. It’s chunky, fast, and hollow, and on powerful swells pretenders and wannabes may fare better watching from the shore. To access this area look for signs from Punta Islita. Alternatively, it’s possible to rent a boat from Playa Samara only twenty minutes away.

Check out some of Nosara´s Hidden Gems for more activities to do in Nosara.

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