Surf waves made famous by the movie Endless Summer II at one of the most consistent spots in all of Costa Rica.

Compared to its more famous neighbor Tamarindo, Playa Negra feels worlds away from the tourist crowds and beach hawkers. Due to the lack of tourist infrastructure in the surrounding area, the beach is often deserted except for surfers and guests of Hotel Playa Negra. If you're looking for something off the beaten path, this is your spot.

Playa Negra is about ~2 hours from Liberia airport, ~45 minutes from Tamarindo and ~10 minutes from Playa Avellana in the north. If you're driving, you can put Hotel Playa Negra into your GPS as that's the most recognizable marker and also overlooks the surf break (there's very little signage on these roads). One thing to note, you'll end up on some dirt roads on your way to the beach so it's best to attempt with a 4WD vehicle. Low clearance 2WD taxis from Tamarindo can make it in the dry season but the local drivers know these roads. Save yourself the headache. Either take a taxi or rent a 4WD vehicle.

Once you get to the beach, you have a couple options for surfing. Looking out from Hotel Playa Negra at the beach, the famous reef break will be on your right. Despite the isolated location, the lineup can get somewhat crowded on good days (10-12 surfers) but nothing compared to what you'd see in California or other spots in the US. You can't miss the perfect rights but remember the wave is suitable for intermediate and advanced surfers. If you're less experienced, there are some smaller breaks to your left that are more forgiving and better to tackle (or head up to Avellana). Make sure you surf with a friend, as there are no lifeguards or emergency services nearby.

For non-surfers, kick back with a pina colada at Hotel Playa Negra, explore the nearby tidepools, take a dip in the clear warm waters or soak up some rays on the dark sand beach. At the end of the day, head over to Kontiki for some incredible pizza and beers.

Pack List

  • Surfboard
  • Sunblock
  • Towel
  • Beach umbrella
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Activities Chillin, Bodysurfing, Surfing, Swimming
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Adult Beverages
Dog Friendly
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Fun Peaks Usually by Yourself

Such a great little beach break, that at times can have some power, but is usually super playful and fun. Make sure to smile and say hi to everyone, take your turn and you will end up having the time of your life. The water is warm (not super blue) but it will wash away any stress you have and you'll catch a wave you'll always remember.

Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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