When you’re searching for a Costa Rica surf resort, you’re likely finding hotel after hotel, cramped room after cramped room. Welcome to the luxurious, spacious, and private alternative.
While not originally conceived as a surf resort – or, at least, not only a surf resort – Hacienda Pinilla unfurls against some of the best surfing beaches in Guanacaste. Whether you’re a beginner or expert, inexperienced or supremely confident, you’ll find a break, a barrel, or a wave to suit your fancy and challenge your skills.
While you could buzz up and down the coast – anywhere from a 1-minute walk to a 2-hour drive – and stop almost anywhere to find a good wave, this section of northwestern Costa Rica offers some of the best surfing waves in the country. And so, we circle back: While not built exclusively as a Costa Rica surf resort, Hacienda Pinilla is one. Only, one with the benefits of a luxury residential community, including a championship golf course and restaurants, a luxury Beach Club and tennis courts. But, we digress…
Hacienda Pinilla is more than a luxurious place to vacation; it’s a surf paradise and your gateway to some of the best breaks in Costa Rica. Case in point:
Surf’s Up! Top 7 Surf Breaks Close to Hacienda Pinilla
When you’re looking to fill your days with challenge and excitement, these seven surf breaks – appropriate for everyone from confident beginners to the most advanced – are sure to fill and fuel your itinerary.
Playa Avellanas & the Avellanas River Mouth
While most beaches are famous for the sands, the draw of Playa Avellanas lies mostly offshore, in some of Costa Rica’s top surf spots. Indeed, Avellanas surfing is some of the best on the North-Pacific coast, with an array of barrels and breaks to power your next great wave. Even better, surf conditions are ideal year-round, as swells roll in from both the north and south.
Begin your wave journey at Lola’s Restaurant: Look straight out from the parking lot and you’ll see La Purruja, a left-hand reef break. Bear in mind that this break is not best known for its consistency, although waves are more likely to peak during the rainy season.
Walk a few steps north to El Parqueo, a stretch of sand best known for its long waves. Smooth though they are, they offer a solid challenge for beginners, the inexperienced, and the uninitiated. Ready to level-up? Continue toward El Palo, named for the fallen mangrove tree that marks its location. Here, left and right breaks form small barrels – a great intermediate challenge, in preparation for the Big Daddy.
Because we know you’re here for the Avellanas River Mouth, or El Estero de Avellanas, widely considered one of the best surf spots in Costa Rica. Here, lefts and rights crash over sandy ocean bottom and reefs alike, to crest in perfect A-frame arcs that pose a serious challenge. Due to ocean conditions and safety, this spot is best surfed during low (incoming) tide.
We called Hacienda Pinilla a Costa Rica surf resort – and here’s one good reason why: Little Hawaii is located just in front of Hacienda Pinilla’s beach break.
Located at the northernmost point of Avellanas Beach, just across the river mouth, Little Hawaii is a local favorite for its right-handed break. Bear in mind, however, that this spot is for experts only, thanks to waves that can reach 18 feet and a rocky ocean bottom that only fades to sand as an afterthought.
On the other side of Langosta’s river mouth, El Sapo is a treat during mid-low tide, most often churning up small-but-challenging (think: 3 to 5 feet) sets.
Langosta River Mouth
Located at the Langosta Estuary, this popular surf spot spits out right- and left-point breaks that curl off the river’s mouth.
About 3 miles south of Avellanas, Playa Negra is widely considered one of the best surf spots in the Tamarindo area (and Costa Rica, generally). Decidedly experts only, Playa Negra churns up a powerful right-point break and fast waves, best surfed as the tide transitions.
Remote and scenic, Playa Marbella (near Playas del Coco) is a surf destination for true aficionados: Its two main breaks break right and left, with powerful barrels that roil and roll. If you’re out for a slightly less challenging wave – or perhaps just a more consistent, rollicking ride – head south to Playa Frijolar, which promises a slightly mellower approach on a long left point.
Sweeping down the coast toward Nosara, Playa Ostional greets surfers with one of the North Pacific’s more advanced breaks: Playa Ostional, where a dominant southwest swell meets a northwest influence, providing for year-round, notoriously hollow waves that can speed up, if you hit them just right.
Where to Stay: Reserve Your Own, Private Costa Rica Surf Resort
One of the best things about choosing Hacienda Pinilla? You’ll have all the amenities of a luxury resort, with the beach access exclusive to a dedicated surf destination.
6 Beds | 6 Baths | 12 Guests
A hidden treasure and surfer’s paradise, Casa Guacamaya is named for the macaws you may spot in your front yard. That said, as far as you and your board are concerned, the most important feature of this luxury villa is not the wildlife but the scenery: Casa Guacamaya is just steps from Playa Avellanas – an everyday, every hour invitation to grab your gear and go.
Located within Hacienda Pinilla’s most exclusive community, this luxury rental puts you and your board close to both the river mouth and the famous surf break of Little Hawaii. When you’re not catching a wave, relish in a vacation surrounded by comforts: two pools, an outdoor kitchen, a sun-drenched terrace, and long walks on a white-sand beach.
As we said, welcome to a surfer’s paradise: Luxury, comfort and exclusivity, as close as you can get to the waves.
3 Beds | 3 Baths | 11 Guests
Literally named for the waves (olas), this luxury villa is not only within walking distance of the beach, but promises the space and exclusivity of your own private retreat. Because why stay at a hotel when you can reserve your own, private Costa Rica surf resort?
The first thing you’ll notice about Villa Olas is the ambiance: Expertly designed to honor the tropics and the sea that it calls home, the villa employs generous tropical hardwoods, a breezy color palette, and flowing textiles to evoke feelings of sea and sand. And just a short walk away, the resort pool and its lush gardens.
But, of course, you’re here for the surf. And you’ll be happy to know that it’s also a short walk away, so grab your board and gear up for the challenge of Playa Avellanas… and any other break that tweaks your fancy!
5 Beds | 6 Baths | 14 Guests
What do a private waterslide, an expansive outdoor terrace, and epic surfing have in common? They’re all within your reach from Casa Bonita Beach, located just 600 meters/yards to a secluded beach, accessible only by guests in the community.
This is your chance to carve out your own, private surf retreat: A luxury home, ripe with amenities like a private pool and shaded outdoor dining, top-of-the-line everything and superior accessibility. First and foremost, the beach: It’s just a 7-minute walk, so you’ll be free to grab your board and go, whenever the surf itch hits.
Of course, your own private retreat is about more than what you do beyond the front door. Because here, your vacation rental is half the fun! Rent with your family or friend group (reserve some surf lessons for the less advanced among you) and enjoy Villa Olas’s private pool and memory-making waterslide, outdoor kitchenand ample lounging spaces. It’s everything you dream and more than you hoped.
Want to Book A Private Costa Rica Surf Resort?
Looking for that just-right luxury surf paradise? Seeking a little planning know-how? Hoping for a great deal? Can’t decide on which of our rentals in Tamarindo, Costa Rica is right for your group?
Get in touch! We love to chat Tamarindo, surfing, and vacation rentals. We readily share our experiences and advice. And we promise, we’re friendly, to boot. We look forward to hearing from you.