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Best Beginner Surf Spots in Santa Teresa 

Santa Teresa is a thriving surf town and backpacker hub on Costa Rica’s Pacific coast and is one of the country’s best surf towns. With warm waters, consistent waves, and a lively vibe, it’s no surprise the palace draws surfers from all over the world. For beginners, Santa Teresa is epic; forgiving waves breaking over sand in tropical paradise. So you head there in the know, here are the best beginner surf spots in Santa Teresa. 

Table of Contents

Best Time to Surf in Santa Teresa

The best time to surf in Santa Teresa is during the dry season (December to April), when the waves are usually the biggest and the water is the clearest. However, even during the wet season (May to November), there are still plenty of good days, particularly for beginners, where large swells are less frequent.

Playa Carmen

This long stretch of beach is perfect for beginners. The waves are consistent, and although the beach is popular with advanced surfers, the inside is always long lines of whitewater perfect for learning.

Because of how flat the beach is, it remains shallow until further out, meaning, as a beginner, you can stand up comfortably. The beach is also wide enough to accommodate hundreds of surfers, so crowds won’t be an issue. 

Santa Teresa 

Playa Santa Teresa is another great spot for beginners. The waves here are typically larger than at Playa Carmen, but like most spots in the area, still manageable for beginners. The beach can get crowded, so try to avoid the busiest times of the day.

Playa Hermosa 

Just north of Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa is a quieter and less crowded spot–perfect for beginners. The waves are usually smaller than those closer to town, and the beach is stunning. Don’t confuse this spot with the heavy, advanced surfers-only beachie in Playa Hermosa down in Jaco, though! 

Most beaches in Santa Teresa have punchy peaks for advanced surfers out the back but gentle rolling whitewater on the inside–perfect for beginners. 

Mal Pais 

This surf spot is located at the southern end of Santa Teresa and is known for its gentle, rolling waves. With clear, calm waters and an escape from the hecticness of town, Mal Pais is an ideal spot for beginners. 


This small fishing village just north of Santa Teresa is another great spot for beginners. The waves here are usually small and consistent, and the water is shallow enough for beginners to stand in. The beach is also wide enough to accommodate many surfers. 

Non-surfing Activities in Santa Teresa

In addition to great surf spots, Santa Teresa also offers a wide variety of other activities and attractions, such as zip-lining and ATV tours or just want to relax on the beach, Santa Teresa has something for everyone. For a full breakdown of the area, check out my full guide to surfing in Santa Teresa. 

Final Words

Santa Teresa is a wicked destination for beginner surfers; its bathtub-warm waters, consistent waves, and lively atmosphere make it the perfect place to learn to surf. I hope this list a helped you know where to surf as a beginner in Santa Teresa and hope your trip is unforgettable. 

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