You’ve seen the clips, right? Those 3-4ft endlessly long walls, goofy’s ripping in boardies, sunny skies, and as you’re watching what looks like the funnest wave on earth, you’re sat thinking, where the heck is that wave? Well, it’s probably in Pavones.
In a land where right-hand point breaks and thumping beachies are the main attraction, Pavones is somewhat of an anomaly in Central America’s best surf spots. If you want to sample some of the oh-so-lovely lefts for yourself, here’s everything you need to know about surfing in Pavones. From how to get there, where to stay, and what the wave is like. Let’s get it!
Table of Contents
Best Surf Season for Pavones
Pavones Surf Spot Breakdown
Pavones is an incredible wave. A world-class left that could be considered one of the best waves in the world on its day! It’s also known as one of the longest lefts in the world, rivaled only by Chicama in Peru. (Read my full breakdown of surfing in Chicama).
The point needs a mid/large south swell to turn on, but when it does, the break offers fun walls for turns, barrel sections, and enough length to spread the crowds—a truly incredible wave.
Where Is Pavones?
Pavones is in SW Costa Rica in Puntarenas province. It’s somewhat remote and close to the northern border of Panama. The nearest city is Golfito.
How do you get to Pavones?
The best and quickest way to get to Pavones is by plane. You can grab a domestic flight to Golfito 9the closest airport) and then a transfer from there.
First, take a bus from San Jose to Golfito; you can get a bus to Pavones (leaving twice daily at 7.00 am and 3.30 pm). This costs around $12usd and takes 8 hours. Then take another bus from Golfito to Pavones. (Buses leave at 10.30 am to 3.30 pm). This takes 2-3 hours. For bus journeys (no matter where I’m traveling), I use BusBud. Check out bus routes to Pavones here.
Surf Spots Near Pavones
Punta Banco is a beach break just down the coast from Pavones. It’s an excellent place for beginners and intermediate on smaller days and can also provide fun peaks for advanced surfers.
Want to feel more confident in bigger surf? My friends over at House of Surf have created a wicked online course that teaches you breathing techniques to help you stay calm and feel more confident when the surf tops 4ft. Learn more about the Fearless Surf Course.
Where to Stay?
Pavones is relatively small, but due to its popularity among intermediate to advanced surfers, there are several accommodation options for all budgets.
If you’re on a budget surf trip and want to stay just minutes from the waves at Pavones, then Esperanza Pavones is the best place to stay in town. The place offers dorms and privates, great wifi, hot water, a common area for post-surf session Netflix, and table tennis. Dorms start at $22usd per person per night.
Another excellent budget option for a surf stay in Pavones is Caza Olas. The pale has been serving traveling surfers for over 20 years and puts you just a short walk away from the point. Dorms, privates, wifi, kitchen, clean, and a wicked balcony to enjoy the arvo breeze. Dorms from $19usd per night.
Hotel Swell Pavones
Hotel Swell Pavones is a fantastic place to stay for surfing in Pavones. Newly renovated and a short walk from the point, this hotel gives you a comfortable beachfront stay in Pavones. The property boasts a series of private units, which include AC, private beds, coffee machines, an open-air bath, and a fully equipped kitchen. Double bedrooms start at $51usd per night.
Pavones Point is one of the best places you can stay in Pavones. The villa comprises two bedrooms and two bathrooms, a beautiful interior aesthetic, kitchen, a sea view, great wifi, a swimming pool, and a garden. If you’re looking for the ultimate and most comfortable private place to stay, Pavones Point is it. Prices for 4 x people per night are $331 per night.
Best Surf Camps in Pavones
There are some great surf camps available in Pavones, including this package front the guys at Mokum surf club. This camp is perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers and includes:
Best Surf Schools in Pavones
Tips for Surfing in Pavones
Because of its user-friendly nature, Pavones does get crowded. But while the crowds can be thick, the wave is long enough that you can find gaps and sections of the reef to sit on and surf from. Not as crowded to the same extent as other Central American spots like Punta Roca in El Salvador or Barra de La Cruz in Mexico.
You come to Pavones to surf and only surf; there isn’t heaps of other stuff to do. However, the Osa peninsular is a beautiful part of Costa Rica, with thick jungles and a stunning coastline. Worth exploring if the swell drops!
It’s no doubt Pavones is a wicked place to visit, and if you can score it, you’ll be surfing one of the most enjoyable waves in the world. It’s one of the best waves in Costa Rica on its day and in the world. Now you have all the necessary info, what are you waiting for? Time to book a trip.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, and please ask any questions below! Check out my guides to other places in Latin America, such as the complete guide to surfing in Costa Rica, Central America, or other Costa Rican destinations like Santa Teresa, Playa Hermosa, and Dominical.