Surfing in Pavones | Everything You Need to Know 

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 most enjoyable wave on Earth, you’re sat thinking, where the heck is that wave? Well, it’s probably Pavones. 

In a land where right-hand point breaks and thumping beach breaks 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…


Table of Contents

Best Surf Season for Pavones

The best season to surf Pavones is April to October. This is when the biggest swells from deep in the South Pacific light up the point and many of the other best breaks in Central America. 

Inside Runner at 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. 

Pavones Surf Spot Map

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?

Pavones is pretty remote, particularly if you come from some of the other best surf spots in Costa Rica, such as Puerto Viejo on the Caribbean side or Santa Teresa in the north. Here are the best ways to get to Pavones. 

By Plane 

The best and quickest way to get to Pavones is by plane. You can grab a domestic flight to Golfito (the closest airport) and then a transfer from there. There are daily flights from San Jose, which will set you back around $200. 

By Bus

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 $ 12 USD 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. You can’t book these trips online! 

Surf Spots Near Pavones

Punta Banco 

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. 

Enjoying this post? You might like my complete guide to surfing in Costa Rica, or full breakdowns from around the country. Check out the guide to surfing in Dominical, Santa Teresa, Pavones and Puerto Viejo. 

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 $ 22 USD per person per night. 

Another excellent budget option for a surf stay in Pavones is Caza Olas. The place has been serving travelling surfers for over 20 years and puts you just a short walk away from the point. Dorms, privates, Wi-Fi, a clean kitchen, and a wicked balcony are where you can enjoy the arvo breeze. Dorms from $ 19 USD per night. This is where I stayed on my recent (2024 trip to 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 $ 51 USD 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, a 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. 

Wave Breaking at Pavones

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: 

To learn more about this Pavone’s surf camp package, to see where you’ll be staying and surfing. Prices start for this camp at $2,150 per person. Book Surf Camps are the authority when it comes to making it easy to find and book Surf Camp packages. 

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. 


While you can surf Pavones at all tides, you’ll need to take the tide into account to score the best waves. For the inside (the best section), you need high tide. The river mouth can be better at low but can also have waves at all tides. 


Pavones isn’t consistent; in fact, it’s an extremely fickle wave. Pavones only comes to life on the largest South Pacific swells and even then, only gets really good on specific swell directions. 

Nothing Else To Do

You come to Pavones to surf and only that. It’s an end of the road surf town, with little else to do in the. But that’s part of the beauty of surfing in Pavones; the area is beautiful and, despite its popularity among surfers, remains an untouched slice of the Central American coastline. 

Final Thoughts 

There’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. 

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