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Costa Rican Adventures: The Best Manuel Antonio Surf Spots

Over 1.7 million people visit the tropical paradise of Costa Rica. Surfers flock here for the beautiful waves and amazing adventures. Manuel Antonio surfing spots are growing in popularity over the years.

With great sights and uncrowded waves, this has to go on every surfer’s bucket list. Manuel Antonio has a great nightlife, luxurious hotels, restaurants, and everything is cheap for Westerners. Start planning out your adventure to this hidden gem of a city with help from our surfing guide.

Manuel Antonio Surfing Spots

Sandwiched right in the middle of Costa Rica’s Pacific coast is Manuel Antonio. This offers access to a lot of high-quality breaks. It’s also convenient to drive along the coast or head to the capital if you wish.

Puerto Escondido

Surrounded by three strips of beaches is Manuel Antonio park. Puerto Escondido has the best share of breaks, thanks to its cove-like shape. The beach itself doesn’t attract as much attention as the other two beaches.

It’s not as easy to access from the Quepos area. This makes it a great surfing location and place to chill out in a semi-private spot. Make sure you pack plenty of supplies, it’s easy to lose track of time out here.

Playa Manuel Antonio

For those that seek an audience, the main beach of Manuel Antonio Park has plenty to offer. Here you will find plenty of surfers from all different levels of experience. If you’re looking for big waves, you’re better off looking elsewhere, though.


Head further north and you’ll find another low-key surfing spot called Playitas. It sits at the end of Espadilla Beach. This is a famous beach break, however there are hard to see rocks close to where the waves break, so keep your eyes peeled.

Besides the local mascots, Playitas offers some nice waves that chop through a rocky coastline. We recommend heading out early when there’s a decent tide, otherwise, you’ll grow frustrated by the lack of waves.

Playa Biesanz

This is known as the “secret beach” to tourists. It’s position to the north of Quepos makes it an ideal spot for beginners and intermediate surfers. You won’t find huge crashing waves, but plenty of fast mids.

Longboarding is common at this beach during low tide. Even if you’re not a big longboarder, this is a really great spot to coast and enjoy the view.

Playa Isla Damas

For those looking for a bit more adventure, take a trip to the island of Damas. It’s only 6 km at its longest, but it has a nice stretch of beach. Because it’s an island, you can expect to find some stronger waves.

The waves are consistent and so are the rip currents. Be on alert and only make this trip with a team of experienced surfers. This is a favorite spot among professional surfers, like Lisbeth Vindas.

Try a Surf Camp in Manuel Antonio

You don’t have to be a seasoned surfer to enjoy Manuel Antonio’s waves. Find yourself a surf camp to learn the basics, improve your skills, and learn to compete. While there aren’t a lot of places to join, they are spread out evenly in the region.

Endless Olas – Isla Damas

Since we just teased this location for world-class surfing, we have to recommend Endless Olas. There is no better place to hone your surfing skills than here. Endless Olas owns beachfront properties, so you can stay and take surfing lessons for as long as you need.

Manuel Antonio Surf School

For beginners, the official Manuel Antonio surf school is a great place to mingle. This school has great staff filled with plenty of experienced surfers. Former pros come here often, thanks to it being a popular tourist destination.

The surf school covers various Manuel Antonio beaches, providing a variety of surfing experience.

Outward Bound Costa Rica

This surf school is family-oriented and focuses on combining vacationing with surfing. You’ll be able to visit all over the Quepos region, experiencing everything there is to offer. If you have family or friends who like to surf but crave variety, Outward is where to go.

Other Activities to Pair with Surfing

Manuel Antonio beaches offer a ton of potential for other activities when the tide is down or you need a break. You can find companies like Outward Bound offering adventures in the mangrove, kayaking, zip-lining, white-water rafting, hiking, bird-watching, and so much more.

Here are two big activities you shouldn’t miss out on.

Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

Many beaches that you’ll come across will have crystalline waters that are just waiting to for exploration. Before you pick up your board, pick up a snorkel or some diving gear.

Costa Rica is home to amazing coral reefs, vibrant fish, and giant beasts. If you venture far enough, you might catch whales, dolphins, or sharks on their regular migrations. Unlike surfing schools, there are plenty of dive companies out there that will teach you how to scuba.


Fishing isn’t for everyone, but it is the perfect activity to compliment surfing. It’s exciting, it doesn’t require a lot of energy, and it will help you appreciate the marine life. Costa Rica is a sportfishing destination, hosting numerous world tournaments.

You don’t need to buy any expensive equipment, you can sign up with one of the local charters for fishing or scuba gear.

Make the Most of Manuel Antonio

When it comes to Manuel Antonio surfing breaks, it’s all about living in the moment. This beautiful city has so much to offer, including an amazing culture. The people of the small towns that surround the region are surfers, too.

Never judge a book by its cover, as even the poorest of townsfolk will show you up. Whether you’re a casual surfer or a seasoned veteran, you won’t be disappointed when you travel to Manuel Antonio. We recommend planning out your trip right now to book the best tours.

Get expert advice right when you book with us. We can help you get the most out of this little slice of tropical paradise.