Surfing and Beaches

SurfingThe Dominical area is a surfer's paradise. Surfers enjoy good waves year-round. Several surf schools provide lessons, which include equipment. Dominical is also popular for swimming.

Playa Dominical offers dramatic sunrises to the southeast, as well as some of Costa Rica's most fabulous Pacific sunsets to the northwest. Regardless of the season, you'll be hypnotized by the beauty of this unique location.

The Dominical area, from Playa Guapil to the north to Punta Ventanas to the south, provides a stretch of countless beaches, each unique in its own way, for you to explore.

You can swim or wade in the surf, stroll on golden sands, kayak through caves, enjoy a picnic under the shade of coconut palms, or watch the pelicans and water fowl that inhabit the shorelines.

Water temperatures in the Pacific are typically in the upper 70s to low 80s throughout the year – perfect for water sports.


Pavones is the place to go for long, consistent waves on the pacific coast. Said to have the longest left point break in the world – on a good south swell you can ride a wave for over 3 minutes. The ideal time to catch a wave here is between April and October, when the surf is biggest. A 2-hour drive south of Golfito, Pavones is a must for the expert surfer.

Playa Ballena

Playa Ballena is located in Marino Ballena National Park, and is one of the best beginner’s waves in the area. Long, peeling waves break gentle on the outside, and then roll for a long way in towards the beach. This wave never gets very big - usually only around a third of the size of waves at Playa Dominical; and not just a beginners wave but a great longboarding spot as well. Marino Ballena is a stop for the humpback whales on their migratory route and during the winter months (Oct-Mar) it’s common to see mother whales, their babies, and adult males breeching the surface.

Playa Dominicalito

Playa Dominicalito is a five minute drive south of Dominical, and is a popular beach for beginning surfers. Waves here are small and gentle – normally about a third the size of Dominical’s waves – but there are a few rocks spread out along the bottom so this spot is best surfed at higher tides. A pretty beach and a popular weekend spot for Ticos, Playa Dominicalito is also where local fishermen bring in their daily catch.

Playa Hermosa

“Pretty” beaches are found throughout Costa Rica, but this one is located between Dominical and Uvita on the Coastal Highway. An incredibly scenic tropical beach, Hermosa is bordered by a spectacular forested cliff on the north, Marino Ballena National Park to the south, and backed by a palm-lined beach and rainforest covered mountains. Playa Hermosa’s waves are generally half the size of Dominical with crystal clear water and very good wave form.

Playa Ventanas

Playa Ventanas (Windows Beach) gets its name from the beautiful sea caves that line the north and south ends of the beach. The two caves on the north end extend from the beach out to the ocean, a distance of about 50 meters, and during certain tides create a sort of "blowhole" effect. Pressure from each wave blows a large cloud of steam out onto the beach. The caves on the south end of the beach tunnel deeply into the rock and inspire thoughts of hidden pirate treasure.

The Point

The Point also known as "Cambutal" is a long, peeling left-hand reef break that is rarely too small to surf, and can handle swells up to 15 feet and larger without closing out. When small it's a great wave for beginners, but when it gets big, the point is best left to experienced surfers. There's also an "unnamed" wave across the bay - it's a long easy right-hander, just right for beginners.

Playa Dominical

Playa Dominical is considered by both Ticos and tourists to be the most consistent wave in Costa Rica. Wave heights rarely drop below waist-high with ideal sandbars producing quality lefts, rights, and plenty of good barrels. Playa Dominical is the focal point for surfing in the area and normally sees between ten and thirty surfers in the water in the high seasons (Dec-Mar and Jun-Aug).

Green Leaf

Dominical, Costa Rica

Tel: +506.2787.0187
US Phone: +954.300.4675
Fax: +506.2787.0214
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