Costa Rica is a country that offers something for everyone. Wildlife enthusiasts will be enthralled by its rich biodiversity, while sun-worshippers can soak up the rays while lying back on one of its many stretches of sand or get to grips with surfing.
The Central American country might not spring to mind when you think of sun-drenched surfing holidays, but its quiet beaches are the perfect place to learn the sport, as well as have plenty of room for some peaceful sunbathing.
There are 762 miles of coastline spread across both the Caribbean and Pacific parts of the country, so you’re certainly spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing a beach. Around 56 of these stretches of sand are part of the Ecological Blue Flag scheme, which means they are sustainable and adhere to robust environmental protection standards.
Another draw for visitors to the beaches of Costa Rica is that the water tends to be warm every month, so if you do want to learn to surf or are already something of a pro, you don’t need to worry about falling into freezing waves!
Due to the mild water temperatures throughout the year, booking an adventure holiday to Costa Rica – such as those found here – is a convenient option, as you can jet off at the time that is best for you. So, if there is a specific period of the year that you are free, you can rest assured you will find a holiday to Costa Rica that meets your requirements.
While there are plenty of beaches you can surf on, Samara on the Pacific coast is one of the best for the sport. With warm waters and gentle waves that aren’t too challenging, this stretch of sand is also brilliant for snorkelling, swimming and sea kayaking.
There are several things to keep in mind when swimming in the ocean. Rip tides are present in Costa Rica’s waters, and these can be quite strong and difficult to swim against at times. If you do find yourself in the middle of one, you should not fight against it. Instead, swim parallel to the beach or wade in it until its strength diminishes.
Of course, you might want to avoid rip tides to begin with, and some tell-tale signs of these types of currents include a disturbance in the wave line, an unusual area of colour and a formation of algae moving out to sea. These signs are trickier to spot on white sand beaches and those with thick sediment, such as Manuel Antonio and Cocles.
If you would rather sunbathe than swim or surf, you might be concerned about when Costa Rica’s rainy season is. While this begins in May and runs through to November, downpours tend to occur in the afternoon only, with the mornings bright and sunny.
The dry season starts in December and finishes in April, but whatever time of the year you visit, the typical temperature stands at 22 degrees C due to the tropical climate. However, this shoots up on the coast, so if you plan to do a lot of sunbathing the weather will be in your favour.
Make sure you regularly apply a high-factor suncream, especially after swimming, kayaking and surfing, as the sun gets very hot, but it can be difficult to gauge just how much exposure you’re getting when splashing about in the waves.