This is Playa Negra

Where To Surf and Stay in Playa Negra, Costa Rica

Unparalleled Beach Jungle Beauty

Jul 19, 2013
  • Costa Rica
  • Playa Negra
main imgView of Playa Negra from Casa Ohana

So last month I got to spend some time in Playa Negra, Costa Rica. We arrived after dark in a hard rainy season downpour. So my first impression of the place was less than steller. Honestly though, over the years I've realized this is one of my favorite times to arrive at a new destination (in the dark with rain) because it makes the next morning that much more exciting. Sort of like waiting to wake up on Christmas morning to see what Santa brought you.
That next morning Santa didn't disappoint.
Playa Negra really is a GORGEOUS area. The water, the mountains behind you, the lush plants, and the homes spread out along the cliff all add to the beauty. I've included two videos below for you, because nothing really showcases an area like video footage. Check these out and then read on.

Check out the Best Surf Rental Properties in Playa Negra


Hotel Playa Negra

Video overview of Hotel Playa Negra
Click on the image above to watch a video of Playa Negra

Overview of Casa Luna Miel, a Playa Negra vacation rental

Video overview of Casa Luna Miel
Click on the image above to watch a video of Casa Luna Miel
First of all, where is Playa Negra? Well it is about 30 minutes south of Tamarindo by car—if the roads are good. Where is Tamarindo you may wonder? It's on the northern end of the Guanacaste Peninsula on Costa Rica's Pacific (West) Coast. Tamarindo is only 1 hour from the Liberia airport, a small but modern and recently renovated international airport (Costa Rica's other major airport is in San Jose). So once you land at Liberia, Playa Negra is about an hour and a half away. If you fly into San Jose it's closer to 4 or 5 hours depending on your route.
The Surf
Playa Negra surf break is a rocky right hand reef break that works for most of the year. It's not for beginners, but intermediates and up will have a lot of time and maybe get some serious barrels. A local restaurant in town has a wall covered in impressive photos of Playa Negra really going off.

About 5 minutes up the road is Playa Avellanas, a great beach break that is suitable for all levels and can produce world-class waves. Tamarindo and its beginner waves are just 30 minutes north and you can also catch a boat from there to surf Ollie's Point or Witch's Rock.
The Beach
Playa Negra has a really nice beach, especially in front of the surf spot and Hotel Playa Negra. The sand is not white like you'll find in the Caribbean (hence the name!), but that is the case for most of Central America's Pacific Coast. For Costa Rica standards, it's gorgeous. At low tide on the north end of the beach—beneath all the vacation homes—the beach is smaller, but there are great rocky slabs to walk out on to do some tide-pooling.

  • Costa Rica
  • Playa Negra