A cluster of consistent rivermouth, sand and reef breaks located about thirty
minutes south of Tamarindo by car (in dry season). At the northern end of
the rivermouth is a group of rocky reefs called “Little Hawaii” which offers up
great rights when there’s decent swell. The reef can be mean at low tide, but
like most of the breaks at Avellanas, mid tide is the best. With all the different
waves to choose from, crowds are diffused and usually not too bad.
You could make a long walk (1-1.5 hour) down the beach from Tamarindo,
or cruise a ten-mile drive heading east out of Tamarindo and then south
past Villareal and down to San Jose de Pinilla then out to the beach. You’ll park
at Lola’s restaurant and either surf El Parqueo right out front, or choose from El
Palo, El Estero or Little Hawaii as you saunter north up the beach.
Best swell direction: south, west (though it also breaks on a hearty northwest)
Best size: chest high to double overhead
Best tide: mid tide coming in at beachbreak, lower tides by rivermouth
Best wind: east
Bottom: sand, with a rock shelf at the south end of the beach
The northern coastline of Costa Rica faces predominantly west/southwest with
many points, bays, and curling beachbreaks that create many variations in the
way the coastline faces. As a result, this section of Costa Rica picks up swell
from most directions – especially those swells approaching from the southwest
and west – and offers some of the most consistent, year round surf in Costa
Rica. Southwest swells from the southern Hemisphere provide most of the
swell activity between March and October, while west and northwest swells
from storms in the North Pacific provide most of the swell activity between
November and February.
As displayed in the swell maps, the swells approaching more from the extreme
South-180 degrees will be focused better in the areas south of Tamarindo
to the Nosara/Camaronal areas where the coastline faces more southerly.
Strong southwest swells will provide good waves just about everywhere in this
region. And west/northwest swells will be focused primarily between Nosara,
Tamarindo, and Witch’s Rock in the north. By the nature of the coastline, when
we look closely at the swell maps we can see that only slight variations of swell
direction can play a huge role in where the swell will be hitting the best. Special
note: Northern Costa Rica Galapagos wave shadow is 200-210 degrees.