Surf Spot Costa Rica: Playa Camaronal
Surf Spot Costa Rica: Playa Camaronal. If you are staying in the Samara area, a visit to Playa Camaronal is easy breezy. This remote, dark golden-colored sand beach is a wildlife refuge primarily focused on protecting the nesting sea turtles and hatchlings that depend on this site every year. That includes four types of sea turtles, with the Olive Ridley species being the most prominent.
It is this combination of remoteness and protection that makes this beach so special. It so happens that there are pretty consistent waves here too. Camaronal is not a beginner surfer’s beach though. The waves can get quite big and very heavy. Rip currents are not uncommon here either. But, if you know your way around the waves and the ocean, this spot can really provide a special surf when caught on the right swell with the right wind.
Always take extra precautions surfing in a river mouth, as crocodiles and bull sharks also prefer these spots.
How to Get There
Playa Camaronal is located just to the south of Playa Carrillo and Samara in Guanacaste. During the rainy season it can be difficult to access this beach as the roads may be impassable. You take the same road as you would driving to Playa Carrillo, but keep going south for another five kilometers toward Punta Islita.
Where to Surf
This surf break is made up of a sand bottom beach break and a river mouth break. There are lefts and rights. When you arrive at the beach, you can take a look and decide which peak you would like to paddle out to. Be mindful of the rip currents, and always take extra precautions surfing in a river mouth, as crocodiles and bull sharks also prefer these spots.
The waves break here when there is a solid south or southwest swell, which is the type that Costa Rica’s Pacific coast receives most often. The wind needs to be coming from the northeast to be offshore.
As a measure to keep the sea turtles safe, no dogs, camping or fires are permitted on this beach.
There are no commercial establishments in the immediate Playa Camaronal vicinity. The closest tourism-geared places to find surf instructors and camps, as well as restaurants and other amenities, are Samara or Playa Carrillo.
Jesse’s Samara Surf School and Choco’s Surf School are two that come highly recommended. Both offer camps, group lessons, private lessons and surf guiding, as well as surf rental equipment. Beginner surfers, however, are better off just staying in Samara.
If you are looking to grab a tasty bite to eat between surfing outings, check out Hulu’s Jungla, Soda La Plaza and Chez Nous. These three restaurants are located in Playa Carrillo, which is closer than Samara to Playa Camaronal.
Photographer: Jim Gomez
Company: Time to Surf Photo
About: Surfing is our passion and our lifestyle. Some write their stories on paper; we do it through photography.
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