This may seem like a loaded question, but that’s because it is! Ask 10 Tamarindo locals and you’ll get 10 different answers. And to complicate it further, when you say, best time, what does that actually mean?
We’ve made it easy for you and broke it down into different time categories. We’ve been beachfront in Tamarindo, Costa Rica for over 15 years and are confident we can provide you with the most reliable info to help you catch the best surf in Tamarindo.
Let’s start with the best time of day.
The best time of day depends on 2 important factors: Tide and Wind. Tide wise, most spots in Tamarindo work best with the incoming mid – high tide. During this time, the waves are cleaner and more consistent. Always have your eyes on the water for this window. You can get more specific info on the best tide to surf each spot in our extensive Tamarindo Spot Guide. The second factor you must consider is the wind. Is the wind going to be offshore all day? Is the wind going to switch onshore at 10am? With all-day offshore winds, you can wait until the very best window each day and score it. If the wind is turning onshore early, then you need to sacrifice the ideal tide window for the ideal wind window as surfing is much more enjoyable with clean conditions. On many rainy season days (May – November) an afternoon downpour can switch the wind offshore around 3pm and you will catch a surprise session. The best website to check the wind is Windy.com and the best tide website for our area is our Tamarindo Tide Chart. Ideally, a 10am high tide is what you’re looking for. This way, you get a morning session with offshore winds and ideal tides.
The best season depends on what you’re looking for wave-wise. If you’re a beginners surfer looking for small – medium sized surf and flawless conditions, then Dec – April is your best bet. This is our dry season where we have all-day blue skies and offshore winds that groom the incoming surf. If you’re an advanced surfer looking for medium – large waves and aren’t too concerned with a little bit of rain, then May – November is your best chance of scoring consistent swell. During this time of year, the South Pacific is pumping out sizable, long-period swells towards our region. If you are looking for uncrowded surf and fun waves (not necessarily perfect) then September / October is your best window. We are still at the peak of our south pacific swell season but Costa Rica can be a bit rainy during this time. How Rainy you ask? Generally, a little bit of rain won’t affect the surf too much. Plus, a little insider secret, the rates for this time are the lowest of the year.
And the Very Best Month…
If you backed us into a corner and forced us to choose the very best month to surf Tamarindo, it would be March. March is still in the dry season so you’re destined to get lots of offshore winds and blue skies. March is also known for late-season north pacific swells and early-season south pacific swells. Commonly, these 2 swells will cross up at the same time offering good size, clean conditions and peaky surf. Coming in 2nd place after March, we would say it’s a 2-way tie between July and August. These are our “mini summer” months where we get solid swell paired with dry season conditions. Plus, it’s not the most popular time to visit Costa Rica so crowds are quite manageable.
Does this help? Leave your comments below what else you’d like to learn. If you have specific questions about the best time to visit Costa Rica or would like to book your next trip, surfer agents are on duty 7 days a week. Contact us toll free at 1-888-318-7873 to pick their salty brains.