A fantastic beach break with good lefts and rights. Between November and April, the wind blows offshore for the majority of the day, gracing Playa
Grande with its fair share of hollow, barreling waves. The swell is generally smallest late November/ Dec/ Jan/ Feb, however there is almost always something to surf on. At this time, there is a greater chance of north swells; however the predominant swell direction year round is the south swell. The rainy season (June, July, and August) brings larger swells on average; however the wind is less consistently off-shore.
The 3 hours before, and up to 3 hours after high tide are the optimal times to surf. Low tide could present you with a picture that makes you feel like you landed in the wrong place! Don’t despair; just make sure you plan to be there at the right time. Morning sessions, year round generally yield glassier conditions, especially between May and November when you can’t rely on the off-shore winds to blow all day long.
Being such a long beach, there are plenty of options. The most popular surfing spot is in front of Hotel Las Tortugas, at the public parking access. Generally the waves break bigger and more consistently here, and it is consequently very crowded. A short walk north or south of this main peak reveals more breaks with less crowds, so if you are not a fan of surfing with a hundred of your ‘best-friends’, take a stroll and find a spot to yourself.
The further south you walk on the beach (in the direction of Tamarindo), the waves generally become smaller, so if you are a beginner or not super-confident, head south. Not only will you feel less intimidated by the waves, you will be safer out of the way of the more aggressive surfers up by the main peak.