Surf Guide: Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

For the past couple of months we have been circling the globe with our Brand Ambassadors with our Surf Guide series. We have been to Puerto Rico, the North Shore, New Zealand, our home break TamarindoMoorea, California, Australia and even Florida and New York City! We are beyond STOKED that you ladies #GetOutThere and shred! This month we are returning to our tropical home base of Costa Rica and chatting about one of our favorite spots to surf, Playa Avellanas.



First, let’s recap a little about surf conditions in Costa Rica from our Tamarindo Surf Guide Post.

“The surf here is very diverse.  Just about, every two miles there is another beach – and another surf spot. The surf pretty much goes all the way down to Panama.

There are waves for all levels, from beginner to advanced, and there are beach breaks, point breaks, reefs, and river mouths. You can surf various spots all in one day. The tide changes about 7-10ft, so surfing a certain spot depends on the time of day. You could show up to a spot at low tide and find no waves, and then a couple of hours later there’ll be waves breaking up and down the beach.

And, there’s the wind. During the summertime (mid-November to April) here in Guanacaste (North-West Costa Rica), the wind usually blows offshore all day. Once rainy season comes, the wind turns onshore usually in the late morning, and then can shift back to offshore after an afternoon storm.”

Got it? Good!

So now on to a local favorite here in Guanacaste, Playa Avellanas.

Surf Guide: Playa Avellanas, Costa Rica

How do you say it?  PLI – ah  Ah – VEY – ah – nas

Avellanas is a long sandy, crescent shaped beach. In contrast to Tamarindo, there practically is no development located beachfront. Waves break up and down Avellanas, from sandy bottom beach breaks, rivermouth, to the reefs.

Where to Surf:

Lola’s: Right in front of Lola’s Restaurant is a beachbreak that offers rights and lefts. This is a popular spot since it is a quick walk to the parking lock and consequently it can get crowded. Be sure to be careful of the rocks on the inside when coming in from a session. Best time to surf is mid-high tide.


Palo Seco (Dead Tree): A five minute walk north from the Lola’s parking lot, or a quick walk from the Cabinas las Olas pathway, is another beach break called Palo Seco. Look for the big dead tree on the beach and you have found the spot. Or, since waves break pretty much in between Lola’s and Palo Seco, just paddle out where you see the best waves. As you walk further away from the parking lot, the crowd usually disperses. Definitely worth walking a little further! Best time to surf is mid-high tide.

Go With the Waves

Rivermouth: A little further north of Palo Seco is the Rivermouth. The waves here are usually a little bit bigger than the beach breaks as the waves peak over a small reef. The Rivermouth offers some quality rights and lefts. Best time to surf is low tide.


Crowd factor: Weekends tend to get busy, but during the week you can be out surfing with a handful of your friends and some locals. There usually are plenty of peaks up and down the beach to find a wave all to yourself.


Water temperature: MI OLA bikini weather all year round! BUT, due to the strong offshore winds from December-March and upwelling, the water temperature can drop overnight and, on some days, you might choose to wear some thin neoprene.  (Many people go without, with no problem.)


Apres Surf:

Lola’s: Lola’s is a beach-front restaurant that’s a little slice of paradise. The owners Don and Christi are super nice, the wait staff amazing (and cute!), and the food is super fresh. The best part is Lolita, the restaurant’s pet pig, who strolls out of her pen to take a dip in the Pacific Ocean!

The food here is delicious, and the beer is bien fria (nice and cold!)  This is an excellent place to chill and watch the sunset.

Lola’s is open from mid morning to sunset, but their kitchen closes mid-afternoon, so if you’re hungry, be sure to get your order in before they start cleaning up the kitchen.

Our favorite things:  Just about anything on the menu, but the Tuna Ciabatta is pretty amazing.  Watermelon juice (Sandia con agua) is incredibly refreshing after a surf session.


Cabinas las Olas: More secluded and not beach front, Cabinas las Olas also offers up some great post-surf food!   Their breakfasts are particular yummy and filling.

In addition to good food, a highlight of Cabinas las Olas is the walk down the beautiful mangrove pathway to the beach.

Pathway to Surf

The Beach Box: A newbie to Playa Avellanas, The Beach Box offers super fresh food and fast service. Gotta love their burritos and freshly made juices!


How to get there and where to stay:

Most people stay in Tamarindo and go to Avellanas for day trips.  There’s even a new surf shuttle that runs every other hour from Tamarindo for $5/person!

If you drive, there are two main parking areas and entrances to Playa Avellanas:  Lola’s or Cabinas las Olas. As you are driving from Tamarindo, the Cabinas las Olas entrance is a couple hundred meters on the right hand side before the turn off to Lola’s. Look for well marked signs.

The best part? Cabinas las Olas is also a small hotel, so you can stay within a couple hundred yards of the beach!  (As Avellanas can get rather quiet during the night, if you are looking for more hustle and bustle, stay in Tamarindo. Pretty much everywhere in town is within walking distance to the beach and there is plenty of nightlife.)