Kitesurfing Costa Rica’s Pacific Coast

Surfing in SalinasThere are scattered kitesurfing spots on the Pacific side of Costa Rica. The top area of course is in the northernmost bay, near the Nicaraguan border. Playa Copal, located in Bahia Salinas, is a well known spot with plenty of wildlife, beach, and wind. The wind is side on shore and good during the whole season. In fact, it’s probably the strongest and most consistent spot in the country. You’ll catch all kinds of wildlife including dolphins, tuna, sea turtles, and the occasional whale – an incredible view for anyone on a kiteboard.

Bahia Salinas & Playa Copal
Playa Hermosa
Malpaís & Santa Teresa
Puerto Caldera
Pavones

Playa Hermosa – Guanacaste

Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste - Costa Rica

In that same northern Pacific Coast area, there have been reports of kitesurfers in Playa Hermosa, Guanacaste.  Not a safe bet and the wind here is mostly good during the off season, June through November.  You’ll get about three to four hours of kiteable wind a day, but the extra surf and waves make it an interesting ride and perhaps worth the trip.  And, if you’re in the area, it’s good to have both your surfboard and kitesurfing gear available, since when the wind picks up the surfing isn’t quite as good, but obviously it’s the best time of the day to pump up and get in the water.

Malpaís & Santa Teresa Kitesurfing

Further south but still in the northern province of Guanacaste, you can kitesurf in Malpaís and Santa Teresa.  In Malpaís you’ll find 15-20 knots cross onshore thermal winds from January to April, during the high season. Here’s a great video of kitesurfing in MalPaís. This is definitely surf territory here, but if you’re looking to spice it up a bit and still get a great session in the water, keep your kiteboarding gear close by and you’ll be able to catch a few good days per week of kitesurfing in Malpaís. The Malpais and Santa Teresa beaches have plenty of hotels, services, waves, nature, but no kitesurfing resources easily available. Best you might find is some local kiters who can help out, so bring your own gear if you can.

Kitesurf in Playa Pavones

Pavones surf beach aerial viewThe southernmost kite spot in Costa Rica is a well known surf spot as well. It’s located on the interior of the Golfo Dulce on the south end of the Puntarenas Province, towards the Panamanian border. Pavones is one of Costa Rica’s most famous surf breaks offering one of the world’s longest lefts that can easily turn into almost three minutes of continuous riding on a single wave. The wave at Pavones has several sections which allow for carving, pumping and some great kitesurfing when the wind picks up here. This area is quite remote, but if you can catch it on a good wind day, the hassle will be worth it.

UPDATE: Watch some Pavones videos of kitesurfers in this news update.

Puerto Caldera in Puntarenas

Puerto Caldera Kitesurf Costa RicaPuerto Caldera is one of Costa Rica’s busiest ports and only a 50 minute drive from downtown San José. This makes for a potentially great spot with awesome boat scenery, but unfortunately the wind here isn’t quite as consistent. Best time of the year to try the spot out is during the peak of the windy season (December through March) and late in the mornings. You’ll get a few hours of kiteable wind if it picks up, but no other kiteboarding resources available on the beach. If you go during peak season the beach will be quite crowded, though not necessarily in the water.

Video & Photo

Watch local riders, pros, and top kiteboarding footage. Costa Rica kitesurfing videos from visiting kiters, local riders, and each of the best places to launch a kite.   Media Gallery

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