About Salsa Brava

This gnarled Caribbean reefbreak in Costa Rica has been called Costa Rica's heaviest and best wave. Pound for pound, it's as intense as any coral reef double-up right (and left) tube in the world. There are two general takeoff areas at Salsa. First Peak is a very round bowl section that offers the occasional left tube, as well as occasionally allowing you to backdoor Second Peak (but you have to be going really fast and be a proficient tuberider). First Peak's takeoff zone is tight and generally reserved for experts. Second Peak is just north of First Peak and can shift around a little, allowing for a less condensed and frothing pack. You've still got to take off under the lip, though. In general, the waves aren't really facey -- you're either in the tube or on the shoulder.

A mile or so south of town is Playa Cocles, a consistent beachbreak, and a few miles south of that is Punta Uva, a semi-fickle right point. There are a few reefbreaks around the port town of Limon, 50 miles to the north.

Source: Salsa Brava Surf Guide

Ability Level

Intermediate - advanced

Beg Int Adv

Challenging wave when it is working.

Local Vibe

Intimidating

Welcoming Intimidating

Heavy. Humility and respect expected.

Crowd Factor

Heavy

Mellow Heavy

Heavy, especially when it's good.

Spot Rating

Perfect

Poor Perfect

Heavy barrels.

Shoulder Burn

Medium

Light Exhausting

Dig deep to get in early.

Water Quality

Clean

Clean Dirty

Pretty good.

Additional Information

Hazards

Powerful lips, shallow coral, territorial locals/expats.

Access

Park at the south end of town.

Bring Your

Shortboard

Seabed

Shallow, sharp coral reef.

Best Season

Summer and winter best when strong trade winds blow over the Caribbean; tropical cyclones are a bonus.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos