About Tamarindo

The bay of Tamarindo stretches for about four miles. There are at least four distinct surf breaks along that stretch, from north to south:

1. Playa Grande is probably the most consistent of all Tamarindo's spots. It's a cooking beachbreak, especially on a good S swell. It's a somewhat flat beach, so it has the tendency to close out at low tide, but at mid-high tide, it's all near-shore, A-frame tubes. Playa Grande is always bigger than in Tamarindo, and if it's flat everywhere else, Grande will still have something to ride. It's especially good when an off-season S combines with wintertime offshores;

2. El Estero (Tamarindo Rivermouth) isn't a classic rivermouth setup, but it's a good wave when the sand settles just right, which it can for weeks at a time. It's split between rights on the south side and lefts on the north;

3. Tamarindo Beachbreak is an average beachbreak that's never as good as Playa Grande, but it has the advantage of being right in town. There are lots of beginners here;

4. Pico Pequeno is a right lava reefbreak that can get really good -- it seems to favor a SW swell and a mid-high tide (low tide is sketchy and shallow). It's also a one-peak sort of wave, so the crowd is especially difficult.

Source: Tamarindo Surf Guide

Ability Level

All Abilities

Beg Int Adv

Beginner to advanced

Local Vibe


Welcoming Intimidating

Generally mellow in Tamarindo; a little more intense at Grande.

Crowd Factor


Mellow Heavy

Very crowded at all spots.

Spot Rating


Poor Perfect


Shoulder Burn


Light Exhausting

All spots are relatively easy paddles.

Water Quality


Clean Dirty


Additional Information


Heavy crowds.


Tamarindo spots are all in town; Playa Grande is a drive or hike north.

Bring Your

Shortboard, funboard, longboard, fish


Sand, rock.

Best Season

Year-round but biggest April-September.

Swell Consistency and Wind Overview

Photos & Videos