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Dominical, a Surfer's Paradise

Dominical, located on the southwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica, is a surfer's paradise to those who enjoy riding waves.

Easily accessible, only a 3-hour car ride from the capital of San Jose on well-paved highways, Dominical offers some of the most consistent warm water waves in Central America. There are numerous different breaks in the area that can accommodate all types of surfers, from beginners to advanced surfers. The most well-known spot is Playa Dominical, a 4 km stretch of sandy beach located in the town of Dominical, which serves up a daily diet of large, powerful beach break waves, anywhere from chest high cruisers to double-overhead plus barrels. The biggest waves tend to be in the winter months from May through October generated by large storms off South America, which send south swells northward toward Central America. The Baru river mouth, located at the north end of Playa Dominical, typically provides offshore winds in the mornings resulting in perfectly groomed conditions, plus the water temperature is always a balmy 84 degrees, so leave your wetsuit at home! Playa Dominical can get heavy and has been known to break a few boards, as evidenced by the board graveyard at San Clemente Bar & Grille in town. If your board does become a victim, bring it in and they'll give you a free beer & taco it if you sign it and donate it to the graveyard. Beginners and less experienced surfers can enjoy a paddle out at Playa Domincalito, a protected beach break located about 5 kms south of Playa Domincal. This is a great spot to for beginners and long boarders as the wave is much smaller and mellower due to its orientation and the barrier reef which blocks much of the direct south swell energy. Further south about another 8 kms is a long stretch of sandy beach called Playa Hermosa, which offers a variety of beach beak conditions with many uncrowded spots to paddle out. For the more adventurous traveling surfer, the Golfo Dulce offers a famous left hand point wave called Pavones and a right point called Cabo Matapalo, both about 2 1/2 hour drive south of Playa Dominical. Dominical real estate is quite diverse and the area offers many different types of accommodations to suit any need, from youth hostels for the budget-conscious traveler, to luxury estate homes & villas for the more discerning visitor. There are a variety of restaurants and the food is generally very good and reasonably priced. The locals are welcoming and friendly, the water is always warm and the waves very consistent. Dominical, truly a Surfer's Paradise!

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