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Puerto Quepos

Quepos is located on Costa Rica’s Central Pacific coast, close to Manuel Antonio. There is a small airport located here which is serviced by both of Costa Rica’s domestic airlines. Many surfers will take the inexpensive flight rather than drive when heading north to the Nicoya Peninsula surf spots or to the Caribbean side surf spots. Most surfers however, are just passing through on the way between Jacó Beach, and Pavones. For that reason, most will miss good waves here.

The main Quepos surf spot is Boca Quepos. The setup is a long left which breaks pretty fast down the line, coming in off the pier. The nearby rivermouth has resident crocodiles which can end up in the waves at times. Other than that, the wave can get really fun - not a lot of cutbacks, just a fast rippable wave. Boca Quepos is a fun wave, well worth surfing when conditions are right. There are other breaks just south of the rivermouth (right sand point) which I have surfed fun at about head high, so you have a few options. The downer is the crocodile factor, and if you don’t get gobbled up by one of those prehistoric menaces, the turds will get you! Yes, water quality here can get nasty after a heavy rain. I’ve heard reports of an offshore reef here that breaks perfectly at 15′, but I’ve never seen it.

The best time to surf Quepos is at low tide on a West/Northwest swell. Boca Quepos take a bigger swell, so unless this is somewhere you plan to stay put for a bit, or you specifically make the trip to Quepos based on current swell conditions, you will probably miss it. Most people report finding poor surf conditions there, but that’s simply because it’s less consistent and takes more swell. Best time of year to surf Quepos is during Dry Season - from December to April.

Quepos is in my opinion, kind of a grimy town, not particularly beautiful, with a slightly less friendly vibe in general than other areas. Not to scare you away of course, but it’s just not as nice as other areas. Quepos was at one time a thriving banana plantation area, exporting all over the world, but since being outperformed by heartier African bananas, has become primarily a sport fishing/eco-tourism center. The town center is a six block square of bars, restaurants, sodas, bakeries, galleries, and shops. The main attraction though, is Manuel Antonio - a beautiful rainforest - which is a must see if you can stay for an extra day. Most of the tourism in the area is eco-tour related in Manuel Antonio. There is also a surf school here called Costa Rica Surf School. They operate out of Quepos and Jacó Beach/Playa Hermosa. Aside from a growing surfer community, Quepos is primarily a fishing town, with tons of sportfishing charter boats that operate from here.

The other noteworthy thing you might be interested in is the annual Festival del Mar, held each February. Again - I’m telling you this second hand as I’ve never made it a priority - but I guess it’s worthwhile. Dancers, live concerts, sporting events, parades and a street carnival make for happy locals and tourists. People report having a great time during the festival.


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