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Witch’s Rock, Roca Bruja, Santa Rosa National Park

Witch’s Rock is a very special place. Your average visitor to Costa Rica is not going to know about it and a lot of surfers won’t make the effort or spend the money to get there. Witch’s Rock, or Roca Bruja is within the Santa Rosa National Park, so it is protected from development, which makes for a different experience from other surf areas in the country. No hotels or restaurants, no surf shops, no discos. Once there you are surrounded by wildlife, and it feels very primal and untouched. Expect to see deer, monkeys, iguanas, crocodiles, and all different kinds on birds.

Witch’ Rock is accessible by both road and boat. Boat trips depart from Playa Coco but you can also hire boats from a few different places in Guanacaste. You can charter your own private boat from one of the surf camps in Tamarindo, or go as part of another group for about $90. Try Witch’s Rock Surf Camp located in the middle of the strip in Tamarindo. Private boat trips run about $450 for groups of 5 (max) and they provide shuttle service to Playa Coco, an hours drive to where the boat leaves from. Save a few bucks and get the private boat for $300 if you can get yourself to Playa Coco without their shuttle service.

I posted three videos for you. In all three the guys drove in with a 4X4, in two of the videos the road is dry, and in the other theres been a lot of rain and some pretty nasty puddles to get accross - fun if your vehicle can handle it. When i was there we got out and waded accross first to make sure it wasnt too deep, which was freaky because there are crocodiles in the area… although i think i could put up a pretty good fight. Between the three videos you get a pretty good idea for how the wave breaks, although it gets bigger and better. It’s just a great place to get away from the crowded spots, camp for a few days, explore and see all kinds of wildlife. Check out the crocodile swimming out into the lineup in one of the videos, I wont tell you which one… watch them all!!!

I suggest you drive there and camp. This way you can surf the morning session before the boat trips arrive, and in the evening after they head back. Plus you get to camp and enjoy the quiet, and nature. You will have to pack your food and supplies as there are no stores of any kind in the park. There is a park ranger there, so it is safer than a lot of areas in terms of theft. Getting to the actual waves requires a nail-biting paddle across a crocodile infested lagoon, and while flailing around in muddy water with crocodiles makes you feel like a wounded water buffalo, you’ll feel like a superhero after you make it across. If you make it across.

Ollie’s is a right point that is nearby, if you visit Witch’s Rock by boat, you can probably do both in a day. A lot of people will check both spots and pick the one with the best conditions for wind and swell direction. Check out the second video, there is some footage from there.

Remember— whether you choose to drive or get a boat, add an extra $10 for park entrance fees.

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