The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica - Playa Hermosa
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Playa Hermosa

When you get tired of Jacó, or you’re just plain ready to get
deep into some juicy beach break tubes, or you’re just
looking for a spin cycle pounding, head south to Playa
Hermosa. One of the best-known breaks in Costa Rica,
Hermosa is where many of the international contests are
held, including the 2009 ISA World Surfing Games. Here you
will find seven kilometers of strong beach breaks in a
beautiful (Hermosa means “beautiful”) setting of black sand
beach surrounded by mountains, and waves that, with a little
size, love to hold you under, break boards, and drill you into
that beautiful black sand. But those hollow beach breaks
make it all worthwhile.
Playa Hermosa is probably the most consistent break in Costa Rica, so it is usually bigger than most other
breaks. It is hard to get out the back when it gets overhead, and starts closing out when double overhead.
Nearly everyone you talk to has a story about getting hammered at big Hermosa. Best on the higher tides,
and it loves a southwest swell. Crowded, especially on weekends, but since the beach is long the crowds are
spread way out and it’s easy to find empty peaks all along. The favorite sandbar is in front of the big tree
known as the Almendro. But why paddle out here when there are sandbars all up and down the beach? Bring
your buds and you’ll dominate your own peak in heaven.

Hermosa has another distinction: Croc attacks. In September 2008 then 13-year old surfer Dakota Kilbride
nearly lost his leg and his life to a hungry crocodile. The croc didn’t get away with either, but he did shred
Dakota’s leg horribly. That’s not the first reported attack in the area. Another kid was attacked just south at
Esterillos. That said, the crowds keep growing at both breaks.

Excerpted from The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica & SW Nicaragua, available at
This video from teletico's YouTube channel features footage from the Costa Rica Triple Crown
contest. It's a good video because it shows typical Playa Hermosa surf being torn apart by some
of Costa Rica's best. See more at
teletico's channel.
More footage from Playa Hermosa, this from bjoegram843. (Didn't ask permission. Hope it's OK
bjoe!) Great water shots of normal guys on a typical Playa Hermosa day.