The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica - Witches Rock / Playa Naranjo
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Witches Rock / Playa Naranjo

“Even when it sucks it's good,” is the way one surf traveler describes it. Well, not really. But the experience of
being there is nearly as awesome as the surf, which can be truly awesome. If you don’t believe it, rent
Endless Summer 2 (or just check out the videos below).

Playa Naranjo is a two to three mile stretch of beach with hollow sand-bottom beach-breaks throughout, but
the best are in front of the quite obvious Witches Rock (Peña Bruja). Witches Rock is where an estuary
meets the ocean creating wave-shaping sandbars. The resulting hollow lefts and rights that make Witches
famous are then perfected by offshores, which blow most of the year but are strongest December through
April. The offshores also blow the warm surface water out to sea causing upwelling, so the water can get a
little chilly here, at least for Costa Rica, so you might bring your spring suit or short john just in case. It’s not
unusual for the water to dip into the high sixties. While the surf doesn’t get big often, it can get up to about six
meter faces and still hold ridable shape. When it gets big, it pounds hard. Witches is best on WSW swells
and upcoming mid to high tides. It walls up on low tide, like most beach breaks, but that depends on swell
direction and the sand bars. In some years it can be good on low tide too.

Excerpted from The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica & SW Nicaragua, available at
Not to scare anyone, but there are a few crocodiles out at Witches from time to time.
This video is sans Witches Rock surfing crocodile. It shows a variety of Witches Rock surf, from too
small to spend the time and money on a trip to Costa Rica, much less the extra effort to get to
Witches, to just right for most surfers. It comes courtesy of damsh30