Surf Spot Guide – Pavones, Costa Rica


Pavones, Costa Rica

In our surf spot guide to Pavones, Costa Rica we will tell you about the location, the temperature, surf conditions, season, and even the pros and cons.

Pavones Overview

Pavones, Costa Rica is a small village almost all the way to the southernmost tip of the country. Like the rest of the Costa Rica, Pavones is known for it’s wildlife preservation and epic waves. This spot in particular is known as the second longest left point break wave in the world. Whether or not that claim is true all the time, Pavones has the #2 spot and that’s final.

Pavones Location

Getting to Pavones is no easy feat. The closest gas station or supermarket to Pavones is a two hour drive back to the mainland. The last hour of your trek down to Pavones is dirt roads and narrow bridges. Do not make this drive for your first time at night. If you’re renting a car, it will be pretty easy to find your way down or ask for directions. Bus transport is a cheap option at $15 but it takes about 11 hours from San Jose. Instructions here.

Once you get into town there are many places to stay in like hostels, private homes for rent, or bed and breakfasts. There are a handful of restaurants, bars, and stores for food or gear. You can explore the rivers, waterfalls, and bike paths in the area yet there are no official tours or excursions set up to take you.

Temperature in Pavones

The climate in Costa Rica is tropical. Pavones is warm all year with temperatures averaging from 72-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The real changes to watch out for are wet and dry season. In the dry season the micro-climate of Pavones makes the town feel scorching hot. Dry Season starts around November, in that time you’ll have sunny and rainy days. By January there is almost no rain for months until May when Rain starts to pick up and the rivers fill up again. The sun rises in Pavones pretty early, 4:30am is daybreak and by 6am the sun is high up in the sky. Pavones is the place to bring all your protective surf gear as it’s so close to the equator it feels like the sun is right on top of you all day.

Conditions in Pavones

The waves in Pavones break on dark grey, smooth cobblestone rocks. A big southern swell means those long lefts for your record book. In perfect conditions, the wave breaks fast overhead, sometimes double overhead, and can go for a mile and a half. To make one of those long rides you need to make it past the sections that start to close at different parts of the wave. Those same sections separate the different peaks so the lineup of surfers spreads along the coast. As you move down the coast away from the first main peak, the wave becomes softer, more forgiving and more suited for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Surf Season in Pavones

The best time to score in Pavones, Costa Rica is from March to August. If you happen to be in Pavones in between swells you will playing with the tides. High tide means there might be enough water to make the waves connect. Low tide there are still waves but they’ll be fast drops and short rides compared to the 3 minutes long rides people come to Pavones for.

Pros and Cons of Pavones


  • Eat, Sleep, Surf, Repeat
  • Be around people who only want to Surf
  • Progress in surfing with longer rides and faster drops
  • Go left all day
  • Meet lots of interesting wave-chasers
  • Learn how to rough it


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