Local Surf Breaks

"The world’s 10 most breathtaking beaches."
~ Forbes Magazine

Malpais is a surfer’s haven and provides easy, fun waves in which to learn. The surrounding area has it all… point, reef and beach breaks. Our hotel is located beachfront at Playa Carmen which offers gentle, long breaking waves perfect for all levels of surfers. With our surf van we can access the other beaches of Playa Santa Teresa in 5 minutes, and Playa Hermosa in 15 minutes along with several point-breaks in the area. Here’s a closer look at the surf breaks near our camp:

Handful of Jewels

Playa Carmen

Looking directly out from our hotel you find two of the best surf breaks in the entire area. Just south of the hotel, El Rancho stretches for a couple hundred yards, producing long, fun, peeling rights and lefts over a gently sloped sand bottom. Looking north, you can see a series of right and left peaks breaking over a slightly steeper sand bottom. This break works on all tides, but is best between medium to high tide and works best on S and SW swells.
Experience: All Levels

Santa Teresa

A beautiful 10 minute walk to the north is Playa Santa Teresa. Here the sandy ocean bottom has a steeper incline which produces more powerful right and left breaking waves providing a more challenging ride. This break works on all tides, but is best between medium to low tides and works best on SW and NW swell.
Experience: Intermediate – Advanced

Playa Hermosa

The remote splendor of Playa Hermosa strikes a chord in the hearts of surfers searching for spectacular waves with hardly anyone around. A short 15 minute drive from our hotel, we arrive to find a sparkling white sand beach delivering a combination of rights and lefts. This break works on all tides, but is best between medium to high tides and works best SW and NW swell.
Experience: All levels

Mar Azul (Mal Pais)

A few curving sandy coves to the south is the locally famous left hand point break "Mar Azul", where we often spot sea turtles in the lineup. Mushy long lefts peel away from a flat reef bottom toward a deep channel. This spot needs at least a 4 to 5 foot swell coming from the S or SW combined with a rising high tide which tends to produce waves a couple of feet smaller than the beaches. Guests of Pura Vida Adventures that have been lucky enough to score this break often say it is the highlight of their trip.
Experience: Intermediate – Advanced


Surf Safari! When the strong steeply angled S and SW swells reach more than 6 feet and begin to fill in the eastward side of the peninsula, we load up our surf van for a full day excursion. This easy, rolling right point break forms over a smooth stone bottom peeling for about 150 yards, making it one of the longest waves in the area. We surf this break on an incoming tide from medium to high tide and waves tend to be several feet smaller than the beach breaks on the west side. A deep channel makes for an easy paddle out and safety zone where you can relax and take in the gorgeous green coastline looking toward the National Park of Cabo Blanco.
Experience: All Levels but requires a few days of instruction for beginners.

Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women
Costa Rica Surf Camp for Women