If you are a surfer and are visiting the area, be sure to check out Playitas in Manuel Antonio. I will tell you how to get there and when to surf it.
As you drive from Quepos to Manuel Antonio, there will be a plateau about half way over the hills. When you get to the plateau look on the right for the Barba Roja Restaurant and just past that signs pointing to Arenas del Mar Resort. Take a right at the sign and then go all the way down the hill. Four wheel drive is recommended since some parts are a little rocky and the road back up is steep. You will end up right on the beach and can either park right there or drive a short distance back north. Do NOT do this if you think your car will get stuck in the sand or you think the tide is coming in. Check the link above or crsurf.com/costa-rica-surf-report/costa-rica-tide-charts-2019 for the tides.
Once you get there, be careful to not leave anything of value in your car because if you are out surfing you can’t watch it. Then as you walk out towards the break, you will see a big rock 2 meters high that makes for the southern end of Playitas and a rocky point, which is the northern end. There are peaks on both ends, plus another two peaks in between. My favorite time to surf it is one hour before high tide and in the morning before 9 a.m. while the winds are still offshore. Be careful of the smaller rock boulders that jut out at lower tides in the middle of the break.
The wave can get crowded with locals who are good surfers, so the earlier you go the better. The beginners end up surfing farther to the south as there are 2 kilometers of open beach between Playitas and Manuel Antonio National Park. The best angles for swell are from the South to Southwest, and the perfect size is chest high to a foot overhead. More size than that and 90% of the waves are closeouts.
Be sure to check back next issue to hear about my other favorite wave in the area—The Quepos Rivermouth.