Playa Langosta surf break reef

Playa Langosta


(Excerpts from The Surfer's Guide to Costa Rica & SW Nicaragua)

There are two sides to Playa Langosta rivermouth, literally and figuratively. On the north side you have the lava rock reef breaks in the ocean and overbuilt Costa Rica tourism bad dream on the land. On the south side there are the sandy beach breaks with good old rural Costa Rica on land. Both sides have good surf.

On the north side of the Playa Langosta rivermouth are rights and lefts breaking inside and outside. When it gets big it breaks way outside and gets scary for beginners or weak swimmers, but the outside reef is the gem the regulars seek. Due to the lava reef, Langosta gets sketchy on lower tides. Mid-tide is best, depending on the swell. It’s a personal thing, because my brother loves the place, as do others. But most can’t deal with the reef. Langosta has been getting more crowded lately, but not as crowded as Tamarindo. Maybe the occasional crocodile spotted in the line-up helps?

Across the river are the Langosta beach breaks, including the right called La Piedra del Zapo. Really fun on upcoming tide, and better with swells coming more out of the west. While these are beach breaks you still need to watch out for rocks and reef. The Langosta beach breaks can be hollow, fast and grinding with stand-up tubes, so it’s not for beginners.

Alas, Langosta ain’t what it used to be. (But what is?!?) There are now hotels, bed and breakfasts and condos right there – including the Barceló Langosta Beach, a resort hotel built by a Spanish hotel corporation that. Let’s put this in the “something for everyone” column. Nice for the all-inclusive, luxury, corporation resort hotel lovers, but not so great for those who want to get a little closer to the real Costa Rica. These newish constructions have converted Langosta into more of an upscale resort destination. 

Getting There: 2-3km south of Tamarindo. It’s a long walk around the point at the south end of Tamarindo Bay, or a short drive out of town, although “town” is closer than ever to Langosta. By vehicle, head toward then past the Cala Luna until you see the public beach sign (Sol y Playa) which is now the official Langosta parking lot.