While it may seem like being far away from the hustle and bustle of touristy areas is a good idea, there might be some compelling reasons to stick closer to the most popular spots in Costa Rica as you plan your surf vacation. For one, these spots are usually consistent (but remember that all popular spots aren't necessarily easy for a beginner). They're also close to a host of accommodations and services, which makes your trip a little more comfortable.
If you're looking for a popular spot, Playa Hermosa, near Playa Jaco, is a good bet. Although it's not great for swimming, this spot has become globally recognized as a surfers' mecca. The waves are consistent and safe for less experienced surfers, and the "Corner" (a deeper part of the coastline, which provides taller and longer waves) has long been a prestigious surfing spot. While Playa Hermosa has a few higher-end places to stay, there aren't loads of offerings. However, just a couple miles away (about 5 kilometers) is Playa Jaco, which, as we mentioned before, has a surplus of tourist activities and services. Also a plus is the short two-hour trip to the international airport in San Jose.