In Search of the Ultimate Wave: Matapalo

Surfing Matapalo

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While Pavones is home to the longest left in the world, Matapalo is known for its long excellent rights. When the die-hard surfer wants to escape civilization and catch some of the best rides of his life, Matapalo is the place to go. It is an adventure just to get here since it is only accessible by a rustic dirt road or by boat. Here, you will not find restaurants, bars or shops to distract you but, instead you will discover world-class surfing and inshore and offshore fishing in the middle of paradise.

Rainforest border the long sandy stretches of beach lined with mango, palm and coconut trees. Scarlet Macaws are prolific along the coastline, as well as Howler Monkeys. There is also a sea turtle refuge located on the beach where volunteers and locals take part in rescues. They are often looking for volunteers from abroad. A trip here can be an excellent opportunity to combine surfing with some conservation work that is good for the planet. This off the beaten track town is filled with ecologically minded adventurers.

With its epic breaks, the surf is considered world-class. There are two breaks with waves that can reach as high as 200 meters. This happens when the surf fires on the south swell. April to October are the best months for surfing and you will be in these waters with sharks. The “Point” is an epic spot that is reserved for the most experienced surfer looking for a new challenge.

This rustic off the grid area runs on solar power. Since the area is not easily accessible, it is important to be prepared when planning a trip here. Surfing Matapalo is all about timing. So be sure to check out the surf reports before your arrival, especially if you expect to only be here for a day or two. Also,  traveling here with an ecotour is another great option since your guide will make sure that the trip coincides with swells and great surfing.

Best Beaches

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For surfing in a secluded pristine and private environment that is off the beaten track, Matapalo is the place to go. Crocodile Bay organizes day trips for experienced surfers only here. Matapalo is known by word of mouth and while not famous like Pavones, some surfers will argue that the surf is actually better at Matapalo.  But of course you will have to go there and experience it yourself and be the final judge and don’t forget your sunscreen.