Dominical is located on the Southern Pacific coast of Costa Rica about 30 miles south of Quepos, where the coastal and mountain highways meet. What used to be a thirty mile stretch of dirt road that would take over an hour of travel, now takes approximately 40 minutes. This makes getting to Dominical and the rest of the South Pacific a lot more realistic and enjoyable for surfers and tourists alike.

Though not as popular as Playa Hermosa (near Jaco), it is a popular beach for surfing and frequented by experienced surfers looking for good, consistent waves and a more laid back atmosphere. The beach at Dominical is about 2 kilometers long, from its northern river mouth to a rocky cliff on its southern end. A beach break with surf scattered along the entire stretch of beach, it offers the most consistent surf in the region (and possibly in the country) and when the swell gets good it’s known to offer up hollow and powerful waves. The best waves are typically found between the lifeguard towers and the river mouth on the north end.

Dominical Wave Information

  • Best Swell size: Head high to Double overhead
  • Best Swell direction: S-SW
  • Best Wind direction: E
  • Best Season: Waves pretty much year-round with the biggest waves between June and September due to tropical storms
  • Type of break: Beach break with river mouth
  • Bottom: Sand
  • Consistency: Very consistent
  • Best tide: Medium to High
  • Best Suited for: Intermediate to advanced
  • Access: The beach is right in town and it is possible to park right at the edge of the sand.
  • Crowd factor: It can get a bit crowded by Costa Rica standards. It is typical to find a group of local Ticos and expat surfers who live in the area, as well as a number of surf travelers at any given time. But the waves are spread out enough for all to catch some waves, and if you’re respectful you’ll catch more than your share.
  • Potential Dangers: The beach is known for having strong rip currents as well as stingrays, and jellyfish are seasonal.


Playa Dominical is known for having dangerous rip currents, so much so that it was the first beach to employ full-time lifeguards. Despite this security measure, it is important that beach-goers exercise caution when bathing, surfing, or in any other activity at this beach.

Other safety hazards that can be found at Dominical are stingrays and jellyfish. Like at any other beach, the threat of either is not great but it’s better to be aware of all potential dangers.

In the event that medical care is necessary, there is a doctor available in town which is only a few blocks away from the beach.

Dominical Surfing Pictures

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Dominical Surfing Videos

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Things To Do in Dominical

On top of the surf, Dominical is a great place to hang-out and enjoy the beach. But if you are looking for things to do here’s a short list of the more popular tourist attractions in Dominical:

  • ATV Tours
  • Surf lessons
  • Waterfall Rapelling
  • Hiking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Birdwatching
  • Canopy Tours
  • Ultralight Tours
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Visit Waterfalls

With a significant ex-pat population and steady influx of tourists, Dominical is also a good place to socialize and enjoy the nightlife. For more tourist information read about Dominical and the Costa Ballena region.

Surf Breaks Near Dominical

Dominical Surf Shops

If you have a surf shop in Dominical and would like to be listed, please send an email to webmaster[at]

Bodhi Surf
700 meters southeast of Restaurant La Fogata Bahia BallenaOsa60504 Costa Rica 
 • +506-2743-8453