Wave Type - Left Point Break
Bottom - Sand and Bolders
Swell Window - South to Southwest
Tide - All
Wind - Northeast
Marker - Puerto Jimenez, Osa Peninsula
Pavones is a legendary point break and one of the longest lefts in the world. On a good day it can break for almost a kilometer (3/4 of a mile) that last up to 2 minutes! This incredible wave breaks best at high tide with the wave breaking in deeper water, on a southwest swell.
Pavones is a pretty isolated beach with a pretty big local surfer population. The lineup can be very crowded, with a lot of locals, when there is a good swell. Be sure to give them respect and choose your waves carefully.
The downside to visiting Pavones is that when there is not an optimum swell it can be very small to flat, so plan your trip accordingly. The upside is that when you catch it good, it is really good!
Getting to Pavones is much easier than it was just a couple of years ago due to the new Pista del Sol highway from San Jose and south along the beach. This section of road has essentially replaced the old part of the Pan American Highway that used to pass through San Jose, over the mountains and San Isidro south. The road south is a well paved and maintained road that now almost reaches Pavones. If you are driving from San Jose take the Pista del Sol to National Route 34. This is about 7.5 km past Orotina and is the turn off for Playa Jaco. You will have gone through 4 tolls at this point and the exit is about 300m after the 4th toll (tolls range from 300c to 650c. The current exchange rate is about 500c to $1). You will drive on Route 34 south past Playas Jaco, Hermosa, Esterillos, Bejuco, Quepos, Manuel Antonio, Dominical, and Uvita. You will pass the Marino Ballena National Park. About 25km past the park you will make a right turn onto Route 2. This will take you pretty much to Golfito and then south to Pavones.