This beautiful, secluded and world-class surf spot backed by the mystical rock formation known as “Roca Bruja”, Witch’s Rock, is legendary. Its waves have been documented in such films as Endless Summer II, where its epic tubes were showcased to the world. Since then, people from all over come to enjoy the perfect barrels groomed by offshore winds most of the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Getting to Witch’s Rock is half of the fun, as it’s either a short boat ride from Playas del Coco, a longer boat ride from Tamarindo, or a long 4×4 trek via the Santa Rosa National Park. If you take a boat, you will also get to surf some other really fun waves in the area, and you will get to experience Witch’s Rock up close and personal as your boat can take you right up to the rock where you can snap some pics. You can even climb up the rock and jump off! You can enjoy multiple surf sessions with breaks in between on the boat with your friends, sharing beer, food and good times in between surfing the perfect waves.
There are many boat operators in the area, and it’s just a matter of asking around to find one. Typically the trip costs between $360 – $500 for the boat, and split between 5 friends, it’s an affordable way to get out on the ocean, surf great waves, and see the coastline.
The other way to get into Witch’s Rock requires a 4×4 vehicle and a 3-4 hour drive from Tamarindo. You need to bring in all your supplies (and bring it all out again). You access the road through the Santa Rosa National Park which is about 30 minutes north of Liberia. There you will need to pay the park entry fee and the camping fee (if you plan to stay the night), and you may have your car searched before entering. They are looking for fishing gear, hunting equipment, and even perhaps your ganja stash—so be warned. Also no animals are allowed in the park. The drive from there takes around 2 hours, on one of the worst roads you will ever experience. Watch out for wildlife as deer, monkeys, and even wildcats can be seen in the park. Often in the rainy season the rivers are so high that you can’t get through so it’s recommended to call the national park in advance to check on road conditions. Once you arrive at the parking lot, you have reached the campground and can set up camp or get ready for the hike down the beach to surf.
WHERE TO SURF
The campground is about a 30-minute walk from where the waves break towards the north end of the beach. Bring lots of sunscreen, water, some food, and whatever else you may need while surfing your brains out for hours on end.
There are 3 main places to surf at Witch’s Rock. The first spot you will come to is nicknamed “El Burro” (The Donkey), which is a fast tubular wave that also breaks at lower tides. A combo swell will really light this place up. Quick drops into long, fast barrels is the name of the game. It can get heavy, so make sure your surfing is up to par with the quality of the waves otherwise you may face brutal wipeouts, broken boards and lots of sand in places it doesn’t belong!
The other breaks are found near the rivermouth. There’s the south side and the north side, each with its own peaks which break both left and right. This wave can vary from long, big barrels to mellower waves for turns and cutbacks depending on swell size, direction and tide. And of course respect the locals, which also include giant croc’s that roam the lineup frequently!
Its best to surf Witch’s Rock between mid and high tides. However, if you are camping and really want to surf the low tide, you can do so at El Burro and The Rivermouth depending on the swell direction.
There is nothing here, so bring your supplies. Stock up in Tamarindo or Coco. Find a boat at Playas del Coco or ask around. There are many boat operators in the area.
FOOD AND DRINK
Bring your own. Most boats supply a simple lunch of sandwiches, fruit and drinks. However it’s a long day and most people choose to bring additional snack food and beer.