I have always been under the assumption that the "green" season is optimal for surfing on the Pacific side. I stayed in Tamarindo for the second time last July and experienced HH to OH+ waves every high tide.Ollies and Witches were having very similar conditions the day I was there. My girlfriend had a blast in Tamarindo; tons of shopping, restaurants/nightlife. The crime issue I feel is exaggerated in Costa. I have said this before on this forum, but go walk though Camden, parts of Philly or Wilmington then tell me Costa is "dangerous". I am heading back to Costa Rica in 3 weeks for a nice 14 day excursion with my gf and friends. It depends on what kind of surf you're looking for regarding break recommendations, check out the site below for more info. I personally like to stay in Tamarindo because its a central location and it's a fun town.
A good reference guide book worth reading before you make the trip.
"The Northern Pacific Coast is generally the most consistent destination from December ~ April. During this season, strong offshore winds combine with ideal swell directions to put breaks like Witches Rock, Playa Negra and Playa Grande in perfect form. The Central and Southern Pacific Coasts are generally best between May ~ November as the south swell season creeps in while the Caribbean Coast tends to pick up the best conditions from November ~ March. These are certainly generalizations which are by no means, guaranteed. However, using these characterizations is the best way to plan your vacation. "
yes and no. It is the best in our summer months on the central and south cost where it catches the big southern hemisphere swells. the northern coast around Tamarindo (as previously mentioned) is better for the NW swells they get in our winter months. just look at the geography and its obvious:
Say what you want about safety but I would keep my wife out of the bad places in the US too (unless I was carrying my pistol and then only if we HAD to go there). Point is, there are so many other nicer places in CR that are safer than Jaco. Why risk it.