Camaronal is a tiny hamlet located on the southwest Pacific coast of Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula. With a year round population of perhaps 100 people, it is just 8 km from the Puerto Carrillo, which boasts one of Costa Rica’s most beautiful swimming beaches. Fourteen km further northwest is the tourism mecca of Samara and its bustling concentration of hotels, restaurants, night spots, surf and tour outfitters. To the southeast of Camaronal the nearest air strip is located at the tony enclave of Islita, just 8 kilometers away.
The Nicoya Peninsula is world-renowned for epic surf, with hundreds of breaks along its spectacular coastline of coves and points. The Nicoya has blossomed from its 1970s “discovery” by the surf set into a classic surf and sand destination. Much of the development has been focused to the northwest, where the towns of Tamarindo, Playas del Coco, Flamingo, Playa Hermosa and Papagayo now bustle with international crowds. Samara and nearby Nosara also receive lots of visitors, but the Camaronal region and the entire coast southeast to the outskirts of Santa Teresa and Malpais are still very lightly populated and epically beautiful.
Camaronal Beach, which is the home of the Camaronal Wildlife Refuge, is widely recognized as a premier surf break. Nevertheless, due to rudimentary local infrastructure it is nearly always uncrowded.