Windsurfing Costa Rica's Lake Arenal and Bahia Salinas
Windsurfing Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal will take your breath away. A freshwater windsurfing paradise, the lake offers 48 square miles of warm water (73F/23C), up to five foot swells for jumping, and easterly wind speeds averaging 25mph/40kph from December to April. The winds are so stable that it is very common to use just one sail size all day. The worst months are June and October.
Powerful winds are very consistent during the dry season, December to April, and yearly average wind speeds are an impressive 15-22mph or 23-35kph. With stats like this it’s not surprising that the windsurfing at Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal is considered some of the best in the world.
This isn’t just a sport for professionals though. There are a couple of locations on the lake that offer rental equipment and lessons for novices. With such consistent winds, this is the perfect site to learn a fantastic and exciting sport like windsurfing.
Consistency and opportunities for huge aerials is the draw for experts wishing to partake in windsurfing Costa Rica’s Lake Arenal, and with a backdrop like the Arenal Volcano it’s sure hard to beat.
This sport hasn’t quite taken off yet despite the amazing conditions, so it’s really a perfect time to give it a try, as you won’t find many other windsurfers to contend with on the lake. It’s the perfect, unique addition to any Costa Rica adventure vacation. (<--click for more ideas!)
Do you want to try windsurfing Costa Rica’s Pacific Northwest?
Then you should head to the little fishing community of Puerto Solely on the Bahia Salinas (Salinas Bay). This is the second best windsurfing site in Costa Rica, and quite possibly the best site for kiteboarding.
The surrounding hills and topography funnel the winds in a consistent pattern here, with the strongest and most reliable winds blowing from December through March. But winds blow pretty strong here yearlong. Sandy, protected beaches in the Bahia Salinas make it a great, safe place for both beginners and experts.
There is a windsurfing school offering lessons and rentals located in Puerto Solely, and even a kitesurfing school, for those seeking an even more radical activity.
One more thing!
Outside of Lake Arenal and Bahia Salinas, there are very few places to rent windsurfing equipment. If you want to try windsurfing at some of Costa Rica’s other beaches, you should try to negotiate with one of the rental companies on Lake Arenal and see if they’ll let you take your rental board and equipment with you to the coast.