Save The Waves Coalition has named Playa Hermosa in Garabito, Puntarenas as a World Surfing Reserve (WSR), the non-profit announced Wednesday.
The designation honors Playa Hermosa’s world-class waves and biodiversity, but it’s also an action plan. By designating the area as a WSR, Save The Waves commits to supporting long-term conservation of the beach and its surroundings.
Playa Hermosa is the first WSR in Central America and 13th overall. It joins other renowned surfing destinations worldwide including Gold Coast, Australia; Santa Cruz, California, United States; Ericeira, Portugal; and Punta de Lobos, Chile.
“The country of Costa Rica is thrilled to have received the honor of the World Surfing Reserve designation at Playa Hermosa,” said Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, former Environment Minister and current CEO of the Global Environment Facility.
“This surf ecosystem and community is a fantastic model for coastal conservation, and this designation will help drive other efforts around the country to protect our waves and coastline.”
Save The Waves says the Playa Hermosa WSR will serve as a hub for a partnership with Conservational International to “work together with the Costa Rican government and local communities to protect critical surf ecosystems across the country in the coming years.”
Playa Hermosa will celebrate its official dedication as a WSR in 2021. The date remains to-be-determined due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Located immediately south of the popular beach town of Jacó, Playa Hermosa has among Costa Rica’s most consistent waves. It hosted the 2009 ISA World Championship.
According to the Costa Rica Tourism Board, nearly one-fifth of tourists surf, while 72% visit the country’s beaches.