San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Big waves

Surf's up: Caribbean beaches to see large waves over the weekend

Costa Rica’s Caribbean beaches in the province of Limón are expected to see waves up to 3.1 meters (10.3 feet) starting Friday and likely continuing through the weekend, the University of Costa Rica’s Center for Research in Marine Sciences and Limnology (CIMAR) reported.

Oceanographer Omar Lizano said conditions producing tall waves likely would be caused by a high pressure system that originated in the northern Atlantic, and which will bring swells and strong gusts to Costa Rica.

CIMAR’s forecast adds that waves on Saturday will slightly decrease to 2.9 meters (9.7 ft), but will build up again to 3 meters starting early Sunday.

Beaches along Costa Rica’s northern Pacific also will see tall waves over the weekend, but experts say they will be smaller than those in the Caribbean.

Waves in the northern region of Guanacaste will reach maximum heights of 2.1 meters (7 ft) at several beaches, including Bahía Salinas, Tamarindo and Sámara.

Beaches along the central and south Pacific will have waves up to 2 meters (6.7 ft), mainly in Pavones, Quepos and Puntarenas. Waves along the coastline in the Gulf of Nicoya are expected to reach a maximum height of up to one meter (3.3 ft).

Officials from the National Emergency Commission advised beachgoers to use caution, and they warned owners of small boats about choppy sea conditions.

Experts also recommend beachgoers ask local residents about risks at beaches while visiting, including the presence of rip currents, swells and other conditions that could pose a risk.

Contact L. Arias at

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