Playa Avellana or “little Hawaii” as it is known by the local’s offers some of the biggest surf breaks in Costa Rica reaching up to eighteen feet which certainly draws surfers from around the world. Swells come in from both the Norther Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere making this the perfect surf spot all year round. The river mouth or El Estero de Avellanas is known as one of the best surf locations in the country with rights and lefts over a mix of sand and reef bottoms forming the perfect wave, other surf breaks in the area are La Purruja, El Parqueo, El Palo and Little Hawaii.
Avellanas is not a village or town but only a beach and there are no shops in the immediate vicinity. Some small hotels and cabinas offer a laid-back atmosphere best suited for surfers. Playa Avellanas or walnut beach has stayed true to its Costa Rican roots. There is however a famous restaurant called Lola’s which is named after a pet pig that hangs around and frolics in the ocean, Lola the pig is no longer at the beach but since she has left Lolita wonders the beaches giving the tourists a great photo opportunity with the beach pig.
Avellana is only a short 30 minute drive from Tamarindo and a nice change from the developed tourist area. Conservation areas such as Ostional Wildlife Refuge and Marino Las Baulas National Park are close by and are crucial nesting sites for sea turtles that are endangered. If you visit at the right time you can watch the turtles come up from the ocean and bury their eggs in the sand, a spectacular site that any animal lover should have on their bucket list.