A spectacular beach in the southernmost part of the Santa Rosa sector, Playa Naranjo attracts wave riders who come to surf the legendary beach break at Witch’s Rock (Roca Bruja), famous for its 3m curls (not recommended for beginners). Be careful of rocks near the river mouth and crocodiles near the estuary, a rich feeding ground during tide changes.
The beach is stunning, with a sweet, rounded boulder-strewn point to the north and shark-fin headlands to the south. Even further south, Nicoya and Papagayo peninsular silhouettes reach out in a dramatic attempt to outdo each other.
Playa Naranjo is18km from the park entrance and 11km from the Santa Rosa research station. The road from the station to the beach is notoriously bad; it’s impassable except in the driest months, and even then requires a 4WD. Call ahead regarding road conditions.
There’s a campground with pit toilets but no potable water, so be sure to bring your own.