Hey guys. I was wondering if anyone has ever surfed in Costa Rica before and what their experience was like. I'm going in mid May and will be staying in Tamarindo. This will be my first time surfing anywhere other than my home breaks. Does anyone have any tips or advice or even a cool story about surfing here or just traveling in general?
Tamarindo is a fun wave,warm water, easy to catch, long rides,consistent sets, crowded, depending on your experience level you may want to explore others.More experienced surfers will tire of crowds and beginners. If more experienced paddle or drive to playa grande: bigger, faster, heavier (this all depends on the swell of course) also very consistent sets, stay off peak if inexperienced. can get aggro.this beach break is big enough to find your own spot if neeeded. Stay off beach at night @grande enviro aggro for sure. (rightfully so). Playa avellanas is close also long beach and break find a suitable spot and go. Lots of crowds tourists and locals. local beach hangout. Playa Negra ...don't even paddle out unless your experienced . When firing negra is truly world class. Big heavy barreling. Rock bottom. All these places are on a map you can get at your hotel, hostel, car rental ect. A good travel guide will fill you in on the social interactions nightlife ect. Have fun. Explore. Be Careful.
I've only had great experiences there... the people, the fruits and veggies and fish, the waves...
Rent a car, 4x4 if possible, and get out of town as much as you can. There are lots of great spots with a lot of variety within a couple hours drive, and you should explore as much as you can. Best day I ever had down there was at Negra.
Like kookdog said, be smart and safe and you'll have a blast.
Here's an interesting fact I learned on one of those river tours for tourists... the guide said Costa Rica has nearly a 100% literacy rate (the highest in Latin America), all homes have electricity, and a 100+% renewable energy plan. In other words, all of their electricity comes from hydroelectric, geothermal and other sustainable sources, and they produce so much of it that they sell what they can't use to Nica.
I've been to Tamarindo 4 times, each in different months. May was the least crowded of all the times I've been. It's a great place and not far from lots of surf. I've used Witches Rock Surf Camp as a base and found them to be great.
Returned from my first trip to CR on X-Mas Eve. Stayed off the coast near the Arenal volcano for 3 nights and then Jaco Beach for 3 nights. People seem to have mixed reviews about Jaco but it has an easy beach break for beginner/intermediate surfers and I had an awesome time there. My comment is more to back up the fact that almost everyone I interacted with in CR was incredible. With tourism being the number one source of revenue for CR, the people really seem to embrace it and are amongst the friendliest I've met in all my travels. The fruit is amazing and so are the rice, beans, plantains, chicken, and beef, which will most likely play a part in every meal. Have a great trip!
Last edited by MAvery003; Jan 4, 2012 at 01:49 PM.
I have extensively traveled the west coast of Costa Rica. It is a magical place. My father and I rented a 4x4 and drove the whole coast for about a month in May of 2010. Started in Tamarindo, came through Montezuma, mal pais, jaco, dominical, all the way down to Pavones, and everything in between. You will find excellent waves up and down most of the coast on any decent swell. I caught Playa Hermosa (the one near Jaco) at head and a half and it reminded me of epic hatteras- big brown board breaking hell pits. Caught Pavones at DOH+ and connecting all the way through from the point to the river mouth- Picture perfect waves. Surfed some of the most fun little barrels in my life on a chest – head day at Little Hawaii in Playa Avellanas.
also, if you don't want to lug your boards along, I have had good experiences renting boards from the local shops for a very reasonable price. be careful driving. I have been pulled over by the police when following all traffic rules and been "fined". Usually this means forking over $20 cash to make the problem go away. have fun, be careful. it is a magical place.