I just got back from CR yesterday. It had a great time. I surfed Hermosa, Dominical, and Jaco.
Hermosa was a lot of close outs had more power but not double the power it was about head high also when i went. Dominical was awesome its a little hippie surf town id defiantly recommend going there you can ride a wave forever. The lefts go on for a good 15+ seconds. Jaco sucked i only went in because i was staying in a hotel near there. I felt safe in Jaco no problems just wouldn't go wondering around late at night alone. You defiantly need sandals for the beach the sand gets extremely hot. I didn't drink the water but you should be fine i just bought a 24 pack of water and put it in a cooler. you probably don't need a hat but defiantly wear a lot of sun block. Take extra wax because the water is so warm it melts off in no time. I would rent a board depending on the airline you take. I took TACA and called them up and they said it was free to take my board if i was not checking any other bags in. Then i get to the airline and the lady tells me its free to take it but there is a $125 handling fee i specifically asked her if that covered the whole trip there and back she said yes i made it clear. then on my way home they hit me up for another $125 saying its only for one way i was pissed. I wouldnt take anything on the beach except sandals and sun block. Well thats everything i can think of have fun!
Dominical is awesome. There is a point just south of the main breaks that is world class. The hippie chicks and the whole vibe is the best. I traded a few T-shirts ( I made them my self: Aquadelic "Take a Liquid Trip") for some great weed at a local surf/dive shop there. Great advice by everyone. Don't forget to bring extra leashes!!! It is powerful and they do snap frequently and people will trade for them, or you may need an extra sooner than later. It beats swimming with the crocs bro. And Jaco is like Daytona Beach without the racetrack. If you go to Costa Rica head south from Jaco, that's where it gets cool and unique. Hit a few spots on the way down to Dominical like Estarillos Oueso, which has good mellow surf and some good cantinas. And gargle with rum when you get out of the water if it is raining.
Must say...Dominical is one of my favorite places....next to Pavones!!! Las olas son muy bueno en Dominical. The vide is pretty chill too...worth the 1 1/2 drive from Jaco for a day or two. More americans in Dominical than anywhere else...like someone said above...groovy little hippe place...but dam good olas!!!! Pura Vida!!!
the last time I was in Dominical, 01. It was a giant beach break. "They" were taking the rocks from the river for the hiway construction. Before, one had a hard time walking down the beach because of the coconut sized rocks. The logo for the surf shop, was a wave breaking and stallions at full gallop formed in the white water. I guess because of the sound the rocks made at the water line.
There too many gringos for my taste there. We were eating at the San Clemente restaurant in 90's and the owner came and talked to us. I told him what a big hero I was in Jaco for fixing an ice machine, He asked if I could fix his. I did. So at the end of the night we left. the next day the waitress handed us a bill for 8800 colones. I wrote,Para reparando machina de hielo, and put the same price down. Guy never got over it.
Most gringos there are takers, not all. we've had several latch on, and when we want something from them, they,"you get to go home but I have to stay here." the says to me, "you got to go home and bust ass for another year in order to get return, while I stay here in paradise". PUTOS!
costa has already been Americanized,i wouldn't worry too much except for the occasional petty theif.
crocs are there,hermosa is super heavy,never been to jaco,but I know a lot of locals who surf there
learning a little Spanish doesn't hurt.it always helps in certain situations.u don't want to be one of those americans down there who hate Spanish people,ur travels wont be good.its cool to make friends with some locals,they could show u some secret spots and skip the crowds.
the drinking water only bad in mexico.
id stay off the beaten path and go to Nicaragua or Guatemala instead.the waves aare just as good,but Guatemala can be dangerous,like everywhere else in the world
The SI crew came through! My most informative and helpful post ever!
I'm staying in esterillos oeste.
Stay out of Jaco! Sounds like we have to go now!I know my one buddy's gonna drag us there, should be interesting
You can rent a "real" board (they all don't have NSP on the deck). excellent, can't bring any of mine
Crocs in the line up. no worries
You don't need to know Spanish. hora de aprender un poco espaņol
T-shirts are like money to the locals. read it somewhere, but it's an old travel guide. Money only.
Same for surf wax. Stocking up this weekend, hope I can find tropical around here
A 3ft wave in CR is more powerful than a 6ft wave in Belmar. Haven't surfed a ground swell in a long long time
Mosquitoes are not a problem. DEET! or Garlic pillsand the fly, scorpion, snake thing was fricking funny!
You need to surf with a hat. Not a kook, just never been that far south.Waterman's or Headhunter's?
High Noon + Black Sand = fried feet. RUN!
Sealice! No worries
Surf early. Surf late - if it glasses off. just surf!
Surf booties? Save them for waterfall jumping?
Don't drink the water. 24 pack? Costco in Costa?
Don't take anything valuable to the beach or in plain site. roger that
Seriously, thanks for all your help. I guess I am anxious, never been out of the US. Trained hard for this trip. I know I won't get many chance like this. I appreciate the info, tips and chuckles.
want waterfall jumping? There's a place before Parrita called Tres Piscinas. A waterfall fills a pool, forms another waterfall, which fills another pool, that forms another waterfall that fills the bottom pool.
Last time there, some guy gave me some "cactus". I dove to see what was on the bottom of the top pool and never found it.
If you're looking for a board in Jaco there's a surf shop just south of the small bridge in town. On the ocean side of the road. Some of the rentals they had were as good or better than my board at home. I even saw a few shaped by local east coast shapers. Without haggling it was $15/day with unlimited exchanges.
This blog has a ton of info re: everything but the surf.
Jaco- The break here tends to be close-out. With perfect conditions it is still only kinda ok. The city is where you will find a board to rent...from there just head south.
Hermosa- can be super fun.Be warned that it is also a heavy wave when it gets some size and even high skill guys can get hurt.
Esterillos- There is the North, Centro, and South. IMHO is very underrated. While Hermosa gets all the praise...this stretch offers a sweet break with a lot of different options and the community is super cool.
No hat- Get Watermans sunscreen
Whatever spanish you have at this point will have to do.