I will be taking my first trip to Costa will be leaving August 10. Were staying in Tamarindo the first night. Just wondering if that's where we should stay for the week or is there better places to stay with better surf that are reasonable. and also do you need a 4X4 to get around down there?
Tamarindo usually sucks for waves. It does get good, but is mostly shielded from the pre-dominant south swells that you'll be seeing in August. If it is 6ft elsewhere, expect Tamarindo to be 1/2 that size and crowded with beginners and tourists. Whether or not you'll need a 4x4 really depends upon where you will be surfing. I'd get it because you'll probably want to hit up some spots that don't have paved roads leading up to them.
If you want to party, you can't beat Tamarindo for nightlife on the beach.
I like it mellow. Sleep early, wake early and surf all day. That's why I live in Playa Grande. If you are in the area, stop by and say hello.
dude... i stayed in playa grande... very laid back... the place i stayed used to be called the buccanero, but some americans bought it just as i had arrived and were fixing it up. there is an upstairs little bar/lounge/restaraunt.. i had so much fun with the people there.. and a nice little beach break out front. beware of "spider the concierge of badness" he is a trip.. you can't miss him. he has a tattoo of a demon on his chest and he's missing a few teeth.. total fun time if you want to go out at night... he will definately send you home with a story or two.. we went out my first night there with another american that i had just met. we headed down some dark, dark, rocky roads to tamarindo to do some partying.. on the way back i was in the back seat with some tican guy that spoke no english, spider was in the passenger seat, and the american was driving.. all of a sudden spider taps the driver and says "stop the car! stop the car!" we were on a really sketchy, dark road and came to a screaching stop.. spider jumps out of the car, and literally runs up a tree and disapears.. so i get out, a little nervous.. and i see him up there rattling the tree around. i noticed some sort of fruit dangling from a limb, and i grabbed a couple. he jumped out of the tree with the front of his t-shirt full of these little fruits. and we get in the car. he is sucking these things down,(missing teeth and all) and so i try one of the ones i grabbed. a minute later he turns around and says "your not eating that are you!?" i said "yeah" his eyes get real big and he tells me, "i went up the tree to get the ripe ones, one of these little seeds can kill 7 men if eaten before they are ripe!!!" so with the car moving, i threw open the door and puked everything i had! it efing sucked!! so i shut the door, looking all green i'm sure,,, and he turns back around and looks at me smiling, he says " nah, i'm just kidding." dude is off the hook! we laughed for a while after that one...anyway, have fun, don't bang any 14year olds, be polite in the water,, and respect the land... peace..
You can always check out www.crsurf.com before your trip to get an updated report and forecast. I checked the tides and the week you'll be there the high tides will be in the morning. (http://www.crsurf.com/tides-09/augtides.html) If it's big, right in front in Tamarindo it can get good in front of the Diria. Otherwise, you are going to want to drive to Playa Grande (paved road unless you want to take the 'scenic' route) or Playa Avellanas (a much improved road, not paved though) for the rising tide sessions. At dead high the backwash can sometimes mess up the wave. Later in the week I would drive to Playa Negra to do some pre-dawn patrols at the lower tides (after 6 that place can be packed) And don't forget to save a few bucks for a boat trip to Ollie's/Witchs if there is swell.
Una Ola is a sweet spot to stay in Grande if you choose to make that home base. You can walk to the break, which picks up south swell better than other nearby beachbreaks and the drive to Avellanas is about 30 min, Negra ~ 35 min., and Tamarindo ~ 20 min.
Playa Negra is sick. I'd stay down that way, it's cheap as crap that time of year. I wish I could remember the name, but my buddies and I stayed in some cabina setup in Avellanas for like 15 bucks a night. Just don't believe the boat guys who promise to take you to "sick waves" at Ollies Point and Witch's Rock because they both suck during that time of year. I'm sure there are some good days, but don't believe the boat guys just because they promise it's been epic up there, because it probably hasn't. I've heard further south is good too, but I've never been...Langosta? I'm sure someone here has been down that way.
Go to negra, and if its small or too crowded go down the road to Marbella. Its an awesome black sand beach break that pics up more swell and is really spread out.
Avellanas is also right down the road.
Definitely need to hit Playa Hermosa Costa Rica. This is where the consistent waves will be. Check out www.crsurfcam.com;www.papagsurf.com or rovercam.com for more information.
Playa Hermosa is a tranquilo place with lots of places to stay; no need to really even have the truck cause all the breaks are right there within walking distance ....but if you do have the truck; its cool ...cause you can hit all types of breaks in the Central Pacific region!