I'm planning another trip to Costa for this coming June and was thinking about staying in the Hermosa Palms neighborhood in Playa Hermosa. Has anyone ever stayed in this area? If so, what is the crowd situation like, and what are the breaks like within walking distance from the neighborhood?
I've been to Costa many times further north, but never to the Hermosa area. I've heard it can be crowded at the main breaks in this area, but was really wanting to know what the breaks are like up and down the coast away from the main break(s) in town. Are they good and less crowded? I've been told that there are good waves in front of the Hermosa Palms neighborhood and that crowds are a non issue. Is this true? I'm not interested in traveling to a tropical wave paradise only to surf it with a thousand of my not so close friends!!!!!
Hermosa is a fun wave. Lots of little peaks up and down the beach, and tons of other waves just a short drive away (esterillos, bejuco, etc), and a few reef setups available by boat. I put in some time a few years ago and had the opportunity to really check out the scene. As far as a place to stay. Brisa del mar has been my go to spot the last few trips. Cheap, clean, close to town and the owner is a very nice guy (Dennis). As far as the crowd, Yep it gets crowded, but its spread out and you can certainly get waves, just bring a few boards Hermosa can get heavy when big. Not sure how bad the croc situation has been recently, but when I was there a 14 year old kid had his calf ripped off by a croc. Not a major threat, but something to be aware of (look for logs in the line-up, they arent logs). Walking to breaks you will be limited, but cabs are cheap and the bus is always an option. Obviously if you can, rent some wheels. If you want uncrowded surf, its there. But trust me you wont be walking there. Its costa rica, just gotta get out there and explore, especially when the big souths start rolling thru. Have fun.
ps. watch out for shady people in jaco. thats a whole other story for another day.
our company www.surfcosta.com helped build some of the brand new homes there this winte and let me say, the homes are absolutely gorgeous. so the surf is more crowded a bit to the north, in front of the backyard and villas hermosa and all that, but being that hermosa palms is a private development, its not too crowded. at least it wasnt when i was there last month. if you know the area you turn towards the beach where the backyard is and then take that road for about 5 minutes to the south until you hit hermosa palms. we are located in esterillos, and you can always score an uncrowded wave there, especially if it is pumping and hermosa is mobbed. let me know if you need any help planning a trip, let me know, its what we do. i can personally get you price quotes for hermosa palms and our compound in esterillos. pura vida.
just came back from hermosa on sunday. had a great time. wasn't smaller than shoulder high all nine days that i was there, and some days saw huge surf. It was best when it was head high to a foot overhead, any bigger it starts to close out, i stayed in hurradurra (i spelled it wrong) which is about a 10-15 minute drive. in all had a blast. i was bummed that i didn't get any barrels the whole trip, well never came out of one. i didn't see one person come out of one, even the costa rican pros didn't come out of any, i guess it was too big. but i definitely got some great waves- up to 8-10 hits on a wave if you get it to run into the inside. paddle out is a b**** and watch for crocs, saw one in a pond across the street from the waves. i surfed teraza's a lot, it tended to offer the most barrels, broken boards, and closeouts. the tree is ok, doesn't really hold, but the break just down from it with the palm trees where you park was good, it held the best out of all the places i surfed. when the road bends and you go around a new housing complex and you can see the waves again, that place is good. its where you see the dog in the middle of the road with the dude working on his house. that bend in the road is the most crowded break in hermosa. has a ton of parking for it. we also surfed a fun break that's right before what it looks to be a church, theirs space on the right side of the road to park and it offered long lefts and racy rights. surfed tulin only once the first day and saw a dead dude on the beach so was a little hesitant to go there, plus it closed out. Oh and watch out for pot holes! they will get ya. pura vida mae
I 've been to Costa twice once up north and recentlly to Jaco. The waves were not good in Jaco. Hermosa has a fun have which breaks close to shore line and easy paddle out. Just little further south is Esterillos which was on fire when I was there two years ago. It does get crowded, but there is plenty of room and breaks simular to Playa Grande. We surfed Hermose early in the morning and the line up was empty until about 7:00am. The surf all during my trip in southern Costa Rica was between 4-10ft and perfect with sneaker sets in the 10-12ft range. This place is a wave machine . The locals are cool and we experienced no problems, just show respect as usual. We even had one local show us where Esterillos was located. The area is more populated then up north.
I am not sure where Hermosa Palms is, but Hermosa is not that big of an area. The surf is in easy walking distance from anywhere in Hermosa.
Stayed in Hermosa during the spring many years back and scored a couple good DP sessions - during the afternoon the place was one big closeout. The wave reminds me of Blacks in SD somewhat, big powerful beach break, sometimes it links up sometimes it does not...consistent swell
Although Jaco is somewhat sketch it does have a hospital, several banks and a supermarket. However, I would recommend being cautious if you plan on staying there or going out at night. Nothing life threatening in Jaco, just a high potential for compromising situations. Jaco is to CR was Wildwood/Seaside are to NJ and what Pacific Beach is to S.California lol...
Pic of me surfing Hermosa - I think the average cell phone camera today has more megapixels than the digital cameras back then...
Last edited by Kokopelli; Apr 16, 2010 at 04:03 PM.