Costa Rica or Puerta Rico for surf trip in February??

Discussion in 'Surf Travel' started by marsh64, Jan 7, 2013.

  1. marsh64

    marsh64 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    I am planning on going on vacation from Feb. 8 - 13. Planning on either Costa Rica or Puerto Rico. For CR, my wife and I am looking at Tamarindo area but nothing is nailed down. For PR, I was looking Rincon. I am an experienced surfer but my wife has never surfed but wants to try surfing.

    Any suggestions for either or? PR is a little bit cheaper from the looks of Also, I do plan to rent a board rather than take one with me. Too expensive on Delta.

    Also, what is surf like near San Juan? We'll rent a 4x4 for wherever we go so we will be mobile.

    We are up for either but I am leaning towards CR. She is game for either. I am blessed with a pretty cool wife.

  2. JakeZnaty

    JakeZnaty Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2012
    Theres going to be A Rip Curl ASP 4-Star Pro In Puerto Rico February 6-10, 2013 at Jobos Beach, Puerto Rico. so they if you were going to that beach you wouldnt be able to surf it since they would only allow the people in the competition but it would be great to watch it

  3. Randy Myer

    Randy Myer Member

    Jul 2, 2010
    If she's never surfed before, I'd head to Tamarindo,...easy beach break for her,..then there's several spots that may be better suited to what you may want just a paddle across the river mouth, or take a short ride to Aveonnes for a reef spot.
    Also, Tamarindo will be "wife" friendly--shops, drinks, food, sun, and good vibes. Plus, a short drive to Liberia to plane and rental car----try Vista Villas, Moose runs the place been there for years---everything you'll need even board rentals ---Corky and R.A. use the place for r&r and surf school. Aloha, Randy
  4. imperial

    imperial Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    I have a place in Jaco/Hermosa Costa Rica so I you know where this one is going....Hands down Costa....way less people and more beautiful. Been to PR you can have it. There is so many awesome breaks in CR and the food, people, and country are awesome! Do yourself a favor and go experience the \"PURA VIDA\" way of life and catch some awesome surf in the process. I totally agree with Randy too as far as having your wife with you. My friend owns a house in Playa Grande, which is right across the river from Tamarindo...15 minute walk, 20 minute drive/ check it out:

    Not saying stay here but gives you an idea of the area. Let me know if you have any questions! I love turning people on to the Pura Vida life...

    If Spirit Airlines flys to an airport near you, that's where you want to book a ticket. I've been flying to CR for over 9 years and this is by far the chapest airline. Just booked a ticket for the month of June for $390. $500 is average though.

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2013
  5. derickson178

    derickson178 Member

    Feb 16, 2012
    Definitely go to CR. I have travelled to both spots with my wife who is not a strong surfer and to this day she still hates PR. Most of the best spots in PR are reef and she was not thrilled with the thought of touching the bottom. CR on the other hand has tons of spots to learn and the people and country are awesome. I personally prefer the Nosara area. Has consistent beach break great for learning and some stots in the area that are more challenging faster breaks. You can fly into Liberia and it's about a 2 hr drive. Another spot would be Santa Teresa but it's a little harder to get to.
  6. marksharky

    marksharky Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    Been to CR 2 x once back in the late 80's and just last year went to playa grande. I'll take PR over CR any day of the week. JMHO
  7. delawaredell

    delawaredell Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2009
    Eventually you need to go to both, so figure which is cheaper and go there first if money is tight. If you go to the right spots at the right time you'll score waves in either place, and find waves for her in either place. Both are beautiful, both have waves, both are cheap, you'll love both. I say this, but there are several differences, but not that significant wrt a surf trip.
    Check lots of airlines, not just Expedia. I know that Airtran has direct flights from Baltimore (guessing you're on east coast) that you can only find on TACA for Costa Rica I believe and spirit. Delta is sometimes cheaper on their site than Expedia. Also, airtran seems to have a good $50 each way policy for as big of a board bag as you want.
    You can find hostels in either, or check vacation rental by owner and the like for rooms (
    Personally, I've been to both and next time will probably just look at both and figure which is cheaper.
    The one nice thing I'll say about Costa Rica is that if you are willing to spend the time, you can find more remote spots, less crowds, and more of an adventure if you want. I don't think 4x4 is necessary in either location, but there are spots worth going that 4x4 is a better choice, especially if you want an "adventure".
  8. StuckontheGulf

    StuckontheGulf Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2012
  9. BarefootInPublic

    BarefootInPublic Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    Definitely CR. Will be much easier, cleaner for a beginner and the waves are great right now, if you are more experienced. If you need help with lessons, boards, lodging, travel, etc, let me know. I am in Santa Teresa now and run a guide service up and down the coast. Happy to help, PM me...
    I also post a daily video surf report if you want to check out the surf.
  10. old's cool

    old's cool Member

    Dec 17, 2012
    I would agree with those that mentioned CR. Esp. the Nosara region due to the mostly sand bottom. This will be far easier on a beginner. The reefs around PR would be a challenge getting in and out as well as when she wipes out and touches the bottom (lots of urchins in the cracks), and generally the sharp rocks past the beach sand can cut her feet and even worse if she would slip. Also, there is a good possibility of large waves in PR in Feb. I was just down in PR last week and we had a beginner girl with us that attempted to jump off the rocks at Secret Spot. She did not time her jump with an approaching wave and ended up taking a hard fall, getting multiple cuts and bruises not to mention breaking off a fin from her board. All in all, she was lucky she did not get slammed into the rocks by a big wave, still, it was nasty experience (and unnecessary) for a beginner.
  11. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    I've only been to Rincon PR, but it's perfect if you go to the right places. I highly recommend staying with Bobby at Mar Azul Surfshop, he's got a private villa that is safe and secure and pefect for a couple.

    If you choose to stay here, it's walking distance to Sandy Beach (although we drove), which is where we spent most of our time (8 days), it's mostly a sand bottom, but if you want to surf a point or reef, you can find one right next door. My wife and I love it there and will definitely be back soon.

    It's ideal for a beginner but it's not limited to, It was anywhere from 1-2ft on small days up to 8-10ft on the larger days. My wife got to do some paddle boarding and some swimming, while I paddled out alone on the larger days and she kept a close eye on our stuff and the car.

    After surfing there is a great beach bar called Tamboo you'll love. Right in front is a nice point left off the rocks you'll dig, it was barreling when I was there, such a fun wave!
  12. marsh64

    marsh64 Active Member

    Oct 31, 2012
    So, it looks like CR is winning out. Looking at car rentals. I have read that it is best to rent in Liberia at the airport. I did some searching and there is a lot of insurance cost, mandatory and otherwise that is added on to the "Base Cost". Any comments on that?
  13. jasorod

    jasorod Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2012
    Hey Marsh,

    Forget this stuff ... Pacific coast of Colombia all the way! :cool:

    (this is an inside joke ... please no flaming)
  14. BarefootInPublic

    BarefootInPublic Member

    Jan 2, 2013
    The last thing you want is a bad experience for your girl...
  15. nynj

    nynj Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2012
    Dont leave anything in the car that you want to be there when you get back... I love both places, but the petty theft in CR is off the charts.
  16. imperial

    imperial Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2008
    All you need is the basic insurance...This car rental is in Jaco...
    I know its not where you heading but I've delt with them for 8 years and they INCLUDE the cost of insurance in their car rental prices so you can compare the prices with the rental companies at Libera vs Zuma. I know Warren at Zuma personally and they have some of the cheapest rental prices in Costa Rica. Check out ADOBE car rental...they are a costa rican company based at Liberia and San Jose airports...other companies include common names such as Thrify, Hertz, and Avis. Do some comparison and you can save a ton! Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  17. marksharky

    marksharky Well-Known Member

    Feb 14, 2012
    Car rental in CR are ripoffs.
  18. jacksysonqjz

    jacksysonqjz New Member

    Mar 10, 2013
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  19. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    Definitely CR but stay away from Jaco. It is very seedy there and not a place to take the wife. Tamarindo is a good bet.
  20. surfthewall11

    surfthewall11 Well-Known Member

    Apr 23, 2012
    PR no brainer. Rincon is beautiful. It is truly a paradise. gas is dirt cheap, food is amazing. More spot variety in rincon than on the north shore.