Trip advice PR and Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Surf Travel' started by JTS, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. JTS

    JTS Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Hoping the swellinfo collective can help me out
    I am looking for some insights into Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. I have been traveling to Central America for the past 10 -20 years. Started in CR and eventually found Nica which I liked much better.

    I am looking at a trip for November with a couple friends and was thinking of changing it up. Not sure how stable it is in Nica currently and the wife would prefer I go somewhere the US state dept doesn't have advisories against traveling to. (marital harmony is better than disharmony) So I was evaluating PR and CR for a trip
    I have never been to PR but I know quite a few posters have been and have it pretty well wired as far as where to stay, surf , transportation, what to do, what to avoid etc

    CR I have been to quite a few times (Hermosa,Mal Pais,Nosara etc) but I haven't been in over 10 years. I know a few guys on here travel there regularly and was hoping they might share some info about what they find works for them. If you don't want to broadcast it you can message me

    Ive been surfing since 1977, and can handle some size, but as I approach 60 I am just looking for fun warm water waves, not looking for huge waves or shallow water barrels
    Any insights or tips will be appreciated
    nopantsLance likes this.
  2. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012

  3. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    PR is like "little Hawaii", in a sense. But it has gotten very, very crowded at the prime breaks.
    Last time there (Dec 2018), I wanted to get out to the break at Marias but was too lazy to paddle, so I just walked out to it via board to board. The other surfers did not mind at all - they were all high on fentanyl. Plus they were out all night watching the gang gunfights.
    Yeah, PR is a great place......
  4. JTS

    JTS Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  5. DawnPatrol321

    DawnPatrol321 Well-Known Member

    Mar 6, 2012
    You're welcome, post up where you're headed when you get it all booked up and give us a post trip report!
  6. JTS

    JTS Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Will do, still in the fact finding/planning stages
    Everybody likes pictures so here are some from previous trips Nica 7621_102777836405599_2937948_n-1.jpg DSC03330.JPG
    DawnPatrol321 likes this.
  7. metard

    metard Well-Known Member

    Mar 11, 2014
    i went to costa rica in the summer of 17 with my wife and daughter. we stayed in playa espadilla and did day trips to playa dominical and quepos. dominical was huge and closed out. quepos rivermouth left would work at low tide but i never saw anyone out and was told not to surf it in the rainy season (they call it the green season now btw). there is a nice peak that shows up right in front of the road to manuel antonio park entrance.

    roads are much better now and have tolls on the way to the pacific side. three irrc.

    5-8 years ago they rolled out new currency. i brought old colones and they were not accepted.

    rented this for ~$600/week
    turbo diesel toyota fortunner.
    it was worth every penny. i would buy one rn if they were sold in the US. god i love that thing.

    debit cards accepted everywhere so don't worry too much about always having cash. my cell phone didn't work but my wife's did. everywhere has wifi.

    stayed here:
    JTS likes this.
  8. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    I went to CR the last week of september this year. It was a honeymoon but i ofcourse surfed everyday. Stayed in playa grande. Honestly dude, it was awesome. Im not a expert on CR but if November is anything like late september/early October I'd suggest it.

    - No one was around. Your real close to tamarindo but grande was pretty desolate. Few guys in the water. Seemed like mostly locals. More than enough room for everybody. Very spread out.

    - Wave was great. Started off a few feet OH on the first day and slowly decreased in size over the week. Last day ws maybe waist to chest. Long lines. Clean every morning. Tide dependent though. Got to surf it between high and mid. Once the tide starts to drop out it gets nasty and crappy. But time you'r sessions and your good.

    - It was the rainy season. But i see that as a plus. For one, everything is green instead of dead and brown. And it didn't rain all day. Mornings and midday were gorgeous. Late afternoon you got a shower. One night i believe it rained through the night but besides that it was nice out. Plus the rainy season is what keeps the travelers away meaning less guys in the water.

    If your interested in the area i can tell you were i stayed and what we did and all that. As well as other places in the area. All the need to know details.
    Yankkee and JTS like this.
  9. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Rainy season?? You know those big birds you saw in the trees?? They were not birds....they were Zika mosquitos!! Did your head shrink ?? <grin>
  10. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Actually good point barry. It wasn't zika i had to worry about. It was malaria. At least from what i read before the trip. Didn't use any real heavy duty bug spray. Just bought some all natural crap from the hotel. Honestly i don't think it was even bug spray. Regardless, skeeters weren't bad except on the estuary. Besides that i really didn't even use the bug spray.

    But yeah i was warned to look out for skeeters during rainy season. Good point to bring up. Im no scientist but apparently more heavily populated areas are at greater risk of malaria
  11. Barry Cuda

    Barry Cuda Well-Known Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Oh yeah...malaria, zika, dengue, plus a few other diseases are all down there. I was told by my parents I did have dengue as a child when we lived in PR. Obviously, I got through it. But malaria is the one I really want to avoid. Mosquitos, as small as they are, are recognized as the deadliest organism for the human species, simply because of what they bring us.
    BTW, the reason for heavier populated areas being worse for malaria, is that the chain of disease transmission, virus to humans and humans back to virus for further spread, is easier to maintain. Also, human trash, cans, tires, and other water holding containers littered about, provide great mosquito larvae growth receptacles. Once again, as another famous swellie says so often...the human virus; we are doing ourselves in!!
    I will be looking forward to your pictures of board making. If I showed you pictures of my first would not recognize it as a My second, and last, was a ride-able board.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    Yankkee likes this.
  12. BassMon2

    BassMon2 Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2015
    Dengue! That was it. Excuse my brain, it's not working well at the moment. Im sure all those viruses are down there but it was dengue that i was warned most about. Not malaria. My mistake. And you nailed it as far af the heavily populated areas and spread. It's not somthing i factord in when choosing a spot to stay but it did make me less worrisome knowing there was not too many people around the area compared to tamarindo and other areas.

    Blank should arrive tomorrow! I was told Friday but according to the UPS tracking thing it's looking like tomorrow. It's been sitting just outside LI in NJ since Friday night waiting to be delivered. Very excited to get started. I know my first won't be a master piece but as long as it's rideable I'll be happy and call or a success
    JTS and Barry Cuda like this.
  13. La_Piedra

    La_Piedra Well-Known Member

    Oct 9, 2017
    Bass, it sounds like you got pretty lucky when you went to Grande. We barely missed each other, as I was down in Pinilla in early August. I only surfed Grande one day during my 2 week stay because of the large aggressive crowd.

    i have a good friend who is an excellent surfer who surfed there during the previous March and related the same story to me. Heck, almost every single post on Grande in Wannasurf warns the reader about large and aggressive crowds.

    everything else was spot on though. At low tide, you'd never believe that the place is a surf spot. At high tide, perfect well shaped peaks with good power. An excellent wave with, unfortunately, a good crowd to go with it.

    so I'd say the Gods were smiling down on you for your trip.

    My bad juju was replaced when I was able to surf an uncrowded semi-private reef for the remainder of my trip.

    I love CR and would def go back, but not to surf name spots. Place is kinda played out now.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2019
    JTS likes this.
  14. aka pumpmaster

    aka pumpmaster Well-Known Member

    Apr 30, 2008
    JTS, look at Esterillos Oeste in CR. very mellow wave and ultra friendly town.
    Kyle and JTS like this.
  15. JTS

    JTS Well-Known Member

    Feb 21, 2010
    Thanks Pump , I will check that out
  16. Kyle

    Kyle Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2011
    I can second pump on both accounts. Had a great time every time I've gone down there.
  17. spiralout462

    spiralout462 New Member

    Sep 7, 2018
    I have experience with both places. Very difficult to choose one over the other. Probably just depends on the town that you stay in. Bottom line, anytime you can get to the tropics during winter, it's a win! Just pick a consistent spot and GO!
    nopantsLance and Barry Cuda like this.