VIEWS: 50 PAGES: 42 POSTED ON: 11/29/2010
www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide In this report you will find all the information that you need to make the right decision about where and when to surf in Costa Rica. Although there is great surf year round in Costa Rica, the regions do have seasons and you should read the primers below before jumping into the surf locations. Notes: __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________ www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 1 Index General Information...................................................................................... 3 Getting Around (Transportation) ....................................................................... 5 Map of Costa Rica......................................................................................... 7 Surfing in Tamarindo ..................................................................................... 8 Surfing in Playa Avellanes and Playa Negra .......................................................... 12 Surfing in Nosara......................................................................................... 15 Surfing in Mal Pais ....................................................................................... 19 Surfing in Playa Hermosa / Jaco....................................................................... 22 Surfing in Manuel Antonio .............................................................................. 28 Surfing in Dominical..................................................................................... 33 Surfing in Pavones ....................................................................................... 35 Surfing in Matapalo ...................................................................................... 37 Surfing in Puerto Viejo. ................................................................................. 39 Final Words... ............................................................................................ 42 www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 2 General Information Best Time Of Year In order to choose the best time of year to come to Costa Rica, you should look at the regional seasons outlined, in addition to taking into consideration several other factors such as weather and crowds. THE SEASONS Costa Rica does not really know all 4 seasons. During the summer months (mid December to April is known as summer in Costa Rica), temperatures are extremely hot and the chance of rain is very unlikely. However, crowds during these months can get pretty fierce, especially over Christmas, New Year's and Easter Week. This is Costa Rica's high season and therefore, hotel and car rental prices will be higher during this time of year than the rest of the year. The best surfing from December to April can be found anywhere along the northern peninsula (Nicoya) or on the Caribbean. THE RAINY SEASON The rainy season technically starts in May and lasts until the end of November. However, during the months of May, June, July & August, temperatures are still hot and the heavy rains have yet to fall. Common weather at this time is sunny skies with late afternoon or early morning rain showers. The real rains truly begin in September and last until the end of November. The biggest advantage of traveling during these months is lower prices (this is the low season) and much fewer crowds. Surfing Recommendations Costa Rica is not known for offering tremendous size in its waves, but rather, consistent head high surf at any time of the year. Many people think that the best way of surfing in Costa Rica is to rent a car and try to follow the surf. This, with very few exceptions, is the best way to spend a lot of unnecessary time in your car and miss the waves. Costa Rica's surf areas are defined by location and seasons which make surfing in Costa Rica very user friendly. The Northern Pacific Coast is generally the most consistent destination from December ~ April. During this season, strong offshore winds combine with ideal swell directions to put breaks like Witches Rock, Playa Negra and Playa Grande in perfect form. The Central and Southern Pacific Coasts are generally best between May ~ November as the south swell season creeps in while the Caribbean Coast tends to pick up the best conditions from November ~ March. These are certainly generalizations which are by no means, guaranteed. However, using these characterizations is the best way to plan your vacation. The most efficient way to take advantage of surfing in Costa Rica is to pick one or two towns to use as your home base and use your rental car by day to explore the nearby breaks. As most breaks are located within less than an hour drive from your home base (and over half are located within 10 minutes), this will allow you more time in the water and less time on the road. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 3 Water + Land Safety ON LAND One of the reasons that Costa Rica continues to grow as one of the world's top surf destinations is because it is one of the few destinations where travelers can feel safe exploring almost any part of the country. Costa Rica is proud to boast an extremely low rate of violence and most crimes reported are petty theft. Speaking of theft...theft in hotels is not really a problem in Costa Rica. Most problems arise when confident surfers wake up for a dawn patrol and take their rental car down to the peak...and decide that their Rolex, digital camera and wallet/passport will be safe on the dashboard! Just because you are on vacation, does not mean that you can leave your intelligence at home! IN THE WATER Regarding water wafety, the only real warning that we will give you is to be on the lookout for crocs as many of the breaks here are rivermouths and therefore, heavy rains can bring out a few more heads in the lineup. The majority of the breaks in Costa Rica are beach bottom, with the exception of Salsa Brava, therefore, you do not have to worry too much about late drop ins. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 4 Getting Around (Transportation) Introduction One of the most important aspects of taking advantage of your time is choosing your form of local transportation. Whether you are surfing one location or a dozen, you gotta get around. BY CAR Due to the short distance between most destinations and the flexibility that it offers, many clients prefer to rent a car. This allows you to plan your travel on your own time and come and go at your leisure. We work with the most reliable and experienced car rental agencies in Costa Rica, making it a simple process. Moreover, we offer in-country customer service to our clients to ensure that in the event of any problem, we can give you immediate assistance. The use of a rental car is highly recommended as this will allow you to take full advantage of your time in Costa Rica and, of course, reach those out of the way places that often produce the most satisfying results. We understand that renting a car in a foreign country can be an intimidating experience, which is why we use the country's largest and most respected agency whose cars, staff and service outshine all of their competition. Over the past few years, the government has made a tremendous effort to improve the infrastructure of Costa Rica and the result is that almost all routes are completely paved (sounds pathetic, we know) and even the most remote spots are becoming more accessible every day. However, as rain is abundant and potholes/dirt roads are inevitable to reach some destinations, we do recommend the use of a 4x4 in order to avoid the hassles of flat tires, and certainly, for added comfort. We do recommend that all driving be done during daylight hours as mountain passes and unmarked roads are commonplace. Before your trip, we will provide you with a marked road map and detailed driving directions in order to make your travels easier. FEATURED 4X4S Vehicle Week* Day* Kia Sportage $375 $65 Toyota Rav4 $489 $83 Toyota Hilux $489 $83 Toyota 4Runner $549 $95 Toyota HiAce Van 12 people $579 $100 Kia Carnaval Van 7 people $579 $100 Nissan Pathfinder $549 $95 Toyota Yaris (manual) $242 $42 Toyota Yaris (automatic) $325 $54 Toyota Corolla (manual) $325 $54 www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 5 Nissan Xtrail $420 $70 Kia Sorento $549 $95 Mitsubishi Montero $600 $110 *Prices subject to change. In USD. BY SHUTTLE If, however, you do not wish to rent a car, or perhaps combine your rental car with another type of transportation to better take advantage of your time, we offer private shuttle vans, as well as local flights. The shuttle vans can pick you up from any destination in the country, and take you anywhere you wish to go. Many clients opt to have a van take them to their first destination to avoid the drive from the airport, and then pick up their rental car at that destination, and return to the airport with the van, leaving their rental car behind. This is another way to spend your time wisely. BY PLANE Finally, there are small runways scattered throughout the country at some of the most visited destinations such as Tamarindo, Nosara, Punta Islita, Quepos and Puerto Jimenez; little Cessna planes for up to 12 passengers and certainly offer a faster method of traveling from one destination to another. Some clients opt to fly to their destination, and then pick up their rental car for use in the area, and then fly back on the local flight. It's expensive, but it will maximize your surf time. Sometimes boards can be a problem. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 6 Map of Costa Rica for a bigger map of Costa Rica, go to www.surf-costarica.com... www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 7 Surfing in Tamarindo Introduction Tamarindo remains to be the most popular and well known, "surf mecca" on the northern pacific coast. This area is centrally located on the coast to offer easy access to a wide variety of surf breaks for all abilities including beach, river mouth and of course, reef breaks such as Witches Rock and Ollie’s Point. Tamarindo is a great place to use as home base to explore many of the area breaks to the north and south. There are several breaks in town including the rivermouth of Tamarindo and the more challenging break at Langosta. However, the real attraction of Tamarindo is its central location between the world famous break of Playa Negra (south) and Witches Rock (north). Logistically, Tamarindo provides the easiest place to explore the most surf in the shortest time. Moreover, Tamarindo offers a wide variety of accommodations from beachfront hotels, condominiums to private house rentals. This is the best place on the northern pacific coast to go for the perfect mix of a variety of waves, accommodations, restaurants and nightlife. Tamarindo is a small beach community that draws beach lovers, scuba divers, nature lovers, fisherman, and of course, surfers. Tamarindo lies between two wildlife national parks and consists of one main road upon which lie the variety of hotels, cabinas and restaurants that have arisen due to increased tourism in the area. First time visitors to Costa Rica tend to fall in love with this tropical paradise, although many return visitors opt for quieter destinations such as Playa Grande or Nosara. It's also very close to Playa Avellanes and Playa Negra. PLAYA GRANDE Playa Grande is a good option for those looking to avoid the crowds often found in Tamarindo and surf world class waves right out their front door.. Grande offers one of the area's most consistent waves and there are several private house rentals located right on the beach. This offers surfers a more remote option than Tamarindo while still offering easy access (15 minute drive) to the amenities of the town. Grande has very few services such as restuarants, shops,etc, however, all house rentals are equipped with full kitchens (so, if you are not feeling like cooking, ask about our private chefs or head to Tamarindo). Getting There Tamarindo is accessed by paved road all the way from San Jose (4½ hours) or by shuttle plane (no boards over 7 feet) into the local airport. Playa Grande is accessed by paved road from San Jose and a 10 minute ride on the dirt road just outside of Tamarindo or by shuttle plane into the local Tamarindo airport (no boards over 7ft). Breaks Best Time: December ~ April Tamarindo is one of the best surf destinations as it is a great place to use as base to explore a wide variety of surf breaks within a short distance. Breaks within walking distance include the rivermouth, Langosta, Pico Pequeño (to name a few) and within a short drive you can surf Grande, Avellanas, Negra and a boat trip away from Witches Rock and Ollies Point. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 8 WITCHES ROCK - ACCESS BY BOAT ONLY (NORTH) 2 mile stretch of beach with hollow sand bottom beach breaks creating long lefts and rights. Take off can be steep, however offshores generally keep the wave open and easy to surf. Best conditions with a west/southwest swell at incoming to high tide. OLLIE'S POINT - ACCESS BY BOAT ONLY (NORTH) Right point at the rivermouth with fast, hollow waves that roll on the beach endlessly breaking over a rocky bottom (hence, Endless Summer II). Take off at a series of rocks with slow entry. Best conditions at outgoing to mid low tide and south/southwest swells. PLAYA GRANDE Exposed beach break just north of Tamarindo with hollow peaks. Can get crowded at the main peak but there are plenty of fun lefts & rights on the outside ref. & beach break. Best conditions at mid - high tide with offshore flow. RIVERMOUTH Solid right beachbreak with hollow waves as they hit the inside reef.. Best conditions on a due WEST swell with offshore flow and at mid-high tide. PICO PEQUEÑO A lava finger reef with a right that can be mushy to barrelling. Best conditions at a mid tide. Located south of the rivermouth. OLD'S MAN Known as a classic longboard wave with a sweet shoulder offering high, noseriding lefts & rights. Best conditions at mid tide with offshores. PLAYA LANGOSTA Exposed beach break just north of Tamarindo with hollow peaks. Can get crowded at the main peak but there are plenty of fun lefts & rights on the outside reef & beach break. Best conditions at mid - high tide with offshore flow. Places to Stay TAMARINDO VISTA VILLAS A surfer friendly hotel that is located on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and only 25 meters from the beach. This hotel offers 17 rooms and 16 luxury, spacious villas. HOTEL & VILLAS CALA LUNA Secluded at the southern end of Tamarindo and Playa Langosta. This enchanting hotel offers 21 luxury villas and 20 deluxe hotel rooms and by far stands in a class of its own. HOTEL TAMARINDO DIRIÁ This hotel is ideal for couples, families or for those looking to be right on the beach, in the center of town. HOTEL CAPITÁN SUIZO Located right on the beachfront in Tamarindo, is the ideal place to enjoy one of the most beautiful beaches of Costa Rica. The hotel offers 8 private bungalows and 22 luxurious hotel rooms. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page 9 PUEBLO DEL MAR CONDOS A Mediterranean style village offers 9 1-bedroom and 20 2-bedroom condominiums. Great for those longer stays. Centrally location for all your vacation needs including restaurants, bars and shopping. VILLA ALLEGRA BED AND BREAKFAST This Spanish style bed and breakfast offers a peaceful and tranquil environment with the Pacific Ocean as your front yard. Creative interiors from around the world offer a unique experience for the guests. VILLA LANGOSTA CONDOS Villas Langosta Condominiums are the ultimate in vacation rentals. Located directly on the beach of Playa Langosta Places to Eat NOGUI RESTAURANT/BAR Well priced, excellent local dishes, especially the fish and their famous desserts (banana pies, chocolate pie!). Located on the beach at the end of town in Tamarindo. LAZY WAVE Excellent cuisine offering a new menu every day with steak, fish and chicken specials. Very unique dishes with excellent chef. Moderate prices ($10-$15 per person). Located on the road to Langosta on the left hand side behind the Deli, across from the mini – market. LAS PALMAS Located right on the beach in the heart of Tamarindo offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes as well as other international cuisine. Excellent reviews! SHARK BITE DELI Good option for lunch offering fresh deli sandwiches including chicken, steaks, fresh meats, cheeses and salads. Try the chicken philly! STELLAS Excellent wood oven pizzas, fresh pastas, local dishes; great atmosphere under a large "rancho". TACO STOP Hearty tacos, burritos and quesadillas. Great option for lunch after an early morning session. Located on the road to Langosta. FRUTAS TROPICALES Local restaurant located next to the Economy Rent a Car office offering local dishes (gallo pinto, casados, etc.) at a very cheap price. DO NOT expect the best service… be patient as all good things come to those who wait! DRAGONFLY BAR & GRILL eclectic menu ranging from sushi to chilli rubbed pork chops, fresh fishes, steaks, etc. Located 100 meters behind the Hotel Pasatiempo www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page10 ALMA VIVA elegant but casual dining in Langosta· EL COCONUT located next to Economy Rent a Car, this restaurant has been completely renovated and the food is excellent. Fresh fishes, steaks, pastas with nightly specialis including fabulous desserts. Things to Do Tamarindo has a double portion of things to do around town - there is a nightlife, numerous restaurants, tours you can take. OTHER ADVENTURES • Boat trip to Witches Rock/Ollies Point - Experience the dreams of your endless summer! In order to get the best surfing in the area we leave from Tamarindo Beach on a small boat headed towards the Potrero Beach . The boat is leaving early in the morning from Tamarindo Beach for the best Surfspots around here, Witches Rock, Ollies Point and other secret spots. Left and right, tubes, the perfect waves. We have water and fruits on board an on the way back, we try to catch some fish for dinner. A must for everybody who came for surfing. • Sunsets at the Monkey Bar at the Tamarindo Vista Villas. Simply a fun place to watch the surf and sun go down. • Sunsets and drinks at the Bar La Palma located on the beach in Tamarindo just south of the Century 21 Office. • Day trip to Playa Flamingo. • Golf at Hacienda Pinilla or Playa Conchal. • Deep Sea Fishing - You definitely will not want to miss the opportunity to fish in some of the world's best fishing waters. Catch mahi mahi, sailfish, tuna in an exciting and unforgettable day long charter. • Rincon de la Vieja National Park - An all day adventure tour to the active volcano Rincon de la Vieja. Mount horses and take a nature trail down to the famous hot springs and mud pots, created by active volcanic activity underground. Optional canopy tour. • Kayak Estuary Tour - If you enjoy nature, our kayak tours makes exploring Tamarindo's estuaries easy. This tour will take you meandering through the slow estuary waters shaded by the extensive mangroves. Spotting birds, iguanas and crocodiles basking on the sun-drenched riverbanks are just a few of the highlights! • Scuba Diving - In the waters of Tamarindo you will find many species and marine life such as: giant manta rays, stingrays, barracudas, sharks, sea turtles and a variety of tropical fish! We can offer you any types of Certification, from the Open Water to Dive- Master. Our tip: try a Nightdive where you can appreciate the beauties of shining plancton, unforgettable. Things to Avoid Avoid trying to enter by car the center of Tamarindo on a Friday night between 5 – 7. Due to increased traffic, this becomes a parking lot! About Avellanes and Negra: Avoid parking at the beach with any valuables in the car. The remoteness which makes this area so attractive, also makes it an easy target for petty theft while you are in the water! www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page11 Surfing in Playa Avellanes and Playa Negra Introduction Playa Avellanes and Playa Negra offer some excellent surfing and for those looking for a remote vacation experience, these are the ideal destination. There are comfortable & affordable accommodations here within walking distance to the surf however the only services offered other than those found in nearby Tamarindo, are those at the hotel. This is an ideal location for surfers looking for a more relaxing, remote surfing vacation with less nightlife and more, dawn patrol sessions. Although most travelers opt to stay in Tamarindo and make the drive to these breaks, if you choose to stay at these locations for your surf vacation, the best way to enjoy these breaks is to stay at the respective hotel in front of the break (see list below). Getting There Avellanes and Negra are accessed by a dirt road from Huacas (just outside of Tamarindo). Check road conditions before driving (beach and internal road available). Breaks Best Time: December ~ April For those looking for a remote vacation experience, these are the ideal destination. PLAYA AVELLANES A series of rights and lefts from a rivermouth offering a series of peaks including reefs and beach breaks. The northern end of the rivermouth boasts an outside reef break, "Little Hawaii," which works best on a west or northwest swell and is ideal for longboarders.The rivermouth is a rock bottom right that can get very hollow and best at low tide in the am. PLAYA NEGRA 12 kilometers south of Tamarindo offering a rock-reef right break that is fast & hollow at low tide creating a picture perfect ride. Best conditions in the morning with a mid tide going out. Negra will pick up swell from many directions and crowds can be a factor. Places to Stay CABINAS LAS OLAS Located in Avellanes offering rustic, bungalows on a quiet property within a short walk to the surf. These are good options for budget travelers looking for basic accommodations and do not want to stay in Tamarindo. HOTEL PLAYA NEGRA The Hotel Playa Negra, consists of a few individual villa style cabinas spread along the beautiful beach of this area. HOTEL IGUANAZUL One of the nicest white sand beaches in all of Costa Rica (awarded Blue Flag). There is a nice beach break located five minutes down the beach. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page12 HACIENDA PINILLA Hacienda Pinilla is a peaceful haven on Costa Rica's beautiful Guanacaste Peninsula. It's been owned and operated by the same family for the last three decades. It also has an 18 round golf course. Places to Eat PABLOS PICASSO Located at Hotel Pablo Picasso, offering a large menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything from gallo pinto, casados, burgers as big as your head, fish tacos and more. Great place to hang out at night as well. HOTEL PLAYA NEGRA Beachfront dining offering breakfast, lunch and dinner with an international menu. From the restaurant, you will have outstanding views of the point in Playa Negra. Things to Do Nada. Just surf, dude. Not much nightlife, but there are some pretty cool treks that you can make, surfing and otherwise. Head north to Tamarindo for a variety of restaurants, shops and tour options. OTHER ADVENTURES • Boat trip to Witches Roca and Ollie's Point - Experience the dreams of your endless summer! In order to get the best surfing in the area we leave from Tamarindo Beach on a small boat headed towards the Potrero Beach. The boat is leaving early in the morning from Tamarindo Beach for the best surf spots around here, Witches Rock, Ollie's Point and other secret spots. Left and right, tubes, the perfect waves. We have water and fruits on board an on the way back, we try to catch some fish for dinner. A must for everybody who came for surfing. • Overnight Boat Charter, Witches Rock/Ollie's Point - same as above, but for 2 days of glorious surf. • Deep Sea Fishing - The Guanacaste region is famed for its sport fishing. We offer a wide variety of boats from smaller pangas , to full service yachts with all gear, providing access to the exhilarating experience of fighting a 300 pound Marlin or Sailfish ,Tuna , Mahi Mahi and Marlin in this memorable adventure. • Rincon de la Vieja National Park - This is an all day Adventure Tour to the active volcano Rincon de la Vieja . We start the day by driving through the Guanacaste countryside up to the capital city of Guanacaste , Liberia. We return with the sunset in the late afternoon. This tour includes chauffeur, bilingual guide, horseback ride, lunch, spa and natural trails. Canopy tour is optional. • Kayak Estuary Tour - If you enjoy nature, our kayak tours makes exploring Tamarindo's estuaries easy. This tour will take you meandering through the slow estuary waters shaded by the extensive mangroves. • Sunset Sail or Full day charters - We offer half day trips were we sail around Tamarindo Bay looking for marine life and enjoying the fabulous Tamarindo sunset; listening to sunset music (classical, modern, acoustic, whatever you want) Beer, white & red wine, soft drinks, snacks, dips and a plate of fresh tropical fruits . You can also take our half day Snorkel trip , discovering Costa Rican pacific waters which host a variety of tropical fish. You will find at least 50% of the fish species represented on the fish-chart that we carry on board. To be discovered are : Eels, puffer fish, trigger fish, rays and etc. Of www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page13 course, during the sail we set out to find dolphins, manta-rays, devil-rays and whales. Whales can be spotted from December throughout March & April. There are also possibilities to take full day Sailboat trips and leave everything behind you. Make the dreams come to life. • Scuba Diving - In the waters of Tamarindo you will find many species and marine life such as: giant manta rays, stingrays, barracudas, sharks, sea turtles and a variety of tropical fish !!!. We can offer you any types of Certification, from the Open Water to Dive-Master. Our tip, try a night dive where you can appreciate the beauties of shining plankton , unforgettable. • Horseback Riding - Whether you are an experienced rider or a beginner, we have the perfect horse for you. Our horses are well trained, of good size and very healthy. We leave twice a day. Included are refreshments and any other necessary transportation. We can't think of a better way than by horse to discover our hills, pastures, beaches and typical Costa Rican villages. • Ridley Turtle Nesting in Ostional - Experience the unbelievable phenomenon of thousands of Ridley turtle coming into shore to lay their eggs. This protected beach has a surplus of turtle eggs, so that they are actually harvested to allow baby turtles to have an area to be hatched in without being disturbed by surplus eggs. The " arribada " of turtles is distinctly unique and their arrival is based on the phase of the moon. • Palo Verde National Park Guaitil artisan village - This is a visit to the Palo Verde National Park, which is part of the basin of the Tempisque River . The lowlands and marshes create the perfect conditions for the largest concentration of waterfowl and wadding birds in all of Central America . This is a birdwatchers paradise. Things to Avoid Avoid parking at the beach with any valuables in the car. The remoteness which makes this area so attractive, also makes it an easy target for petty theft while you are in the water! Surf Shops and Surf Camps Surf Lessons - We think everyone should learn how to surf and there is no better place to learn than in the warm waters of Tamarindo, Costa Rica! The only thing you need is some swimming knowledge and a good sense of humor . Our instructors guarantee you will stand up and ride your first wave in just one lesson. The duration of the lesson is 1 ½ to 2 hours and includes the Surfboard you need. We also have advanced classes for for people who already have some knowledge. Learn to surf in the Costa Rican Surf mecca, you never forget it. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page14 Surfing in Nosara Introduction Nosara has become increasingly popular amongst traveling surfers as it offers a more laid back, relaxed atmosphere than its bustling neighbor to the north, Tamarindo, while boasting world class surf almost all year. The small community of Nosara offers visitors a unique experience with a variety of moderate accommodations, activities such as surfing, fishing, horseback riding and more. Nosara has become a popular destination for repeat visitors to Costa Rica who are looking for a different experience than Tamarindo or Hermosa. This is one of Costa Rica's most beautiful areas and the only noise that you will hear in Nosara is the sound of the waves crashing and the monkeys howling. Getting There Nosara is accessed by taking the ferry from Tempisque Ferry across the Nicoya Peninsula and then drive for 2 hours until reaching Nosara. There is also a small airport. Breaks BEST TIME: DECEMBER ~ APRIL This area receives consistent swells, good wind conditions and has become a popular spot for longboarders. JUNQUILLAL A beach break and a left reef that work better on higher tides. There are many peaks with hollow, fast rights and lefts. The waves jack up off the sandbar creating a tough entry. On a large enough swell, try surfing at Playa Blanca directly in front of the Iguana Azul which offers double overhead epic lefts. PLAYA MARBELLA Located between Junquillal and Ostional, this is one of the area's most consistent breaks offering excellent conditions with the presence of offshore winds. No services. PLAYA OSTIONAL Beach and reef break with rights and lefts that works on higher tides and south to southwest swells. Located north of Nosara. PLAYA NOSARA Great beach break with peaks and shallow rock reef lefts that get barrelling with a large south or southwest swell. PLAYA PELADA A rock reef on the north side which is best with a north swell at incoming high tide. Not very consistent and gets very crowded (L & S). www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page15 PLAYA GUIONES A beach break with a left point that works better at high tides and early in the morning. This area offers some of the most consistent year-round surf ranging from head-high to double overhead and much less crowded than the Tamarindo area. PLAYA CAMARONAL Located waaaay down there between Nosara and Mal Pais. Nice beach break that is surrounded by rocks. This break is very consistent and offers surf year-round Best conditions from the south, or southwest. Places to Stay The small community of Nosara offers visitors a unique experience with a variety of moderate accommodations. HARBOR REEF LODGE Located only 2 minutes walking distance from Playa Guiones. This Lodge is surrounded by jungle and gardens, and offers suites, cabinas and rooms which are all extremely comfortable and quaint with plenty of privacy and seclusion. CASA SERENITY Just what the names says. Pretty peaceful, a small place with fairly spacious rooms. Call for details. CASA PACIFICA A two-bedroom, two bath house that is about 200 meters away from the shoreline. The house can accommodate up to 6 people comfortably. Call for details. VILLA TAYPE Just minutes from the beautiful beach of Playa Guiones. It's a small hotel, with seclusion and jungle. Swimming pool. Places to Eat HARBOR REEF RESTAURANT Located at the Harbor Reef Lodge, excellent food open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Large portions, and great taste…Highly recommended CAFE DE PARIS Full bakery as well as hotel restaurant offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. MARLIN BILLS Some of the best food in town including fresh fish, as well as a large menu of international cruising located across from the Cafe de Paris on the hillside. THE GILDED IGUANA This is a local favorite for a hangout, grab a beer or enjoy their great food and full bar. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page16 LA LUNA One of the best meals and most romantic spots in Nosara. Located on the beach just before the entrance into the Hotel Nosara. You can have an incredible meal and watch the waves break on the beach just 50 yards away. BLEW DOG SURF CLUB Great place. Good food. All types of meals. Full bar. Very popular with surfers and locals. GIARDINO TROPICALE Just re-opened under new chef and is right around the corner from the heart of Guiones on the mail road. Offering a variety of foods from fresh fish, Italian food, pasta and pizza. Full bar. Things to Do Nosara is pretty egalitarian, laid back with incredible sunsets and beautiful coastline. Playa Rosada has a pink beach that's pretty interesting. Other Adventures Surf Lessons in Nosara - Instruction program is customized for each student. All instruction packages include 2 lessons each day, a one-on-one private lesson in the morning, and a late afternoon group lesson. Videotaping of the morning session is viewed during lunch, which is included. These are multiple day lessons, and it's very comprehensive. • Stop by the Harbor Reef for a post surf cocktail at their poolside bar • Guiones Beach - aside from excellent surfing, this is a great place to watch the sunset • San Juanillo Beach - excellent for snorkeling, or just a quiet day trip • Playa Rosada - visit the pink beach of Playa Rosada, located about 2 hours from • Canopy Tour in Nosara - Includes equipment, bilingual guides, transportation and snack. • Diving - Includes equipment, boat, captain & crew, snacks and beverages. Maximum 5 divers per boat. Trip to Samara, Trip to Garza, Trip to Coco Beach, Trip to Catalina Island, Trip to Bat Island, Resort Course, Open Water Course, Snorkel 2 hours, Snorkel 3 hours. • Horseback Riding - through the forest, including sunset beach spot. Also, we'll view the Mala Noche Waterfall. • Sport Fishing, Surfing & Ocean Tours - There are two boats that we have a special connection to that operate out of this area. The first is Aventura Pelada, which is a 23' boat, great for fishing or surfing (to remote places.) Includes food, drinks, bait and tackle. The second boat is from Half Moon Bay Charters, which takes southern and northern surfing and fishing tours to Camaronal and Marbella. Group packages available. Things to Avoid Nothing really. Pura vida, baby. Surf Shops and Surf Camps Surf camp: There are Instruction programs here, customized for each student. All instruction packages include 2 lessons each day, a one-on-one private lesson in the morning, and a late www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page17 afternoon group lesson. Videotaping of the morning session is viewed during lunch, which is included. Travel Packages Here are the surf travel packages for the Nosara region: The Surfer's Dream – check out www.surf-costarica.com for more information. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page18 Surfing in Mal Pais Introduction Mal País, located on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula, is another rising, yet still fairly untouched, surf destination in Costa Rica. Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is a very small community scattered along the pale, gold beaches with a beautiful backdrop of green vegetation. This area is ideal for surfers looking for a remote surfing experience with no nightlife, just good, consistent waves and a great atmosphere. Most waves in the area are best for intermediate surfers, however a large swell will put the area's more fickle reef breaks in epic form for advanced surfers. Getting There Mal País is accessed by taking a ferry from Puntarenas and then driving about 1 hour on mostly paved road into town. Breaks Best Time: December ~ April This area is ideal for surfers looking for a remote surfing experience with no nightlife, just good, consistent waves and a great atmosphere. PLAYA SANTA TERESA Good lefts and rights at this hollow beach break. Tends to pick up more swell than nearby breaks and holds shape better at low tide. Take a right at the crossroads and continue 3km. Best conditions on west/southwest swell. PLAYA CARMEN A beach break that peaks with some rock reef. This wave offers a long right wall and a shorter left breaking over a sloping sand bottom. When these breaks get big, try the nearby reef breaks in Manzanillo or to the south of Carmen. Best conditions on west/southwest swell. Places to Stay It's a very small community scattered along the pale, gold beaches with a beautiful backdrop of green vegetation. Very few services are available, though the accommodations are choice. TROPICO LATINO Tropico Latino Lodge is located directly on the beach at Santa Teresa de Malpais. There are six spacious comfortably furnished bungalows, each with a big porch and hammock. THE PLACE The spacious bungalows are surrounded by a lush tropical garden with water ponds and outside showers. Each room has a different theme, shape and accent. Great drinks and a restaurant (damn good steaks.) HOTEL FLOR BLANCA Honeymoon paradise…in our opinion, one of Costa Rica’s finest getaways. There are ten villas (three of which are two bedroom, two stories) set in gardens fashioned from the tropical forest, accessed by winding pathways of soft-edged flat pebbles. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page19 HOTEL MILAREPA Located on the northern end of Santa Teresa and directly on the beach with completely unique bungalows. Pretty romantic place, too. If you're a surfer couple, stay here. THE MARCH HOUSE One word: luxury. March House has the most spacious and comfortable accommodations in Mal Pais. Just one house, and a sanctuary for docile relaxation and meditation. It's also big bucks - if you're like some corporate exec that digs surfing, this is probably the place for you. Places to Eat FRANKS PLACE Very popular for breakfast in this open air restaurant, but also serving lunch and dinner with a varied menu. HOTEL FLOR BLANCA Poolside restaurant at the Flor Blanca offering the finest gourmet food in Mal Pais. Obviously a little expensive, but worth the money for a nice meal. HOTEL TROPICO LATINO Casual poolside dining offering a variety of international dishes at an affordable price. Portions are generous and the food is excellent. MARYS A favorite among locals, who return to taste the creative dishes at the crowded restaurant. Fresh fish is the specialty and prices are low to mid range. SODA PIEDRA DEL MAR A hidden local gem with very affordable dishes and large portions. LA BELLA NAPOLI Excellent homemade Italian food. LAS OLAS Excellent fresh smoothies. TROPICANA BAR Drinks and music in the evenings for those who still have the energy to be out in the evening (as most are in bed early preparing for the morning surf). Things to Do Nearby Montezuma is a great place for an all day trip, where you can visit the rose petal and dreadlocks hangout, as well as the gorgeous and numerous waterfalls. The Tropicana Bar has drinks and music in the evenings for those who still have the energy to be out in the evening (as most are in bed early preparing for the morning surf). Other Adventures • Canopy Tour in Mal Pais - A great canopy tour that shows the various layers and ecological niches of the rainforest. 6 hours of fun, with guide. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page20 • Surfing Lessons - 6 hours. Includes expert instructor. Have one of your non-surfer buddies come down and get 'em on a board! Besides, they need the exercise. • Horseback Riding - Includes naturalist guide. Great way to see Costa Rica and its savage nature. Things to Avoid Avoid driving to Mal Pais, or at least drive when there is light; the road traveling in is in bad condition, and bad enough when you can see where you are going. Also, be sure to plan your departure or arrival taking into consideration the ferry times across the Peninsula. Surf Shops and Surf Camps More information coming soon! www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page21 Surfing in Playa Hermosa / Jaco Introduction Playa Hermosa and nearby Jaco is THE definitive surf mecca of the central pacific coast. This area arguably offers the most consistent year-round surf with over 3 ½ miles of steep beaches with excellent exposure to swells from almost any direction. Although this area is extremely popular, there are so many peaks up an down the beach that you are likely to find an uncrowded, head high peak at almost any time of year. Playa Hermosa is a small community of surfer friendly hotels and small restaurants & all accommodations are located beachfront with surf right out the door. Because the surf in Playa Hermosa is more challenging than nearby Jaco, this area attracts a more experienced surfer. Playa Jaco, located just 2 short hours from the international airport, has become one of Costa Rica's most visited beach towns, especially amongst the traveling surf community. Jaco is a small, yet extremely active town geared towards surfers, parties & nightlife. As you walk down the "strip," you will find countless surf shops, restaurants, bars, discos and a variety of accommodations. Hermosa is geared more towards the hard-core surfer while Jaco is designed for the active type looking for plenty of hotels, surf shops, bars, discos and an overwhelming nightlife. Getting There One of Hermosa's greatest advantages: located just 2 hours on paved road from the international airport in San José. Breaks Best Time: May ~ November Because the surf in Playa Hermosa is more challenging than nearby Jaco, this area attracts a more experienced surfer. BOCA BARRANCA a very long left that breaks off a rivermouth. This is an ideal wave for longboarding as it does not get hollow, however on a good day, rides are up to 500yds.Best on south or southwest swell & dawn patrol. Water can be extremely dirty after a rain so be prepared! CALDERA a rivermouth break with a left breaking at low, incoming tide over a sand bar. This break needs a large swell from the south/southwest. Just to the south, you will find "El Hoyo" which is a thick, hollow right hand which forms off a jetty and breaks over a sand bar. It is more consistent than Boca Barranca. To get to " El Hoyo," you must enter the port and "convince" the guard to let you through. PLAYA TIVIVES & PLAYA VALOR Offering a variety of lefts and rights, beach breaks and rocky points (Valor). Tivives offers rights & lefts breaking with strong currents; the mouth of the river creates and almost perfect, tubular left (beware of crocs & dirty water). Valor is accessed by paddling across the river. Best at incoming high tide with a south swell (L & S). www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page22 PLAYA ESCONDIDA a horseshoe, A-frame reef break with a powerful, hollow left and mellower right. Be aware of low tides as rocks are exposed. Best at mid - high tide with a southwest/west swell. Boat access only from Herradura Bay. PLAYA JACO long beach with lefts and rights breaking and sandbottom and rocks. This area is smaller than Hermosa and a good option for beginners. Best in front of Cabinas Alice at the south end, in front of Disco in the middle, and in front of Copacabana at the north end. ROCA LOCA a right which breaks in deep water over a reef. It is one of the heaviest spots on the coast offering long, clean rights. Climb down the cliff just before the highway takes you down into Jaco. Paddle out through a narrow 8" wide channel visible on the inside reef at low tide. Best on a due WEST swell at low to incoming tide. PLAYA HERMOSA long stretch of beach offering some of the most consistent conditions on the Pacific Coast. A variety of sandbars have formed creating a pounding and tubular beachbreak. The following are the breaks that line this beach: • Terraza - a fast, hollow right breaking in front of a group of visible rocks. Several other breaks just south of this break offer less punishing waves breaking over a sandbar. Best conditions on a west/southwest swell from low to mid tide incoming. • Backyard - a very consistent sandbar located at the entrance to the dirt road in Hermosa. This wave breaks close to the beach and is generally hollow with rights and lefts. Best conditions on a southwest/west swell at mid - high tide incoming. • Almendro (Almond Tree) - breaking in deeper water than most of the hotel breaks, this break also offers a sandbottom with rights and lefts. Best conditions on a south/southwest swell at mid- high tide incoming. • Corners - breaking in even deeper water creating a little more size, more sandbottom rights and lefts. Generally bigger than northern breaks of Hermosa. Best conditions at low to mid tide and a west/southwest swell. • Tulin - located in front of the Soda Tulin about 10 minutes south of the Backyard, this break is consistently a few feet bigger than the hotel breaks. There is also a rivermouth break further south (with crocodiles) with a perfect line-up in ideal conditions. Best conditions at low tide on a west swell. ESTERILLOS Breaking over a sandbar on the inside and outside on a submerged reef. Generally outside breaks reforms on the inside for more beginner surfers. No crowds and best conditions at high tide on a south swell. To get here, travel south of Hermosa for 20 minutes and enter at Esterillos Oeste. BEJUCO Beach break offering long waves breaking close to the shore. Best conditions at mid - high tide on a south/southwest swell. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page23 Places to Stay Located just 5 minutes south of Jaco, Playa Hermosa is a small community of surfer friendly hotels and small restaurants. All accommodations are located beachfront with surf right out the door. BACKYARD HOTEL This newly built hotel sits right on the beach of Playa Hermosa. This hotel is ideal for those of you looking for surf out your backdoor and nice, relaxing accommodations. HOTEL FUEGO DEL SOL Located beachfront in Playa Hermosa, making it a perfect location for checking out the local surf. This small surfer friendly hotel was recently remodeled and under new administration, offering 15 rooms, a private pool, restaurant, bar and private parking. HOTEL TERRAZA DEL PACÍFICO The Terraza del Pacifico is a surfer friendly hotel located on the secluded, pristine black beaches of Playa Hermosa. HOTEL VILLA CALETAS The Villas Caletas is located high on a cliff over the ocean surrounded by rainforest, this tropical mansion and the surrounding private villas provide the ideal getaway for honeymooners/couples to enjoy the beauty of the Central Pacific in a first class environment. HOTEL MARRIOTT LOS SUEÑOS The brand new Marriott Los Suenos resort is an incredible resort that offers everything that one could imagine. This 202 room hotel, located only 5 minutes from Jaco has an 18 hole golf course, a private beach/marina, 6 restaurants and lounges, large pool, casino and entertainment center, lighted tennis courts, jogging trails, a 1,100 acre rainforest reserve and much more! HOTEL FIESTA, BARRANCA Long lefts at BOCA BARRANCA ALERT!…This beautiful resort comprises 230 rooms in 3 story building, featuring 143 standard rooms with two full size beds and 87 ocean view Jr. Suites with queen size bed and sofa bed. BEST WESTERN JACÓ BEACH The Best Western is a beachfront hotel that offers first class lodging in a resort atmosphere. HOTEL ARENAL PACÍFICO This new hotel sits beachfront Jaco at the more remote southern end of town. The hotel offers standard and suite rooms that are situated around beautiful gardens, old growth trees, and the local Jaco beach. HOTEL CLUB DE MAR Each villa has an ocean view and is designed to provide the concept of indoor/outdoor living in harmony with the surroundings. Places to Eat Although there are a few restaurants in the area, most choose to head into nearby Jaco for food, nightlife, shops, and more. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page24 --- IN JACO --- TSUNAMI SUSHI Excellent sushi with a lot of variety located in the center of Jaco in the second floor of the Galeone Mall. This is the best sushi in Jaco, and most likely better than you will ever find in the US! NACHO DADDY’S Located in the first floor of the Galeone Mall in the heart of Jaco. They offer excellent Mexican food including great nachos and incredible margaritas. At night it doubles as bar/club with reggae, hip pop and a little bit of house music late at night and good surf videos on a big screen. WISHBONE Our personal favorite…Located right in the heart of Jaco, this restaurant offers a variety of food from fresh tuna, sashimi, pizzas, burritos, pitas and more. Excellent atmosphere, good prices and we assure you will return here! TANGERI BBQ Towards the northern end of Jaco, this restaurant offers excellent steaks including a jalapeno tenderloin, as well as fresh fish, local dishes, salads, etc.. Large menu, with very accessible prices and great food. POLLO EXPRESS This place has very good roasted chicken at an excellent price located in front of the Beetle bar at the north end of Jaco. SUNRISE PLACE Located towards the northern end of Jaco on the main road, only open for breakfast offering a wide menu including pancakes, eggs, breakfast burritos, etc.. HOTEL POSEIDON Located on an access road to the beach passing the Colonial, you will find an excellent option for dinner with a variety of dishes including seafood, steaks, pastas, etc. MONICA’S Excellent homemade Italian food made by Monica and her mother… Located along the access road to the beach turning at the Colonial. Great food, family atmosphere, good prices. SODA LA AMISTAD In front of the Hotel Marparaiso, this is a great option for local food including casados, arroz con pollo, etc --- IN HERMOSA --- JUNGLE SURF Jungle Surf is a tiny restaurant located on the road across from the soccer field, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Although the menu is small, the food is fantastic in a very laid back picnic atmosphere. Nightly specials…BYOB www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page25 JAMMIN Located on the main road in Hermosa in front of the Cabinas, offering large portions and very affordable local dishes. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Surf atmosphere with reggae music and surf videos BACKYARD Variety of dishes ranging from Tex-Mex, and American food including burgers, quesadillas, etc..They are open from 10am – 1pm (breakfast coming soon) and at night, this turns into the happening bar in the area with ladies night on Wednesday and Friday. BROWN SUGAR CAFÉ This is a very small place right in the entrance of Hermosa Beach open from 6am - 6 pm They offer great natural juices,sandwiches and banana cake. No tables, but a great view of the surf and sunset! RANCHO TIPICO DE BETO Located 5 minutes south from Hermosa, offering a variety of local food at very accessible prices. They have great casados, fresh fish and ceviche! Things to Do Jaco is a small, yet extremely active town geared towards surfers, parties & nightlife. As you walk down the “strip,” you will find countless surf shops, restaurants, bars, discos and a variety of accommodations (including La Hacienda and Backyard Bar). This is the ideal destination for surfers or young travelers looking to be in the middle of the action. Carara Biological Reserve is located about 25 minutes north, you will find the unique opportunity to see the scarlet macaw, hundreds of species of flora and plenty of other wildlife including the occasional toucan. Local activities include surfing, fishing, canopy tours, horseback riding, kayaking, and more. Other Adventures • Surf Lessons in Hermosa - Duration is 2–3 hours, and includes transportation, surf instructor, surf board. • Tortuga Island Tour - The Original "Calypso Catamaran Cruise". Particularly enchanting for it's beauty, Tortuga Island is known for its immaculate white sand beach and turquoise waters, a perfect stop for swimming, snorkeling and Calypso's Famous Lunch. GREAT food. • Hermosa Canopy Tour - This is an exciting look at one of the few remaining transitional forest in Costa Rica . The Tour consists of 11 suspended platforms and a hanging bridge from tree to tree in order to reach the other platform, connected with steel cables, the total length around seven hundred meters (+2000 feet). The height of the platforms vary from 60 to 120 feet above the ground. • Kayak & Snorkeling in Jaco - Includes transportation, guide, kayak, water, fresh fruit buffet, snorkeling equipment. Duration: 3 hours approximately • Horseback Riding in Herradura - Includes transportation, guide, horses. • Sportfishing in Herradura - All full day charters include lunch, beverages, bait and tackle. • Manuel Antonio National Park - A half day trek that includes transportation, entrance fee & snacks. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page26 • Aerial Tram - What a ride! Includes transportation to and from the Park, meal, guide, optional hike, all transportation at the Preserve. The Pacific Rain Forest Tram is about two hours from San José (108 km) and is located 2 miles from the main entrance to Jacó Beach. • Carara National Park - Carara National Park covers a low mountainous area of 15,000 acres of an interesting 'transition' forest between the Dry Tropical Forest and the Rainy one. Home of many mammals, as well as the rare Scarlet Macaw and vast number of species of plants and trees. Appreciate the wonders of this intricate eco-system. And there's monkeys! • ATV Tour - Includes drinks & snacks. Explore Costa Rica with an ATV! Modern equipment with all the fixings. Things to Avoid Disco Central: once a great dancing spot, the ambience has turned a little dark and we recommend avoiding this area Do not park your vehicles on the beach or main road with ANY valuables inside as petty theft is created by temptation. Surf Shops and Surf Camps To many surf shops on The Strip to even mention. We'll have more information later as we compile. Travel Packages Here are the travel packages that we offer for the Jaco and Hermosa Region: The Surfer's Dream 1: Jaco/Hermosa Surfer 3: Tamarindo/Jaco Jumbo www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page27 Surfing in Manuel Antonio Introduction Manuel Antonio is a beautiful town located about 45 minutes south of Hermosa offering beginner surfers, or, surfers traveling with non-surfing partners, an excellent destination. Manuel Antonio is one of Costa Rica’s most visited destinations. It has it all - from the small town life offered in Quepos to the beautiful beaches of Manuel Antonio. Manuel Antonio combines breathtaking jungle and ocean views, exotic beaches, unique wildlife, a wide variety of adventure activities, friendly local & tourist community and plenty of restaurants and bars creating an unforgettable experience for travelers of all walks of life. Although this area is not known as a prime surfer destination (like Jaco, for instance), there are some fun beach breaks at the local beaches and some excellent uncrowded breaks within a short drive. Getting There Manuel Antonio is accessed by a paved road (almost completely) from San José (3 hours) or by a shuttle flight into the local airport in Quepos (no boards over 7 feet). Breaks Manuel Antonio caters more to the beginner and moderate surfer, however with a nice swell these local break can be fun for all surfers. Just outside of Manuel Antonio and Quepos you can find some of the nicest and most remote waves in all of Costa Rica. Best Time: May ~ November DAMAS RIVERMOUTH - BOCA DAMAS - ACCESS BY BOAT ONLY A very strong, and hollow right. This wave is best at low tide filling in with a mid size to large swell from the northwest or west. QUEPOS RIVERMOUTH - BOCA QUEPOS A long, perfect left coming off the pier. At low tide, you can catch hollow, strong waves. Needs a large swell to break. Best conditions with a west/northwest swell at low tide. Turd alert: water can be dirty. PLAYITAS A short beach break located at the northern most end of the beach in Manuel Antonio. Best conditions with a medium to large swell from the south/southwest at mid to high tide. With a big swell, you can also surf the outer reef with offers long, open rights, ideal for longboarding by paddling across the river... beware of crocodiles! MAR Y SOMBRA With the presence of a LARGE swell, this beach break offers a strong & often tubular left and right. Best conditions at mid to high tide and a large swell from the south/southwest. BAJO A strong, yet short left & right point located just south of Playitas. Best conditions with a small - medium swell from the south/southwest at mid - high tide. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page28 SECRET SPOT A reef break offering a long, perfect right running up to 200 meters. A very natural wave only surfable at low tide with a big swell from the S or SSW. (L & S). PLAYA EL REY Very similar to Playa Hermosa; this isolated beach break offers lefts and rights that close out with the presence of a big swell. Always bigger than nearby breaks so if you are in Manuel Antonio with non-surfers and are looking for relief, check this place out. No crowds with several peaks and is only accessible via a palm plantation about 15 minutes south of Quepos. Best conditions at mid - high tide incoming. Places to Stay MAKANDA BY THE SEA The Makanda is a luxury, romantic, adults only hotel offering contemporary Villas and Studios in a quiet jungle setting with a sunset ocean view. Makanda offers open air villas and studios throughout the beautiful jungle property. HOTEL COSTA VERDE This hotel offers some of the most spectacular views of the Manuel Antonio National Park and the surrounding beaches and jungle. The hotel offers efficiency rooms. HOTEL SI COMO NO Only 5 minutes from the beautiful Manuel Antonio beach and national park, this hotel is in the ideal location for enjoying the sunny beaches and warm waters of Costa Rica. HOTEL LA MARIPOSA One of the original hotels in Manuel Antonio. The Mariposa is a luxury hotel that sits on top of the hill in Manuel Antonio minutes from the beach, offering the best ocean views around. HOTEL VERDE MAR One of the few beachfront hotels in Manuel Antonio, the Verde Mar is an excellent choice for those of you who would like to have the beach in your back yard and jungles as a backdrop. Economy, standard and suite rooms are available. TULEMAR BUNGALOWS The Tulemar is located in the ever popular Manuel Antonio, offering a unique combination of ocean front pleasure and a dreamy mountaintop quality with awe inspiring views of the Pacific Ocean. This hotel's 645 sq. ft. bungalows are scattered. Places to Eat GRAN ESCAPE Our personal overall favorite… Located in Quepos offering a large menu with everything from burgers, wings, to fresh seafood, Mexican food, salads and excellent homemade desserts. Great food, great atmosphere, great choice! SUNSPOT AT MAKANDA The best food in Manuel Antonio... located at the Hotel Makanda by the Sea (no children allowed), this casual, poolside restaurant offers the best of gourmet food around. Dishes range www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page29 from smoked trout, to stuffed chicken, glazed tuna, pastas, pizzas, burgers (lunch menu only)…Try this and you will thank us! It is pricey, but well worth it! Great sunsets and fantastic appetizers as well… EL BARBA ROJA Located at the top of the hill just before the turnoff to the Hotel Makanda, Mariposa, etc…Some of the best views, great place for sunset drinks and appetizers. They offer a variety of foods including nachos, fresh fish, burgers and more. MAR Y SOMBRA Located on the beach in Manuel Antonio, offering a large menu of local dishes at rock bottom prices, but great flavor and large portions! ESCALOFRIO Located in the heart of Quepos, offering homemade pastas, thin crust oven pizzas and freshly made gelatos in dozens of flavors. KAROLAS Located at the top of the hill just before Café Milagro, offering outdoor casual dining with excellent food. Dishes range from fresh tuna, mahi mahi, burritos, steaks, and more. The menu offers plenty of variety with a unique flavor and friendly service. MAR Y LUNA Located on the hill with fantastic ocean views, offering the best in fresh seafood..Don’t be deceived by the exterior…the food is fantastic and the service is great. BAMBU JAM Located in the Mirador del Pacifico, offering excellent international cuisine, great presentation with a European influence. CAFÉ MILAGRO Located both in Quepos and at the crossroad in Manuel Antonio, offering the best in local coffee, as well as breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is a café style menu but full breakfast (very good) are available as well as a variety of sandwiches for lunch, etc. Things to Do Local activities including: sunset sails, jet ski tours, mangrove tours, kayaking, snorkeling, canopy tours, horseback riding, waterfalls, surfing, sportfishing and lots more. Then there is the beautiful Manuel Antonio National Park, a great escape for a morning hike. Experience the sounds of one of the country’s most popular parks. White sand beaches, calm waters, several species of monkeys, sloths, birds and plenty of flora. Playa Biesanz is a calm water bay located past the Hotel Makanda, great for snorkeling. For those interested in some nightlife, the Mar y Sombra turns on at night in the summer months, and is a great disco and hang out (generally a younger crowd). Same thing for the Arco Iris, located just outside Quepos. Other Adventures • Overnight Boat Charter, Witches Rock/Ollie's Point - 'nuff said. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page30 • White Water Rafting Savegre River - This full day adventure includes an incredible 4/wheel drive journey which takes you in to a very remote back country of the Río Savegre for a 4 hour guided Rafting trip with class II / III / IV rapids in rafts for 6 people. • White Water Rafting Savegre River Overnight - This TWO day adventure begins with a transfer from Manuel Antonio/Quepos or San José to San Isidro del General, the most important town on the southern Interamerican Highway. This isn't just an adventure, it's an excursion. • White Water Rafting Naranjo River - Only 30 minutes away from the Manuel Antonio / Quepos area the Naranjo River is the natural southern border of Manuel Antonio National Park. The section we run goes from the town of Villanueva in the mountains, to the Llamarón Bridge on the road from Quepos to Dominical. • Jungle Canopy Tour - The trip begins with an amazing drive trough the tropical rainforest where you will have the opportunity to spot toucans, Tití monkeys , poison dart frogs and more tropical plant life than you could ever imagine. • Rainmaker Canopy and River Walk - The Rainmaker Canopy Walk consists of a suspension bridge system, built to U.S. engineering standards. The six sections total 250 meters, spanning from platforms attached to massive hardwood trees to create the most impressive Canopy Walk in Costa Rica. Have to see it to understand, but it's impressive, trust us. • Kayak Coastal Paddle - Enjoy a paddling tour of the Manuel Antonio coastline. We start at the pier in the port of Quepos and begin paddling south towards Playa Espadilla, Manuel Antonio. From a vantage point only possible in kayaks, we will experience Manuel Antonio's breathtaking cliffs and beautiful rock formations as we follow the coastline. • Kayak Mangrove Estuary Tour - Paddle through the smooth inland waterways of the Damas Island Estuary, one of the most unusual types of vegetation on the planet, and learn the importance of this delicate ecosystem. • Night Damas Island Kayak - A new experience, super interesting for those visitors, looking for a new option and it is to paddle Damas Island estuary at night, easy for every one, with our company and our specialized equipment that is not going to affect or change the mangrove ecosystem. We are going to observe and great variety of animals that lives here and in whish cases its habitat is nocturnal (which is most of the animals here) in a fresh and relaxing ambience. • Manuel Antonio National Park Guided Tour - Have an experienced nature guide take you on an informative hike through the park. Our guides know where you are most likely to encounter sloths, and monkeys. They will also provide a great deal of information on the history, flora and fauna during this easy 2.5 hours walk. • Damas Island Estuary Boat Tour - This excursion includes an explanation about the history of Quepos and how it was founded. Always searching for excellence, one will be treated to the latest boats with eco-friendly motors that make this trip a pleasant and unforgettable experience. The guides are enthusiastic and knowledgeable of the nature within the area. • Nauyaca Waterfall Tour - Come with us to see the most beautiful waterfalls in the country! Cascading 25 & 40 meters into a 8 meters deep pool for swimming. The horseback tour offers you more contact with nature and a better chance of seeing wild life. • Dolphin Watch Tour - Marvel at the mysterious islands with their jagged rock formation, towering cliffs and nesting grounds with numerous species of marine birds and their young. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page31 • Deep Sea Fishing - We offer a wide variety of boats from smaller pangas to full service yachts with all gear. Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Mahi Mahi and Marlin! Experience the world class fishing that has made these waters famous. • Carara Biological Reserve - This tour is a must for anyone with a serious interest in nature. A premontane moist forest, Carara National Park is “an excellent reserve that has wildlife of both the Guanacaste tropical dry forest and tropical wet forests of southern Pacific Lowlands” (Carrol L. Henderson, Wildlife of Costa Rica). Things to Avoid Be careful driving on the curvy road from Quepos to Manuel Antonio in the evening as this can be dangerous. Surf Shops and Surf Camps More information coming soon.... www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page32 Surfing in Dominical Introduction Dominical is a good option for those looking for similar conditions to Playa Hermosa in a more relaxed atmosphere. The surf here is mostly beach break, however, tends to close out on bigger swells as it is not as steep as Hermosa. There is a point break just to the south which offers some good surf on a bigger swell. Where the Talamanca Mountain Range gently slopes into the South Pacific Ocean and waterfalls cascade down and spill onto the beaches, you will find the small town of Dominical. Dominical, is a small laid back town surrounded by pristine rainforest and beautiful coastlines. This surfer’s paradise offers great surf, numerous local restaurants, bars and a wild nightlife. Dominical is geared towards serious surfers who wish to avoid the heavy crowds of Playa Hermosa and are looking for a more relaxed, tropical atmosphere. Getting There Dominical is accessed by a dirt/gravel road from Manuel Antonio (1 hour) which can be accessed by paved road from San José or shuttle flight into the local airport of Quepos. Breaks Best Time: May ~ November Dominical is a good option for those looking for similar conditions to Playa Hermosa in a more relaxed atmosphere. PLAYA DOMINICAL Strong beach break with lefts and rights. Fairly consistent break, located about 45 minutes south of Quepos. The northern end of the beach offers bigger sets while the southern end is better for intermediate surfers. Best conditions at mid - high tide. Manuel Antonio is to the north with more breaks > Places to Stay HOTEL VILLAS RIO MAR The Rio Mar is situated on the banks of the Baru river. This jungle resort offers a relaxing environment with first-class hospitality. The resort consists of 40 thatched roof bungalows. HOTEL ROCA VERDE A 10-room boutique hotel. The Roca Verde is tucked away in its own secluded cove in Dominical, offering plenty of privacy and seclusion. Places to Eat TORTILLA FLAT Located in front of the main surf spot in Dominical offering local food (great casados), as well as burritos and tacos. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page33 Things to Do There is the muy impressive and unique Nauyaca Waterfalls, an experience that you will not soon forget. Be sure to check out Roca Verde; this hotel’s disco is THE hangout for Saturday night. Also check out Thrusters, a trendy hangout amongst the surfers. There is an excellent day trip to Hacienda Baru, a dense rain forest, including hiking, wildlife, endless trails, canopy tours, and more. Other Adventures • Nauyaca Waterfall Tour - Kayak Tours, Waves & Caves - Includes drinks, fruits, equipment, guide, transportation. • Kayak & Snorkeling - This tour is operated from Mid December until the end of April. • White Water River Kayaking - Get on another type of board and jam some rivers! • Corcovado National Park - Includes breakfast, land & boat transportation, bilingual guide, park entrance and lunch. • Rafting Tour / Savegre River - Includes breakfast at ‘El Silencio’, transportation to the river, equipment, guides & lunch. • Snorkeling Caño Island - Includes guide, park entrance, boat & land transportation, lunch, equipment. Things to Avoid Avoid making the drive to Dominical in the evening as the road is not in good condition and can make for a stressful arrival. Surf Shops and Surf Camps More information coming soon! www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page34 Surfing in Pavones Introduction Pavones is one of Costa Rica's most famous surf breaks offering one of the world's longest lefts which, on a good day, can connect for 2 - 3 minute rides. The wave has several sections which allow for carving, pumping and, of course, showing off for the folks sipping on their Imperials at the Cantina at the end of the break. This area is extremely remote and if you can catch it on a good day, the logistical nightmares surrounding your arrival will be well worth it. However, there are many things to consider before traveling to Pavones. Due to its location on the interior of the Golfo Dulce, it is blocked from many swells and can go for weeks with no surf. Moreover, once the swell hits, it is common to see a large crowd of international travelers (+ the protective locals) battling for position. We recommend not going here until you know there is surf... because once you get there, it's a long way back! Getting There Access to Pavones is achieved via a paved road all the way down south or fly into Golfito (no boards over 7ft) and catch a cab down to Pavones. Breaks Best Time: May ~ November This area is extremely remote and if you can catch it on a good day, the logistical nightmares surrounding your arrival will be well worth it. PAVONES The legendary Pavones... point break left, with great distance in rides - almost .75 miles. Yes, that's miles. Obviously, one of the longer breaks in the world. This break is erratic but when it's good, it's reaaally good. PUNTA BANCO a reef break with rights and lefts located just south of Pavones. Good place to check out if Pavones is too small or too crowded. Best conditions at mid to high tide with a swell from the south, or west (L & S). PUNTA BURICA - ACCESS BY BOAT ONLY (SOUTH) Welcome to the end of the world. Very, remote & powerful reef breaks located on the very tip of Costa Rica on the border of Panama. Best conditions with a swell from the south or SSW. Accessible only by boat. Places to Stay There are very few hotels in the area and almost no services. This area is extremely remote and all power here is provided by solar energy. There are really no restaurants, bars, shops to speak of and therefore, all hotels include all meals in their stay. CABINAS MIRA OLAS Spacious cabins with kitchen and private bath in a jungle setting above the pavones´surf break. It´s location allows easy access to the beach and stores. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page35 CABINAS LA PONDEROSA La Ponderosa offers 5 cabins with view of the ocean, private bathrooms with hot water, ceiling fans, accommodating up to 4 people. 3 of those cabins have a/c. You will find a separate dining area and recreation area as well. CASA SIEMPRE DOMINGO Located up in the mountain, this hotel offers 4 large rooms with private bath. Each room offers a double beds or 2 double beds and one single bed. Places to Eat As stated before, none. All hotels do include meals, though. Things to Do If you plan on doing anything other than surfing, reading and meditating, you have come to the wrong place! Things to Avoid Avoid pissing off the locals, who can be territorial. You're a long way from home, dude. Surf Shops and Surf Camps There is a surf shop on premises at Cabinas La Ponderosa. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page36 Surfing in Matapalo Introduction Situated on the extreme tip of the Osa Peninsula, Matapalo offers the extreme adventurer with an opportunity to witness one of the few untouched, pristine regions in Costa Rica. Matapalo combines dense jungles, breathtaking beaches, world class surfing in a peaceful, remote setting. Matapalo offers three excellent point breaks that, with the right swell, will make any traveler unpack, and stay a while. However, there are several downsides to staying in Matapalo. First of all, the surf is not very consistent. Second, because this area is one of Costa Rica's few remaining pristine destinations, the "locals," (which in this case, any American who got there before you), are not very welcoming to new faces. Also, it is important to mention that this area is extremely remote and all power here is provided by solar energy. There are no restaurants, bars, shops and therefore, all hotels include all meals in their stay (which means rustic accommodations, does not mean "rustic" prices! Getting There Access to Matapalo is via a paved road from San José all the way down south (there are some sections towards the end that are not paved…4x4 recommended) or via a shuttle flight to the local airport of Puerto Jimenez and then a one hour cab ride into Matapalo. Breaks Best Time: May ~ November World class surfing in a peaceful, remote setting. Finicky, though. PLAYA MATAPALO A powerful, and steep right hand wave that breaks best at mid tide offering fast rides. Because it faces the open ocean, it picks up more swells & is more consistent than nearby breaks. Best conditions at mid tide and a west/southwest swell. BACKWASH A large, yet slow right that breaks over a reef in the middle of breathtaking Backwash Bay. Due to the steep beach, the waves generally jack up creating steep sections; great longboarding. Not as consistent as Matapalo, however, when it is going off, outshines Matapalo. Best conditions from mid- low tide and south/west swell. PAN DULCE A long right point break that needs a large swell to work. With ideal conditions, you can expect up to 500 yd tubular rides. This wave has several fast sections that break over a rocky bottom. Best conditions with a large swell from the south at mid tide. Places to Stay This area is extremely remote and all power here is provided by solar energy. There are no restaurants, bars, shops and therefore, all hotels include all meals in their stay. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page37 HOTEL BOSQUE DEL CABO Bosque del Cabo with its private, cliff top bungalows is a romantic getaway and a naturalist’s dream come true. Private spacious bungalows offer beautiful ocean views, tropical breezes and the rainforest at your doorstep. HOTEL LAPA RIOS This secluded luxury resort consists of 14 private comfortable cabinas that are surrounded by the lush rain forests of the Osa Peninsula. This area is home to its own private 1000 acre private reserve. ENCANTA LA VIDA LODGE Encanta La Vida is in the deep jungle where there is the highest density of wildlife in all of Costa Rica - and that's saying a lot. The Casona suitable for families and larger groups. Places to Eat As stated before, none. All hotels do include meals, though. Things to Do No bars or nightlife. Just the insects, birds, monkeys, and incredible surf. Hey, you didn't come here for ribs, you know? There are a few interesting tours, though... Other Adventures • Surf Lessons - there are surf lessons here, duration is about 2-3 hours. • Tree Climbing - HUGE trees, includes guide and equipment. • Waterfall Repelling - Boy, don't we just think of everything. Sounds strange, but really, it's fun. • Dolphin Watching - You might have seen one or two in the water, but this is up close and personal. Includes guide, snorkeling, transportation to and from the pier in Puerto Jimenez. Things to Avoid Avoid trying to enter by car the center of Tamarindo on a Friday night... busy busy. Surf Shops and Surf Camps More information coming soon.... www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page38 Surfing in Puerto Viejo. Introduction Puerto Viejo has certainly most known for being home to what has been called the heaviest wave in Costa Rica: Salsa Brava. Salsa, although fickle, has definitely earned this reputation offering a thick "sauce" breaking over a shallow reef. The wave is very competitive and certainly, for experts only. More intermediate surfers can check out the beach break just south at Playa Cocles. The Caribbean coast is quite different than the Pacific as you will find it is not as nearly built up and the culture/atmosphere is even more laid back than other parts of Costa Rica. Getting There Drive 2 hours east from San José until you reach Limon and take a right and continue for one hour until you reach Puerto Viejo Breaks Best Time: November ~ March Puerto Viejo is an ideal location for laid back surfers and travelers looking to avoid the more commercialized Pacific coast. ISLA UVITA - ACCESS BY BOAT ONLY This island located off the coast of Limon offers an excellent, yet, dangerous left that breaks on a reef. This is most powerful left in Costa Rica with three sections and facing a coral reef. Best days offer waves with 10 ft faces and is accessible only by boat from Limon. BLACK BEACH Offers a great beach break with waves year round. Best conditions in the early morning with swell from the south or east at almost any tide (L&S). SALSA BRAVA A thick Hawaiian style wave that builds in deep water and breaks over a shallow reef. Offers both lefts and rights, however the right is generally faster, with a steep entry. This is most powerful wave in Costa Rica and the best conditions with an easterly swell which can produce up to triple overhead surf. PLAYA COCLES This beach break offers a more consistent break with lefts and rights breaking close to the beach. This wave tends to jack up with a big swell due to the steep beach entry ...beware of currents. Best conditions in the early morning before the winds blow it out. However, you can surf here all day as the wind often improves the lack of form. Places to Stay There are a variety of accommodations in Puerto Viejo, however, we recommend heading just south to Cocles. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page39 VILLAS DEL CARIBE The Villas del Caribe consist of twelve fully equipped villas located amidst a coconut grove, on the beach and combine maximum enjoyment of nature with utmost comfort, cleanliness and safety. CASA CAMARONA LODGE The Casa Camarona offers eighteen guest rooms that are beautifully appointed in the rustic style of the Costa Rican Caribbean. EL PIZOTE LODGE Set about 10 walking minutes west of the town Puerto Viejo on a quiet backroad, just across from the black beach. All rooms are spacious and have two double beds, ceiling fans and hot water. SIA TAMI LODGE A rustic but amiable lodge of 10 houses build in the most authentic Caribbean style, respecting the environment and integrating perfectly in the idyllic landscape. Places to Eat MI SAM Located in the heart of Puerto Viejo offering the best of local cuisine. We recommend, believe it or not, the “rice & beans”. Very good food with great prices. TAMARA Another great option for affordable local food with large portions and great prices. STANFORD Located right in front of Salsa Brava, offering excellent seafood and great views. MAXIM Located in Manzanillo, south of Puerto Viejo, one of the best restaurants in the area. Great seafood, lobster and a variety of other local dishes. Things to Do This Caribbean getaway is home to reggae music, "smoking" nightlife and an overall, unique experience for surfers, backpackers and "eco" tourists. Get yer jam on. Other Adventures • Rafting Pacuare River - Includes transport, breakfast, lunch, equipment. • Snorkeling In Cahuita - Explore the underwater wildlife in pristine conditions. Includes transportation, boat, fruits & beverages, bilingual guide, equipment. Min. 2 pax. • Canopy Tour in Puerto Viejo - 4 hours of cable rides in a lush tropical setting. Includes transportation, guide, equipment, fruits & water. • Indian Reserve - Includes transportation, beverages & bilingual guide. • Tour To Tortuguero - Includes roundtrip transportation by car from hotel to Puerto Moin, roundtrip transportation by boat to Tortuguero, 1 night stay in Cabinas Tortuguero, breakfast, tour to the National Park, park fee & bilingual guide. www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page40 • Tortuguero Jungle Kayaking - Includes transportation by bus & boat, bilingual guide, all meals, equipment, accommodations in Mawamba Lodge. Things to Avoid None. It's really laid back. Surf Shops and Surf Camps More information coming soon.... www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page41 Final Words... We wanted this PDF file to be informative for you, the surfer, but we gotta make a living. So allow us a few moments to plug our business ... and why if you ARE coming to Costa Rica for surfing, why you should go with us for surf travel to Costa Rica. My name is Todd Cutter, owner of Alacran Surf Tours and www.surf-costarica.com. Why go with us for surf travel in Costa Rica? We could write a book, but we'll give you the highlights: We're Experienced We have over 20 years of combined experience in Costa Rica surf travel and know surfer's needs. Not only have we learned all the surf spots in both well known and remote destinations, but we also know the microculture of each zone, where to eat, stay, have fun, best times to go, and more. We also know how to combine surf packages for a cost-effective surfing trip. We have personal relationships with many of the hotels and local surf experts; we're all working together down here to make your surf travel special and fulfilling. We're Specialized * We specialize in surf travel * We specialize in Costa Rica travel These are the two biggest reasons to go with us. Unlike some travel agents that tout vacations to Costa Rica, a family of 4 is not the same as 4 surfer friends looking for the best surf in Central America. There are many special needs you have, such as board travel, striking distance to breaks, nightlife and culture for surfer crowd, and the Pura Vida (pure life) attitude. We make sure that you're taken care of as a visitor and surfer. We Live Here We also live and work in Costa Rica, and breathe this place in every day. This keeps us more in touch with the Costa Rica travel market. We're Dedicated to Your Satisfaction Read our testimonials page. These are people that have been on our surfaris before. Some are even surfing families or married surfers. We think that shows how dedicated we are. Of course, proof is in the pudding, so contact us toll-free and find out for yourself. We truly are dedicated to your satisfaction and want you to spread the word about us. We'll work for your business, just like you work for good waves. Our services are unlike any others that you will find and we are confident that you will be 100% satisfied, if not overwhelmed with the level of efficiency, customer service and attention to details that we strive to offer. In Closing... Give us a call! We’re here to help. Sincerely, Todd Cutter email@example.com www.surf-costarica.com Surf Travel Guide 888.427.7769 e page42
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