Costa Rica info

Yeah this isn’t a board building question but more of a board testing question. I’ve been given the opportunity to go to Costa Rica for a week at the end of next month. We’re planning on staying in Tamarindo with a 4x4 and maybe going down as far as Jaco for 1-2 days on the way out of the country. I’ve searched the archives and gotten some info but I’d appreciate any updated info. I’m a mellow longboarder looking to cruise and glide some nice silky faces. Any info is appreciated. If you’d like to keep it confidential or take it off line you can e-mail me at Thanks. Surfore

surfore- ive been to costa a bunch of times, so here is my .02 get out of tamarindo as fast as possible & use the 4x4 to head south. south along the coast, not inland towards jaco. the nicoya peninsula is just a great place to be a surfer with four wheel drive. plenty of places to stay, plenty of places to surf, plenty of places to cool off with an imperial- but still empty enough to feel like an adventure. if you are interested, ill give you specifics, but sometimes its more fun to just check it out yourself. the last bit of advice ill give is that if you are getting into san jose late, then look into the airport hampton inn- its spitting distance to all the car rental places, and almost on top of the pan-american- the perfect place to start your trip early the next morning. getting out of san jose at night is a whole different adventure. overall, just the nicest people in the world. attempt to speak spanish before you leave- if for no other reason than to make someone else laugh.

No kidding, get OUT of Tamarindo? Any particular reason? I’m going to be heading down there in May, and was thinking about tamarindo myself. I’d love to hear some recommendations as to where to go.

Try Mal Pais I was there for xmas fun waves no crowds mellow vibe. Should be cheap in May as well.

If you can get to Boca Barranca, that is an unreal longboard wave. A slightly bigger swell and you can ride anything. There’s a nice hotel right there (Alegro Fiesta, I believe) if you want to stay a few days. Easy drive 45 minutes south if you want to go to Jaco or Hermosa. Both of those spots, especially Hermosa, can get very heavy…not exactly mellow. Be prepared to charge if you ride your longboard (and get ready for some tubes!). Tidal swing is extreme at all spots listed above and can really effect how heavy / mellow the wave is. As for Tamarindo, I liked it. It is a little built up, however, and consequently can get crowded. Try Playa Grande just across the rivermouth to the North (usually bigger and less developement as it is more of a “nature preserve” area, or so I think). Also try Playa Langosta just to the south…all of this is in the Tamarindo area. boards: 9’8 volan single 9’2 volan single 7’0 single

surfore- i guess i was a bit harsh towards tamarindo- it is costa rica, and there are heaps of fun waves, but if you have the time and the willingness to do some exploration, the drive south along the coast (or across the ferry from temisque) is truly a great experience. fun, not as core as the osa peninsula, and lots of longboard friendly waves. tamarindo feels like a socal surf town in central america- nothing bad to say about either of them, but if thats not what you are looking for, check elsewhere dubstar’s post about barranca is the truth- an excellent wave with a really nice hotel, but the surrounding area (punteranas) is not all that great. we usually hit that the first and last day of a trip due to its proximity to san jose. im not quite sure how i feel about posting all the spots along the way that we’ve surfed- im pretty sure none of them are secrets, but ive never been comfortable giving that stuff up over a big forum like this- not becuase it would bother me, but because it may bother someone else. by all means, if you are interested in a trip outside of tamarindo, let me know and ill send you an email. pura vida john

sorry josh- i thought surfore posted that last one. same response applies-

johnO is right…puntarenas is not great (you won’t be wanting to stroll through the main part of town). And there are other spots in the vicinity, you just need to look, and places you can get boat trips to secluded waves, both near jaco and above Tamarindo…just do a little searching!

Yeah, that would be cool. Of note is that I’ll be traveling with my girlfriend, who has been surfing about 3 years and has just made the switch to a shortboard. She’s by no means high-maintenance and enjoys foreign travel. She’s not really looking for anything too heavy, but I’d like something a bit on the juicer/hollow side. Keeping in mind that I’m not necessariy looking for the ultra core trip may help in suggestions. [smile] Thanks in advance for any help, and my email is if you want to take this off-list.

I think Tamarindo is good because you have a variety of waves…classic longboard waves, slightly juicer in playa grande, etc. (of course, this all depends on swell, wind, tide, and so on). Also the ability to explore the surrounding area on day trips. I have to say that Boca blew my mind, I was up every morning at 4:30 AM and usually surfed the last session until PITCH black. Plus, as I said Jaco and Hermosa are nearby, with potential for exploration. Also the rain forest between Jaco and Boca is cool to check out. You split the the trip between the two areas…go to Boca form San Jose, stay a few days (the hotel is nice),then drive to Tamarindo and check that scene. Although there are many “heavy” waves, there is plenty of variety to kepp you both happy. One word of warning…if you lose your board at Boca, the barnacles on the rocks are sharp!

Hey thanks for the great responses. I’m kinda tagging on to this trip and would like to bring a little bit of adventure (with some degree of senility) into the mix - like a boat trip. So far everything is planned/booked as far as getting there: In San Jose we’re at the Hotel Presidente and then we’re off to our hotel in Tamarindo where we’ll use as a base as we jump off to other places. johnO please feel free to e-mail me at