Costa Rica

I am going to Costa Rica in mid February. I wanted to stay in Jaco/Playa Hermosa area but people told me it was better North in Tamarindo. I am a longboarder and not looking for double overhead by any means- just a long fun wave. I appreciate your input: 1) Hermosa or Tamarindo? 2) Do I really need a rental 4X4? 3) Have any of you used Tico travel or Third World Productions to organize your trip? 4) Any advice/suggestions on what to do when I am not surfing? Thanks in advance.

forget Hermosa it will beat your ass with a lonfboard definatly Tamarindo! How long are you going for? I would get a four wheel drive, last time I was down we rented a Toyota Corolla (like fools) and barely got over the dirt roads and the insurance deductuble is about $1000.00 . Go to Tamarindo and drive south plenty of fun waves and if you look good uncrowded surf.

i used tico and they were great. got me a good deal on car rental, places to stay, the whole thing. definitely get a 4x4. you may never really need it but getting stuck in the middle of nowhere sucks. i’d say skip hermosa and go to tamarindo. i like malpais(south of tamarindo at the bottom of the nicoya peninsula). great area, still uncrowded. stayed in a great place there called the tropico latino. when i go back i’m heading straight there and staying put. have a good one.

Just go on your own and rent a car. We rented a car and were fine, but a mini SUV type car (doesn’t have to be 4 X 4) would be best. Tamarindo is the best bet for waves, though they can get double over head. We tried Jaco/Playa Hermoso-------got scunked!!! Go where the waves are, don’t need to go to witches rock, but try Tamarindo at least. What to do in Costa Rica when not surfing…hiking, reading…if you don’t bring a girl bring motion lotion because they are no chicks in Tamarindo and it is full of guy surfers.

Dont forget about Boca,LONGGGGGGGG left, great longboard wave.

Howzit Me, The nicoya peninsula has plenty of waves to offer. Tamarindo hotels can be a little costly and when I was there we got skunked there but right up the road is Playa Blanca and when Tamarindo bay is flat the playa can be going off and you can stay there for less. We actually got some of our best waves at Hermosa and we were on longboards and had no problem with the power, then again being from Hawaii we are used to juicy waves. Aloha, Kokua

Shoot, I should have mentioned- part of the reason for the trip is to graduate from the longboard so next Hurricane season here on LI, I’m ready. But you are still saying Tamarindo, eh? Thanks for all the insight. I am psyched for this trip. Have a Merry Christmas everyone! -Tom

From a shortboard perspective: If you rent a vehicle, most places aren’t a huge drive if you’re staying a week or so. The whole dang Pacific coast is shorter than Florida. In one week, we did Dominical, stayed a few days in Pavones (well worth waiting for a swell. . . WHOOO! And on the first two waist high days, some longboarders were having a blast). Then we hit Avellanas, cruised on up to Playa Grande, hit Boca (I wish I had the longboard then- it’s seems to be made for it), went back down to Hermosa (doable on a LB at high tide the first time, but mostly a shortboard funfest). After my friends left, I still had a couple weeks unused vacation time, so I ditched the rental (a 4x4, but we only used that feature twice- heavily around the Pavones area, and once when we went up the road north from Playa Grande). I stayed in Jaco for $9 a night and took a taxi to Roca Loca, Hermosa, up the road around Herradura (spelling?), and even caught a peak just north of Jaco on a non-closed out head high day. All those waves were a shortboard dream, so if I was going through the expense of bringing a longboard and wanted to focus on that, I would focus on spots up north and trying to catch Boca on a good day, but it’s easy to be flexible there if you change your mind. Just don’t get locked into a commitment of staying on one place. -Garrick

check out Mal Pais, santa carmen is an awesome longboard spot on high tides.Santa Teresa is a steeper, more hollow wave and works on the low tide, thus there is working most tides in the area. consistant swell makes this area a good spot to stay a while. plus it takes a while to get there, so you will want to stay a while. You can take public transpo, or rent a regular car and go, in Feb. no 4x4 necessary. rental cars are expensive and not really a necessity.

First off, you really should get the 4X4. It’ll allow you to go to places a normal car couldn’t. And believe me, there are plenty down south. If you’re going to the north of Costa Rica, maybe you’ll want to cross the border and try out Nicaragua (some of my most memorable surfing moments). You’ll find perfect pointbreaks that you’ll have all for yourself. There are not too many surfers in Nicaragua, and there are plenty of surfspots. So crowds are no issue. To surf Nicaragua though, the 4X4 is an absolute necessity.