Costa Rica surf trip

mpow89's picture
mpow89 started the topic in Saturday, 26 Sep 2015 at 11:03pm

Hey team. Am looking at heading to Costa Rica early May 2016.
Doing research re options at present and wanted to know if anyone has been there and has recommendations re locations, crime/safety/danger issues, surf spots, water quality etc?

So far I am thinking my 9 nights will be at Tamarindo and include a few boat trips to Witchs Rock/Ollies Pt if I can save the $$ (chasing my Endless Summer fantasies I know). Looks like Witchs Rock Surf Camp at Tamarindo is pretty reasonable (restaurants, rooms, surf guides etc). I am looking for something mid-luxury, nothing crazy but not a tent haha. Any help very welcome....

Thanks heaps, Matty

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 6:16pm

Spent three months there back in 98 but I imagine it's changed a lot since then. You've really got to get down to Pavones.. An incredible wave that'll burn ya thighs. Back then Tamarindo was quite touristy so I imagine it hasn't changed much. I also had a couple of good weeks at Playa Negra, there are some great waves in that region. If you're staying up north then see if you can find some time to cross the border into Nicaragua - some great waves up that way and it doesn't appear to be quite as busy as CR.

mpow89's picture
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mpow89 Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 6:48pm

thermalben wrote:

Spent three months there back in 98 but I imagine it's changed a lot since then. You've really got to get down to Pavones.. An incredible wave that'll burn ya thighs. Back then Tamarindo was quite touristy so I imagine it hasn't changed much. I also had a couple of good weeks at Playa Negra, there are some great waves in that region. If you're staying up north then see if you can find some time to cross the border into Nicaragua - some great waves up that way and it doesn't appear to be quite as busy as CR.

Thanks Ben, appreciate it. Have you heard much re the croc problem over there? Apparently fresh & salties cruising the line ups quite often....?
Nic is on the plans as well if I can get a boat there, heard great things re the waves and empty line ups :)

Thanks heaps

sypkan's picture
sypkan's picture
sypkan Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 7:25pm

heympow89,

I've just been hanging with a guy that does boats to witch's etc. he told me there are always crocs about, always have been, but generally they're not a concern, well as little a concern as crocs in the line up can be.

but interestingly he said this year the problem has been sharks, apparently an abundance of tiger sharks hanging around, which I thought was kinda coincidental considering the recent activity in australia. he put it down to a localised ncrease in sharks reaching breeding age. who knows maybe it's the moon. apparently they're not overly large which is comforting, but a shark is a shark, and tigers are known to be a little aggressive, waves sound good though. costa rica sounds kinda busy too, every second euro I've met has been through there recently

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben Sunday, 27 Sep 2015 at 8:24pm

Yeah crocs were a problem at rivermouths when I was there. Didn't see any myself but I recall there being two attacks (one fatal) and it was common knowledge that you had to keep an eye out for 'em. No shark issues at the time though.

mpow89's picture
mpow89's picture
mpow89 Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 4:05pm

sypkan wrote: heympow89,

I've just been hanging with a guy that does boats to witch's etc. he told me there are always crocs about, always have been, but generally they're not a concern, well as little a concern as crocs in the line up can be.

but interestingly he said this year the problem has been sharks, apparently an abundance of tiger sharks hanging around, which I thought was kinda coincidental considering the recent activity in australia. he put it down to a localised ncrease in sharks reaching breeding age. who knows maybe it's the moon. apparently they're not overly large which is comforting, but a shark is a shark, and tigers are known to be a little aggressive, waves sound good though. costa rica sounds kinda busy too, every second euro I've met has been through there recently

Thanks for the heads up, starting to sound a little dicey surfing over there! haha. Not much worse than Northern NSW or WA considering recent events. If you have the details of the guy how does boats to Witchs/Ollies Pt that would be awesome :)

Cheers

mpow89's picture
mpow89's picture
mpow89 Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 4:06pm

thermalben wrote:

Yeah crocs were a problem at rivermouths when I was there. Didn't see any myself but I recall there being two attacks (one fatal) and it was common knowledge that you had to keep an eye out for 'em. No shark issues at the time though.

Thanks Ben, will definitely be on the look out. Sounds like they are more prevalent than the travel brochures explain haha

mackdog's picture
mackdog's picture
mackdog Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 5:09pm

There is a wave called Salsa Brava on the Caribbean coast which is worth a look if its the right season in May. I was there early '03 and got some great swell more by good luck than actively searching. Some fun beachies nearby too. No crocs but sloths in the trees on the way to the beach. Puerto Viejo de Talamanca is a pretty nice place to visit if you are on that side. A long way from Witches Rock though.
Nicaragua is at least a day travel to Popoyo and may not be as uncrowded as you think. Google Earth showing at least a dozen surf hostel/camps on that stretch alone but a great waves. Colder water than Costa Rica. I surfed in boardshorts but only as i didnt have a vest/springsuit. If you only have 10 nights I would stick to Costa Rica. Its a long way to go for only 10 nights though mpow!

thermalben's picture
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thermalben Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 5:19pm

Ah yes the Caribbean! I did two seperate weeks at Puerto Viejo but didn't get any surf. Unreal spot though, well worth checking out regardless. Only need 20kts of trade winds through the Caribbean Sea to whip up something worthwhile. And Bocas del Toro is just over the border too.

sypkan's picture
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sypkan Monday, 28 Sep 2015 at 8:06pm

I didn't get his details mpow89, but he'd be easy to track down with interweb as he's a pro snow boarder. he does full tours, accommodation, transfers and boats etc. but pretty sure they do just boats too, probably not as cheap as local boats, but apparently local boats supply all the usual frustrations. I don't make a habit of googling people but after a few days I crumbled and he has quite an internet presence, so you'd have to mine down a bit or facebook him to find out about boat services. google spencer whiting, pretty grounded dude for a 20 year old with the world at his feet

mpow89's picture
mpow89's picture
mpow89 Wednesday, 30 Sep 2015 at 2:48pm

Cheers guys for the info :)