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Most people who bed down at Playa Hermosa are here for the same reason—the waves that break just a shell's toss away. There are a half-dozen breaks scattered along the beach's northern end, and the surf is always best around high tide. Because it is a beach break, though, the waves here often close out, especially when the surf is big. If you don't have much experience, don't go out when the waves are really big—Hermosa sometimes gets very powerful swells, which result in dangerous rip currents. If you're a beginner, don't go out at all. Surf instructors in Hermosa take their students to Jacó, an easier place to learn the sport.
Waves Costa Rica. Andrea Díaz, a professional surfer, takes surf students to calm Playa Jacó for two-hour lessons ($55 per person for group sessions; $80 for a private surf package). She also offers an All Girls surf-camp package, which includes room and board and yoga. Next to the Backyard hotel, Playa Hermosa, 61101. 2653–4523; 800/536–3241 in North America. www.wavescr.com.
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