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Floridafran Aug 5th, 2006 08:11 AM

Costa Rica May 2007 Surf and More
Hello fellow lovers of Costa Rica. I've been enjoying your photos and trip reports. Now it's time to get down to serious planning for our upcoming trip

We'll be traveling to CR in May 2007 (arrive 12:45 pm May 9th and depart 2:00 pm May 22). Our party consists of me, my husband, and another couple. Our friends have been down 2 times in the last few years, I lived in CR in the 70s, and my husband has never been. We're all in our mid to late 50s and fit and healthy.

The first week the guys want to get in some surfing although they won't necessarily surf all day each day. They're both experienced longboarders. They want a place with consistent 3-5 foot longboard waves. The less crowded, the better, of course.

We girls will need something to do while they surf. It can be simple like tide pooling, shelling, beachcombing, or just checking out the flora and fauna on safe nearby trails.

None of us are into heavy nightlife. As long as the guys have a place to get a cold one when they're through surfing, we're good.

Our friends have been hearing some negative things about some of their past surf destinations from recently returned surfers. It seems that we may once again be ruining paradise. I'd love to hear from locals or recent returnees about the various surf destinations. The good and the bad.

Our second week we'll explore inland but just where and what I won't be able to nail down until we get the surf spot(s) chosen. I've been making tons of notes from the trip reports here. Thanks so much to those who take time to post reports and answer questions.

Lastly, has anyone stayed at The Treehouse Hotel near Santa Clara (up toward Arenal past Cuidad Quesada)? I read a question about it here on Fodor's, but never saw a report by the person who was thinking about staying there. It looks like a neat place and I was thinking we might want to spend our last night there since we don't have to be Juan Santa Maria AP at the crack of dawn. Could be a unique ending to what I'm sure will be a fantastic trip, no matter what else we do.

Thanks so much for any help you can offer.


Floridafran Aug 7th, 2006 06:28 PM

We're having dinner with our friends Wednesday night to begin planning. Anything anyone here can offer for me to discuss would be a great help.


Earthtraveler Aug 7th, 2006 07:59 PM

Take a look at this website. Plenty of info to help you out.

Earthtraveler Aug 7th, 2006 09:53 PM

Did you try the search engine on this forum?

There is some good discussions searching with , Costa Rica surfing, use top of the page search window.

Floridafran Aug 8th, 2006 02:24 PM

Thanks for the replies Earthtraveler (by the way, I really enjoyed your photos).

I've searched here and learned a lot, but was hoping for some insight on the "vibe" at the various surfing beaches. Especially from recent visitors or locals.

I thought I'd narrowed things down to a managable few to choose from when our friends said a church group of young surfers who had recently returned from CR had negative reports about some of the places I'd selected. Things like the girls not feeling comfortable walking around without the guys, even in the daytime. And the open use of drugs.

Since I don't have firsthand knowledge of this and haven't spoken directly with these young people, I don't know how much credence to give any of it. What is unacceptable, shocking, or disconcerting to them, may not be so bad to someone who's been around for 56 years. Afterall, the 60s and 70s were my "youthful" years. On the otherhand, I don't want our men to feel like they can't go surfing and leave us ladies on our own.

I love Costa Rica so much, even though I haven't been back since '79. I just want my husband's first trip to be so great he'll want to return over and over and possibly even retire there one day.


shillmac Aug 8th, 2006 03:55 PM

My husband and I aren't surfers, but have visited several surfing beaches. One of the best areas in our opinion is Malpais/Santa Teresa. Gorgeous beaches, very laid back, less developed than some of the other places. I'd feel comfortable running around there alone--the group of you should be perfectly comfortable regarding safety. Montezuma is nearby for more dining options. The falls are fun to hike as is Cabo Blanco Reserve (strenuous, but lots of wildlife). Just a thought. . .

Floridafran Aug 9th, 2006 02:08 PM


Thanks for the reply. I've read your trip report and answers to others and now that we're going to be getting to the serious planning I need to go back and read yours and the other recent ones, again.

We like the idea of driving in order to see more of the country, even if it means a little less time to "do things." Like you, we see the journey as part of the adventure and experience.

We're about to leave to have dinner with our traveling companions for this trip and hash out some of the things we want to do and places we want to go. After tonight I hope I'll have a better idea of what it is I need to ask about if I can't find the answer already posted here somewhere.

This is the first trip we've taken where we have to plan with other people and I'm finding it a bit hard to adjust. I normally plan and book everything and my husband just packs his stuff and makes sure we get to the airport on time. If it were just the two of us I'd have this trip pretty much scheduled by now. I keep reminding myself that Costa Rica is such a beautiful place with such warm people, we'll be fine whatever we do and that there is no way we can cram in everything I'd like.

I'll be back with more questions, I'm sure.


shillmac Aug 9th, 2006 03:38 PM

You're starting early and have plenty of time to plan it exactly the way you want it, so that's a good thing. There are a lot of people (surfers even!) who can help answer your questions, and better than I. But you're right--very hard to mess up a trip to Costa Rica!

fitzpowell Aug 10th, 2006 09:14 PM

Take a look at Nosara for surfing. The waves are consistant, medium, sand bottom, and still friendly enough for swimmers.

The town is very laid back, but in a middle aged, older hippie kind of way! We're mid 40s and fit right in. Many Americans and Europeans have settled there and the restaurants reflect a range of wonderful, (reasonable) cuisine choices.

It felt like a very safe place to roam about while my husband surfed. We met a fellow who lived there and told us that both his wife and/or 9 year old blonde daughter could safely walk the beach at night.

They still have problems with petty theft from rental cars-leave nothing in your vehicle anywhere, but personal safety was never an issue.

Overall Nosara was a classy, but casual, town with great empty, clean, gorgeous beaches-no competing for "the wave", the best of all worlds for us. We've been back and plan to look for our reitrement home there.

We stayed at the Gilded Iguana, very close to the beach (nothing is built on the beach by design), reasonable, great large rooms, a/c, all the hot water you want, friendly atmosphere, restaurant with early am coffee. Take a look at the web site, but the photos don't do it justice.

Floridafran Aug 12th, 2006 05:41 PM


Thanks for the info. Nosara is definately on our list. Our friends have been there before. And the Guilded Iguana looks very nice.

My biggest problem is there is so much I want to do and too little time to squeeze in even a fraction of it.

Oh well, I guess that just means we'll have to plan to go back - again and again and again. I just don't know how we'll be able to force ourselves. :-)

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