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Topic Title: Going to Costa Rica- NEED HELP
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Created On: 04/10/2019 07:15 AM
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 04/10/2019 07:15 AM
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paddleout

Posts: 11728
Joined Forum: 07/31/2003


OK- I know this has been posted a 1000 times, but I could use some help.


Have never been to Costa Rica, and I'm bringing the family- my son 15 (he surfs)

My wife and daughter (11) They don't really surf, but would like to do the beginner lesson thing.


Now if I were going solo, or just with my son, I would pick a quiet area with good surf.

However, the whole family is coming, so we need a place more touristy and gringo.. and with maybe more posh resort conditions.

None of us speak Spanish either.


So for the above reasons /I have been considering these 3 locations:


1) Jaco - have had this place recommended by our pediatrician- said it was good for kids. My concern here is that the waves may be too small to keep my son and I entertained. (a friend says this is like going to Cocoa Beach)


2) Witches Rock Surf Camp, Tamarindo - between the beach here and the possible Camp trips to other locations, I think my son and I will be happy with the surf- also seems like my wife/daughter will have fun with lessons.

BUT my concerns here are: will the wife/daughter get bored in this location after awhile? They shuttle you from the airport to the camp, so I'm concerned we they may get stranded here w/o other things to do.

Is this location:

* Near any Rainforest Parks where they can go to see wildlife

* Near any other fun activites besides surfing



3) Third location- Nosara. was recommended by a surf friend- more remote, will likely need a rental car.

My concerns here are that the waves may get too big (?)

and wife/daughter may not have enough to do (?)



I really appreciate any feedback- I just need to pick a place and go to get our Costa Rica days started. Want to pick the best spot for everyone to have fun.

As a gauge- My son can handle up to about head to slightly head+ Florida surf

I don't need epic surf- just waist to chest would be fine if we have access to other activities (rainforest, etc) to keep everyone happy.


I am also concerned about crocodiles, especially in Tamarindo- so any advice there is also appreciated

Thanks!




-------------------------
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Edited: 04/10/2019 at 07:15 AM by paddleout
 04/10/2019 08:26 AM
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tastywaves

Posts: 439
Joined Forum: 11/14/2009

out of those three, I would definitely recommend playa guiones (nosara). What time of the year are you going? If you go anytime from roughly may-october, waist to chest will be on the small end for most places in costa rica. Guiones is a very mild beachbreak though IMO so you should be fine even if its overhead. Can't help out too much with the rainforest recs and other activities, but guiones is big enough that there is other stuff for family members to do
 04/10/2019 10:51 AM
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seaspray

Posts: 363
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My friend goes on a family trip to Nosara every other year. Yeah he surfs, but the rest of his family does not. But they seem to do a lot of activities outside of that, like horseback riding, hiking, water falls, fishing, yoga, etc. It seems like those entreprenuers at Nosara got smart a long time ago and decided they better have other non-surfing activities available for family members, since they aren't going to make any $ from guys surfing all day.
 04/10/2019 12:58 PM
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paddleout

Posts: 11728
Joined Forum: 07/31/2003

Thanks guys

So it sounds like there are ways I could arrange for some other activities out of Nosara (?) I know they would like to take a tour of some jungle/wildlife, etc Maybe horse back riding as well.

Question- We will be going in June or July- I assume the surf might be bigger at that time- if it gets too big in Nosara, are there other places nearby that might be smaller (and safe)?

any recommendations for lodging in Nosara?

-------------------------
Florida Plant Nursery Heliconia Rainbow Eucalyptus
Exotica Tropicals
Plant Nursery
Brevard Florida


Edited: 04/10/2019 at 01:00 PM by paddleout
 04/10/2019 01:38 PM
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tastywaves

Posts: 439
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If anything, nosara area is your best bet if you're concerned with waves being too big for your liking. Surrounding areas MIGHT be smaller, but they'll almost definitely be heavier. Target high tide as it tends to be more playful on larger swells
 04/10/2019 05:00 PM
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Kimo63

Posts: 396
Joined Forum: 04/22/2012

Paddleout , it's a curved beach , one of the ends will be much smaller than the main peak. There is plenty to do there other then surf too , Zip line is 2nd longest in CR , fishing in Garza , turtles in Ostional . rent bikes and ride over to Playa Palada . Do yourself a favor and fly Jetblue to San Jose then Nature air to Nosara , rent a car at the beach if you need it otherwise hire transportation .
 04/10/2019 05:31 PM
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Central Floridave

Posts: 48166
Joined Forum: 07/22/2003

Don't plan anything or be at any one spot. Once you get there it is better to find the off surfing adventures yourself. pre planned then you are locked in. Swell may be hitting somewhere else better. if you have a vehicle just travel. The highway system has really improved in Costa Rica. You can just pull into hotels nowadays and book them. There is good online internet there as well so can search online. I would recommend Dominical, and if a big southy is running Pavones. Tamarindo area is better for tourist, along with Jaco. Great for a day trip, But, geez, get away from that. Just a recommendation. Have fun and take a ton of photos.

Edited: 04/10/2019 at 05:32 PM by Central Floridave
 04/10/2019 06:01 PM
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Long Beard

Posts: 4246
Joined Forum: 05/13/2007

Don't bring many valuables. My friend was just there and had his rental broken into. Everything was stolen. I've lost track of how many times I've heard this happening down there.

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R I P Mama G.

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 04/10/2019 06:21 PM
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RiddleMe

Posts: 2914
Joined Forum: 07/21/2011

nosara is a soft wave even well overhead. plus you can walk down the beach and it will be smaller depending on swell angle. lots of stuff to do in the immediate area within walking distance and a lot of excursions to cool stuff. i know someone there i can put you in touch with that might be able to help you out if you like. pm me if so
 04/10/2019 06:24 PM
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GreenLantern

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 04/10/2019 07:59 PM
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pompano

Posts: 5680
Joined Forum: 01/06/2005

yeah, Guiones is soft. As people mentioned, you can walk either side of the bay and pick your mush factor. walk around the point to the north and you can score small clean surf if the daily onshores pick up. Tamarindo is another soft, cushy gringo spot with easy surf and lots of potential to get ripped off. Check the tides, check the wave forecast, and god forbid if you have to chill in Jaco. Good luck and Pura Vida.
 04/11/2019 06:05 AM
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nico

Posts: 245
Joined Forum: 09/07/2007

A great place for a family trip is Malpais, lots of good restaurants, good hiking, you can stay beach front and surf all day just waking distance high and low tide breaks. Specifically I recommend Tropico Latino. Have a great trip.
 04/11/2019 09:12 AM
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worksuxgetsponsered

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Joined Forum: 01/19/2005

I'm going in May with the girlfriend. Talk to Greg, he did a great job hooking us up with everything we wanted.

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I challenge you to all out fucking life...
-SK
 04/11/2019 10:12 AM
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KP

Posts: 3603
Joined Forum: 07/28/2006

.

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Time and tide wait for no one.....

Edited: 04/11/2019 at 10:17 AM by KP
 04/11/2019 10:15 AM
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KP

Posts: 3603
Joined Forum: 07/28/2006

If you stay in Nosara/Guiones I highly recommend this place!!


http://www.thenosarabeachhouse.com

Google info

Also Mal Pias is nice.

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Time and tide wait for no one.....

Edited: 04/11/2019 at 10:22 AM by KP
 04/11/2019 04:44 PM
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paddleout

Posts: 11728
Joined Forum: 07/31/2003


Thanks for all the help guys. Sounds like we may be going to Nosara and renting a house. I like the stuff I'm seeing available there.

Also thanks for the curved beach info- that sounds perfect.

Couple other questions:

1) How's the crocodile situation in Nosara?

2) What are your plane trip recommendations? (I'm just going to rent boards)


3) If I have a rental car and we rent a house, will I still need to be concerned about break-ins in the driveway of the house?

-------------------------
Florida Plant Nursery Heliconia Rainbow Eucalyptus
Exotica Tropicals
Plant Nursery
Brevard Florida
 04/12/2019 06:05 AM
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spindlebeak

Posts: 164
Joined Forum: 10/30/2008

I'd personally go to Jaco if unsure at all. You have everything from straight beginner waves to the heaviest waves (with consistency) in the country within 15 minutes. And if its huge there are a dozen or more incredible point breaks within an hour. There are nice resorts in town and just outside and a ton of options on things to do. You're also only an hour and a half from the park at Manuel Antonio for a day trip and a perfect jump off point to hit other areas of the country. Plus its only an hour and a half from the airport. Always cracks me up the shade Jaco gets for its waves. Place is about as rippable as it gets and has all the punch you need. And a short drive/cab ride will put you in thumping Hermosa if you want to get some tubes and beatings. The real tip in this area is book your trip with high tides starting around 4-5 in the morning. You'll get good conditions in the morning and the chance for a second sunset session through most of a week or so long trip.
 04/13/2019 06:07 PM
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pompano

Posts: 5680
Joined Forum: 01/06/2005

1. Cocodrilos should not be a concern right now. 2. You can fly into Liberia now. Pretty decent rates. 3. Boards can be rented in multiple spots. Haven't been to Guiones in a few years, but there should be places for boards. If you are renting it may be ok. Places with safes are good. Having people on the beach with your stuff is good. Dude, check the skate park in negra. Bring lots of water. Got so dehydrated after 20 minutes it was. Other funny.
 04/13/2019 08:03 PM
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Kimo63

Posts: 396
Joined Forum: 04/22/2012

Couple places to rent in Nosara , about $70 to 90 for the week and you can swap out as you please . To big a pain to bring your own board , I can always find something fun to ride. Crime is usually petty , if you leave anything unattended it will get stolen . They always steal my flip flops , even when I bury them in the graveyard before the sun rises .
 04/17/2019 05:55 AM
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Sector9surf

Posts: 1951
Joined Forum: 01/14/2010

I've been on 3 trips overall. We really enjoyed Playa Grande just N. of Tamarindo. There's a nature preserve there. You can cross over the river into Tamararindo just a 20 minute walk. We didn't do much besides for surf that trip, but seems like there's plenty to do. That was nearly 10 years ago so things may have changed a bit. Playa Negra further North is also fun and another nice beach town. I don't think that one would be as interesting for the family and Negra doesn't hold a crowd well so maybe not the first choice. Mal Pais, Montezuma area was interesting and I stayed there for a month. Same thing, I didn't have a car and mostly surfed. It was 2 miles of walking each day to get from the town to the nearest surf spot, but if you do make it there, there was a cool little hotel in Montezuma called Hotel Lucy. I've only heard of good things about Nosara, which is like being in the jungle but with good surf. Greg Gordon or CRSurf.com can probably give you some great tips. I plan to try out Pavones next time.
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