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Costa Rica Surf Report: January 2011

By Greg Gordon


FORECAST Caribbean Coast: It’s going to be another great month of surf, with consistent swells from the Northeast pumping in waves reaching double overhead. To catch it best, watch for the low pressure system to go off the U.S. coast and then count to ten. Ten days later the first sets will be reaching the reefs.

Pacific Coast: The first few days are quiet, but by the 5th you will see some overhead sets from the Southwest, and they stick around for a few days. The middle of the month is quieter with nothing showing over head-high. Expect one more solid south swell towards the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd. Meanwhile, the “Papagayo” winds kick up, keeping the surf offshore all day long and cooling down the ocean temperatures.

New moon: January 4 Full moon: January 19


The 2011 World Leadership and Innovation Conference will be held in Costa Rica January 18-29. The conference is a series of creative business seminars, educational symposiums, and training and certification programs that ends with a week-long learning vacation held in several different Costa Rican tourist destinations. Check out: for more information.

Do you want to visit one of the most pristine environments in the world, where conscious people from all over unite to experience music, art, and sacred movement while embracing the natural beauty of our earth? If so, you must come to the Envision Festival, to be held in Marina Ballena National Park, next to Uvita on March 4-6. More info can be found here:

If you are planning a Spring Break trip this year, be sure to reserve your rental early, since inventory is limited and the cheaper SUVs go first. Or you can avoid having to drive yourself all over the country by visiting one of the all-inclusive surf camps that will pamper you from the airport to the lineup. Best flights: American Airlines has flights from Orlando to San Jose in February for $302, but only if you fly on certain Mondays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays. Jet Blue still has a few seats for under $300, but most are in the $360-$375 range, which only means saving if you’re bringing surfboards. (Jet Blue charges $50 vs. American, which charges $150 each way per board). Just email us to help plan your customized vacation:


The 1st Annual Skimboard Festival will take place January 16 at Playa Blanca (near Punta Leona) or a beach close by that’s good for skimming. It’s not so much a contest as much as a way for skimmers from around the country to show up and blow up the shorebreak. It runs from 9 a.m. to Noon, and will have the crew from Wipeout Films recording from the beach and the water. To the south, in Jaco, will be the start of the 2011 Circuito Nacional de Surf, presented by DayStar Properties. The contest runs January 22 and 23, with the best local surfers in the country competing.

On the Caribbean Coast, the Puerto Viejo Open Pro takes place January 15 in Puerto Viejo. The contest is open to anyone and will have over $1000 in prizes. Plus, you get to surf either Salsa Brava or another prime surf spot with only the other competitors in your heat. Check out: for details.


To step up our commitment to the environment, the CR Surf Travel Company joined 1% for the Planet. This means that by the end of the year we will agree to give one percent of our proceeds to environmental causes. Already the company has renewed its membership in the Surfrider Foundation and gave $100 to the Dominical lifeguard program to help keep beaches safe in 2011. Also, travelers will be notified of opportunities to volunteer with local groups while visiting Costa Rica’s beaches. Readers can support our efforts to keep Costa Rica’s beaches clean and safe by using our travel services or buying some travel gear through the online shop. You can also find links to the community groups’ website to donate directly.

To find out other events in the beachside communities of Costa Rica, just sign up for our surf report: Follow us on Get our Tweets on Twitter:






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