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Costa Rica Surf Report: March 2011

By Greg Gordon


Caribbean Coast: March is peak season for tourists, as European travelers have already discovered the tropical jungles and beaches and come over in droves. But it’s also peak wave season, meaning consistent overhead surf hitting the reefs. This year has been better than most, and the pattern will repeat through the end of the month.

Pacific Coast: Since Easter is later in April this year, March should not be as crowded as previous years. The wave models are not lighting up yet with Southern hemi swells, but there should be a good one showing March 13–16. Nothing major besides those dates is on the radar, and when it’s off, that means waist- to chest-high on the Nicoya Coast and a foot bigger towards Playa Hermosa and the Central Pacific Coast.

New moon: March Full Moon: March 19


Don’t wait until the last minute to make your Spring Break plans. Many hotels will fill up for Easter Week, so let us help you find that uncrowded break you can walk out to from the back patio of your cabina or resort. Have you ever surfed Pavones? It’s one of the longest lefts in the world, where you can easily ride one wave for over a minute!

And now you can save 15% on lodging at Pavones Riviera just by mentioning CRSURF. Visit their site — — to see their beautiful property only a few minutes walk from the break. Witch’s Rock Surf Camp is offering $50 off your stay for each person you refer to their camp. Why not stay right on the beach, with a full service bar, restaurant, and pool at your disposal? They also take you by land and boat to some of the lesser-crowded peaks, which are hard to find during the high season. Visit for details.

Check out our list of over 65 camps to choose from, something for every budget and skill level here: Best flights: COPA Airlines has some great deals from Orlando to San Jose. Flights are running for about $308 roundtrip, and the best part is that two boards can fly in a travel bag for only $50 each way (American is $150 each way!). Just a little more, but for a non-stop flight, is Jet Blue with roundtrip tickets for $318. These prices change daily, and usually just go up as the cheap seats are sold. So contact us and let’s get started planning your trip! Just email us to help plan your customized vacation:


The Costa Rica Surf Federation hosts their third contest on the national circuit April 2-3 at Playa Guiones, Nosara. The last event in Palo Seco was won by Luis Vindas from Jaco, with another Jaco local, Jordan Hundley, winning the Women’s Division. CRSURF team rider Noe Mar McGonagle took 2nd in Juniors and won the Boys Division (<16), while his sister Leilani won the Girls Under 15 Title. Both are also sponsored by Carton Surfboards. Some may wonder why a Costa Rica surf travel site would pay attention to local contests. The reason is that part of our mission is to support the local surf community. Many of these surfers also work at the surf shops and camps, or teach surf lessons. By competing, they get to represent their hometown and have the opportunity to succeed on an international level. And if some semi-pro from the U.S. wants to make a little extra coin, he or she can follow the calendar to see when Reef or Quiksilver or another sponsor hosts an event with some bigger prizes.


Watch the complete video of “Fe de Agua,” the story of a Costa Rican boy who grows up to be an international pro surfer. Most of the film was made around Tamarindo and now the producers are releasing it to the public for free at PRETOMA (Programa Restauracion de Tortugas Marinas) has had a remarkable February. The success started with them winning the Ashoka’s Changemaker’s Award, for Places On The Edge-­Saving Coastal And Freshwater Destinations Online competition. The project — the development of economic partnerships between artisanal fisher folk and tourism operators — is developing environmental, economic, and social benefits in coastal communities located along the southwestern Nicoya Peninsula, Guanacaste, through the application of sustainable fishing practices. Their second big achievement is that the Administrative Court of Costa Rica has decided once and for all that foreign fleets could not land their shark products at private docks. This ban had been in effect for only a couple of weeks before the shark fishing companies filed an appeal that allowed them to keep doing it until the court had decided. You can watch their videos on YouTube at this address:

Finally, PRETOMA are currently engaged in a shark and sea turtle census expedition in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula. You can go to and follow their journey with day-to-day updates in the blog with photos and observations from their trip. This group is a major reason why CR Surf Travel Company is a member of 1% for the Planet, pledging to donate one percent of our proceeds to environmental causes. To find out other events in the beachside communities of Costa Rica, just sign up for our surf report: Follow us on Facebook:

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