This month is great for surfing empty lineups. The south swells are a little farther apart, but more powerful. Waves double overhead plus file in from the South Pacific and the rains can make for a nice glass off session. And it WILL rain a lot, since the peak of the wet season is only a month away. Here’s a couple of emails I’ve received from visitors searching for their vacation waves –
“Are there any good mellow longboard points in the Jaco area and can you name me a few good hotels to stay at that would be close to a good longbaord spot?” – David
Near Jaco, there are two good longboard spots. One is 40 minutes north, Boca Barranca, a left that breaks over 500 yards when it’s on. The all inclusive spot is the Fiesta Resort – http://www.fiestaresort.com/. There are some other smaller, simple cabinas there, but you’ll have to drive there to make reservations as they don’t really advertise (no website)
The other spot is 15 minutes south of Jaco, called Esterillos. It can get big, but break way far out in deep water, making the drops less agro and providing a long ride before it mushes out. Hotel La Dolce Vita is a comfortable spot to stay, right on the beach. – http://www.resortladolcevita.com/
Hope this helps. Be sure to print out tide charts from the CRSURF site before you go. Have a fun trip!!
And from another traveler –
“Hi there, I’m planning on going on vacation to Costa Rica and I want to SURF. However, my girlfriend wants to lay on the beach and SWIM, and, if possible, snorkel a bit. My hope to make this work is that I’m not a very good surfer, yet my girlfriend is a strong swimmer. From what I’ve read, the The NW is perfect for surfing, however, I wasn’t so sure if swimming will work. Alternatively, the SE doesn’t sound like it’s worth going for surfing at all, yet there seems to be good swimming and snorkeling options. So – the least thing I want is a crisis with my GF and no surf, and I was wondering if you can help me out with some advice! Thanks a bunch,” – Philipp
Hola Philipp –
I just did an around the country trip with my wife, same scenario. The problem lies in the fact that if there’s surf, the water is not clear enough for snorkeling.
You will have to break up the trip. Stay in a spot close to both swimming and surfing beaches. For snorkeling, the Caribbean beach Manzanillo has great snorkeling right off the beach. Stay at Hotel Totem in Cocles and it’s a 15 minute drive south to there. And the beach right out back has good surfing if there’s waves, and good swimming if not. You can also drive north to Cahuita (20 min) to find snorkeling options.
On the SW Pacific Coast I highly recommend Costa Paraiso for a romantic time – http://www.costa-paraiso.com/ It’s next a secluded beach to walk down to find smaller waves, and you can do some great snorkeling tours through Southern Expeditions – http://www.southernexpeditionscr.com/ (The owner won’t take people out if the conditions aren’t good for seeing lots of marine life) And for swimming, the best is to take her to the Whale’s Tail in Uvita, where at low tide you can walk out on a 1/4 mile sandbar and swim in calm water, looking back on the mountains.
On the NW Pacific, the Catalina Islands have great snorkeling. Check out – http://www.govisitcostarica.com/listings/listingDetails.asp?coid=1017 for a complete description. For surf and tides, just check CRSURF.com the week before your trip to print out the tide chart and check the forecast.