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Latest Surf Report from ~
Tamarindo is a mecca for Europeans and Americans (from Canada all the way to Chile) to vacation. It's not just for surfers ~ but anyone looking to relax near the beach. Millions of dollars have been spent on high-class developments, but the locals that live just out of town are still the friendliest in Central America. Visit soon, before concrete and pavement cover up the natural beauty of this region. And if you surf, the dry season's Papagayo winds blow offshore all day long.
From San Jose, drive west towards Orotina. Then you can either take the ferry from Puntarenas (longest route, but most scenic) - take the bridge across the Tempisque River (a quick, scenic route but watch out for the policia catching speeders on both sides!) or drive 2 hours up to Liberia and then west for another 2 hours (the safest route). During the rainy season, the trees envelope the road in a tunnel of foilage. In the dry season, the suns blazes down on a dusty tan horizon.
Surf Witch's and Ollie's with Robert August! Learn more
We've been throwing this idea around for a while, but we want to gauge everyone's interest first! If you are in the Intermediate Coaching Program or Advanced Guided Tours Program and would like Robert August to accompany you on a Witch's Rock and Ollie's Point premium tour, please respond to this newsletter with your scheduled dates, and we will see what we can do... Imagine, surfing two world-class waves with Mr. Endless Summer himself. No promises at the moment, but this exclusive tour is certainly in the works.
--> WITCHES ROCK "GIRL'S SURF RETREAT 2016" IS ON! <--
This 7 day and 7 night retreat costs $1,900 per person for a single room, and $1,250 per person for a double room. This price includes everything listed BELOW, and it also includes a Learn to Surf Guarantee.
January 9th-16th, 2016
February 6th-13th, 2016
March 5th-12th, 2016
April 9th-16th, 2016
1) Round-trip Liberia airport transfer in our private vans;
2) Accommodations as a group at Pueblo Dorado Surf Hotel;
3) Two healthy, fresh, local meals per day made to order by our resident chef;
4) Daily 90 minute surf lessons from our certified instructors;
5) Unlimited use of surfboards from our collection;
6) Educational surfing seminars;
7) Daily activities including yoga, mountain biking, power hiking, and fitness. Don’t worry, we won’t make you do all of these. You get to choose!;
8) One massage;
9) One estuary tour or catamaran sail in the beautiful;
10) Las Baulas Marine Park;
11) Welcome bag and gear;
12) Photo Package!
Get a custom Robert August surfboard hand-shaped by the man himself!Email us to find out how.
Find out more about Las Tortugas and the role ecotourism plays in the conservation struggle on YouTube.
Help Save the Monkeys! The group SalveMonos Tamarindo is working to protect the howler monkeys and other species that live around Tamarindo and rest of the Nicoya Peninsula. They use donations for building rope bridges over roads and teaching locals about them.
Catch the FULL VERSION of the Movie Fe de Agua - filmed in Tamarindo!!
For updated news of what's happening in Tamarindo, visit:
Tamarindo Bay looks beautiful from a balcony at the Best Western Vista Villas, but it also looked small. The rivermouth was waist high with 5 longboarders and 30 other friends and fiends, so I took the short paddle across the Tam. rivermouth and walked about a mile into the "park" or yet undeveloped quiet white sand beach. I sat for about 40 minutes with my board under a tree, reading a book, when I looked up and said - "DAMN !!!" The dropping tide made the wave hit the sandbars perfectly, left and right fast mini-barrels in the head high range. You can see the bottom 10 feet down it's so clear. No one was within 200 yards as I snatched a left, then a right, then a left - using a piece of driftwood on the beach to line up the sweet spot. Too big, and it closes out.
The Tamarindo rivermouth breaks better on lower tides, and the size can look smaller from the beach than what it really is. Dominated by longboarders and locals, the wave can shack up and give surfers 100 yard rights. The best swells have more west in them and it works best from waist high to 1 foot overhead. When it's bigger it shuts down.
Right in front of Witchs Rock Surf Camp is the main beach in Tamarindo where the beginners learn to surf. It is usually small, knee to chest high, and when it is bigger closes out. It is best from mid to high tide. It can be a bit polluted in the middle of the rainy season, so keep your ears clean.
Right behind the Tamarindo Diria the beach is thinner and there are a string of rocks that go out about 150 yards. Depending on the swell size and tide, a wave breaks off both sides of the rocks, producing lefts that go for about 200 meters or longer and rights about 150 meters. Watch out for rocks at lower tides and beginners at high tides. This spot is also localized, so respect the order in the lineup. Breaks best at head high to 2 feet overhead.
Other Surf Spots
This right hand point break works best on low to mid tides. At high tide breaks really close to the beach, but it is still fun with southwest swells. Rides can go on for 400 meters and throw barrels. It is only accessible by boat, and you must pay an entry fee to the Santa Rosa National Park, $10 pp. Only a limited number of boats are allowed in the park so there will not be over 50 people, but that is a lot since there is only three sections to sit on. Without a swell the waves are only longboardable. Make sure your boat captain has permission to enter the park or you could lose the $250-350 you paid for the trip.
Witchs Rock, or Roca Bruja, is inside the Santa Rosa National Park. The wave is accessible by a 4wd vehicle for most of the year, with sparse camping - bring your own water and bug repellent. Lots of boats come in, make sure they are licensed to enter the park (cost $80 pp + $10 entrance fee). The waves are clean, with lots of offshore winds especially from December to April. Picks up swells from the SSW and SW and can throw barrels. Best wave size is chest high to two feet overhead, any bigger and it tends to close out. Best tide to surf it is mid to high tide. It is most crowded by the rock and rivermouth, but the whole beach has waves. Beware of crocs and a few sharks during turtle nesting season.
A sketchy right hander that breaks at lower tides when the rocks are exposed. Can throw a mean barrel and produce a workable shoulder for about 60 yards before it pounds shut on the rocks. Boat access only, make sure your captain is permitted to enter the Santa Rosa National Park.
A beachbreak that works best from chest high to 3 feet overhead. When it's big it tends to break way outside and then reform about 100 yards off the beach. Lots of barrels and fun sections to smack. Best tide is mid tide coming in. At dead high there's some backwash, low tide has mostly closeouts. The break can get most crowded from June-August and December to April, but there are empty peaks up and down the beach. Do not leave stuff in your car as there is a lot of theft. Best place to stay is Hotel Las Tortugas, right on the break with secure parking, great food, and a pool.
The rivermouth breaks better on lower tides, and the size can look smaller from the beach than what it really is. Dominated by longboarders and locals, the wave can shack up and give surfers 100 yard rights.
Right in front of Witchs Rock Surf Camp is the main beach in Tamarindo where the beginners learn to surf. It is usually small, knee to chest high, and when it is bigger closes out. It is best from mid to high tide.
Right behind the Tamarindo Diria the beach is thinner and there are a string of rocks that go out about 150 yards. Depending on the swell size and tide, a wave breaks off both sides of the rocks, producing lefts that go for about 200 meters or longer and rights about 10 meters. Watch out for rocks at lower tides and beginners at high tides. This spot is also localized, so respect the order in the lineup. Breaks best at head high to 2 feet overhead.
The waves break over a rocky shelf, with more sandy stretches to the south of the rivermouth. Watch for the boils at lower tides to find a hollow peak. Best size is chest high to 3 feet overhead, when it's bigger can close out. The main break is behind the Barcelo Langosta, but they have made it nearly impossible to park near there. You'll find a few spots to park about 200 meters north. The rights during a swell with a lot of west in it can go for over 200 meters. The crowds are a bit lighter here due to the poor access, but the Barcelo guests think they own the peak, and the locals don't give up many waves.
Avellanas - Little Hawaii
At the northern end of Playa Avellanas, well past the rivermouth, are a series of rock outcroppings that at the right tide produce some great lefthanders. It's best when many other spots are closing out because it is too big. Very remote so do not get injured, and don't leave your stuff unattended.
Avellanas - Beachbreak
When you pull up to the beach you will see a giant hog. She has been there for years greeting visitors and lying in the shade under the mangroves. There is semi-secure parking, but don't leave stuff in your car. To the south are a bunch of rock shelves, so be careful during all lower tides. To the north is the beachbreak, which works best at waist high to a foot overhead. Waves are easy to catch, have some fun sections, and sometimes throw a thin lip to duck under. When it is any bigger it usually closes out. The crowds thin out the farther north you walk, and the best tide to surf are higher tides. There is only one hotel here on the beach, Cabinas Las Olas, which has trails through the mangroves leading to the shore leaving the view unspoiled by development. Other small hotels are across from the the road, about 1/2 kilometer from the beach.
Negra is a mostly right breaking wave and my favorite tube ride on the Pacific. The water is a deep blue, and the barrels are formed perfectly when the tide and swell are right. It works best from head high to double overhead, any bigger and it closes out. A few lefts come through if it's smaller, but you end up in the rocks which at low tide is sketchy. Speaking of sketchy, don't leave stuff in your vehicle as theft is rampant. Best tide to surf for many is lower to mid tides, but at high tide can also be fun if there is some size.
A remote stretch of salt and pepper sand and empty waves south of Playa Negra and north of Marbella. It is not surfed a lot since the peaks come at different tides and disappear when the tide gets too high or too low. At lower tides you can see the rock ledges that make the waves break farther outside.
This beach has two main breaks. A beachbreak to the north that works best at mid to high tides and can break bigger when other spots are small. It also gets hollow and can provide some quick rights. The second break to the south is a left point break off a rock shelf that works best at lower tides. Waves can go for about 200 yards with a big shoulder for cutbacks, but not tuberides. The crowd is usually heavier at the beachbreak and there a lot of locals that surf it so give them respect.
Description: At Vista Villas they have all the right ingredients for an all around great Costa Rica vacation. Whether you are here to relax, have fun, surf, or explore some of Costa Rica’s natural wonders, they take pride in calling ourselves a great - and affordable - Tamarindo hotel! Their family-run establishment is one of the three original hotels in Tamarindo and has a rich history of superb hospitality and amazing memories. Often times, large hotels lose that warm, "home" feel to them. Their English-speaking staff will not only serve you, but will make you feel like you are part of the family. We have single rooms to multi family suites with a view of the surf break at the Tamarindo Rivermouth. Plus there is a large pool and restaurant/bar servings meals throughout the day and night, and a long-running Friday Night Salsa Dance party.
Description: The RipJack Inn has eight individually decorated rooms nestled among lush foliage that includes banana, palm, and almond trees, tropical flowers and much more. Our cabinas are located in a separate building just steps away from the pool. Cabinas have a queen size bed, a single bed, private bath with hot water, air conditioning, and ceiling fan. Cabinas are equipped with in room safes, coffee makers, mini-fridge and cable television. The hotel features Upstairs @ the RipJack that boasts a panoramic ocean view and some of the finest cuisine in all of Costa Rica. During your stay, take advantage of our onsite yoga, massage and surf lessons.
* Current special! Rooms are only $50 through September 21st!
Description: Hotel Las Tortugas is perfectly positioned in the center of Playa Grande, just steps from the main peak which is one of Costa Rica's most consistent surf breaks. Guests revel in the luxury of staying at the only beachfront hotel in the area with a pool, jacuzzi, garden with hammocks, and open-air restaurant and bar all just steps from the water's edge. Eleven rooms all have AC and private hotwater bathrooms. Economy rancho rooms on the property for the traveler on a budget. The rancho rooms all have their own private hotwater baths and air-conditioning.
Description: Hotel Cabinas Olas has 24 hrs of security, parking lot, maid service, as well as ten spacious and beautiful cabinas. All cabinas offer a terrace and hammock, double and single orthopedic beds, safety box, ceiling fans, private bathroom with hot water. The Restaurant/Bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, specializing in international and typical Costa Rican food; including vegetarian options.
Description: Beachfront location with one of the world's absolute best learn-to-surf waves directly in front of them. Witch's Rock Surf Camp has been offering their services for 10 years, and WRSC recently celebrated 60,000 surf lessons. There are many world-class surf breaks close by, so experienced surfers who want excellent waves also stay and let them take care of everything. Hotel has an ocean view from every room.
The open-air beachfront restaurant Eat at Joe's is the busiest spot in town with a great mix of Costa Rican classics, Tex-Mex and Gringo favorites, Sushi Bar, and a recently opened Coffee Bar. They also have a beautiful new beachfront garden area where you can enjoy cold beer at the picnic tables with spectacular views. The Witch's Rock Surf Shop is fully stocked with top surf brands, a good selection of WRSC tees and rashguards, and all the necessities you need on vacation.
Blue Trailz Surf Camp Special: Learn to surf on a budget. With our 5 night Package at only $249, there is no reason not to go. With lessons to get you started and board rental to keep you going this package includes everything you need to ride your first waves. Book now! www.bluetrailz.com/offers Valid until December 10, 2016.
Description: Whether you are a pro surfer, or looking to learn; a seasoned backpacker or looking for an affordable place to stay; enjoy beach life or be active, Blue Trailz is your choice in Tamarindo. They offer private and dorm rooms all generously equipped with AC, hot showers and kitchen facilities, including fridges, microwaves and stoves. Their common area provides a great place to relax and have fun with fellow guests from all over the world. The Blue Trailz surf shop offers you quality products and services including new and second hand surf boards, ding repair, surf accessories and surf apparel. They also offer Trek bike rentals and guided mountain bike tours catering to all levels of cyclists.
Description: WAYRA Instituto de Español offers since 1996 Spanish classes to foreign students and residents. Our Swiss and Latin American managed school, operates in a pristine environment and offers an ideal setting for people that are interested in learning Spanish by following a full immersion program. Instituto Cervantes WAYRA Instituto de Español is approved by the Instituto de Cervantes as an official DELE examination Center and our courses are also accepted in different German provinces. Their popular Spanish & Surf program runs from 1-4 weeks and includes the use of a surfboard.
Check out their video showcasing their surf program here - LINK
Description: Students who participate in their surf program are not limited to simple surf lessons. Rather they receive a comprehensive 'wave education'. Their instructors teach wave theory, surf technique and employ methods such as video-analysis and yoga to ensure that surf students get the most out of their lessons. This combined with Spanish Lessons and a choice of accommodations, from private apartments to homestays, make CRSI a wise choice for a Tamarindo vacation.
Description: Children's Spanish, Art and Sports Camp – This is the only children’s Spanish camp of its kind in Latin America. Each day, Monday through Friday in July, they combine two hours of fun and interactive, age appropriate Spanish language classes with lunch, games at the beach, soccer games with local children and a number of adventure activities. The six hours that the students are in the program from 8am to 2pm are designed to expose children to the Spanish language and the culture of Costa Rica. Their goal is to have the kids learn Spanish while having fun on the beach in Costa Rica. The camp is available to children ages 6 to 12.
Description: Waves Costa Rica Quiksilver & Roxy Surf Camp is located at the Best Western Tamarindo Vista Villas hotel, the best ocean view in town. Owned by local surfers, it’s the only All Girls Surf Camp in Tamarindo. Their instructors are certificated lifeguards and ISA (International Surfing Association) certificated instructors as well. They offer you a surf shop, surfboard rentals, surf lessons, surf guides, tours, and adventures.
Sunset Sailing Cruise
Kayaking the Tamarindo Estuary
Night-time turtle watching (November-March)
Canopy Zipline Tour
4x4 Backcountry Tour
YouTube Video from Iguana Surf showcasing tours and activities in Tamarindo:
Need Spanish Lessons?
Want to learn Spanish on your own time while visiting Tamarindo? Diana Zimmerman offers private Spanish classes. She is bilingual and has several years of experience. She will conduct the class at her home and during a time that works for you. Email her for more information and scheduling.
Overall, waves have been hit or miss. There has been some swell. At this writing, Friday, there is a nice SW bump in the water putting standouts slightly overhead. At the end of the week we are looking at a small NW'er that should keep things in the chest high range and better for the north facing beaches and secret spots.
Wind, wind, wind. It has been offshore non-stop. Wind should continue offshore until Thursday and we will be in an offshore morning/onshore afternoon pattern after that.
Check out Salvemonos.org. Buy a souvenir T, sticker or mug at Luna Llena hotel or Azul Profundo Boutique. All proceeds go directly to our beloved monkeys. Thanks and be safe!
Its been an epic week in Tamarindo with the very first decent swell, has not been huge but this 2-3ft waves are making a lot of people happy, off shore winds showing up around 10 am within the incoming tides gives some juice and power to the river mouth, mostly the advanced surfers are getting the most of the shallow water there riding some A frames up to the waist high. Higher tide gets to break closer to the shore so beginners can reap the white waters easily.
Avellanas got hit by the combo swell (any direction you could think) is there, but is a good thing, first days we rode 3-4ft solid, fast and hollow waves after waves after waves, you get the idea; currents however where as consistent as the waves. Did not feel too crowded, I guess because it took like 5 minutes to get back out in the line up.
Playing at Longboards BBQ every Wednesday from 7-9PM, Kimi Tortuga, come along and enjoy a cold beer with good music.
Join us in the Spear Fishing adventure, the only previous experience you need is to know how to use the snorkel gear,we teach you the rest, the plus is the fresh scallop ceviche we make on board. Contact Seafari Costa Rica
CR Surf Travel Co. is an independent agent of Dugan's Travels, which is certified by CLIA, IATAN, and Vacation.com. California Registered Seller 2054922-40 / Washington Registered Seller 602327942 / Fla. Seller of Travel Ref No. ST35992. Please refer to our travel policy page for all information on our travel services.