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10 Reasons why Costa Rica is the Best Surf Destination in the World.
For almost 10 years I have been traveling around the globe, surfing some of the most well known (and unknown) surf spots out there. From the reefs of Bali’s Bukit Peninsula to the French beachbreaks of Hossegor, the long sandy pointbreaks of Australia’s Gold Coast to the legendary ‘Seven Mile Miracle’ on the North Shore of Oahu. The conclusion that I have come to after all of my surf exploration?
No where beats Costa Rica.
That’s a pretty bold statement, but here are 10 Reasons why…
#1. Consistency: Due to it’s geographical position, Costa Rica is one of the most consistent surf zones in the World. Being so close the Equator and facing, unobstructed into the Pacific Ocean results in Costa Rica receiving swells from both the Northern Hemisphere (November – March), and swells from the Southern Hemisphere (pretty much year-round). Boasting OVER 350 SURFABLE DAYS A YEAR!
#2. Variety: Being bombarded with waves is one thing, having the coastline to offer a huge variety of wave types is another. You can find gentle rolling beachbreaks, hollow sandbars, slow peeling pointbreaks, powerful reefs, long rivermouths, slabs and more along the ‘Rich Coast’.
#3. Water Temperature: Costa Rica sits between 8 and 12 degrees north of the Equator, this means a tropical climate where the water temperature requires only your boardshorts or bikini, all year round.
Best surf destination in the world Costa Rica
#4. Crowd Factor: Sure there are some busy areas, but there are plenty of uncrowded and even empty waves breaking every single day. Just a quick drive along the coast or to the next bay you can find great waves for just you and your friends.
#5. Natural Wonders: Costa Rica has bewilderingly diverse landscapes, flora, fauna and wildlife. Amazingly, Costa Rica hosts more than 5% of the world’s biodiversity even though its landmass only takes up .03% of the planet’s surface. Which is why Costa Rica is among the countries with the highest amount of protected land in the world; more than 25% of Costa Rica’s land is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife refuges. You can see this in abundance in the water when surfing along side turtles, schools of rays and more.
#6. Accessibility: Costa Rica has 4 International Airports, dozens of Domestic Airports, hundreds of Car Rental offices and great public transport offering air conditioned buses to all parts of the country. Even though the National language is Spanish, a lot of the locals speak good English (especially in the more touristy areas).
All this makes traveling to and around Costa Rica a breeze.
#7. Cost: It’s not as cheap as most of the other countries in Central America, but it sure is cheaper than a surf trip through California or Australia, believe me. During the Green Season especially, the car rental prices are reasonable, the accommodation is cheaper too.
#8. Weather: Costa Rica only really has two distinct seasons, the Dry Season and the Green Season. The Dry Season sees smaller waves but accompanied by all day sunshine. The Green Season means more rainfall, amazing sunsets and consistent swells from the Southern Hemisphere. Win. Win.
#9. Locals. The Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica (where Peaks ‘n Swells is based) is recognized as one of only 5 global ‘Blue Zones’. This means that the local people tend to live longer, healthier lives. This Pura Vida lifestyle is a welcome break from city life, and a truly ideal pace to appreciate where you are.
Mango season is the season to visit Peaks n Swells
Mango season at Peaks ‘n Swells is probably the best time of year!
#10. Food. Fresh fish straight out of the ocean, Organic Markets full of beautiful produce, Celebrity Chef restaurants, Delicious local soda’s (typical Costa Rican food), Mangoes, Papayas and Coconuts falling from the trees and pretty much every type of cuisine that you can think of.
It is a combination of all of these factors that puts Costa Rica at the top of the list. It may not be the best destination if your looking for the most famous, isolated, or scariest waves in the world; but it does offer a huge variety of fun consistent waves, in a tropical country that is friendly and easy to get around.
So where are you going on your next surf vacation? I’ll look forward to seeing you in CR…
Costa Rica crowned 2015 World Surfing Champion
ELLEN ZOE GOLDEN JUNE 8, 2015
It’s official: Costa Rica’s Dream Team surfers are the best in the world.
They made history on Sunday by winning the overall gold medal in the International Surfing Association (ISA) 2015 World Surfing Games held at Playa Popoyo, Nicaragua. The medal and subsequent Fernando Aguirre World Team Trophy and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) President’s Trophy anointed Costa Rica the world champions of surfing.
In addition, the team won another gold medal for coming in first place in the ISA Aloha Cup tag team event.
The overall gold was obtained with significant points earned by the brother and sister team of Noe Mar and Leilani McGonagle from Pavones, in the country’s Southern Zone, who were shredding the waves from start to finish.
Each of them made it to their respective finals, where four-time world medalist Leilani earned a silver medal for second place, while Noe Mar won the Open Division in less than 7 minutes of his heat, with two rides in the 8-point range before anyone had even scored a 3-point ride. He was also awarded a gold medal for his work in the water and became the individual world champion.
Not to be discounted were the performances of the rest of the team including Jason Torres and Lisbeth Vindas, both from Jacó, who were noted for their short but moving run. Anthony Fillingim (Malpaís) made a great showing towards the win in the Aloha Cup, while Carlos Muñoz (Esterillos) looked to be a final hopeful — even the announcer said he was “putting Costa Rica surfing on the map; he’s one of the best surfers in the world.” Yet, his hopes were dashed because of a controversial call in Round 9 of the Reparcharge Heats, when he thought he was interfered with by another surfer, but in fact the judges ruled that Muñoz inflicted the foul. Carlos was penalized with his wave score reduced and ended up in 4th place in the last chance Reparcharge.
By the finals, all of Costa Rica’s hopes were in the hands of the McGonagles. And they delivered. The spray their snaps produced pleased the judges as it demonstrated power and speed, crucial elements to gain points.
“I knew that the rivals were going to be hard with the past world champion and another finalist from last year in that heat, I knew I had to start strong and got those two 8s,” explained Noe Mar. “Then I knew I had to risk everything and got that 9.93. Thank God for sending me good waves. This has taken a lot of hard work and ISAs to get here.”
Noe Mar is a former silver medalist, and sister Leilani’s silver in Nicaragua makes the 5th world medal to grace her neck.
Over the course of the 7 days, Costa Ricans flocked to the beach adding numbers to those cheering for the Tico Team. And it was just this crowd that hoisted Noe Mar to their shoulders for a victory lap before the team stepped up to the podium to collect all their hardware.
“Costa Rica put on some of the best performances all week long,” the ISA announcer said.
It was just those performances that finalized the overall results as Costa Rica #1, Portugal #2, United States #3 and Peru, last year’s champions, #4.
Hermosa Break Description:
Powerful and consistent beachbreak that sticks out into the Pacific, assuring constant swell. You will rarely be surfing under head high here.
It can be perfect sometimes, delivering a nice barrel, but at other times you might see the barreling waves all over the place, but have trouble finding that perfect wave for yourself!
Hermosa is actually a several miles long stretch of beach, and you can go surfing anywhere along beach. There are a few distinct areas people surf:
Cabinas: right behind the cabinas that line the beach, Cabinas Las Olas being an example.
The Gate: if you are coming from Jaco, right after you pass Cabinas Las Olas, turn right onto the dirt road.
The Tree: Drive down a little more past the gate, and you will see a huge tree on your right, probably with few surfer's cars parked underneath.
Tulin Rivermouth: Continue driving past The Tree for a while, and your surfing at Tulin. VERY powerfull rivermouth beachbreak, usually a little bigger than the rest of Hermosa. Park at the Minae offices, watch out for alligators and sting rays.
Catching it Good
It closes out more at low tide, but can still produce a barrel. Better to go surfing Mid-high tide. Bigger during the rainy season (May-December).
Take the paved road out of Jaco going south. After you pass Cabinas Loas olas, turn right onto the dirt road. Remember, CR Beach Investment Real Estate has some fantastic homes for sale in this area, including the Hermosa Bungalows, almost directly in front of The Tree. Prices start at $232,000 for a 1000 sq.ft, 2 bedroom, check our Home listings! I live there and its FANTASTIC!
Recommended Hotels/Surfcamps in the Area
Hermosa Beachfront Bungalows: www.hermosabeachbungalows.com or buy one!
Loma Mar Surfcamp: These guys have the entire area wired, and they run ROVERCAM.COM. They take you surfing everyday to the best breaks in the area (hint: not just Hermosa!), and then video your surf session! Very cool, 3 meals a day included, Highly Recommended!!!
||AREA WAVE HEIGHTS AND CONDITIONS
||BEST PLACE TO SURF THIS WEEK
||NEWS AND UPCOMING EVENTS
Chuck at Walking on Water Surf Shop
|10/30 - FUN FUN FUN , That’s Jaco afternnons the last few days , waist to shoulder with the sneaky one here and there , glassy peaky , uncrowded and blah blah blah! You should have been here!
||Right here at high tide in front of the shop , you can check it from the front door of the shop so ? Im sure Hermosas good on the dropping in the AM too !
||Our big board sale ends TOMORRO , if you didn’t get 1 better send me a note and put some money down because boards are back to regular price on TEUSDAY! Thanks to ALL those people who did buy boards and help us get thru the slow days, expect business to be pretty good this season coming, here's hoping [and praying]! Pura Vida , Happy Surfing- Chuck and the CREW at WOW SURF where owning, operating and working at a REAL SURF SHOP is a trade of professionals!
Christina at Surf Inn Hermosa
|10/31 - Fading swell - 2-4ft poor conditions - Overcast with storms in the area in Playa Hermosa.
||New SSW groundswell set to fill in late tomorrow and build thru Wednesday bringing head high waves.
||The McKee Fundraiser is Friday, November 11th at Amapola Hotel in Jaco Beach. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door with Live Music by the Chupacabras-For more information, contact 2643-4012 or visit www.mckee-jaco.com
Famous Fabulous Fishing
is here in the Jaco, Central Pacific area of C.R.
Los Sueños Marina near Jaco Beach and the Quepos - Manuel Antonio area are the hot spots for Sport Fishing on the Central Pacific coast. Sailfish are the main targets for most anglers and they are seldom disappointed. Offshore fishing is normally done 12-20 miles out in blue water. Once in the blue water anglers catch Sailfish, Marlin, Tuna, Dorado and Wahoo. Inshore fishing is done around rocks, reefs, river mouths and estuaries. Anglers catch Roosterfish, Snapper, Jacks, Mackerel, Snook and more.
We are located in Jaco Beach on the Central Pacific Coast. The majority of our charter boats and vacation rentals are located in the Los Suenos Resort, Jaco Beach, Hermosa Beach, Quepos & Manuel Antonio areas.
Give us a call or send us an e-mail if you have any questions about charter boats and vacation rentals or if you need a “live” fishing report.
Thanks for your time,
1-800-9SAILFISH toll free from the USA
2643-1620 cell in Costa Rica
The Sailfish bite is above average year round. When the fishing is good, boats can average 20-40 Sailfish a day. When the fishing is slow, boats can average 5-10 fish per day. The best months are normally December through April, but Sailfish are caught all year round. more..
September, October and November are normally the best months for Marlin. But, big Blue Marlin and Black Marlin are always around and the boats that target them usually have some success. You may need to go a little farther and fish a little harder, but Marlin fishermen are used to that. more...
Yellowfin Tuna are found throughout the year on the Pacific coast. It’s not uncommon to pick up a 100 plus pound Yellowfin when fishing for Sailfish. June through September are normally the best months for Big Tuna. My best Tuna day we caught 20 Yellowfin Tuna. One weighed 20 pounds, one weighed 200 pounds and all the rest were about 100 pounds each. more...
The Dorado fishing is above average year round. June, July, August and September are the best months for the 5-15 pounders that congregate on the
weed and trash lines closer inshore. The rest of the year, the bigger Dorado are further offshore in the blue water with the bait and the Sailfish, 30 to 50 pound Dorado are very common when fishing for Sailfish.more...
Wahoo can be a pleasant surprise anytime of the year. Not many fisherman target the Wahoo, they are usually caught while fishing for something else. There are a few offshore rocks around Quepos that consistently hold big Wahoo all year long. more...
These hard hitting fish are one of my favorite. The Roosterfish and Jack bite is good year round with June through September normally being the best months. Fish live bait along the reefs and river mouths or cast poppers on the rocks and hold on because they hit like a freight train. Jaco and Quepos have excellent fishing for Roosterfish and Jack. more...
There are several different species of Snapper on the Pacific Coast. The Snapper bite is good year round. Cubera Snappers in the 50 to 80 pound range are not uncommon. Fish the rocks, reefs and rivers mouths with live bait or poppers. The Snapper fishing is good along the entire Pacific Coast. more...
Snook are usually caught trolling or casting near the many river mouths that run into the Pacific Ocean. The IGFA World Record Pacific Black Snook was caught just south of Quepos. There are a lot of 20 to 40 pound Snook caught every year. The locals have known about these big Snook for years, now a few of the smaller charter boats are targeting them. The best months are normally July through November, but some of the biggest fish are caught in December. more...
Map Of Central Pacific Costa Rica
by Tico Times: Jerry “Bubba” Hallstrom:
Costa Rica lost one of it’s good guys this week with the passing of Jerry “Bubba” Halstrom, of a sudden heart attack. Born July 14th, 1965, Jerry was only 45 years old and was known around town as “Bubba” from his famous fish taco restaurant, Bubba’s Fish Tacos, but even more so for his friendly personality and his generosity in the Jaco community.
Jerry was an avid fisherman and wrote a weekly fishing column in the Tico Times. Jerry also facilitated fishing trips, vacation rentals and booked fishing charters out of Los Suenos.
As a very loyal supporter of McKee Project Jaco, Bubba was very generous, leaving donations in our donation box at the clinic every time he was there. Bubba never left an animal in need without help - his house was full of pets, all of which were rescued from the streets. At Bubba’s they found love and respect and a new and wonderful life they never had before.
His family decided to make McKee Project Jaco a beneficiary for his memorial fund. They were in Costa Rica the first week of January, and presented a check for $500. This so very generous donation will go towards our adoption program, which at this moment has the most needs of all our projects.
North American Anglers Contribute $599 Million Annually to Costa Rican Economy July 6, 2010 Inside Costa Rica,
Tourism is Costa Rica’s top industry and new research shows North Americans traveling there in 2008 to fish generated $599 million - or about two percent of Costa Rica’s gross domestic product.
The study, conducted in 2009 by The Billfish Foundation, Southwick Associates and the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR), revealed 283,790 anglers visited Costa Rica and their economic impact even overshadowed commercial fishing. It was estimated 22 percent of those tourists visited the country for the exclusive purpose of fishing.
From that $599 million the study also showed sportfishing generated almost $78 million in tax revenues for Costa Rica and 63,000 jobs. In comparison, the effect of commercial fishing for the same species sought by anglers generated approximately $528 million to Costa Rica’s gross domestic product. Commercial fishing contributed $68.6 million in tax revenue and created 57,000 jobs.
“We have already had the opportunity to present the results of this study to the incoming vice president and minister of tourism,” said Ellen Peel, president of The Billfish Foundation. “And we will be making a formal presentation to a wider cross sector of government and business leaders this summer. The leadership in Costa Rica had no idea that their country receives more benefits from a sustainable recreational harvest than from the subsidized excessive effort in the commercial fishery.”
The comprehensive study included interviewing tourists at Costa Rica’s major airports to estimate the percentage who fished while visiting. The research focused on the expenditures and economic impacts of marlin, sailfish, yellowfin tuna, wahoo and dorado; species that are the most frequent targets of commercial fisherman and recreational anglers.
It was estimated the 283,790 North Americans visiting Costa Rica in 2008 spent a total of $467 million. The survey revealed $329 million was spent on travel including lodging ($119 million), restaurants ($15.6 million), flights and fishing guides ($88 million) and land transportation ($6 million). These dollars then change hands multiple times in Costa Rica, creating significant benefits for the nation’s gross domestic product. In addition, visitors spent approximately $105 million outside of Costa Rica prior to arrival for airfare or other travel expenses, though these dollars are not included in the economic analyses.
About 3,700 of those visiting Costa Rica have their own boats in the country, whether permanently or temporarily, and they spent approximately $138 million for items such as fuel ($45.6 million), maintenance and repairs ($25 million), furniture and accessories for their vessels ($48 million), staff and crews ($2.8 million), marina fees ($16.6 million), and taxes and insurance ($1.8 million).
“TBF believes that only when decision makers understand the economic importance of good fishing opportunities for tourist anglers will billfish conservation get on the radar screen of government leaders charged with economic development as well as fisheries management,“ said Dr. Russell Nelson chief scientist for TBF. “And now thanks to the dedication of TBF members and generous donors who have supported our socio-economic research, we are making the point.”
Additional work conducted in the U.S. by Southwick Associates, Inc. estimated 7.5 million Americans fished outside of their country in 2009 with 3.6 percent of them traveling to Costa Rica. Among anglers vacationing in Costa Rica, 40 percent said they would not have visited the country if they could not fish. Those anglers, who represent 116,000 visitors per year and about $135 million in tourism income for Costa Rica, said the main factor in determining their satisfaction is “quality of fishing” followed by “relative peace and quiet,” and “fishing services, boat and crew quality.” The majority of anglers reported they visited Costa Rica to catch billfish including sailfish, marlin along with dorado. Inshore species such as snook and tarpon were less frequent targets.
“This was the first study done in Central America that compares the economic contributions of recreational and commercial fishing for the same species,” said Rob Southwick, president of Southwick Associates, who coordinated design and methodology, management and monitoring of this research and generated information regarding U.S. anglers’ international travel activities. “We’ve completed similar work for Los Cabos, Mexico, and the results produced almost immediate benefits to fisheries management and conservation.”
That study found the Los Cabos area benefited by $1.1 billion to the economy.
Based on the success of socio-economic research in Mexico and Costa Rica, TBF already has entered into discussions with the new administration in Panama to conduct similar studies in that country.
Complete reports are available at: www.billfish.org
September and October are the height of rainy season in Costa Rica, as the recent weather has amply proven. Tropical storms at the end of September brought much of the country heavy rains and cloudy skies for more than a week.
We get these heavy rains every year, and the good news is that they mark the beginning of the end of rainy season. According to my records, the big rains last year came at the end of October, and in mid-October in 2008. Hopefully they came early this year, and it won’t be long before summer returns with sunny days, calm seas, cobalt-blue water and good fishing.
The heavy rains push the blue water and the bite farther offshore, and this can slow down the fishing. Before the recent downpours, the offshore fishing on the Pacific was good for marlin and yellowfin tuna, and the tarpon bite was good on the Caribbean coast.
The folks on the Macushla hauled in a big tuna.
The guys on the Macushla out of Los Sueños Marina fished offshore right before the rains and caught three blue marlin, two sailfish and a big yellowfin tuna.
Capt. James Smith and the crew of the Dragin Fly out of Los Sueños went out before and after the rains. Before the rain, they were doing well on blue marlin, sailfish and tuna. Afterward, they did well on sailfish, mahimahi and striped marlin.
The captain and crew of the J-Barrilete in Herradura Bay took a group of three anglers offshore for a full day of fishing, and they went seven for nine on sailfish and added a couple of small mahimahi for the dinner table.
Capt. Mitch Pearson on the Shotgun got in on some of the marlin action in front of Los Sueños, going two for four. He also caught a couple of sailfish and a handful of nice yellowfin tuna on a recent day offshore.
U.S. anglers Andre Mule from Florida and Chuck Pankow from Pennsylvania fished with the guys on the Good Day Too and caught three monster wahoo between 40 and 70 pounds.
Capt. Alex Holdin on the La Manta out of Quepos has had some good days down at a local hot spot called the 26 Rock, with a mix of wahoo, yellowfin tuna, small mahimahi, jack and snapper.
Capt. Chris Bernstel on the Kinembe II reports a good marlin and wahoo bite out in front of Quepos. The inshore fishing has been slow due to the heavy rains and dirty water, he reports.
Why is Costa Rica such a population destination for birders?
May 25 | CalypsoIsland Chronicles
In Costa Rica (and in Panama) you will find many bird species that are found in either North America or South America, as Central America is a land bridge that connects North America toSouth America. In fact, over 200 species of birds from North American can be found in Costa Rica during North America’s cold winter months, only to return to their North American homes sometime during the Spring. These birds are called migrants. It is not surprising, that there only 4 bird species endemic to mainland Costa Rica.
Costa Rica has the most species of bird per square mile is considered the best (and most practical) destination for birders in the world!
Other factors which contribute to Costa Rica’s popularity among birders are:
- It’s a very safe destination
- Many of the popular birding spots are within 90 minutes – 2 hour radius of the capital, San Jose which is located in theCentral Highlands
- There are many dedicated ecoresorts in the most popular birding areas, many of which cater to birding enthusiasts
- Ecotourism infrastructure is very advanced