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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2008/12/08 02:26 I was in CR for 5 months on my own, but that was at least 5 years ago. if you can cook your own food it is cheap, or eat Casados in the Sodas. And take a tent if you can, everyone likes camping in CR and there's lots of sites. I stayed in Dominical on the pacific side for a long time but I hear now it is overrun with cocaine and very crowdy but like anywhere, it depends on where you go and what you are into. the waves were heavy and hollow and not so crowded because everyone just sat on the one peak (nicknamed Slater Peak because of all the posers on it I think) whereas further down to the rivermouth it was empty but we did see a croc in the water once!. There were sometimes loads of fucking hippies there but some nice bars there to drink in and some good hostels, about 10 bucks a night in Mike's with a kitchen and toilets etc. The rip is quite formidable there when it is big, you have to work hard to stay on the peak. There's a nice reef around the corner and about 30 mins away is playa hermosa, (not the one near Jaco) which picks up less swell but seemed to work when Dominical was maxed out in crazy closeouts. It has a nice right hand point break far down the beach, but watch your car there (watch all your stuff everywhere in CR!) Places like Tamarindo and Jaco were full of drugs, aggressive packs of ignorant frat-boys, prostitutes and drunken SoCals but like I say that was a while ago now so maybe everything is changed... Costa Rica is small and expensive and popular because it is very safe compared to some other central American places. But it is very very chilled out and beautiful and whereever you go if you are in CR for a month I promise you will have a good time! just watch your stuff!
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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2008/12/10 04:19 Greetings,

I just wanted to chime in on the drug comment by another poster. I have lived here for almost 8 years and there are drugs everywhere. When I first arrived, the first place I went to was Dominical. For me, Dominical was a drug scene, since I did not smoke weed and people there referred to Jaco as a drug scene. That is simply not the truth, you can find drugs in Dominical, Uvita, Mal Pais, Jaco, Playa Hermosa, Witches Rock, etc...

Jaco was easily the most carefree environment after leaving Dominical since I had a choice of activities to choose from rather than smoke pot and go to the "disco"

I suggest anyone who is coming to Costa Rica for more than a month, to check out sites like Surf in Jaco or A.M. Costa Rica to get a better idea of the country. All to often, tourist websites do not alert the visitor of the realities. Understandably, they focus on all of the good points of visiting Costa Rica. What I have found is if people are forewarned, an unforeseen event like a robbery will not be a surprise. I have heard countless tales of people expressing outrage at being held at gunpoint and having ALL of their luggage stolen. The fact is, Costa Rica like any other poor country has its elements of corruption at all levels and that one must be prepared to keep their guard up. Trusting a taxi driver with all of your belongings in the car except your backpack is the most common story. Person A, asks person B (taxi driver) to stop at ATM, person A leaves all luggage in the taxi and proceeds to the ATM, person B takes off leaving a perplexed and often frustrated traveler who goes back to their home country ranting about what happened.

If you are looking for a place to stay and you will be in the country for a long period - more than a month- check in to a higher priced accommodation when you arrive and then go physically visit all of the places that were suggested to you online. Many travelers and surfers will tell you what is promised is seldomed delivered in Costa Rica.

Feel free to write me or ask any questions related to travel or surfing in Costa Rica. thetico(at)gmail(dot)com
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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2008/12/10 07:13 thank you very much all of you for your answers.
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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2008/12/12 22:05 Drugs are everywhere and like most everything it comes down to choice. Keep a low profile, be humble and most likely you will never have a problem.

Politely say "no thank you" or " no gracias" , smile and move on.
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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2008/12/27 00:08 Ceholli,

The problem with keeping a "low profile" is that I shouldn't have to hide from dealers to avoid having a problem.

I used to live in Tamarindo and despite my polite insistence that I don't want to purchase "coca / weed" the same street dealers would approach me daily to sell me drugs.
Tamarindo, Jaco and Puerto Viejo are the worst places for the open sale of drugs.
I would suggest avoiding these areas if, like myself, you want to surf without being bothered by lame dealers.

Costa Rica is an amazing place. I live here and I love it! I now live in Playa Grande and it's really nice not to have drugs and prostitution in my face each and everyday. I came down to surf, not get harassed.

I agree that Las Tortugas is a great place for surfers to stay in Grande. It's on the beach and the apartments are cheap for long term stays. I also suggest Kike's, and Cabinas Rossi for cheap accommodations. Beware, cheap means you get what you pay for.

I recently opened a hotel for surfers that are looking for clean, comfortable accommodations, close to the surf, that they can bring their girlfriend or spouse without hearing complaints.
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Re:Surfing in Costa Rica - 2009/01/02 18:30 Hey just thought I'd add another 2 cents:

Hermosa is a GREAT place to surf. Lots of aloha down there, really friendly people. I'd suggest las olas as a place to stay. Even if you don't stay there, try the breakfast, you'll be hooked for life, soooo good.

As for Guanacaste, don't forget to surf Playa Negra. It's an amazing wave, definitely worth your time, just try and catch it uncrowded because the takeoff zone can get tight. Las Olas Cabinas in Avellanas is a great place to stay, good folks and good food. Only a half mile walk to the rivermouth for good waves.
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