Advantages Wonderful beach, easy access
Disadvantages Crime, no tubes.
|How clean is it?|
|Standard of surfing|
I used to live in Costa Rica for 6 years. The easiest beach to get to is Jaco Beach, like 2/3 hours from the Capital, San Jose, depending on the hour (tip: I used to go at 3 in the morning and be down there in time for the sunrise, a good breakfast, and time to relax before heading out) It is close enough to allow you to go down for the day and get back to the hotel in San Jose for a shower (or to hit the bars in my case!)
The beach itself is a good place for the not too independent surfer, as along the main road of Jaco there are like a million pizza places and surf stores. There is even a Pizza Hut!
The bus, if you don't have your own transport (recomended) is about 600 colones (like £1.10) and you have to pay 300 colones (£0.60) to have put your board in the hold. I have done it loads of times, make sure your board has a case and it will be fine. It does help to look out of the window at stops to make sure there is no bloke running off with it but this is very much unheard of.Boards -
If you don't have a board of don't want to bring one then there a like 10 shops where you can buy/rent boards. Have a talk with the people there, they are very friendly but may try to rip you off if you seem too clueless. I managed to get a lovely Quiksilver longboard for a day at $15 but that was after a lot of debate!! expect to pay a bit more really..
You can buy one for about $130 and just sell it back at the end if you want. (they will pay less for them though!)
If you get your board damaged, I recomment Chuck's, past the main bridge, he is cool and does good repairs and is from the States.
You can also rent cars, motornikes and bicycles there. A lot of locas cycle with their boards!! (do not try it, believe me!!)
The beach and the surf -
The beach is quite crowded, in Costa Rican term!! At high season you may have to dodge someone playing footbal to get to the water, the waved may contain 10 surfers ever 400 meters.
The waves are, I must admit, temperamental. Some days there is nothing but chop and you can only really white water surf which isn't really surfing at all! Other days there is a wonderfull swell with these sweet waves which are a real pleasure to ride. The waves a ridable at waist depth and the water is as warm as a bath (I have been spoilt, I know!!)
Further out, the second set of waves is very deceptive, as they seem almost the same as the first set, yet they are Very Powerful. Do not disrespect them.
Once I was out on this calm water with no waves in sight, i faced the sky for a few seconds with my eyes closed and relaxed and then opened my eyes and saw this HUGE wave bearing down on me.. It must have been at least 11 feet and straight beind me, I had no chance to get out of the way or get past it, it was already foaming so i dived. It took me like 40 seconds to get out of the bottom and amazingly my board was in one piece!!
Night life -
there is a great deal of it with great clubs.
Sometimes I would go down to Jaco like at 11pm and return home like at 3, just to go to the clubs!
Discoteque La Central is the best one, and there is also a new one called cocodrilo. Do be careful not to be too obviously lost when hanging around as there is crime there as there is everywhere.
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