There's something so poetic about surfing.
It's such a perfect sport. Ugh, I can't even really call it a sport with a straight face. Professional surfers are amazing athletes, but it's so far away from a competitive activity as most people can get from. It's a zen activity, right up there with yoga. It's meditative and quiet and rhythmic and really quite spiritual. It's also incredibly hard. I suck at it, but I love doing it. I'll get out there and get spanked by waves for two hours before hobbling in looking like a prune with my sinuses as clear as they could get and some nice abrasion from the multiple sweeps of the ocean floor that I've felt necessary.
I know of no other sport that requires so little: a board. Some wax. A rash guard. Sigh, if you must insist on cold-water surfing, then yes, you need a thick wetsuit and boots and gloves and a hood, but, ugh, who would want to do that.
And also....you need a perfect wave. Which, the beaches in Costa Rica are full of.
Nosara, where all the lovely yoga retreats are, has some great beaches. We went from Nosara to Playa Negra and never saw a bad break. The roads were amusingly poor to get from one beach to the other...they are more like trails and impassible during the rainy season. Still, we had to cross three or four streams that crossed the road. As much as I hate the idea of an SUV, it's a good idea to have something with 4 wheel drive and probably one of the very few places on earth where an SUV is actually useful.
Nosara is a little crowded, but mostly with ultra-wealthy people there for a yoga retreat and a cleanse. We found places to do walk-in classes and spent an afternoon breathing and stretching in the sea breeze.
Oddly...I ran up to a beach vendor at Nosara thinking he would have ices or Popsicles or something in his cooler. Nope. Ceviche. As much as I love raw seafood, I just am not craving it while sitting in the hot sun.
The most consistently amazing breaks are at Tamarindo, aka Tamagringo. While most of the beaches here are secluded with rustic, washed-out roads, the streets were paved over here, leading to a huge influx of tourism and condos and dance clubs and pizza joints, and a nice man on a bicycle offered to sell me pot while he was cruising the beach. Surf school and adventure camps line the strip, and the crowds that flock there have taken inspiration from the sloth. Ahem, included lovelies like these:
Ignore the trash on the beach. Or better yet, throw it out. Walk down to the far end of the beach where the estuary is, and the thumping bass of the DJ starts to fade and you once again get a perfectly surfable beach.
It's truly a gorgeous place, but one of the few spots where you will have to fight for a wave.
Oh~ I almost forgot. I found the most perfect beach bar in the world, I swear- Lola's at tiny Playa Avellanas. It was perfect- comfy solid wooden chairs, hammocks and loungers all angled to take in the sunset while sipping your margarita and eating your ceviche (which is pretty much sashimi!) under the shade of mangrove trees and giant umbrellas. Aas soon as the first mosquito bites, the bar closes down for the night. It's one of the most blissful spots I've found.