Beachfront Accommodations on Playa Hermosa’s Black-Sand Beaches
With year-round swells and bathwater-warm water temperatures, Playa Hermosa has some of the best surfing in central America—so good, in fact, that the Billabong ISA World Surfing Games took place here in 2009. But you don’t have to be a pro. From January through April, the waves are considerably smaller than during the rest of the year, providing ideal conditions for beginners. On this seven-day surfing vacation from Rica Surf – Luxury Hermosa Surf Camp, visitors of all skill levels (the majority of whom are novices) receive small group lessons from certified instructors such as 2012 UK Pro Surf Tour Women's Champion Evie Johnstone. Other perks include beachfront accommodations, complimentary surfboard rentals, and even action photos taken by a professional photographer.
The Tortuga Del Mar beachfront lodge hugs the black sands of Playa Hermosa, placing guests just a few steps from the water. Each day, you’ll have a small group surfing lesson—with no more than three students per instructor—followed by plenty of free time to lounge by the pool. The group will also enjoy two yoga sessions and embark on a number of adventure tours, including horseback riding, a zipline canopy tour, and a jungle hike. Meals are not included, but beers are served each night at sunset and cocktails served on the last night.
Puntarenas, Costa Rica: Scarlet Macaws and Surfing in Popular Ecotourism Getaway
Located along the Pacific coastline, Puntarenas is Costa Rica’s largest province, extending more than 500 miles from the Panama-Costa Rica border up to the Gulf of Nicoya. In Puntarenas, you’re never far from beaches, national parks, and nature reserves, making the area a popular ecotourism spot. The beachside town of Jacó attracts surfers from all over the globe with consistently big waves and good breaks. Just a few miles inland, Carara National Park, an 11,600-acre nature reserve, is home to crocodiles, two-toed sloths, and hundreds of scarlet macaws—a rare sight in most parts of the country.
About 60 miles northeast of Jacó lies the Costa Rican capital of San José, a bustling cultural hub filled with open-air artisan markets and street vendors selling tamales and pupusas (stuffed flatbread). Wandering the streets here you'll see a confluence of architecture styles—part Spanish, part Moorish—and some of the older neighborhoods still have homes made out of wood and adobe.
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