Paddling Out at Dawn in Costa Rica with Deana

Costa Rica! A country filled with luscious jungle scenery, endless waterfalls, epic point breaks and beautiful people. “Acachete!” Which I was told meant, “The most stoked you've ever been!” I used this term quite often during my stay, it seemed to fit the environment perfectly.


Documented by: Deana 

Images by: Deana 


Playa Hermosa


We started our two week surf trip arriving in San Jose. We were graciously picked up by our good friend and fellow San Diegan, Mike “Miguelito” Mcgrath. After a few sweaty hours in the car, we arrived to Playa Hermosa. A long beautiful black sand beach with uncrowded barrelling offshore waves. 


We played with some beach dogs, went in for a quick dip and made our way to the town of Dominical. *Random note: If you want to make some doggie friends like I did, purchase a bag of dog food during your stay and feed the hungry little guys! I made Mike pull over countless times on busy roads so I could love and feed some hungry dogs!


Dominical was loaded with uncrowded beach breaks and the beautiful Baru River that flows directly into the ocean.

Baru River Mouth at sunset 


Most days were off-shore, head high and spread out with a few friendly locals. The water was a mere 84 degrees which made surfing in anything but a bathing suit out of the question. The beach break worked best on a mid to high tide but the boys didn't hesitate getting some low tide chocolate barrells after a heavy rainstorm.



Bamboo Forest in Uvita 

We had about five days filled with endless sessions, adventuring to waterfalls and swimming up fresh water gorges. The time had come and we packed up the trusty 4Runner and headed South to our next stop. Pavones.



Pavones! A goofy-footers dream! It sure was a bumpy road to get there and I would only recommend an SUV with high clearance and four wheel drive. There are not many paved roads in Costa Rica. The four hour ride, rattling around in the back seat with four boards and camping gear was, nonetheless, worth it. We pulled up to glassy, waist high left peelers and set up our camp right on the point.


Visions at Pavones

We set up our tents and hammocks then made a fire to cook our dinner. We ate nothing but bean, cheese and veggie burritos for the next four days but thoroughly enjoyed them underneath the light of the full moon. 


We were woken up by a pack of horses on the beach and paddled out at dawn every morning, stretching our arms and waking up underneath the moonset and fiery sunrise with only a few people out.



Being that the swell direction had other plans, we decided to move on and head to Matapalo, a right point break across the peninsula. You can get there by boat on a day trip from Pavones for $200.



 We managed to stop at “Martinas Bar” where we hoped to score some local insight on the swell and maybe a cheap place to stay. We were greeted by a friendly man named Jim, who offered us a place for 100$. That was a little over our budget but we gave in and decided to “splurge”.


The next morning, we woke up at dawn and set out looking for waves. We had the whole Osa Peninsula to explore, which borders the Corcovado National Park, so we were guaranteed to see some wildlife. The waves weren’t too bad and actually better than most days in San Diego!



After a few punchy rights, some turtle sightings, and a beautiful spotted bat ray, we ended our session listening to some Scarlett Makas yapping away in the trees. 



The Osa Peninsula ended up being one of my favorite places on the trip. We saw all four types of Monkeys. Howlers, White Faced Capuchins, Spider Monkeys and Squirrel Monkeys.



We saw poison arrow dart frogs, tree frogs, an unimaginable amount of birds of prey and Toucans. We even saw a few poisonous snakes so make sure to pack some above the ankle boots because we almost stepped on them while walking on the dirt road at night.



The wildlife was endless and it was really nice that we were able to see all of that without paying for a wildlife tour. 


Campout at Pavones

Thanks for taking the time to read about my adventures in Southern Costa Rica! I highly recommend visiting there if you haven't already!! Big thanks to Her Waves for always supporting me in my travels!

I’m inspired by the water, the sun, the moon, and the stars. My countless wipeouts, my dreams of noseriding, and the feeling I get when sliding across the face of a wave.

Meg Jacovino