Costa Rica – What is it all about?

Written by on 6th December 2013
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Costa Rica is now largely recognised as one of the worlds most popular surf destinations. A must visit location with warm waters, a tropical climate, and a huge selection of mellow beach breaks and intense reef breaks have Costa Rica is widely regarded as the perfect Winter get away for European surfers and travellers.

Surf Holiday in Costa Rica with Ticket to Ride

Surf Holiday in Costa Rica with Ticket to Ride

As a country, Costa Rica was largely uninhabited until the early 1900s, a resource rich country full of dense tropical jungle that made travelling through it nigh on impossible. At the beginning of the century the opening of the Panama canal increased interested on the Central American countries, and a knock on effect of that saw a number of farmers and other land owners settle in Costa Rica, but for its natural resources rather than its long sweeping white sand beaches.

It was as late as the 70s that the first intrepid surfers first stepped foot on this amazing stretch of coastline. Globally there was a massive surf exploration movement, surfing had increased in popularity hugely through the 60s and many of the Californian beaches had become crowded; Hawaii was the mecca of surfing but again intense crowds made it an incredibly competitive surfing environment. Surfers everywhere were looking for their slice of paradise, and this is when many of the spots that are so popular today were first surfed (Indonesia being another classic example).

Errant Surf has been travelling through Costa Rica for years, covering the entire coastline from North to South on more than one occasion. There are a huge variety of breaks on offer and beautiful places to visit, and it is the consistent swells, warm tropical water, consistent climate and friendly locals that make Costa Rica such a popular surfers destination.

From all of this exploring, Santa Teresa is where Errant has decided to operate the majority of its Costa Rica surf camps and surf holidays. It was discovered later than some of the other destinations (first surf in the 90s by a couple of Americans), it has been developed in a way that you would hope to expect in Costa Rica, with small lodges and low bungalows set in amongst the jungle along the coastline providing the majority of the buildings, rather than large hotel chains, which have sadly overtaken a handful of other Costa Rican destinations.

Santa Teresa is in an area called “Mal Pais” translating literally as “Bad Land”, and this is purely due to the fact that the jungle here was so dense, and the high hills behind the beach front made it impossible for farming to be done. So until it was discovered as a surf destination the two farmers who owned the entire area thought that it had literally no worth to them. This soon changed however when surfers started to visit and the combination of dense jungle, a long sweeping coastline and relative isolation made it an absolute mecca. It did not take long for people to visit and never leave, making their homes there and opening up small businesses for the travelling surfers that came through. It has changed a lot since the 90s, but the main spirit and ethos is still there and the initial spirit in which the area started to develop has been maintained, which is what makes it such a magical place to visit.

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Costa Rica is an amazing place to learn to surf

Surf wise you have a handful of options. The main beach Santa Teresa is a 2 mile long beach offering a variety of peaks, and on a South swell will throw punchy walls all the way down! Playa Carmen is its neighbour, a slightly more mellow alternative but equally as consistent and a popular choice with the beginners. Reef wise you have Super Suck, or “Suckies” on the North of Santa Teresa, an unforgiving right hand reef that on it’s day will have you seeking shade from the intense Costa Rica sun. On top of this there are a handful of other beaches and more secret spots in the area meaning that you will never be left flat!

Errant Surf works with a handful of providers in Santa Teresa and over the Summer season our own Max Hepworth-Povey (Errant Surf School Manager), will be on the ground to welcome guests, offer surf lessons and take them for an explore!

So whether it’s a budget surf and stay at Santa Theresa, or a beautiful Beachside Villa with private garden and a pool all for the whole family, we are able to tailor holidays to a wide price range and varying amounts of time, giving every Errant Surfer their own slice of Paradise.

Pura Vida!

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