All the other reviews are entire accurate, so read them, and I largely second everything that was already said.
About my experience - I went alone + it was fun. None of my friends wanted to try surfing, but I wanted to, and I don't regret it. There were other campers there my week - 4 girls + I quickly made friends with them all. We all hung out together, went out to town, dinner, and to drink one night. So don't be intimidated if you are travelling solo - - - but check ahead to make sure others will be there. I think it would have sucked if I was the only one there, and some weeks there are just one or two people - or none at all.
The lessons are great. Very individualized. They push you hard. You will learn. The water is warm, clean, and safe - no dangerous animals or really intense waves.
The other reviewer is right - Alvaro is quiet. I rode to the airport with him, and it was a struggle. All the other instructors are very personable - VERY personable, and go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. Ismael is awesome - great teacher and great to hang out with.
Bring stuff to do - as beginners surf just 2 hrs a day, and there is a LOT of down time.
My biggest gripe - while the rooms were beautiful, my room was without hot water all week. Same with another room, and we told them, but they never tried to fix it. Also, there are BUGS in the rooms - its unavoidable in Costa Rica, but be prepared. I got freaked a couple of nights and had trouble sleeping. Spiders, ants, etc. The BEST strategy for dealing with them, I learned at the end of my stay, is use the indoor light sparingly once the sun goes down. Go down to the house if you want to read.
Overall, I'm happy I went... but be prepared - its nice... but its not like staying at a hotel in the US.
email if you want more info
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our Eco-Lodge features lovely guest bungalows all with an unobstructed view of the ocean, each with two individual rooms with private baths, air conditioning, two Twin beds or one Queen-sized bed and large decks with hand-crafted, native-wood furniture and comfortable hammocks for relaxing. The decks are ideal for enjoying the breeze, watching the sun rise over the hills and set over the Pacific Ocean, or taking in a visit from the family of macaws living near the property. Our bungalows are equipped with small safes for the storage of valuables, small refridgerators for snacks and drinks, and coffee machines for that morning wakeup. We do look to promote a relaxing environment and for you to "unplug", therefore our rooms do not have TVs, telephones or Internet connections, enabling our guests to enjoy the Pura Vida of Costa Rica. We do offer business center servies and free WiFi in the main house. We have a lovely pool and two Yoga decks which also serve as our massage decks, one of which looks out over the ocean, the other over the pool. Our massuese can also offer services on the deck of your bungalow or in your room, and couples massages are available as well. Other spa services such as manicures, pedicures, and haircuts and styling can be arranged. Our concierge is available 24 hours a day to meet all of your needs including shuttle services into town, tour bookings such as camopy tour, horseback riding, ATV, crocodile and much more, private fitness and Yoga instruction. Our staff of professional surfers and SUP surfers are the #1 rated in Jaco for surf and SUP lessons. We currently staff a 5-time National and Central American Champions, as well as other top-ranked professional surfers and SUP surfers. All staff members are certified by the International Surf Instructor Association (ISA) and are certified in CPR, First-Aid, and Open-Water Lifesaving Techiniques. We also currently staff a veteran Beach Lifeguard that worked in Texas, Hawaii, and California, with EMT and Big Surf Rescue training. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Vista Guapa Surf Camp Hotel Jaco
- Vista Guapa Surf Camp Costa Rica/Jaco