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“Well run, great place”
Review of Zopilote Surfcamp

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Zopilote Surfcamp
Reviewed 7 August 2010

Other reviews mentioned the camp itself. Was just what I was looking for so just understand it is more of an open camp. Not an air conditioned resort/hotel (humidity and bugs). But the fans and netting sufficed. It is picture perfect what you would expect from this type of setup. Communal area downstairs where you can watch movies, play guitar, sit on the porch and watch the birds, lizards, and sometimes monkeys. Upstairs is an open loft with a row of semi-private rooms behind the open loft.

That said it is extremely well run and the staff was great. Simon is an excellant cook as others have noted and I probably put on weight. Judith is a sunny person who put out the breakfasts every morning.
I took some lessons with Eric who helps out once in awhile when other instructors are not around. He should be doing this full time as he has a great attitude and rapport is easy. He is informational and patient and communicates this very well. I met some great people and would go back.

Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
1  Thank willtravel01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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16 - 22 of 40 reviews

Reviewed 3 August 2010

Amazing surf trip. Booked a last minute trip, having never been to Costa Rica, and lucked out by staying at Zopilote. Great surf, chill vibe, and great people... made a ton of friends. I would recommend this place to anyone looking for an awesome surf trip. Oh and Simon is an amazing cook.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled solo
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1  Thank Ev__888
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 July 2010

Stayed here for 3 weeks and it was amazing. The place is super chilled, is on a beautiful beach with sweet waves and just is so relaxing. Simon provided excellent meals and really useful surf lessons. The lovely Judith aka Skully made awesome breakfasts. We surfed, relaxed and partied and meet some cool people. Couldn't ask for anything more in a surf camp.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Thank JeremyBlum
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 October 2009

I was looking for a break away to somewhere tropical, natural and with option to Surf some great waves in Costa Rica. The Zopilote Surf Camp Costa Rica delivered surpassing any expectation and left me with great memories. Upon leaving San Jose city you take a bus across land, through jungle and including a ferry crossing that really sets the scene - peaceful, tranquil and natural surroundings.

On arrival at the Zopilote Surf Camp Costa Rica I was warmly welcomed by friendly staff and guests who made me feel at home right away. The accommodation is perfectly apt for a surf camp and provides a homely feel, whilst being spacious enough, for you to indulge in Costa Rica's charms and just relax. The food throughout was sensational, to be honest I went on the states after and sorely missed the healthy hand prepared food we were spoiled with. I was extremely fortunate with the guests that were sharing the Surf Camp whilst I was there, great bunch of people, genuine, friendly, multinational and most importantly, all on the same page.

Each morning and afternoon at the Zopilote Surf Camp I headed to the waves, having lessons each evening as that suited the crowd and the waves during my stay. The instructors were great, informative and encouraging to all. I've had lessons in other countries but these lessons in Costa Rica were easily my best, progressing my standard quickly. The water was warm, the beach deserted and the waves accommodating - nothing else you need from a Surf Camp!

I would definitely recommend the Zopilote Surf Camp Costa Rica and I hope to go back one day. Just simply a great place to stay, surf, relax and generally have a memorable holiday. I met some great people at the Surf Camp and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I thought the value was very reasonable indeed, but I would recommend getting local currency for the local village, should you venture in. I'd didnt as the rough guide says $'s are ok everywhere but things end up costing a little more than it could on a travel budget.

Great times in Costa Rica on the Surf Camp, thanks Team Zopilote.

Very "Pura Vida - Costa Rica"!!

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled solo
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1  Thank cookie----londonuk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 June 2009

Spent a week at Zopilote recently with my boyfriend and had an amazing time. I would highly recommend it, but want to give some detail about the accomodations which the other reviews haven't really talked about and their website doesn't really cover. The accomodations are pretty basic, a notch above camping. You will have pillows and a mattress and mosquito net, but the houses that you stay have a roof but really only one wall -- the rest of the structure is very open. This is a good thing, since it allows small breezes to circulate and cool you down, but there's not a lot of privacy for example. The house has an outdoor shower and sink for washing off when you come back from the beach and you'll often see little colorful crabs and iguanas running around as you brush your teeth in the morning. There is also an enclosed shower and toilet inside the main house and a standalone "outhouse" shower & toilet as well so you can shower in some privacy. As with most places in costa rica, you can't flush the toilet paper, you throw it in a waste basket. So pretty basic accomodations overall, just wanted to get that out there.

That said, we had an amazing time. There property is well located, you feel like you're in the jungle. You can hear howler monkeys all the time and there are tons of iguanas, chameleons and crabs running around. Not to mention the pretty birds and butterflies around. The property is also right on the beach and you can wander around during low tide and see the animal life that is in the tide pools. Its a pretty easy 10 minute walk to the surf beach, too. I've never surfed before and having lessons was great. My boyfriend and I were both able to stand up on the boards on the first day and learned a lot in our week. There is a good selection of different sized boards available at the camp for you to try, too.

Most people will go surfing twice a day, during the high tides. So most days go kind of like this: wake up, surf, have breakfast, hang out in the house either reading or watching movies, surf in the afternoon, come back to the house for dinner, followed by hanging out with the other people or watching movies. Simon is a great cook, by the way. Every meal was really good. I miss his burritos. :) The coffee is amazing too. And there is a communal kitchen that you can use for lunches and snacks. A fridge also holds sodas and beers that you can buy for like $1.50 each, which is a pretty decent price. A good cold beer after you get back from surfing is awesome!

Since we were new to surfing we only surfed once a day (its pretty exhausting if you're not used to it), but most of the other people there were surfers back home so they went out twice a day. Everyone was super nice and friendly, and its a pretty international crew -- US, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Ireland, Italy. Everyone was in the 20-35 age range and it was great to chat with such a diverse group of people.

Other tips: definitely bring a rashguard and lots of sunscreen. The sun is brutal and this will help you from getting seriously burned. The rashguard also helps avoid irritation from sand and wax on your skin. Girls, a surf bikini or boardshorts are required (i learned the hard way, with my bikini bottom falling off constantly on the first day). If you're coming from San Jose you can take a bus, but its a hot bumpy 6 hr drive. If you can afford the flight to Tambor instead of the bus, its saves a big hassle but be warned that it is a tiny little plane. :)

Overall, i would highly recommend Zopilote. Great crew, beach, surfing -- great time!

  • Stayed: May 2009, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank mh3301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 March 2009

Once you've been there you wanna go back as soon as possible. It was my second stay with the zop-crew. And for sure i'll be back. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed: March 2008
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Thank jeyjey7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 September 2008

Surf camp was my last stop of a round the world trip, and really was one of the highlights of the 5 months.. I booked for a week and stayed for a month in the end, it was perfect!

All the camp staff are so nice and friendly, with amazing bedrooms that look over the sea, perfect to look out for some waves (not that i knew what to look for). With food that is better than my mum cooks and loads of things to do if you've mastered surfing : )

You can do as much or as little surfing you want too, which is wicked if your abit hungover, and the beach is pretty much your own! Ive already looked at flights to go back : )

The best surf camp ever xxxxx
god bless zopilote

  • Stayed: May 2008, travelled with friends
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1  Thank MorganOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Zopilote Surfcamp

Address: | Playa Manzanillo, Mal Pais 60111, Costa Rica
Region: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 14 Speciality Lodging in Mal Pais
Price Range: £52 - £70 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Zopilote surf camp is located on the coast at the beach of Playa Manzanillo - just north of more touristic and famous Santa Teresa & Mal Pais. Great ocean view house and bungalows in front of empty lineups surrounded by the jungle and the ocean. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Zopilote Surfcamp Hotel Mal Pais
Zopilote Surfcamp Costa Rica/Mal Pais

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