Over the years, we’ve been asked many questions, from how consistent our beach break is, to advice about the best activities in the area, for local tips, and everything else in between. While we’ve put together a comprehensive Q&A section, we wanted to highlight some of the top questions here.
"What’s the surf like?"
Costa Rica offers more consistently surfable conditions, even at the 'worst' times of the year, than do most places at their best.
Our little slice of heaven, Playa Hermosa, offers some of the most consistent surf conditions for beginners in the world. With its rolling white water waves, sandy beach bottom, and lack of crowds, Playa Hermosa provides the perfect conditions to teach you how to surf at any time of the year.
For intermediate surfers, or those newer to surfing 'green' waves, the dry season (December-May) offers conditions that are typically smaller. For more experienced surfers, the wet season (June-November) swells can produce larger conditions more suited for people seeking to advance their skills performing manoeuvres such as cutbacks, snaps, and top and bottom turns.
Insider Tip: have no fear, the green season stills offer beginners perfect conditions to start their surfing career, and it’s a great time to come.
"Can I free surf?"
Absolutely, we encourage you to surf as much as you'd like during your stay with us. Typically, guests who practice their skills outside surf classes will progress faster. The more waves you catch, the quicker you’ll acquire the skills needed.
We only ask that, for beginner surfers with no prior experience with a surfboard, you don't take to the white water on your own until you have had at least one surf lesson with us.
In your first session, we will teach you about water safety and board handling techniques as part of our responsibility to keeping our beaches safe for everyone. Surfers of any level should be aware of the etiquette of sharing the waves with others before paddling 'out the back' beyond the white water to catch green waves.
Insider tip: grab a board and paddle out for a sunset surf. Even if you don’t catch anything, you’re sure to have a beautiful time.
"What other tours or activities are there to do near Shaka?
Feeling like you want to explore beyond surf, yoga, and hammock time? We’ve got you covered, there are so many things to do in and around Playa Hermosa, and in the neighbouring towns of Santa Teresa, Mal Pais, and Cabuya/Montezuma. Some of our favourites include zip-lining through the jungle, hiring ATVs to visit local sights and waterfalls, beachfront massages, and the most breathtaking horseback ride you’ll ever experience... among many, many others!
Insider tip: don’t worry about scheduling activities pre-departure, the Shaka team is always available during your stay and happy to provide greater detail, insider tips, and make any bookings required.
Do I need to bring cash?
Highly recommended! Cash is king on the Nicoya peninsula, so we'd recommend that you bring some with you. Credit cards are not widely accepted, particularly in Playa Hermosa, where there is also no bank or ATM. That said, have no fear, there is an ATM at the airport in San Jose, and there are two ATMs in the neighbouring town of Santa Teresa (approximately 15 minutes away by taxi) – where you will be able to withdraw both dollars and the local currency, colones.
Insider tip: American dollars are accepted everywhere in Costa Rica, although we'd recommend that you avoid the larger denominations like the $100 bills. More often than not, you'll be given change in colones.
To further help plan and prepare for your upcoming Costa Rican surf adventure with us at Playa Hermosa, see all common questions here.
Photos by: Matthew Bienz