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May 8th, 2009 No Comments


I first visited Costa Rica in 2007.  I had some unused vacation days at the end of the year which would not roll over.  After having just spent a week at home with my family for Thanksgiving, the thought of seeing them again and so soon sounded more stressful than peaceful.  I felt the urge to go international.  But where?  Where could I go conveniently, short notice, cheaply, and alone?  I impulsively booked a ticket to Costa Rica and figured I would play the rest by ear.  My friend Katie’s earlier insistence for me to try surfing bubbled up through my subconscious.  I scoured the internet for cheap New Year’s surf camps and came across Santa Teresa / Malpais (the towns are 2 kilometers apart).

At first, I was skeptical.  I wanted to go more off the beaten path of Tamarindo, Jaco, Dominical – the widely recognized go-to Costa Rican surfing spots for American beginners.  But would this town and its waves be as good?  I happened to befriend a Tico expat a week before my trip.  He whistled – surprised and impressed I was making Santa Teresa my first stop.  Sold.  The beaches, the sunsets, and the punchy easy waves caused me to cancel my trip through the rainforest on the way back.  I couldn’t tear myself away from watching the sky change so many colors of the rainbow in my own backyard.

Photo via Saeny Blaser, Swiss photographer.