Surfing/Diving/Good Beaches Central America?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Mar 23, 2013 11:21 AM Last Post By: hectorthecuewre...
Mar 18, 2013 2:16 PM
Surfing/Diving/Good Beaches Central America?Hi my wife and I, our year old son and two other adults want to go somewhere for a couple of weeks in Central America.
We'll have just over 2 weeks and would like somewhere pretty cheap with good beaches with surf, diving and snorkelling. It would need to be reasonably easy to get to too as we have a year old son, so no 12 hour bus rides and motorbike taxis, etc.
We looked at Belize as it's somewhere i've always been interested in going, but there's apparently no surf. I know that Costa Rica is very good for surfing, but was told that the beaches and coral weren't comparable to those of Belize.
An internet search came up with Samara in Costa Rica just now. Has anyone been there?
We are of course open to all suggestions; The place needs good and quiet beaches for the women (and my son) in our group and good beginner/intermediate surf and other activity type stuff to do (hiking, exploring, diving, ziplining type stuff) for us gentlemen folk.
If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.
Mar 18, 2013 2:29 PM
1You cant have surfing and snorkeling in the same breath, one is huge waves and the other is smooth surface.
That said, for everything but great scuba diving, Costa Rica fills the bill, lot of adventure options and nice beaches, though the Pacific is not always swimmer friendly.
What time of year? Rainy season will make a difference in many areas.
Samara is a good beach option, though its not near any decent diving, that would would be near Playa Flamingo/Coco, north of Playa Tamarindo, and Tamarindo is a surf mecca, with 3 breaks, Playa Grande north and Playa Negra south, the beach is fine to swim on south end, but really most the Pacific beaches are swimming for adults, not small children.
CR really does not have great scuba diving, there are no reefs to speak of, and it is more something to do to kill time, not a destination to focus on diving, that would be Bay Islands Honduras or Belize (Caribe).
CR is best to move about for the national parks, highlights, then end at a beach.
If surfing is a priority, then CR, for diving, head to Belize/Honduras (Roatan has nice beaches too and diving is cheap as it gets.)
I suggest you stay at a place with a pool, for the little one.
Mar 18, 2013 2:38 PM
2Thanks for that. Yeah i should have mentioned that we'll likely go in July, how's that?
And as for surfing, we'd only be up for beginner/intermediate stuff, nothing huge and crowded like i imagine the popular places in CR to be, so i dunno how it is for beginner surf there?
CR is looking like a strong choice, especially with the adventure type activities, and surfing would take priority over snorkelling diving type stuff. As long as the ladies can still have a relaxing beach holiday. We wouldn't really want to move around long distances due to my son being with us, but don't want to stay put somewhere for two weeks either.
Mar 18, 2013 4:09 PM
3What's Montezuma like?
I know there's no diving or snorkelling, but it has surf and seems to have enough other stuff to do.
Would a Tamarindo- Samara- Montezuma trip be feasible with a year old child?
And i've just seen Mal Pais, Santa Teresa. Looks good and is close to Montezuma, maybe a combination of Mal Pais and Montezuma would be an idea?
Edited by: hectorthecuewrecker
Mar 18, 2013 4:29 PM
Mar 18, 2013 5:15 PM
5Dominical is not for the novice, a very shallow break and strong rip currents, not a s swimmers beach, but a surfers town.
You can do Tamarindo and Samara in a trip just 2 hours apart, but getting to Montezuma from Samara, or Tamarindo, is 4.5 hours, there is no easy way, its either back roads and river crossing requiring a AWD and ground clearance, or via the ferry in Puntarena to Tambor and then down.
Montezuma and Mal Pais/Santa Teresa is also nice combo, Mal Pais has about 8 breaks alone. This is my favorite area as its the end of the road and sees far less casual tourist and more surfers and off the beaten path folks.
Just so you know, you can fly into 2 airports in CR, SJO or Liberia (LIR) which is great for Tamarindo/Samara.
You plan on renting a car?
From SJ to Tamarindo/Samara is 5-6 hours, and from Montezuma/MP/ST is 6 hours.
From LIR to Tamarindo is 1 hour ish, Samara 2 hours, Montezuma 4 hours, and Mal Pais.Santa Teresa a tad longer.
None of these are near the prime national parks, nor the extreme zip lines near Monteverde, or the volcano of Arenal, all more than a day trip.
Mar 19, 2013 11:56 AM
6Thanks for the advice Hobo, massive help...
Mal Pais and Montezuma might well be the go. We could look at spending a week in each. Would it be worth renting a car if so?
It's a shame that they're not near National Parks or extreme ziplines though. Is there anywhere near Monteverde or Arenal that still ticks the boxes in terms of beaches, adventure type activities and surf, etc.?
What's the Caribbean coast like?
What kind of budget can we expect to be getting through daily? We're used to backpacker type travel, but might have to go a bit more upmarket in terms of accommodation (A/C and pool) due to the little one.
Mar 19, 2013 1:24 PM
Mar 20, 2013 2:19 PM
Mar 23, 2013 11:21 AM
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