Costa Rica August 2019

Costa Rica August 2019

Sunset beach fire at Santa Teresa, Costa Rica 2019
Sunset beach fire at Playa Santa Teresa

Costa Rica. The place people like to plan their retirement and adventure vacations. Surf, monkeys, warm weather, and friendly people are a common draw to Costa Rica.

We returned for our umpteenth time, just the two of us (Kim and I) as our son now enjoys his freedom and ability to stretch his independence when his parents are not home.

Because the surf trip with just the guys was such a disaster in May, this trip was all about rebuilding positive experiences. Granted, I do find myself even more aware of my surroundings (regarding thefts) than the complacency that had settled in after many prior successful trips. We decided on returning to Santa Teresa which we had not seen for several years. It’s a thriving town much like Playa Guiones though still a bit bohemian and tailored for a younger crowd.

We’re looking to save money these days so switched from Hotels to using Air BnB. This turned out to be a beneficial decision.

The first place we stayed, was Tommy Relax. Thomas and his wife Franchesca are 10-year transplants from Italy. Thomas owned a restaurant before moving to Costa Rica and now offers food cooked at his BnB as well as working as a local chef.

Thomas’ house is in the back and he has two 1bed with kitchen units in the front. They both have air conditioning and are very comfortable, clean and a bargain at $50 per night.

Tommy’s 13-year-old son (Donatello) provided details on the local breaks as he is a surfing enthusiast.

The next morning I was up early and hit the beach at 5:30 am ready for some warm water and nice waves. The beach was deserted, very low tide and the waves sucked. It was low tide and sharp rock formations were everywhere. I walked a kilometer looking for a decent break and eventually paddled out just to get wet. Headed back to the room a bit sad. Kim and I returned later and just as Donatello had mentioned the best time is “middle tide”. Rocks were underwater except for the largest ones and the waves were breaking with nice consistent shape. Woo hoo!

SIM Card
SIM Card – Claro

PRO TIP – Use Costa Rican Cell Service
For 500 Colones ($1) you can buy a SIM Card to use in your own Mobile Phone. The requirements are that your phone is unlocked; which is the default condition of Verizon phones when out of the county. Check with your provider before you leave to be sure or have your phone unlocked. The next step is to purchase some air/data time to use. We purchased 2.5 Gigs on a 15-day plan for 4500 Colones. This was more than enough for constant Waze use while traveling, uploading photos to Social Media and the occasional call back to the states. Coverage was pretty good though many people have recommended Kolbi. There is a Kolbi at the airport near the baggage claim but their system was down so we had to use the City Mall Claro shop to purchase data. Note: You’ll need to provide your Passport # when registering the card to your phone. Work with a shop so they can communicate the details as the person on the other end of the phone may not speak English.

Location #2

We only booked the first location in advance and figured we would find suitable accommodations as needed. Tommy’s was great and we even extended our stay by a day but wanted to experience other locations in Sana Teresa.

Our next location was chosen at a higher elevation and required 4×4 to climb the dirt road to the location. The Air BnB noted that not only 4X4 but staying in 1st gear and in 4×4 low was required. Adventure!

This location was 1500 ft or so up the hill and offered a more secluded location. Lush foliage and the room was designed to split the living space between outside living space and the inner room, clearly built into the hillside. The bed was elevated and we had nice kitchen facilities to prepare meals.

While everything was great at this location and the hosts were super nice, there was one small thing that we were not keen on…there was no air-conditioning. At night it was very warm and the fans provided were insufficient to cool the room as the windows lacked screens. It was a very uncomfortable night and we struggled with how to resolve the problem since this location had a three-night minimum. The next morning we spoke to the hosts and they graciously allowed us to request a refund from Air BnB.

Location #3

Off to Nosara (Playa Giuones), we headed for the remaining time in Costa Rica. Using Waze as GPS devices are obsolete, we easily navigated a course around rivers and more rustic roads to arrive within 4-5 hours.

After checking into our Air BnB, we headed off to the beach (300 meters) and got in a surf session. Nice peaky pealing overhead waves on a high tide. Only a couple of other guys out and came back in with big smiles and a euphoric buzz from a successful session.

Kim and a Portabello Burger

Salt#1 was a nice little two-room, plus bathroom apartment. Everything was new and the location was ideal just across from Burgers and Beers and a short walk to the beach.

This has been a great trip, very relaxing, and allowed a visit to Hotel LeCabanon which is a client and friends to discuss online marketing plans for the coming season.

So while the prior trip in May was a bust due to getting robbed (our mistake as the guy tasked with watching the car made a bad decision to take a walk ) this trip replaced the bad memories with good. Mission Accomplished!

Santa Teresa Locations