Tropical Paradise

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Costa Rica, May 2018

We landed in San José, hopped into our hire car, 4x4 a must, and drove 3 hours down the coast through the jungle, arriving in Dominical by 11pm. Following the grand total of 24 hours traveling we hit the hay pretty fast, ready to wake up to our new adventure location.

We had the heads up through friends that Dominical was a place we needed to visit, so why not head there first?

We woke up to the birds chirping and the roar of waves. Walking down to the beach you quickly discover what this place is about; seriously chilled out vibes. People were camped out in hammocks on the beach whilst sipping out of a coconut watching the waves roll in, the local fruit and veg truck was doing his morning round and the market stall ladies were pinning up their selection of sarongs, this wasn’t too bad at all.

So be it the place we chose to stay was not the comfiest, with no AC and the world’s noisiest bed… you could literally hear an insect roll over! This however didn’t stop us making the most of the prime surf location and mellow line up crowd. The wave however was not always so mellow; High tide produced some lovely long mellow pitch waves really playful, low tide unleashed some chunky hollow barrels. And this place seems to hold some size… but just look out as when it gets big, there is a fair amount of paddling involved to stay in position.

We ventured north to a place called Hermosa… although there was a good fun, playful and punchy wave here, with some Macaw’s flying above, you could see the start of the tourism with a larger number of Americans, fancy restaurants pumping out the tunes and a slightly more competitive line-up. We quickly headed back south after our share of waves.

The accommodation in Domincal started to take its toll in lack of sleep and over surfed noodle arms, so we decided to head south even further… to Cabo Metapalo. This place lies opposite the famous Pavones across the gulf. 60 minutes of narrow, bumpy, dirt track roads, crossing through rivers in the dense and noisy jungle, we made it to Cabo Metapalo. Next to a national park this place is pricey, to keep the crowds away and minimise the tourism… however camping is very much still an option… just beware of the cheeky racoons that may want to eat your lunch. There are a few air bnb’s or beautiful yet pricey ‘eco’/ ‘yoga’ retreats hidden in the jungle.

The absolute plus side of this is, there are few surfers and many point break spots dotted all along this coast with a little something for everyone!

After a few days here involving some memorable waves, spotting some cute turtles and mantas playing in the sea, the cheeky racoon snooping around at night, and listening to the Howler monkey alarm clocks, we had a craving for more wildlife and adventure. We got into the slightly beaten up 4x4 and beat it up a little more, further into the jungle another 60 minutes of rickety jaw nattering roads to arrive in Carate, the last village next to the national park Corcovado.

We stayed in a cute little open cabana on stilts surrounded by jungle, accessible on wooden walkways meandering through jungle growth, looking out you could see the ocean between the leaves just a stone’s throw away. This village is deserted, only a couple of hostels exist for the explorers heading into the national park, no shops or places to buy supplies if you are camping.

This was our paradise. We saw no other surfers, actually no human beings on the beach most days! We had approximately 6km of beach and beach break to ourselves! It was incredible. The waves weren’t too bad either! Super fun and punchy. I couldn’t help but think however, of the salt water crocodile lagoon that lay a short few kilometres away. This definitely lay at the forefront of my mind. Although this thought was in my mind all trip, I will just say I didn’t actually see a crocodile in the sea/ near the sea at all during our whole experience in Costa Rica… that doesn’t mean they are not there.

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