FAQ – QUESTIONS?

TRAVEL

IS THERE A MINIMUM AGE REQUIREMENT TO COME ON A TRIP?

For the surf trip to Nicaragua, since there are a few nights of parties during the trip and we will be going out to bars, you must be at least 18 years old. The only exception is if you are 17 and that you provide us with a signed parental consent.

For the surf camp in Costa Rica, we accept participants from 12 years old and above but you must come accompanied by a parent if you are less than 17 years old.

IF I COME ALONE, WILL I STILL HAVE FUN?

Of course! Most participants sign-up alone. The trip is designed so that everyone gets to know each other very quickly. It’s the best way to meet people and make new friends. In fact, many participants that didn’t know each other ended up keeping in touch and even going traveling and surfing together afterwards.

IS AIRFARE INCLUDED IN THE TRIP PRICE? WHAT IS THE BEST WEBSITE TO BUY PLANE TICKETS?

Airfare is not included. We suggest you buy your flights by comparing Google Flights or Skyscanner to get the best possible deal on your flights. If you are coming to our Costa Rica surf camp, you can fly to Golfito (GLF) with Sansa Airlines but you will have to first fly to San José (SJO) International airport, and buy a separate flight ticket with Sansa for the SJO-GLF portion. No international airlines fly directly to Golfito.

WILL YOU PICK US UP AT THE AIRPORT?

Costa Rica

Arrivals & transport Options to South Costa Rica 

 

There are 3 options to get to the south of Costa Rica. 

 

  1. Paso Canoa bus termina
  2. Golfito regional airport
  3. Renting a car

 

We will pick you up from Option 1 & 2: 

 

Here is the information and the logistics for each option:

 

Option 1- Tracopa bus to Paso Canoa. Duration 6.5h

 

You should plan to arrive the previous day of the surf retreat in the afternoon/evening, and spend 1 night in San José to take the 1st bus with the company Tracopa on the morning of the first day of the surf camp. We will pick you up at the bus terminal in Paso Canoa at your arrival. You should arrive around 14:30 if you are leaving at 7:30. There are 2 stopovers planned halfway to buy breakfast and go to the bathroom (10 minutes) and eat lunch (40 minutes). The bus costs around $15 / ride.

 

On return, the departure of the camp on the last day will be in the early afternoon by taxi to take you to the bus station, to arrive late at night in San Jose. Plan to sleep one night in San Jose or Alajuela (near the airport) and take the plane back the next day.

 

*  Important: Tickets can be purchased on the mobile application PASSER, or at the bus station. If you plan to buy your ticket at the bus station, make sure to arrive at the bus station at least 45minutes in advance and get the ticket for the 7:30 am direct bus (directo) which takes the road “costanera” towards David and arrives in Paso Canoa. If you miss this bus, there is another one at 10.15am to Paso Canoa. (website: http://tracopacr.com/en) Try to avoid the “Cerro” road as it passes through the mountains and the route is longer and more winding than the road along the coast. Bring a sweater on the bus, sometimes they put the air conditioning very strongly.

 

Option 2- Airplane Sansa Air to Golfito. Duration 50 minutes

 

You can arrive in Costa Rica on the previous day of the surf retreat in the afternoon or evening, and spend 1 night in Alajuela to take the internal flight SJO-GLF with the company Sansa Airlines (flysansa.com) in the afternoon of the 1st day of the surf retreat. We will pick you up at the airport from Golfito for the last flight of the day. Cost of the flight $80- $150 / trip depending on the time of year.

 

OR arrive on the first day of the surf retreat in the morning to catch the last flight of Sansa Airlines in the afternoon (plan 4 hours between arrival at SJO and departure for Golfito). It’s recommended to check the Sansa Airlines website for the flight schedule before booking your international flight if you plan on arriving on the same day of the connection.

 

Departure on the last day for the last flight in the afternoon, and then take your international flight back in the evening

OR spend the night in Alajuela to catch your return flight the next morning.

 

The flight is really nice and beautiful, more practical but more pricey.

 

Important information

 

San José and Alajuela are located about 25 minutes by taxi from each other, but in the morning with traffic, it can take 1 hour, so if you plan to go by bus, it’s better to sleep in San José, but if you plan to fly to take an internal flight, it is useless to go to San José because the airport is located in Alajuela.

 

Tip: Ask your hostel to call a cab for you and make sure you go to the bus station by taxi or use the Uber app because it is 1/3 of the price of taxis. Avoid taking a taxi on the side of the street to minimize the risk of getting robbed. Never walk to the bus station from your hostel as it is not located in a very safe area. If you are staying at Finca Escalante, the hostel’s driver can help you to make sure you buy the right bus ticket. They can also pick you up at the airport.

 

Taxi from San José Airport: If you would like us to organize a taxi to pick you up from the San José airport, we can organize it for you. If you are taking the Tracopa bus, the Finca Escalante taxi charges $30 to pick you up at the airport, bring you to the bus station to buy your bus ticket for the next day, (we highly recommend this to make sure you have a seat on the right bus), drop you at the hotel, than pick you up the next morning to bring you to the bus station to get in the bus.

 

If you would like to have a private shuttle directly to the surf camp, we can arrange this and the cost is $350 each way. This can work well if you are a group and arriving the same day as the beginning of the surf camp. Otherwise, the other options (bus or flights) are cheaper and, or faster.

 

Recommended Accommodation in Alajuela:

Cortez Azul (budget)

 

Pibi Boreal (ideal for couples)

 

“Pibi Boreal was a very comfortable peaceful and well-located B&B in Alajuela. They have a light continental breakfast and provided a transfer to or from the airport based on the number of nights you stay. We stayed two nights so both transfers were included. It’s a very easy drive to the airport. The proprietors are Matthieu and Nidia. French, English and Spanish are spoken at the hotel. Loads of birds and quite serene. We would stay there again!” – John & Carol

 

Recommended Hostels in San Jose:

Hostel Finca Escalante (Less than 10min taxi from Tracopa bus station. We strongly recommend taking a Uber or taxi to the bus station.)

 

Option 3 – Renting a car

 

If you have a few extra days for your travels, we recommend renting a car and driving down to explore different highlights of the country along the way. Manuel Antonio and Dominical are more or less halfway between San José and our location. Corcovado is about 4h drive from the camp. If you are arriving by car, please plan your arrival at the camp from 3pm. 

 

Other locations you can visit before or after the surf camp:

 

Manuel Antonio National Park

You can stay one night at Hostel Millenium by the park entrance, visit Manuel Antonio park first thing in the morning. This park is one  of the most famous national park and early morning is the best time to see more animals and avoid tourists. Another good option for lodging in Manuel Antonio is El Castillo.

 

Dominical Surf Town

Once a low key surf town, it has boomed in the recent 5 years with many shops and restaurant to a more touristy. Not the easiest wave to surf for beginner as the beach catches a lot of swell,  a better option is to drive south to Dominicalito for smaller waves. Dominical is a good place to stop for lunch or buy some special (and expensive) food at Mama Tucan gourmet store.

 

Platanillo country road and waterfalls

If you’re not a fan of touristic spots, we recommend a little adventure into the hills behind Dominical to see the waterfall EcoChontales, one of the best kept secret waterfalls that mainly only locals visit. We recommend staying at « Valley of dreams Ecolodge» with Matt. #1 on booking.com, you can whatsapp him directly : +506 8459 7037. This would be our top favourite pick. Other more famous waterfalls in the area are the Nauyaca waterfall but it requires going very early and walking for 2h before reaching the waterfall. Eco Chontales is more accessible and you can swim next to the waterfall.

 

Corcovado National Park

This is a good option if you want to spot pumas, snakes, all kinds of monkeys and wildlife. Corcovado has the most diversity in terms of species, but it is a little more difficult to access. Plan to stay a minimum of 2 nights to be able to optimize your visit with early morning treks and night treks to see a maximum of species. Hiring a guide is mandatory to visit the park and the entrance and stay can be a bit more costly than the other destinations. Corcovado is one of the biggest highlights of Costa Rica if you would like to see animals.

 

You can check this agency (call them because their website is only in french, they offer competitive rate and great service. It’s possible to get a car in San José and drop it at our location, or get it delivered at the camp on your last day. https://www.toutcostarica.com/ 

 

Drake Bay

https://www.caletaslodgedrake.com/ 

“While a bit pricier by some standards or compared to hostels, the accommodations are spectacular

in vistas, grounds, and location. The cost is inclusive of beverages except alcohol and full breakfast as well as dinner. Food is good, but nothing compares to Dian! All transfers are by boat

from Drake Bay. Super accessible to Corcovado and Caño island. It’s the place to stay if your budget accommodates it. Otherwise there are traditional hotels and hostels I town to fit any budget.”

 

Golfito

 

https://casarolandgolfito.com/ 

 

Activities around Golfito

https://tropicalescapade.com/

 

Nicaragua

Between 30 and 60 days before your departure, we will send you an email with a proposed flight so that all participants arrive on the same flight. The shuttle is free if you book that flight or arrive +-30 minutes of that flight arrival time. If you arrive on an earlier or later different flight, we can send you a trustworthy driver to pick you and the cost is $80USD (day time) or $85 USD (night time). The drive to the first destination in Nicaragua is about 2.5h. We strongly recommend using a reputable taxi service to avoid taxi scams.

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE TRIP?

ACCOMMODATION

All accommodations for the duration of the trip, in shared occupancy are included. We spend a fair amount of time researching the best spots, so be assured we’ll either have an incredible view, be on the beach of very close to it! It might not be a five stars hotel but the rooms are clean and comfortable. It is possible to book a private room for 2 or 3 persons at an extra cost.

FOOD

Nicaragua: Breakfast and lunch everyday, as well as the welcoming dinner is included in the Nicaragua surf tour. Other dinners are left for you to explore and try different options depending on your taste and budget. There are vegetarian options available.

Costa Rica: All meals are included during your stay (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and cooked by our amazing chef and co-founder of the retreat. Let us know in advance if you have preferences in vegan, vegetarian or classic dishes. You can our the reviews which always talk about the food on Trip Advisor.

PRIVATE TRANSPORT BETWEEN DESTINATION

Nicaragua: Transport in a nice A/C Coaster bus, perfect for long distances. Transfers between all our destination during the expedition We use private transportation for our group and it can easily turn into a party bus if you feel like it!

Costa Rica:  Transport to surf every day included.  We also include a speed boat surf exploration day to cross the bay and find world-class right-hand breaks, while often seeing dolphins, turtles, and sometimes whales on the way.

AIRPORT TRANSFER

Nicaragua:

Pick up and drop off at Managua (MGA) airport if you take the suggested flight when we confirm the trip-we will pick you up and drop you off at the airport with welcome drinks, music, and the team of surf coach.

South Costa Rica:

Airport pickup and drop-off is included in your package if you take the suggested flight itinerary. The surf lodge is located about 1h from Golfito Airport. To get there you need to take a short 5o minutes flight from San Jose Airport (SJO) to Golfito (GLF).  Sansa Airlines have flights to Golfito.

Alternatively, you can also take a bus for 6.5h from Tracopa bus terminal in San José and take a direct bus (Costanera route) to Paso Canoas (border with Panama). We wil send a driver to pick you up if you arrive between 2-2:30pm (with the 7:30am bus from San José). If you are arriving later in the evening, you will need to get a taxi for around $60.

SEMI-PRIVATE SURF COACHING

If you are booking the Learn to surf package, you will benefit from experienced surf coaches. Some of our surf coaches are certified by the International Surfing Association (ISA Europe/Americas), Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI Australia), BPJEPS (France), and some have gathered strong sufficient teaching experience in other surf schools or with us for a number of seasons. All our teachers have received the Surf Expedition training to assure you will learn the right techniques and improve your surfing skills. We provide semi-private surf lessons with an average ratio of 4 students per surf coach.

ACCELERATED LEARNING PROGRAM : PHOTO & VIDEO REVIEW

 

We will film at least 4 surf sessions during the week and take many photos during the surf sessions and activities. With this material, the coaches will be able to show you your mistakes so that you can understand them better and improve faster. All the photos and videos of you surfing can be purchased at the moment of booking for $200 or on location for $250 (depending on availabilities). Please bring a memory stick of minimum 16 gig, or alternatively we will share a folder on our google drive for you to download a few days after the end of the trip.

SURF GUIDES

Experimented surf guides to explain you the particularity of each spots.

SURF BOARD EQUIPMENT

We supply surfboards in the “Learn to surf” package, but you should bring your own rash guard/ 1-2mm wet suit tops ( if traveling to Nicaragua from January to March when the water is colder). If you’re booking a “Free surf” package, surfboards are not included but you can rent one for $100 extra. If you are looking to rent a board on location, make sure to send us your desired surfboard dimensions at the moment of booking and we will try to accommodate you the most we can. Please bear in mind that we are remote and surfboard access can be limited if you are looking for a specific size/shape.

SURF SPOTS KNOWLEDGE

We might split the group into smaller groups to explore different levels of waves, depending on the guest’s abilities. There is a vast option of fun beach breaks to more challenging point breaks and more powerful waves in every location we operate. Please let us know your surf experience at the time of booking so that we can plan accordingly.

OTHER ACTIVITIES

Depending on the trip you booked, some activities are included and some are extra. Read the trip description for more information.

WHAT ARE THE ADDITIONAL COSTS?

FLIGHTS

Flights are not included in our packages. At the moment of confirming the trip we will send you a flight suggestion to try gather everybody around the same arrival time. While we try to constantly be monitoring flights, if you see a good option, you’re welcome to let us know.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Travel insurances are not included and a minimum of an emergency health insurance abroad is MANDATORY to travel with us. We also suggest to get a full coverage (late bagages, loss & theft, trip cancelation, etc.) but that is up to you. Just make sure to wait for our confirmation that the trip have reached the minimum amount of participants before purchasing your airline ticket.

SOUVENIRS

If you would like to bring back some souvenirs, bring some extra cash with you. In Nicaragua we stop by an artisanal market. We also have some cool gear (cap, t-shirts, etc.) that we’ve been designing and making with local Nicaraguayan partners.

ALCOOL

Our team will greet you with a welcome drink on your arrival! For the rest of the trip, you will have to cover your own alcohol consumption. Most locations where we’re staying at has their own bar and it’s not allowed to bring alcohol from outside.

TIPS

If you feel that a particular staff or surf coach made you trip unforgettable by delivering an excellent service, tips are always welcome.