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The South Pacific region shows the rural side of Costa Rica featuring pleasant aspects of the countryside. It boasts huge prehistoric jungles, dense wildlife, a rich peninsula, a good number of nature reserves and several urbanized towns with a touristy vibe. The Osa Peninsula is found in the southwestern part, in the Puntarenas Province. The peninsula is an ideal holiday destination. Presenting wonderful places, impressive wildlife and a remarkable base for sports, nature exploration and luxurious retreat, Osa Peninsula attracts countless people. The tourist oriented area has major national parks Chirripo National Park, Corcovado National Park and an international park called La Amistad International Park which it shares with Panama. Famous cities and towns include Drake Bay, Puerto Jimenez, Golfito, Playa Hermosa and Uvita. Visit the South Pacific coast and find the many jewels of Costa Rica.
The popular cities in South Pacific coast include Buenos Aires, Dominical, Playa Hermosa (Osa), Drake Bay, Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Sierpe, Uvita and Carate. All of these towns are abounding with tourist attractions and offer many activities such as sportfishing, surfing, sea kayaking, eco tours, bird watching, horseback riding and many more.
Drake Bay is a headland found north of the Osa Peninsula. The main aspects of the beautiful bay are its string of white sand beaches and sparkling shorelines, impressive hills, a remarkable nature reserve called Corcovado and numerous amenities. The town has many eco lodges, hotels, resorts and restaurants.
Puerto Jimenez is a small and secluded beach town located near Golfo Dulce. The town was once famous for gold mining and logging but now its popularity is due to its panoramic beauty and adventurous opportunities. Puerto Jimenez acts as a gateway to Corcovado National Park, has a perfect surf point at Cabo Metapalo, a remote village renowned surf break and provide a splendid platform for recreational fishing. Moreover, the town has a number of budget minded and luxurious accommodations, buoyant nighlife and many restaurants and bars.
Golfito, the little bay, is a port town located within the Golfo Dulce, across the Osa Peninsula. The town is divided into two parts: commercial area and residential area. The pretty harbor town has a sweeping range of beaches include three famous surf beach named Playa Zancudo, Pilon and Pavones, a sublime national park called Piedras Blancas and Wilson Botanical Garden boasting beautiful gardens, diverse wildlife, tropical birds and insects. Golfito has recently taken a step and built many eco lodges for goodness of the environment.
Surf Spots in South Pacific Region
Surf breaks found in the South Pacific region are:
Pavones is an ideal destination for surf enthusiasts who wish to ride long waves and heavy swells. The surf spot has the second longest wave in the world. It has a left handed point break which offers a long, enjoyable ride for about 2 to 3 minutes. To work, it requires a big swell that rides up to 150 meters at low ride in a river mouth and at high tide, La Esquina del Mar section breaks. Pavones has sectioned waves that allow surfers to do different kinds of fun and entertaining maneuvers. The rainy season, from April to October, provides the best condition for surfing when the waves reach their peak. To the annoyance of many surfers, sometimes the swells from Golfo Dulce cause the waves to get blocked and the point break becomes unsurfable for weeks.
Playa Carate is a beach found in Golfo Dulce presenting a great beach break that works best when offshore winds blows from the north and northeast direction and swells rise from southwest. Groundswells are much more common than windswells. Watch out for rips and rocks.
Playa Matapalo is a scenic beach found in Cabo Matapalo, a coastal town located near Puerto Jimenez. The beach has a perfect weather and consistent waves all year round. Playa Matapalo is often referred to as Hog Hole. The beach offers a great surf spot that has become popular among both locals and tourists. The break has powerful, hollow and steep waves that go to the right over a reef bottom. The waves are best ridden at a mid tide when heavy swells gather from the west and southwest. Watch out for rips, undertows and rocks.
Playa Zancudo is near Golfo Dulce featuring a beach break with a large rivermouth. The break is consistent that peel to left and right and breaks over a sandy bottom. The waves are fun to ride with ordinary power perfect for all surfers, especially novices. The waves can ride up to 500 meters. Best time to surf is at low and high tides with swells rising from the south and southwest. The size of swells starts building up at 6 feet and hold up to 8 feet. At low tides, the waves are tubular while at high tide, the waves become longer. The point is mostly secluded.
Punta Banco is found south of Pavones presenting beach and reef breaks which can be accessed via a boat ride. The spots are great to ride and are suitable for all skills of surfers. However, Punta Banco is greatly undermined due to its close proximity to Pavones, a world famous surf point. When Pavones gets crowded, rest of the surfers come here to ride the waves. The breaks peel to right and left and are best ridden at mid to high tide with swells rising from south, west and southwest. One good thing about Punta Banco is that it receives good swells and consistent waves due to its location which is farther outside of the mouth of the Gulfo Dulce.
Punta Burica is a secluded reef break found near the border of Panama. The reef break has powerful and consistent waves with good swells rising from the south. The surf spot is accessible via a boat.
Backwash Bay is a big and rather slow reef break present with inconsistent and steep waves. The waves are sectioned providing an excellent base for long boarders. Best time to surf is at mid to low tides with swells being received from west and southwest.
Pan Dulce is probably the smallest break of the region. It is beach break that peels to the right and usually needs large swells from the south to work. Best time to surf is mid tide. Pan Dulce is a good spot for beginners.
Located in Golfo Dulce, Eclipse is a secluded and consistent river mouth break breaking to right and left. Groundswells are quite common and the good swells gather from the south and southwest. Perfect time to surf at a low tide. Watch out for rocks and jellyfishes.
Rio Sierpe Rivermouth
Rio Sierpe Rivermouth has fast, long and hollow waves that break to both left and right rather powerfully. The break is recahed via a boat ride from Dominical. The break is suitable for experienced surfers only.
Clear River Sports and Adventure
Clear River Sports and Adventure is a adventure school located in Rio Claro de Pavones in the Golfo Dulce. Founded in 2007, the camp has gained a great reputation among adventurers especially surf enthusiasts. The organization provides surf expeditions to remarkable spots and many more exciting recreational activities such as sea kayaking, mountain biking and sport fishing in the Golfo Dulce. Moreover, Clear River Sports and Adventure offers transport service, comfortable accommodations and many surf packages at amazing rates.
Una Ola Surf Camp
Providing charming oceanfront accommodations, luxurious amenities, inclusive surf packages and fun expeditions, Una Ola is an epic surf camp based in Pavones. They also have another branch in Tamarindo. The camp offers surf lessons to all surfers. The classes are usually divided into three groups; beginner, intermediate and experienced. Besides surfing, Una Ola Surf arrange fishing expeditions, sailing, biking, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, bird watching, zip lining, canopy jungle tours, kayaking, white water rafting, and guided tours to volcanoes, waterfalls and nature reserves.
Venus Surf Adventures
Venus Surf Adventures is an exclusive surf camp and fitness center in Pavones. The camp is an ideal place to spend a surf retreat. Families, couples, backpackers and solo travelers are all welcome here. Venus offers lodging in lovely villas surrounded by gardens, budget friendly accommodation options, transport service, Spanish camp, athletic camps, eco tours of jungles, hiking, bird watching tours and so much more!
In Osa Peninsula, there are marinas, yachts for rent, and many charters that arrange boating tours and cruises. Golfito and Perto Jimenez are two very popular areas for boating ventures. The ocean is calm and sparkling blue and weather is sunny. The boating tours allow you to sail the ocean encircled by panoramic views of the stunning shorelines, green clad hills, impressive mountains and brilliant jungles. Often you will catch glimpses of whales, dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, octopuses and rays going about their business. During the trip, you can try out sportfishing and snorkeling as well.
Corcovado National Park
Corcovado National Park is one of the major tourist attractions of South Pacific coast. The national park is a paradisaical land housing various eco systems such as cloud forests, mangroves, swamps, palm forests, coastal areas and beaches. It is also a home to many tropical species such as Tapirs, Harpy Eagles, red-backed squirrel monkeys, howler monkeys, coati, scarlet macaws and white-lipped peccaries. The coastal area has a wide range underwater creatures including whales, dolphins, sharks, ray and numerous kinds of fishes. Many of these animals are endangered and the park provides a shelter to them. During your vacation, a trip to Corcovado is a must. There is no doubt that this trip will prove to be highly delightful and might just be the highlight of your tropical holiday. Some of the popular activities are scuba diving, snorkeling, bird watching, hiking, sea kayaking, horseback riding, mangrove tours, sportfishing and boogie-boarding.
Sportfishing is big in South Pacific. Towns like Golfito, Puerto Jimenez, Drake Bay, Matapalo and Zancudo are quite popularly known for their multifarious underwater creatures. Those who are interested can rent a boat or join any sportfishing charter that will take you to the best fishing spots. During the peak fishing season, you will be able to catch several fishes in a day. Common game fish species are sailfish, marlins, jacks, runners, snappers, mackerels, roosterfish, barracudas, snook, wahoo, tuna and mahi mahi.
For further information on South Pacific, please visit:
Southern Pacific – Lots of more information on Southern Pacific on costaricajourneys.com
Osa Peninsula and Southern Pacific Surf Guide – Learn all about South Pacific surf spots on costaricasurfing.org
South Pacific, Costa Rica – More information on towns, accommodations and restaurants on wikitravel.org