Marbella, Guanacaste

Surfing in Marbella
Surfing in Marbella
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If your idea of heaven is an exotic tropical beach, Marbella certainly answers that description. Team this vacation idyll with a laid-back atmosphere and year-round sunny weather, and you’ll know why Marbella is fast becoming a destination hotspot for world travelers.

Surfing in Marbella

Costa Rica’s Guanacaste province is renowned for its exotic beaches. In fact, the Pacific Coast beaches here are collectively known as the “Gold Coast,” designating the area as world-class for its beauty as well as its amenities. Costa Rica’s reputation as a surfing destination continues to grow, in part because they offer beaches that are less crowded than those you find in Hawaii, Sydney or California, which gives surfers room to maneuver in the water.

Marbella, a once-sleepy fishing village is growing in popularity, but still offers surfers one or the less-crowded beaches in the area. Off-shore winds help provide sustained surf breaks, a standard feature in world-class surfing spots. Only experienced surfers should attempt the sport here, however, as waves can reach several feet in height in steadily oncoming swells. For swimming and watersports fun, try Playa Manzanillo and Playa Azul.

Ostional Wildlife Refuge

Marbella is about 30 minutes up the coast from the more well-known beaches of San Juanillo, Ostional and Nosara. El Ostional is a key nesting spot for Olive Ridley sea turtles, along with leatherback and Pacific green sea turtles. These creatures return in large numbers every year to lay their eggs in the sand at what has become the Ostional Wildlife Refuge. The nesting season is between July and December, giving you a pretty big window of time to visit for a glimpse of this natural phenomenon. There are four main periods of time, each roughly between three and 10 days, for the turtle species to make their annual pilgrimage.

Nosara Beaches

The village itself in about six km inland, but the beach is the bigger draw in Nosara, known for its carefree atmosphere and lack of commercialism. They like it natural in this town, and so do visitors. The town restricts development to small-scale projects, leaving much of the area in its natural state, with no buildings to mar the skyline at sunset. Playa Guiones, Nosara and Pelada are the area’s three beaches. Nosara and Guiones offer consistent swells for surfers with intermediate to expert skills, while Pelada offers better swimming due to the presence of an offshore reef.

Guanacaste Province

The Guancaste province of Costa Rica lies in the far northwest corner of Costa Rica and encompasses pristine beaches, scenic mountain ranges and several volcanoes as well. Once part of Nicaragua, the Guanacaste region has retained a bit of a different atmosphere from the rest of the country, and with a range of geographic features, it offers a variety of attractions. Beautiful beaches, world-class surfing, snorkeling and more are available along the coast, while horseback riding, hiking, zip-lines and more attract land adventurers.

Guanacaste is home to the Rincon de la Vieja National Park, which features active volcanoes and diverse ecosystems. Hikers can ascend the volcanoes’ mountainside trail that takes them through montane and dwarf cloud forests, home to a variety of plants and animals, including pumas, jaguars, sloths and tapirs.

Santa Rosa National Park in Guanacaste stretches from white-sand beaches to dense forests and offers visitor camping opportunities. Santa Rosa is one of the country’s first national parks and is the site of the Hacienda Santa Rosa, a building that serves as a monument to Tico forces who repulsed invading American forces in the mid-1800s.