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“Fantastic Time and Pura Vita”
Review of Safari Surf School

Safari Surf School
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Safari Surf School is the premier surf school and surf camp in Costa Rica. In addition to instilling a passion for surfing, you'll also be immersed in native culture and treated to local style. Being taught to surf by true professionals with a "Pura Vida" attitude is the only way to go! Listed on National Geographic's top outfitters on Earth. Check us out.
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Fantastic Time and Pura Vita”
Reviewed 20 March 2014

The best review I can give is the Thank you email note I sent to Safari Surf School:

Hello everyone at Safari Surf School. I was behind in catching up on the most important stuff, such as thanking you all for a great experience. Finally here I go.

Just so you know, I had been thinking of doing this trip to Costa Rica to surf for almost a year, and really wanted to make it happen. I am not getting any younger. Fortunately, my very cool wife (who does not surf) was really supportive and finally said, “just go and have fun.” Well, that’s all that I needed to hear. I am so glad that I ended up with you all at Safari Surf School.

Tim, thanks for setting me up at the start and answering my pesky questions. Your explanations provided me with exactly what to expect. PS, The back packer special “rocked.” I met so many nice people over there. That was my first ever hostel experience and I would go back there any time.
Jeffery, you run a smooth hotel and restaurant and made me feel very much at home every day. Thanks for your hospitality.
For my chefs Alicia and Maritza, I absolutely looked forward to breakfast and your smiling faces every day. I probably stopped my surfing a little early each morning because I was hungry and knew there would be a great meal waiting for me. Ok, and I was getting tired in the water. Thanks so much for keeping me hydrated, fed and energized!
THANK YOU to my patient and brave surfing instructors. Pio, Owen, Tinis, Helbert, Kevin and Alonso, you were all so helpful to me. With your individual advice, I greatly improved and shook off my old bad habits. And even now, I can still hear Kevin, Helbert and Alonso saying, “Keep paddling Rick, …breath Rick!!” “Rick, paddle out. Here comes a BIG set.” Alonso, we’ll fish when I return.
Peter, thanks for welcoming me each morning and giving me the lowdown on the area. I’ll check your SSS blog from time to time.
Tyler, all the best of luck with the new facility being constructed and the start up. I know you will keep the same down home feel of your current place. You folks have a special thing going there.
Well, I was sad to leave and would love to have stayed for another week or so. Hopefully, I will make it back next year. I am already thinking of it.
Bye for now - PURA VIDA. Rick.

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Rick W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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  • English first
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English first
Northampton, Massachusetts
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Thanks Again, Safari Surf School”
Reviewed 2 March 2014

So glad I returned for lessons again this year. Owners, staff and instructors are all as wonderful as I remembered them. I cannot thank Owen enough for his patient and detailed instruction. Pushing me enough to make progress, but not so much as to feel unsafe. I am looking forward to when their new sustainable resort is available, (next February, I hear), so that I can return with my teenage daughters. Only disappointed that it is a year away!

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank lucky2bhere2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Pura Vida!”
Reviewed 5 February 2014

I came back to Safari Surf School after 6 years and it was just as I remembered - amazing! I was reluctant at first as I knew they had moved locations. They are in the process of building their new 'headquarters" now so I didn't know what that meant for the school. Their transitional location is homey, convenient and warm. Although not the party scene as it was at Casa Tucan, it was still has a great vibe and amazing people - which made our trip very memorable. I am mentioning this because when I was looking for reviews about the new location, I couldn't find any, so there you have it! Fabulous! The instructors are not only sweet people, but their instruction in the water was invaluable. Jeffrey, day to day operator, was keen and very helpful with whatever you asked. Tim set us up in the best suite at Harbor Reef (thanks Tim), and the meals out were great. We were able to go to restaurants we otherwise could not go to (no car). The best thing is the scheduled day; with 2 surf lessons, breakfast and dinner included, we had lots of down time and was exactly what we needed. Active and fulfilled, yet relaxed and lazy. Didn't have to think about a thing, except our next surf session :). Thanks again and see you soon.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
1 Thank KateinTO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Surfing in Nosara - Safari Surf School”
Reviewed 30 January 2014

My wife and I and my two daughters (16 and 14) visited the first week of January and it was fantastic! Safari Surf School booked our accomodations and found us a beautiul house that was a few minutes from the surf school and close to the beach. Tyler and Jeffrey are fun and amazing hosts and really know how to treat their guests. Anything you need and they just make it happen. We had surf lessons twice a day and the all the instructors were very good with slightly different styles and helpful techniques. (special shout out to Kevin - "the zen master of surfing") All none of us had ever surfed before, but we all got up and were surfing by the end of our week. We didn't do the meal plan but they were truly flexible and we were able to join them for meals when we wanted. Lots of good food within walking distance. Fish tacos rule in Nosara! We did the ziplining and I totally recommend it, as well, I did an ATV tour up into the mountains - truly a beautiful country. Thanks - had a great time!

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Jay L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fairfield, Connecticut
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Surfing in Nosara with kids”
Reviewed 15 January 2014

We went with our family from Dec 28-Jan 4. We booked everything but the air through Safari Surf. The one stop booking was great! We even made some on the fly changes once we were there and it was super easy.

This was a GREAT vacation experience. No doubt, Nosara is off the beaten path, the last 30 miles of the trip from Liberia airport is on a dirt road. If they ever decide to pave the roads, this place is going to explode - it is beautiful, unspoiled and has perfect (hot) weather.

We stayed at the L'Aquaviva which was pretty nice (there is no four Seasons in this area so moderate your expectations). This hotel was about a mike and a half from town and the surf school "clubhouse". Safari arranged a golf cart for the week and the five of us - 2 adults and three girls (8,10, and 12) piled on it. The dirt roads are a bit dusty but in town they put down molasses to keep it in check (the place smells like a cookie...).

We opted for the meal plan that includes breakfast and dinner. Breakfast was the the SS clubhouse which was delicious. Our family did two surf lessons a day - we punished ourselves a bit. The am lessons can be anything from 6:30-9:30 on the hour - we LOVED the 6:30 lessons - the water (85 degrees) and the waves were perfect. None of us knew how to surf at all and we all learned - even me (Mom) the lowest end common denominator. Our girls did great, getting up on the board the first day. The instructors - Alonzo, Pio, Eric, Kevin were all great and had subtle nuances to their teaching style that helped immensely. I started with a regular board and got beaten up a bit in the waves. Alonzo switched me to a "soft board" and I got right up - much more forgiving for the balance aspect.

We also did side trips of paddle boarding on the river with Experience Nosara (Nate was wonderful) and also did snorkeling. We did not do the zip lining but will try it next time as everyone who went raved about it. We also did massages at Tica Massage - lovely and so good after surfing.

Dinners were an interesting format - one night out at a local restaurant with the other people using the surf school and one night at the clubhouse with a meal cooked by Alicia and Matisia. And repeat. GREAT format! We went to restaurants we never would have found that were fabulous - fresh food, locally sourced and you got to know other people in a causal atmosphere. Tyler (Safari Surf owner) and Jeffery (manager) alternated hosting the dinners in and out. Such a wonderful concept, so easy for families, our girls can be picky eaters and they always made sure we had something for them. Lunch we were on our own, try the Beach Dog - so good, try the fish tacos.

If you have ever dreamed of learning to surf or want an active vacation, this is the place for you!

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank Joan P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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