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“Was really looking forward to a lesson...”
Review of Safari Surf School

Safari Surf School
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Reviewed 11 February 2017 via mobile

My circumstances were a little unusual... Had a private lesson set up in the afternoon at 2:30pm. Safari moved it up to 2:00pm which wasn't a problem. Hence, my pick up was at 1:30. They arrived a little early at 1:15, I made it to the front at 1:25 but they left without me.... I know this for certain because I looked at the front desk computer time to confirm I wasn't late. No one answered their phones or texts so I jogged over to surf school location only to find no one there. Long story short, Safari finally gets in touch with me and lets me know their location. When I get to the office the woman who's at the desk (who was also apparently the pick up driver) took no responsibility for leaving early - she was actually surprisingly obstinate. I really wanted the lesson and asked how they could accommodate me since Safari is supposed to be one of the best schools in town. Her response was "We'll give you a 1 hr lesson for the 1 1/2 hour rate". The way she said this was rather firm... I couldn't figure out why until I realized she thought I paid in advance (they clearly wouldn't have been giving me a refund if that were the case) - I just wanted the lesson pro rated, which would have been fair - but that was a no go proposition. She wouldn't even contact a manager to see if it was ok. At that point I told her I was leaving - then she realized I hadn't paid yet! Immediately she said "who's going to pay your instructor for showing up", my only response was "not my problem." I gave her one last chance to pro rate but she wouldn't. Bottom line, this is one of the highest rated Nosara surf schools - maybe the instructors are great but the female driver/receptionist might want to learn a little more about how to do business correctly. I ended up going to Tico Surf school instead (you can find my review on TripAdvisor as well) it was excellent and a little less expensive.

Thank GeoBoz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
SafariSurfer, Owner at Safari Surf School, responded to this reviewResponded 14 February 2017

Hi "GeoBoz",
First let me say that I appreciate your review and having spoken to our entire office staff about this situation I have a much clearer picture of what transpired. You organized 1 surf lesson through your hotel, the Sunset Shack. You had requested a time of 2:30 pm to the front desk (Silvia). When Silvia called us to schedule the lesson for that day (same day lesson) she was told that the only time available was 2 pm as our instructor who was on rotation at the time had a lesson scheduled for 3:30 pm (we typically need a 24 hour reservation to schedule the right amount of instructors).
We also were told that you were not familiar with how far away we were from your hotel so as a last minute courtesy we offered to come and pick you up. Our driver (our manager) did arrive at 1:15 pm and came into the front desk area but there was nobody there. He then went into the restaurant and asked the staff if they had seen you. Being that the Sunset Shack is a tiny 8 room hotel they had seen you and had told my driver that you had taken off down to the beach. My driver decided to wait there for you until 1:40 pm. You did not return.
I'm not sure how you got in touch with my staff as nobody heard from you, you arrived into our office with your wife upset. Our office assistant Jaz was there to greet you. Jaz did her best to explain to you that we only had 1 instructor available that afternoon. Jaz did not understand what you were asking her to do (lost in translation?) with respect to "pro-rating" the lesson cost. She also said she did not ask for payment from you before you left as your hotel was going to charge you for the lesson and then cover our payment...so again perhaps more lost in translation issues?
The bottom line is that you missed your lesson time and we could not offer you a lesson as we had other lessons schedule that afternoon. I and my staff apologize for any inconvenience you and your wife went through as we do consider our program to be one of the best in town. Its apparent that we as a business need to adhere to our policy of not accepting same day surf lesson reservations as complications like this can arise. Especially when there is a 3rd party trying to organize the lesson.
We would love to offer you a package of (3) private one on one surf lessons from Safari Surf School as a gift for your next visit to Nosara. We'd love to share with you our amazing program.
Many thanks ~
Tim Marsh
Owner / Operator
SSS

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Reviews (250)
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18 - 22 of 250 reviews

Reviewed 2 February 2017

Alejandro was our instructor to the Tamarindo beach, as soon as he heard about our interest in taking our first surfing lesson he made that happened the next day by offering us the best time to do the class. He took the time to explain us everything before we went in the water (from safety to tips to have the most enjoyable first experience). We were able to get up after not even 3 tries!!! and enjoyed so much our class that we wanted to continue surfing after our class by ourselves :-). We highly recommend this surfing school and thanks again to Alejandro for making our first try so memorable!

Julie and Greg

Thank JulieCapizzi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 January 2017

My boyfriend and I spent 4 days in Nosara at Olas Verdes and took two surf lessons with Safari Surf. The entire staff was super friendly! Our instructor both days was Kevin. He was fun and a good teacher. We both were able to get up after only a few tries. We especially loved our lessons because we picked late afternoon, and surfed as the sun was setting...such a cool experience and highly recommend it! We hope to make it back again and bring friends/family next time! Pura Vida!

Thank Caitlin_624
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2016

From the initial planning with Tim to the selection of activities with Marsi to the on site experience with Jeffrey, everyone at Safari Surf was committed to making sure we had a great experience. The instructors were fantastic and friendly--my kids all improved dramatically, as did I.

Tons of great restaurants around and spectacular surfing. A great vacation adventure!

Thank afreed29
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 December 2016

Our recent family vacation to Nosara was quite likely our best vacation ever. Kudos to Safari Surf School for helping to make it a special trip. Everything about it was fantastic: the surf, the people, the food, the excursions, the hotel, etc.
Our kids (all of whom surf) had the surf sessions of their lives while there and credit instructors Kevin, Luis, and Erick for insights and putting them in the right position to catch long waves. All the instructors were helpful and had great attitudes.

Jeffrey and Jasmine took great care of us the entire time and made us feel as if we were their only clients this week (which was a very hectic week). We hated to leave but will definitely be back.

Thank tommyjonesfranklin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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