A note from the Publisher: The Costa Rica Blog Network has chosen to feature the following article for its appreciation and description of Pavones, and the writer’s exclamation: “When I saw this place for the first time I had a feeling that describes more than pure happiness, I never experienced that anywhere else.” Thanks to Lars for submitting his personal account to us. We hope you make it back to your “heaven in Costa Rica” one day. Pura vida!
Featured Author: Lars Zeekaf (visit the Lars Zeekaf Living My Dream Blog)
A small village, more like a community, was my first destination located far away from San José. Not many take the effort to go directly that far. Passing countless small towns, switching buses in the middle of nowhere, dirt roads and slow traffic. After an eye-opening 12hr journey, crossing beautiful nature, smelling and seeing new things I arrived.
My first glimpse of this amazing place was the sunset shining trough the palm tree forest. The waves where glowing red and breaking perfectly on the long stretched beach. As I still bumped from left to right while the bus tried to conquer the wet, brown dirt road, I could not control the smile on my face.
“When I saw this place for the first time I had a feeling that describes more than pure happiness, I never experienced that anywhere else”
I found myself getting of the bus, walking trough a small alley of bushes that leaded towards my hostel. I got greeted by a friendly couple and was shown my room. I was so excited about this place I didn’t know what to do first. Then after a few seconds I put on my baggies and ran of to the beach.
It’s amazing that a place like this can give you so much energy even after a day of only traveling. I walked up untill the river mouth that beautifully ran deep back into the forest. I never saw beach edges covered with so much ‘’green’’. I dropped down in the sand, laid on my back and tried to take in all the awesomeness I saw in one day…
Waking up the next day, was like waking up in a tree-house. With my eyes half-open I could spot 2 parrots sitting next to my window. Monkey’s howling as the first sun reached my window. Quickly I got up for my first surf.
Rocky paths showed me the way. After crossing the ”plaza de fútbol” you can see a nice bar overlooking the wave. I walked up on the terrace for a quick look. This ”cantina” as they call it, as simple as it is, was just perfect.
Together with a good friend of mine that arrived a couple of days before, we made our way down the beach. Crossing the river mouth again, where a dog faithful waited on his buddy in the water. All these small things made me love this place more and more.
My first warm water surf was right here, I could not believe how nice it was. As soon as it got deep enough I dived in, grabbed my board and took a moment looking at the beach. It is such an amazing sight seen from the water, green everywhere, birds flying up and down, pelicans doing fly-by’s and the early morning glow gave it a mysterious look.
My first wave felt awesome. But fast as the wave is, I definitely had to step it up. Friendly people in the water makes it comfortable to surf this world-class wave. A solo SUP’er was letting the line-up know when a set was coming, and with such a long wave there was enough for everybody. And with enough I mean, surfing the second longest wave in the world!
Days were filled with surf, 3 maybe even 4 times a day. But here I am, trying to tell you that this destination is not only for wave lovers. This spot, so small, so friendly is the reason why I would go back to Costa Rica!
Between the surf sessions I would get my camera and take a walk. I love to just explore a little. With some fresh coconut in my hand I would walk along the beach, take pictures of the countless parrots in the tree’s, try to get as close as possible to that funny little gecko, quickly shoot shots from the pelican’s racing centimeters above the water. And trying to see where the howling of the monkey’s is coming from.
“When you take a look around, there is nobody to bother you”
A siesta in the hammock, with all the wildlife in front of your patio is something I will never forget. Together with old and new friends we would enjoy some lovely pizza at the local restaurant. What I love so much about this place is that everything is in proportion. Nothing is big or crowded, it is just as relaxed as it can be. Go for a walk and find yourself stumbling on small paths leading to surrounded beaches. Time and space to fully relax is definitely something you can find in this area.
There are many more things that make this place earn a spot on your bucket-list, but I will save some so you can explore it yourself.
All this beauty, calmness, wildlife, friendly vibes and a world-class wave can be found at one of the most southern spots;
“Pavones, heaven in Costa Rica”
* information from a trip made in April 2011, keep in mind bus routes, schedules and prices (buses & hostels) can change.
How to get there:
- From San José – Buy a ticket a day ahead to Pavones at the Tracopa bus station (south-eastern San José). There is a 7 am morning bus going to Golfito, $13 – $18 USD depending on route of bus. In Golfito you will get off at a bus stop waiting on a bus you think will never come. As far as I know there is one bus passing Golfito in the afternoon (around 3pm) towards Pavones. If not you have to take a taxi from Golfito to Pavones, $60 – $80 USD.
- Many webpages will advice you to fly towards Golfito or anywhere close. But it is definitely possible to do everything by bus, that is if you like an adventure…
Where to stay:
- Caza Olas – A really nice hostel what made me feel like staying in a tree-house. Private and dorm-rooms available. Dorm rooms cost $10 dollars a night. The friendly couple running it will help you with every little thing. I personally highly recommend Caza Olas!
- If it not suits you there are other options to find on the web
Where to eat:
- With not a lot of low-budget options to eat, the best way is to cook yourself!
- There is a pizza restaurant and probably some more options by now. Keep in mind Pavones is far from everything so not low-budget prices
Where to buy your stuff:
- There are 2 small supermarkets located in Pavones
- One of the supermarkets serves as a bakery where you can buy some fresh bread
- Sea Kings Surfshop is a beautiful shop with everything you need
- There are no ATM’s in Pavones so bring enough cash for your first days. A way to get money is going to the supermarket with your visa & passport. Here you can cash money trough the supermarket against a small amount.
- Enjoy this amazing place!
Click here to read the above post on the Lars Zeekaf Living My Dream Blog
Since I started traveling I always wanted to let other people get the same feeling I was experiencing. Trough my work in the tourism business I could help people and give them the service everybody wants during a vacation. Working since 2009 as a monitor in Spain, at a surfcamp with 150 people each week showed me how happy you can make someone with the smallest things. Safety was a big deal when guiding tourists down white water rapids in Argentina. Hospitality came high on my list after working as a manager in a hostel in Chile. When I say ‘goodbye’ to my guests, I want them to have had the best time ever in what I was offering at that time. With those couple of ingredients I hope some day to set up my own dream;
A hostel, with top service, open spaces where socializing is easy and waves roll in infront of your window!
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