Learn what a “Fire-Tailed Border Cocky” is, unravel the ancient mystery of the Diquís Spheres and discover where some of the bluest water in the world can be found just in time for your next surfing trip in Costa Rica.

Costa Rica is a surfer’s dream due to the water temperatures that never dip below 27˚C, the wave types suited to all skill levels and weather that’s as close to perfect as climatically possible. However, to say its only appeal lies in its ability to deliver quality surfing conditions all year round is selling it short.

World-class coffee, spectacular wildlife, stunning landscapes and interesting artifacts from days gone by can all be found in this picturesque Central American nation. Which means that in addition to enjoying a surfing holiday in Costa Rica, there’s also plenty of other stuff to check out when you have a down day.

1. Go on an excursion to the country’s famous coffee fields

Costa Rica can claim to have some of the best coffee on the planet. This is due to the fact that the temperate Central Valley region offers perfect coffee growing conditions. Even if you’re not a massive fan of coffee, you’ll still enjoy a tour of the coffee fields in this area.

Grab a morning coffee while on your surf trip through Costa Rica direct from the source
Inside these little pods are the beans that are keeping half the world awake

In addition to having a primo coffee region though, Costa Rica also has a law that prohibits farmers from growing anything but 100% Arabica – otherwise known as the highest quality coffee bean available. Many of these beans are handpicked which ensures only the best are selected. The result is coffee that’s rich and full-bodied.

For the coffee-curious amongst you, popular tours include Espiritu Santo in Naranjo and Britt just outside of San José.

2. Enjoy a night on the town in the famous Tamarindo

Located not 20 minutes from our surf camp at Playa Avellanas, Tamarindo is the destination in Costa Rica for partygoers. Known for its cool vibe, vibrant nightlife and the eclectic mix of people it attracts, Tamarindo is the perfect place to hit up when you’re down to hit the d-floor.

If you’re just looking for a bit of atmosphere, you’ll be pleased to know Tamarindo also boasts a great selection of trendy restaurants and eateries. With Café Tico, Pangas Beach Club and Surf Shack Burgers & Wings guaranteed to keep your belly full and you smiling long after your visit.

3. Visit a mountainside canine sanctuary called the Territorio de Zaguates

Consider yourself a dog lover? Then Territorio de Zaguates, or Land of the Strays, is a must-visit location on your surfing trip in Costa Rica. Here anywhere between 900 and 1,000 dogs are free to roam on 300 plus acres of mountaintop property that’s set up as a rescue facility for strays.

Visitors to Territorio de Zaguates can come and frolic alongside them in a charming bucolic setting. You can also bring your own dog for a play date or even adopt one of the resident dogs if you just can’t bear the thought of leaving without one.

Aside from being able to witness hundreds of dogs roaming across the countryside, Territorio de Zaguates is also known for analyzing their physical traits in order to determine each dog’s breed or mix of breeds. This has led to them coming up with many whimsical pedigrees, such as the “Fire-Tailed Border Cocky”, the “Bunny-Tailed Scottish Shepterrier” and the “Long Legged Irish Schnaufox” among others.

4. Climb up a magical “hollow tree”

A surfing holiday in Costa Rica is a great way to hone your wave riding skills and froth out like a grommet. When the swell doesn’t cooperate though, there’s still plenty of ways you to get back in touch with your inner child like climbing a tree for example.

But not just any tree of course. We’re talking about the magical “hollow tree”, also known as El Arbol Hueco. Situated only a few meters away from a non-descript road in Monteverde, the secretive hollow tree is formed by a series of ficus trees that have become entangled over the years. Creating a hollow interior that’s easy to climb, courtesy of the way the branches have laced together.

Up to three people can climb it at the same time. With the top offering some pretty amazing jungle views. Word of warning; If you do intend to scale it, be extra careful as there’s nothing in the way of safety measures to ensure you don’t fall. For those of you who aren’t too keen on taking the risk, it’s still a sight to behold from the ground looking up.

5. Test your mettle on the highest bungee jump in Central America

For adrenaline junkies that can’t get their fix simply from booking a surf trip to Costa Rica, why not try bungee jumping from Central America’s highest platform?

Topping out at 143 meters, Monteverde Tours offers this experience to visitors who feel the need to throw themselves off a perfectly good ledge and into the green abyss that is the Costa Rican jungle. Check out this video if you want a more accurate idea as to what this hellraising experience entails.

6. Book a stay at Rapture Surfcamps and hit the waves

This is a shameless plug, but let’s be honest a surf trip in Costa Rica with Rapture Surfcamps is undoubtedly one of the best things to do while you’re here. Not only do we offer premium quality accommodation in the most wave-rich part of the country, our surf guides know the coastline like that back of their hands.

This means that as a keen surfer, you’ll have access to a wide variety of different breaks. Many of which deliver some-rate rides for surfers of all skill levels. Then, when you’re sunburnt and salty, you can enjoy kicking back at our luxurious camp. Complete with a fully-stocked bar, friendly sloths and a refreshing pool that’s perfect for cooling down in. Life really doesn’t get much better.

7. Discover the legends surrounding the cryptic Diquís Spheres

Spend only a few days on a surf trip in Costa Rica and you’ll quickly learn that Central America is rife with mysteries, myths and legends (in addition to unbelievable waves). Many of which have roots in stories and structures left over by ancient civilizations. The Diquís Spheres are but one of these antique enigmas.

Essentially, these spheres are large rounded stones that were uncovered in the Diquís Valley in the 1930s. Since then, more and more of these man-made balls have been discovered. Nobody knows, however, exactly what their purpose is or whether they’re even particularly significant.

Built by a now-extinct people, the largest stone measures a whopping two meters plus in diameter and weighs over 16 tons. Attempts to date them by the University of Kansas place them as old as 700 CE and 1530 CE.

Unfortunately, nearly all of these hulking spheres have been moved from their original location, so you won’t be able to see them in their “natural habitat”. The good thing though is they haven’t been lost, with six currently residing in the courtyard of Costa Rica’s National Museum in San Jose.

8. Embark on a whale-watching cruise off the country’s Pacific coast

On the rare occasions when the swell goes flat, you need not be discouraged. There’s so much incredible natural beauty to discover on your surf trip in Costa Rica besides the waves. Whale watching, for example, is an awesome way to enjoy the big blue sea on a down day.

Fun fact, Costa Rica has the longest whale watching season in the world. The waters off its Pacific coastline are also home to a fantastic variety of whales. Humpbacks, pilot whales, Pseudo-Orca whales and even blue whales have all been spotted on whale watching tours over the years. With the ever-popular humpback whale able to be seen pretty much year-round.

9. Hang out with a bunch of happy three-toed sloths

Sloths have got to be the coolest animals on the planet. They’re super chill, they’re always gentle and little sloth babies will put a smile on the face of even the grumpiest human. So, it goes without saying that if you’re in Costa Rica, which is pretty much the sloth capital of the world, you’ve got to visit them. And the best place to see them is at the Aviarios del Caribe sloth sanctuary.

Located just 35 kilometers south of Limon and 10 kilometers from Cahuita National Park, Cahuita, Aviarios del Caribe observes, studies and cares for the many sloths that call it home. Tours are offered to enthusiastic visitors and there’s always a need for volunteers.

10. Bath in some of the bluest waters in the world

Want to take a dip in a river with water so blue that many people believe photos of it have been edited? Then a visit to the Rio Celeste during your surf vacation to Costa Rica should be on the cards.

Twisting and winding its way through the Tenorio Volcano National Park, this electric blue river is a popular place to visit amongst tourists and locals alike. Its neon color is due to the mixing of sulfur and calcium carbonate, which seep into the water from a nearby volcano.

Give that the river is located less than a few hours drive from our surf camp near Tamarindo, guests are able to visit on a day trip. However, we recommend taking a couple of days to check out the area. There are some nice hikes and even a couple of waterfalls. Just remember to take a towel, a change of clothes and some old but sturdy shoes to walk in, as these trails get super muddy even in the dry season.

Note that swimming in the Rio Celeste is strictly prohibited. There is, however, a public access point near the park entrance where you can enjoy bathing in water that looks like it’s been poured straight from a bottle of Gatorade.

Keen on a surf trip to Costa Rica? Get in touch with Rapture today to book a stay at our camp on Playa Avellanas