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Casa Iguana, Playa Jaco, Costa Rica, June 2010 - Trip report and photos by Jordan, Lonny and Eric
It was a long 6 months of anticipation from the time we won the fall draw to the day we left for Costa Rica. Each time we surfed in the cold fog, each time we peeled off our wetsuits in the pouring rain, we couldnít help but talk about our upcoming trip to a tropical surf paradiseÖ
The setup that we won from CoastalBC was a 7-night stay at Casa Iguana, which is located on Playa Jaco on the Pacific coastline of Costa Rica. This place is the definition of luxury, having everything you could want for a retreat on the beach. Completed in 2009, Casa Iguana consists of a 3-story mansion, each floor itís own ocean-view suite, as well as another suite tucked against a river that flows in behind in the garden. Each suite has its own kitchen, TV, wireless internet access, and air conditioning. There is a great pool with a waterfall, as well as a huge covered patio on the roof of the mansion; complete with a bar, foosball table, and bathroom. While it is possible to rent a single suite, this location would be the ultimate place to have a big crew on a trip together, as you could rent out the entire complex and have the place to yourselves. The town of Jaco is about a 15-minute walk up the beach, or a two-dollar cab ride away.
The host, Marlon, is the perfect candidate for the job. Heís a super fun guy, and his only concern is that everybody has the best time possible. He can hook you up with everything including rides to/from the airport, surfboard rentals, where to eat, and any other activities. There are tons of cool things you can do in the area, including deep-sea fishing, whitewater rafting, ziplining, ATVing, various nature tours, etc.
Costa Ricaís Pacific coast gets some of the most consistent surf in the world. During our summer (Costa Ricaís green season) they get a lot of good south swell from winter storms in the southern hemisphere. The surfing is pretty decent right out front on Playa Jaco, which is where we did the majority of our surfing. Itís a pretty typical beach break, which is surfable at high tide. However, if the swell gets too big, it will usually close out. Surfing is incredibly popular at Jaco, so Iím sure it could get really busy during the high season. One good thing about Casa Iguana is that it is located on the far south end of the beach, so there tends to be a lot less people around than closer to town.
There are tons of other great breaks nearby, and Marlon can take you anywhere you want to go. A couple kms south is Roca Loca, a right-handed rocky point break. For a heavier, more consistent beach break you can head further south to Playa Hermosa. A short boat trip from Jaco north can take you to Playa Escondida, a good left point break. Or a long drive up north can take you to Boca Barranca, supposedly one of the longest lefts around.
Our trip was unreal. There was myself, my boyfriend Lonny and his brother Eric. For the most part, we had the whole place to ourselves, with just us, Marlon, and another girl from BC named Tasha staying there. We also had the beach mostly to ourselves, as we went during the low season. We all surfed right out front, usually twice a day (we lucked out with 2 high tides between 5am and 6pm for the week we were there). Scored lots of great waves over the week, and had fun watching Marlon who rips. We went deep-sea fishing with Tasha and caught some awesome fish that would give us plenty of meals for the week. We also went Ziplining up in the Rainforested Mountain overlooking Jaco. We played bocce on the beach with coconuts, had a sunset beer-dart tournament, drank lots and lots of Imperial, and had some good nights dancing at the clubs in town. After our week at Casa Iguana, we took a boat across to the Nicoya Peninsula and spent some time backpacking and surfing through Montezuma, Santa Teresa, and Mal Pais, before heading back to San Jose to fly home.
The three of us cannot thank CoastalBC and Casa Iguana enough. It was a great trip and we would highly recommend anyone wanting to take a surf trip to check out this option!
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