Surfing in Nosara, Costa Rica


I’m not going to lie.  The movie Point Break starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze was seriously one of my favorites growing up.  I can still recite the lines as if I watched it yesterday.  Something about the cool laid back surfer lifestyle and the adrenaline of the waves.  It was crazy enticing to me.  Patrick and Keanu on screen didn’t hurt either.  Funny coincidence -Patrick’s screen name?  Bodhi. Vaya con dios Brah. 

The amazing thing is that the surfing world is now at your fingertips- not just on a movie you watched as a kid.  Whether it’s something to check off on the bucket list- or a sport you’ve been doing all of your life- here in Nosara it’s for everyone.

“There are so many different elements to surfing. Small waves, big waves, long boards, short boards. This makes it a sport you can share with people. It's not just a solitary thing - it's become a family thing, too. It's about exercising and passing something on from father to son, and from mother to daughter.”

Kelly Slater

Playa Guiones has international recognition as being an amazing beach to learn how to surf.  This sport has skyrocketed into popularity and the little beach village of Nosara has now grown with it as surfing and yoga are the main draw.   

Maria del Mar Alfaro has been a major part of the surfing world since 1997.  She is the founder and owner of Del Mar Surf Camp- her business that will celebrate it’s 15th year in 2016! A Costa Rica native known for her fun and encouraging instructions, her positive affirmations and “don’t give up” attitude has all attributed to her success.  Her students would say it’s all about being positive. She’s going to make you work- you gatta paddle! Being taught the right way is so important- little tips that Maria has learned through pilates and yoga-she shares in her surf coaching especially when working with women.

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Maria has also been the Executive Assistant right here at Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort- so I took the opportunity to ask her a few more things on surfing in Nosara.

She explained how the sand cover on bottom of the ocean here is nice and flat which produces a long white water wave for beginners to ride on and practice.  Maria stated the way that Guiones faces the ocean makes a difference too- that we get both north and south shore swells. This can produce a “friendly challenging wave” – a super fun break and the wave shape itself is great too.

Some exciting news to share is that Bodhi Tree Yoga Resort will now be the exclusive home to all Del Mar Surf Camp guests!  Maria said “I am so excited to have this beautiful, gorgeous place to stay and to align with a home like Bodhi Tree- a place that follows my same principles.  The grounds are amazing and the options for all budget levels- it really is the best.”

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We couldn’t be more proud to host the guests of this top notch Surfing Camp and also to work with a company that really has made big strides and up’ed the level of professionalism.  Del Mar Surf Camp has been recognized by the Costa Rica Tourism Board.  They also have recently acquired the Sustainability Certification- which as Maria explained is not an easy task to do.  This means that every single aspect of the operation is done in a sustainable way.  She made it a requirement that her entire team has been certified by the ISA (International Surf Association) CPR, First Aid, and Water Rescue.  All of our Bodhi Tree Surf Instructors follow these guidelines as well.

I took a moment to check in with Jessie Chatty one of Bodhi Tree’s Surf Instructors!

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Q: How long have you been surf coaching?

Jessie: I have been coaching for eight years.

Q: What would your students say you are known for?

Jessie: That’s tough for me to answer. I would say my ability to connect with them.

Q: What is it about Guiones that makes it such a great beginners- all levels spot?

Jessie: The consistency of the surf. We have waves everyday! It offers a variety of waves with the different tides and swell directions.

Q: Can you explain your surf instructions and why someone should try it- even if they have never surfed before?

Jessie: My instruction is pure focus on the individual and their goals. Safety and etiquette are highlighted. Having fun is very important because that’s what surfing is all about! Someone should try it out because it is such a unique activity that connects us with the ocean. I am a life long surfer and feel so fortunate to share something that I love.

Q: What do you love the most about having Bodhi Tree as your home for your lessons?

Jessie: Bodhi Tree is amazing because it is a beautiful location and facility. It is a platform for teachers/ instructors/ coaches like me to share our passions. In my opinion that is an awesome thing!

We’ve got you covered- if you want a lesson or two to try something brand new, or you are ready to take your surfing sport to the next level OR if you want to take a week long Surf Camp – one thing is clear, Surfing in Nosara and at Bodhi Tree is here to stay. 

“Little hand says its time to rock and roll” Bodhi (Patrick Swayze, Point Break 1991).