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“LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Vista Guapa Surf Camp

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Vista Guapa Surf Camp
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Las Lomas de Jaco, Jaco, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #3 of 22 Jaco B&B and Inns
Wall Township, New Jersey
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“LIFE CHANGING EXPERIENCE!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 29, 2012

Where do I begin? OH YES with Pura Vida !!!

Let me first give you all my quick background: mid-40's woman, overworked with many responsibilities continually resting on my shoulders. I was looking to get away (traveling alone) for some "mental & physical" transformation of my body and soul. I was at my lowest energy with burn out.

I "surfed" (excuse the intended pun) the internet for a SUP vacation, all included as not to tax my mind with any additional details. I came across "Vista Guapa Surf Camp" and immediately emailed and received an almost immediate response. I felt the need to speak with someone about traveling alone (as a female) and called "Wendy Solano" right at the camp in Vista Guapa Costa Rica. After a 10 minute conversation with the "beautiful and ever gracious" Wendy all my fears melted away about traveling alone, and in trying "surfing" as well as "SUPing" while enjoying Vista Guapa on my own. Wendy's soft and sincere (very good English) was comforting. My mind was decided and just a short conversation with Wendy. I booked my whole trip in minutes and left in a couple days without a worry trusting Wendy's words.

As promised, from the moment I landed in San Jose I was in the "Best of Hands" from being picked up at the airport to arriving at the camp to becoming a part of the "Solano Family". I CANNOT SAY ENOUGH POSITIVE WORDS about Vista Guapa Surf Camp and the Solano Family (Alvaro, Wendy, Denis aka Titi and staff)!

Upon entering camp late in the afternoon I was immediately brought in as a "family member"; I barely unpacked when the "Master of the surf" Sir Alvaro Solano asked if I wanted to grab a SUP board and SUP until sunset and grab an immediate bite of dinner right out of the water and across the street at Juanitas. I couldn't believe my late afternoon of SUPing in the warm Pacific with the "silent grace and knowledge" of one of the world's finest and inspirational surfers "Alvaro Solano"!

He is MUCH MUCH MUCH MORE than just a "world class surfer" he has a "quiet inner goodness of spirit" about him that "radiates" out and is soothing and contagious. He walks and surfs quietly amongst his peers as if it was his first day in the water (always curious always thankful to be there) and never ever looks to prove who he is (a world class surfer). Alvaro is more interested in how the surf "sings" and he "whistles" to Neptune in the sea for "waves" and I can tell you from my experience he is connected with the sea as "waves" DO APPEAR once he arrives. It is almost like his "spirit" is one with the sea.

It dos not matter if you have NEVER stepped a foot on a surfboard (yours truly) or have traveled the world catching the biggest of waves. Alvaro effortlessly equips you with the knowledge of his "lifetime" to quickly get you UP & RIDING WAVES! Seriously, I do not know how he does it! First day and I am actually standing and riding in waves.

At first I thought I was just LUCKY how I could ride a wave paddle back out jump on another wave and again and again and again with out pausing. I looked around me and saw others still sitting on their boards as I just caught wave after wave. My thoughts of being "lucky" were quickly disproved as this happened day after day after day! The realization was Sir Alvaro was so in touch with knowing, reading, and picking the correct waves for me to ride as others I saw in the water were just sitting on their boards as I have just ridden in a dozen waves in an hour. Alvaro KNOWS THE SEA and is willing to share his knowledge of it.

Alvaro has a "warm and gracious spirit" so while you are sitting on your board catching your breath and just absorbing the atmosphere in the middle of the Pacific next to a "World Class" surfer you just feel like "Alvaro" is your brother, a family member you are out with talking about "life tribulations" or just "whats going to be on tonight's dinner menu". He is so EASY GOING you do not stress and if you are a "type A" high stress personality like myself (that usually holds ones breath in tense situations) the "son of neptune" (as I have come to call Alvaro) quickly steps in and calmly has you breathing, smiling and laughing :D as the big waves (which you never in this lifetime thought you could ride) gently pick you up and smoothly delivers you to the shore.

I could go on & on & on as Alvaro's other instructors have the same "easy" gift of teaching and how his own "Titi" 14 year old prodigy is knowledgable and helping me (physically lending me a hand) in the water, as he is also well beyond his years in wisdom. I could try to describe how when Alvaro arrives at any location (town, beach, or sea) the citizens "smile' "wave' "whistle to" or "yell a quick hello" to his "ROCKSTAR" status but you must see and feel it firsthand.

Alvaro has given me a new "mental clarity" & "physical accomplishments" in one short week then I have gathered on my own in my lifetime so far.

So, if you are looking for the "most personal" attention from ALL the STAFF at Vista Guapa Surf Camp with the personal touches from one of the "Best People" I have ever had the pleasure of meeting you MUST leave right now to Vista Guapa! Just be prepared to NEVER want to return home! I sincerely mean that.

If anyone has any specific questions I can be contacted at kimlevins@aol.com.

My Best to You All,

PURA VIDA!!! Kim :)

Room Tip: very specialized service just 3 bungalows with SPECTACULAR VIEWS and proximity. Pictures by Wendy o...
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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87 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level Contributor
14 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2012 via mobile

My wife and I stayed here for six days in July, surfing Jaco and Hermosa. Excellent location, caring and personal service, peaceful and relaxed environment. This is not a party house, it's a quiet and beautiful Bed and Breakfast. The surf was solid, beware of Hermosa, it can then roll you up hard if you're not on your game. Jaco is a good beginner or long board wave.

  • Stayed July 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 2, 2012

This year is supposed to be all about changes, small ones and big ones. Surfing seemed ideal as I have not tried it before then got the idea of traveling solo. Though I had a fear of traveling alone as it was my first, I packed my stuff and flew over to Jaco to be greeted by Alvaro and Wendy.

Vista Guapa took me in as part of their family immediately. My week stay was painted colorfully with lots of love and memories. Warm people, sanctuary bungalow, immaculate view, fun surf and paddle board lessons and amazing food, what more could I have asked for!

If you're looking for an adventure that will make you say it's the best thing you've done for yourself, I would not look further. Go to Vista Guapa and you will smile from the moment you arrive till long after returning home. I know I'm still smiling, cooking away Costa Rican feast I have learned while out there!

Looking forward to visiting again in the near future.

Pura vida

Stayed June 2012, traveled solo
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Hampstead, New Hampshire
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2012

Fantastic time - highly recommended. Alvaro, Wendy, David, and Jon and all the staff extremely personable and couldn't have been more helpful and attentive. The location and facility was great and immaculately clean as well. Learned to surf and flat water paddle in little time and the food was awesome. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chandler, Arizona
Level Contributor
34 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 29, 2012

I've stayed in Vista Guapa several times, and can only say great things! Great atmosphere, quiet and cool at night...a perfect place to chillout, and, of course, a great place to start your surfing experience...it may never stop once you try!!! Oh, and don't forget the breakfast!!! Just...amazing! You can't go wrong in Vista Guapa!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Texas
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

This is my 3rd trip to Vista Guapa. I'm grateful to everyone for helping me to become a better surfer there. (Thanks David.) It's really a fantastic place to totally disconnect from the rest of the world and get away from everything. See you guys in May! Thanks to Alvaro and Wendy for everything.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orotina
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 24, 2012

I had a great time at Vista Guapa, the staff, the food, the lessons, the place, everything there was pretty nice. love it!! :)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Vista Guapa Surf Camp

Address: Las Lomas de Jaco, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 22 B&Bs / Inns in Jaco
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our surf camp features three lovely guest bungalows, each with an unobstructed view of the ocean. Each of the bungalows has two individual rooms with private baths, air conditioning, two single beds or one queen-sized bed and large porches. The porches are ideal for relaxing in hammocks and watching the sun rise and set over the Pacific Ocean. Our bungalows are equipped with small safes for the storage of valuables. However, our rooms do not have TVs, telephones or Internet connections, enabling our guests to leave the daily stresses of home behind and to enjoy the Pura Vida of Costa Rica. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Vista Guapa Surf Camp Hotel Jaco
Vista Guapa Surf Camp Costa Rica/Jaco

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