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“Its a surf camp...” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Mal Pais Surf Camp & Resort

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Mal Pais Surf Camp & Resort
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Lista de Correo, Mal Pais, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Jacksonville Beach, Florida
1 review
“Its a surf camp...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

and always a total blast!! I've been 4 times now and have never had a bad trip. I went down there solo the past two trips and stayed in the shared ranchos for $15/night. The ranchos are open air, so you're somewhat in the elements..which has never been an issue. Bugs never were a problem. You can hear the surf at night and it stays pretty cool in the room especially in the evenings. Days are a little warmer, but with the sea breeze and fans it's not bad! They have added secure safes in the rooms now which is a big plus since theft can be an issue in Costa Rica...Always fun waves out front (5-10min walk) and cool people to hang out with. Food is great, pool is awesome, restaurant/bar/hang out is perfect for chilling out and enjoying the free WIFI. The folks who run the camp(Douglas, H, Elise) are awesome and want their guests to enjoy themselves! They'll welcome you like family. I'm going back again soon...If you want to surf your brains out and not worry about driving all over the country trying to find the perfect wave this is the place(and having traveled the coast-Mal Pais/Santa Teresa are some of the best and most consistent waves you'll find)...If you're looking for a romantic getaway with the wife you ought to shell out a few bucks for the nicer rooms or look at more luxury places.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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82 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    60
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Norwegian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Tallahassee, Florida
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

Our stay was in 2011, but I thought I'd leave my feedback even though it has been a long time... I've got Costa Rica on my mind

Myself and a few friends stayed here for 8 nights and it was wonderful. Two of us stayed in a cabina and our other friend stayed in the rancho. The cabina was small, but it was all we needed. They offer a room with a double bed or you can take a room with bunk beds. There is no AC but they offer a fan. I think there may be rooms that offer AC for an additional cost if you want it. The rancho is an open-air hut with four beds (hostel style option). The rancho offered large lockers, unlike the cabina. However, the owner allowed us to leave our valuables with him and he kept them locked in a safe in his office for us. We had no problems using that as our option for security. We just carried what we needed for the next few days and got with him once we needed more cash, etc. Both the cabinas we stayed in and the ranchos share outhouse style bathrooms which I thought was nice because it gives you the feeling of showering outdoors without actually being seen by anyone.
The property is amazing, maybe even the best piece of land in the area. It has a beautiful pool, and a fully equipped recreation area with a pool table, ping pong table, indo board, swing, and lounging area. There was wifi but the signal strength was so-so. There is a big screen tv set up with cable and a selection of surf dvd's for visitors to enjoy. There is a bar and kitchen where the staff will whip you up great meals. Make sure you try a banana shake with cocoa. It was a great place to meet fellow travelers and share travel stories. Surf lessons are offered through the surf camp as well as board rentals. The staff was very nice and the owner has lived in the area for a very long time. He tends to mind himself, but is happy to talk with you and tell you anything you need to know if you just ask. If you're lucky you may even get a little surf session in with him.
The property is a short walk from the center of town, and an even shorter walk to a beautiful beach with great waves. You will see some wild animals on the property, and the resident dogs Roja and Alf are fun and friendly.
When we first arrived we heard that some guests had an issue with a break in to their room, but we chose to play it safe, taking managements advice for how to stay safe and we had no problems. However, if you are at all worried I hear that as of mid-2012 the owner has installed safes in all the rooms so now you should have NO WORRIES! Also I would imagine that the communal kitchen he was constructing at the time is now open for guests to use as an option to save a little money on food.

All in all, we were very happy with our stay and have recommended Mal Pais Surf Camp to all of our friends and family. Thank you guys, we'll be back!!!

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Tampa, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 19, 2012

Wonderful, off the dirt road, great Pool! Quiet! short walk across st to the beach, very close to all the rest. in center of town! We rented the 1st floor of house! Fantastic with full kitchen bedrooms with air conditioning! Very safe, friendly. Great selections of surfboards, lessons daily if you want them. All types of rooms available indoor/open/camp sites/house rentals/bungalows etc. Lots of amenities and honor system at the bar! The Monkeys love it hear too!

  • Stayed March 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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Huntington Beach, CA, USA
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2012

In the winter of 2012, a buddy and myself visited the Nicoya coast of Costa Rica for a surf adventure.
By far, the Mal Pais Surfcamp was the highlight of the trip. It has all of the amenities required to make your surf trip a comfortable success. The grounds are spacious and attractive with tropical plants and animals everywhere. The rooms are modern and clean. There is a refreshing pool. The food is excellent, large variety and reasonably priced. The gathering area and restaurant is Palapa style and casual. If the help is busy, you can grab your own beer or beverage and just mark it down on a clipboard. They have an extensive inventory of rental surfboards to chose from. Anything from short, ripper boards to long boards. The surfing beach is only a short walk down a path. This is a very relaxing, comfortable, safe, casual and surf oriented cool place to stay.

Room Tip: They have all types of rooms for different budgets. You can stay in an open type area with other tra...
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  • Stayed January 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 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.
San Francisco, California, United States
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

I spent about a month with the wonderful people at this resort and I had the best vacation ever! The staff is so amazing and friendly. Douglas, Elise, H and Esteban are all wonderfully accommodating and helpful. All of them surf so if you are there to get your surf on .. they will definitely be a great source for information. I was traveling alone and had the best time of any trip I have ever taken.

  • Stayed August 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
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Petersburg, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 12, 2012

The people who work there, the guests, the pool, the beach and the town are all awesome. I highly recommend it. It is a fun and relaxing place. They have a variety of accomodations. I stayed in an open air dorm Ranchero and it was nice. There is a fan above the bed, which keeps you cool at night.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 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.
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012 via mobile

My husband and I just got back from our two week vacation and it was amazing! Doug and Elise were such patient surf instructors and even though I was nervous they got me to stand on the board and catch some waves :) H was awsome and helped us book zip lining, hiking, renting ATV's, fishing trips ( we caught 27 fish in 3 hours!), and so much more. To be honest I was very nervous going to a "third world country" but I felt so safe at the surf camp and the amnesties felt like I was back in the USA. My husband and I met so many other travelers and I know we have made lifelong friends. Can't wait to bring my parents, siblings and nephews to Mal Pais Surf Camp!!

  • 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.
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Additional Information about Mal Pais Surf Camp & Resort

Address: Lista de Correo, Mal Pais, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Mal Pais
Amenities:
Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Mal Pais
Number of rooms: 12
Also Known As:
Mal Pais Surf Camp Hotel Mal Pais
Mal Pais Surf Camp And Resort
Mal Pais Surf Camp & Resort Costa Rica

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