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“My first Solo Trip, Couldn't have chosen a better place.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Lucero Surf Retreats

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Lucero Surf Retreats
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| Santa Theresa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #18 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Toronto, Canada
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“My first Solo Trip, Couldn't have chosen a better place.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2011

So I researched so many places to learn how to surf. I stumbled upon this place on TripAdvisor and couldn't have been happier with my Choice. Marieke and Jared (the couple that own the surf camp) are the most inviting people I have met. I was a female solo traveller that has only gone as far as tourist Acapulco Mexico on a resort, so going to this small surf town by myself was a little scary. Once I got into town I was quick to learn that allot of people there are from North America or Europe and definitely not scary at all. Everyone at Otro Lado (the hotel Lucero Surf camp partners with) made me feel welcome, and the food there is just amazing, you feel as if you are in a tropical oasis.

Lucero made everything super easy, down to calling cabs and arranging my excursions while i was there. My surf lessons were super fun, Jared is an awesome teacher and amazing at catering to everyones skill level. Marieke was on the ball with details, she made the reservation process and "getting ready" process super easy. She was great with replying to my emails quickly and answering all my questions. They never made me feel like I was traveling alone. The hotel is beautiful and situated close enough to be part of the action but far enough to be a nice quite place to have a coffee, take a dip or read a book.

There are a few ways to get there:
1- Fly to a major city in Costa Rica (I flew to SJO but i think you can also do Liberia) and then take a tiny plane to Tambor and then Taxi.
2 - Fly in and then there is a 6hour bus ride which is cheaper then the small plane
3 - Fly in and rent a car drive down

My only advice is that if you are like me and love to explore and do allot of excursions and activities is to rent a car and drive down from the airport so that you have a vehicle while you are there. It's not needed if you just want to hang in the town. I did rent ATV's which are cheap and fun but with everything added into the equation (taxi+plane ect) I think you'd be better off with a small 4x4. If you don't have the itch to go outside of the town and just want to sit and hang then there is no need for a vehicle there are plenty of Taxis out there.

All in all i couldn't recommend a better place or people to learn how to surf with. This was a trip truly worth it!

Room Tip: Every room at Otro Lado has AC and a fan, they have both standard rooms with a king bed that can be...
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  • Stayed December 2011, 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.
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24 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (3)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 31, 2011

My mother (50) and I (22) decided to go to Costa Rica for a girls' adventure trip after I graduated from college. We booked with Lucero for their Surf & Adventure Retreat and got exactly that. All our transportation and day-trips were arranged for us which was ultra-convenient. Desafio, the adventure company used, was excellent, fun, and dedicated to our experience. We had a blast rafting, ziplining, and repelling. When my mom slipped during the hiking portion of the repelling trip, they did everything possible to help her out including driving her to the paramedicos for a free check.

My mother had had enough adventure by that time which was perfect because now we headed for Santa Teresa, the sun, the beach, and the ocean. She had declined the surf lessons before we went on the trip but fully participated in Francesca's great yoga sessions. When we found out a massage wasn't included in our particular trip, she was a little disappointed but Marieke arranged for her to get her massage (free i think) anyways. That's great service! The staff of Lucero and of the hotel, Otro Lado, went out of their way to make you feel like you were part of their group of friends. There was really a community feel and we only wish we could have stayed longer as we were just getting to know our fellow guests.

I took the surf lessons with two other women on the retreat. We had Patrick as our instructor and he made our two hour daily sessions exhausting, informative, and really fun. By the second day we were all catching a majority of the little waves we paddled for. Watch out for the current and the rocks~ I had a blast despite a couple of scrapes and bruises. Again, I only wish I could have stayed longer.

Santa Teresa is a great town full of great dining and boutique-y shopping options. Don't expect any souvenirs and maybe bring a handkerchief to cover your mouth and nose as the ATVs, trucks, and dirtbikes kick up a lot of dust. It's pedestrian friendly for the most part and we had no issues walking everywhere even after dark. Make sure to get to the beach for the sunset!!!

Otro Lado was comfortable, clean, and peaceful (don't except late night parties, everyone's usually in bed by 10pm or sitting on their little balconies reading). We didn't miss our TVs or computers in the least bit and you probably won't either--just bring a good book and don't be afraid to talk to your neighbors!

Lucero arranged everything conveniently and with great customer service. Marieke was quick to answer our questions and offer assistance--which is tremendous considering she was about to burst with baby!

  • Stayed January 2011
    • 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.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Top Contributor
84 reviews 84 reviews
32 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 17, 2011

When travelling to Costa Rica the first thing that comes to my mind is surfing! Out of 100's of surf schools and camps in Santa Teresa we were so HAPPY that we picked Lucero Surf Retreats.

Marieke, the owner of Lucero, was attentive and detailed oriented from the day I emailed her my request and questions. Once in Playa Santa Teresa she welcomed us with a huge smile and itinerary for the week. She had even made reservations for us for our Welcome Dinner at Brisas Del Mar (one the best restaurants in S. Teresa). The huge benefit of booking with Lucero is that you get to stay at the Otro Lado Lodge (please read my super positive review of Otro Lado) .

I had such an amazing surfing experience with Lucero as they delivered everything promised in their package. I never once had to ask or question...it was just done and delivered! The yoga sessions were incredible and in the most beautiful setting!

We had surf boards for the week and Jared our Jersey surf instructor was super positive, knowledgeable and really fun to be around! We also surfed at Playa Hermosa for a couple of days and at the end of it all Marieke gave us a CD with all our surfing pics! Jared also took us on a day trip to Montezuma Falls! A must see and do!

And our massages were heavenly! A much needed one hour session after doing yoga and surfing all week!

If you are looking for a surf camp or lessons I wouldn't look any further! You can beat the price, quality of service and deliverables + Marieke and Jared are super nice people who would do anything to make your stay and experience PERFECT! It was truly a highlight of my trip to Costa Rica!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 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.
Edinburgh, United Kingdom
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 6, 2010

We are a family of four from Wisconsin. Our son is 7 and our daughter is 4. Last year we went for 2 weeks to Santa Teresa through Lucero Surf Retreat. We were quite nervous about going somewhere so far from home...we had the best vacation ever! The Lucero owners, Marieke and Jared, took care of everything and we didn't have a worry once we stepped off the little plane in Tambor.

My husband wanted to learn to surf and did. My son was 5 1/2 and also learned to surf. I was afraid of learning to surf, & not only learned, but loved it!

We returned this year in June and July for a 5 week vacation through Lucero again. Marieke took fabulous care of us yet again, & Jared has to be the best surf instructor around. So fabulous with our children. He even got our daughter to surf, though she was frightened. We plan to go again, as Santa Teresa is beautiful and we now consider Marieke and Jared part of the family.

If you are interested in learning to surf (or improving), use Lucero. If you have children who have an interest in surfing, use Lucero. You won't regret it.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
    • 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.
San Francisco, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2010

Basically, I'd agree with the other reviews. The ambiance and surf of Santa Teresa is amazing and the hosts at Lucero / Otro Lado are awesome and accommodating. We went for our honeymoon, and literally, it was almost perfect....for the reasons stated in the other reviews.

That said, there are just a few things that guests should know -- or at least that I would have liked to known, beforehand.

1) While the rooms are spacious and clean, they do not have TV's or radios. Just remember to bring a laptop / dvd player and / or an iPod with portable speakers if you're the type (like myself) that likes a little music while hanging out poolside and maybe a movie at the end of the day.

2) Rent quads / 4 wheelers. Just put that in your budget now. We paid $150 for a 3 day rental. Granted, you can walk to the beach and a few restaurants, but quads open up the entire experience in Costa Rica. The shortcut to Cabo Blanco is so much fun on a quad! Otherwise, the beat up roads make for hellacious rides in the dusty cabs.

3) Do NOT go to the beach without a towel and bug spray. After each surf lesson I would flop on the beach, happily exhausted. Little did I know I was getting eaten alive by sand fleas. The bites didn't show up for a few days, but by the time I left my legs looked disgusting and itched like crazy. Easily 50 bites total! The fleas only pop up if disturbed, so a towel usually does the trick, from what I read online. Not Lucero's fault at all, lol -- just some friendly advice.

4) If you do the Montezuma and Cabo Blanco hikes (which I totally recommend), be sure to wear sneakers or hiking shoes. My wife wore flip flops the first day and it was a mess. These are amazing hikes, but not easy ones, so just be prepared.

Now get on out to Santa Teresa and have a once in a lifetime trip!

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 18, 2010

Amazing doesn't begin to describe my experience with Lucero. I went for a girls getaway with my best friend and we couldn't have planned a more incredible trip. It was my first time in Costa Rica and my first time surfing and I loved every minute of it. As soon as we landed in Tambor the realities of the "real world" melted away and relaxation time began! The surfing was amazing and our instructor was wonderful. Yoga on the beach was such a perfect experience that any other yoga studio just won't cut it for me now. I was exhausted most days but in the best kind of way. I felt like I got the absolute most out of every day!

The accommodations at Orto Lado were beautiful - simple and peaceful - and I loved the open-air shower! Lounging by the pool surrounded by the tropical landscaping and making friends with the kitties The meals there were so delicious and full of fresh, quality ingredients (I've never tasted coffee that delicious before!). Vaggi & Nico were wonderful hosts and took care of everything we needed.

I highly recommend Lucero to anyone thinking about visiting Costa Rica or going on a surf adventure. I can't wait to vacation with them again!!

  • Stayed June 2010, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
1 review
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 11, 2010

I needed to spend a week in Costa Rica between dental visits - I was getting some extensive work done in San Jose to save money over the US, and wanted a wonderful adventure. My sister was game, and we rented a 4-wheel drive and took off. First we traveled to the volcano that 90% of all tourists visit while in Costa Rica. We stayed in one of the fancy hotels nearby which was lovely but defintely not what I had in mind for fun. Luckily we saw the volcano - so many don't due to fog, and got very close without a major rain storm on a guided hike. Then the fun really began. We drove to West coast to the beach. The roads were much more challenging, and we might never have arrived with a GPS, but that was fun, too! Took the ferry over to the peninsula and headed to Santa Teresa. We'd reserved a room at Otro Lado through Lucero Surf Resorts online. They'd gotten terrific reviews on TripAdvisor.com and I'm delighted to report the reviews were merited. Otro Lado is an intimate set of four villas around a pool and across the road from the ocean. Marieke met us our first night and directed us to a cute Argentine place for our welcome dinner. A great beginning to a fun-filled time. We'd been nervous about traveling during the "green" (rainy) season, but we never had rain during the day - only some massive downpours during the night that made the pretty challenging roads even more so. Had fantastic yoga sessions in a gorgeous outdoor setting surrounded by the rain forest, the best horseback ride of my life through jungle and on beach, a zip line tour where we were the only two riders and got great personal attention from the two guides, and of course wonderful surf lessons. I didn't make too much progress as a beginner given the fairly intense surf, but the lessons were great and the beach was absolutely gorgeous. My sister and I just lay out and soaked up the temperate clime and beautiful visitas several times. Otro Lado supplied delicious organic breakfasts and lunches with the best arugula and homemade pita ever. Our final day included a heavenly massage from the amazing Argentine woman who took care of us at the hotel and treated us as old friends throughout. We roamed the cute little cafes at night, spending every evening enjoying a bottle of wine and catching up in ways we haven't for 20 years. Could it have been more perfect. No. Loved every minute.

  • Stayed June 2010
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lucero Surf Retreats

Address: | Santa Theresa, Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Santa Teresa
Amenities:
Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #18 of 25 Hotels in Santa Teresa
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
As a guest of Lucero Surf Retreats you will be staying at an exclusive beautiful-resort, only 25 meters from the ocean. With luxurious little villas that can accommodate up to four guests. Surrounded by a tropical lush garden, a pool to cool off in and a small restaurant. In the morning the nice wooden floor of the restaurant turns into a private yoga studio! Weekly packages include daily surf-lessons, breakfast-lunch, morning yoga, transfer to Tambor airport, surf-manuals and personal surf pictures, day-trips and a one hour massage! ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Lucero Surf Retreats Hotel Santa Teresa
Lucero Surf Retreats Nicoya
Lucero Surf Retreats Costa Rica/Santa Teresa

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