We were planning a Costa Rican vacation with another couple that would include our grown children (17-25) and our oldest son is a surfer and had made several trips to the Mal Pais area, raving about the laid back, natural vibe. We stumbled on Blue Surf Sanctuary and what a blessing. We booked all four bungalows for a full week.
Rather than go on and on repeating all of the wonderful reviews, let me just mention my personal high points.
Location - remote - imagine a Survivor episode, but you have hot water, clean sheets, a/c and good food. Granted, we were there in June, but there were times in the late afternoon when there was not another human being visible on the beach right at the hotel. We drove up the road a ways to Hermosa Beach and didn't see another person for over a mile up the beach. In the mornings or when the tide was right, there might be 20 surfers out on the water, the occasional horseback riders and folks strolling the beach. Now, on the road into town there is always activity.
Clean, simple rooms with comfortable beds and plenty of pillows. Huge showers with rain heads. Air conditioning in the rooms - I'm all for roughing it and acclimating to the conditions, but it is really nice to fall asleep in a cool room and it also allows your clothes to dry out.
Spacious balconies on each bungalow. I somehow found the time to read three books while hiding on our balcony, surrounded by palms and tropical flowering plants I can't even name, occasionally distracted by the swarms of butterflies and hummingbirds and the occasional iguana or squirrel, the distant call of howler monkeys, sipping on a fruity rum drink - just magical.
If you've ever sat on a Pacific beach and just watched the surf and been lost in the horizon, then I don't need to describe it. If you haven't, then, well you just have to do it.
The open air kitchen/dining area - maybe the heart of BSS. There is a huge table and a couch and chairs and a lot of counter space. There is internet access. This is where we congregated and shared stories of our adventures and played card games and laughed, a lot. It was like we moved our home to paradise. In a week we probably cooked three evening meals and maybe the same number of lunches and breakfasts. There are plenty of decent places to eat, but sometimes it’s just fun to cook, particularly the big Rooster fish that we caught on a trip set up by BSS. From morning to evening there is a host hanging out at the table to help with just about everything and the hosts ...
When you read the reviews, everyone raves about the staff and you think, "C'mon, don't overdo it". But these folks are just the best - Facu, Julieta, Sean and dear Sofi. Friendly, helpful, intelligent, engaging, attractive, funny, competent - we left some real friends back in Santa Teresa. There is always a night watchman that I expect stays awake all night (but I can't swear to that as I was sawing logs).
I know this stretch of coast is on most surfers’ bucket list, but I don't surf. I can say that it was a thrill finally getting to watch my son shred (is that the word?) chest to head waves, scary watching him take his younger brother through the impact zone (he's more of a rookie) and great fun watching two of our friends' kids taking lessons on the smaller stuff.
Blue Surf Sanctuary is probably not for you if:
- you want to go into town and shop for designer clothes and jewelry.
- you are uncomfortable driving on gravel roads
- you want to emerge from your beach side room, properly quaffed in full designer beach attire to find Pepe the beach boy setting up your chair and umbrella and ready to scamper off to get you mineral water and zero calorie snacks and set up your many/pedy (nothing wrong with this, it’s just not BSS)
- you can't wash a dirty plate
- you can't handle a full day of travel (it is remote)
- you need someone to watch the children while you go into town for dinner and dancing
- you are looking to hook up unless the twenty-something trustafarian with dreadlocks is your type (boy or girl).
If you are looking for a beautiful place with friendly people, to escape and unwind and commune with nature and still enjoy the basic creature comforts and be looked after by folks that genuinely care, then Blue Surf Sanctuary is for you.
Murphy in Texas
All great. "Hermosa" is at the far end.
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.