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“Exceeded expecations”

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Vista Guapa Surf Camp
Ranked #4 of 30 Jaco B&B and Inns
New Jersey
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Exceeded expecations”
Reviewed November 19, 2009

This is more a Bed and Breakfast (and dinner) than a surf camp and it is BEAUTIFUL. The rooms are great - very clean, and pretty. The staff is more like family. It's safe. I was picked up at the airport, taken to the room, fed twice a day and has surfing lessons from a world renouned sufer.

  • Stayed November 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jerseymary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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118 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (11)
Date | Rating
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English first
Irving, TX
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed September 11, 2009

This is my second time to stay at Vista Guapa. Went this time during the "Green" season and rain was definitely not a problem. It rained twice late at night, otherwise it was hot and a mix of sun and clouds. Got way more sun than I actually needed. Wanted to say thanks to Alvaro and Durby for helping me to become a better surfer and helping me in the water. Thanks!!!
If you are a good surfer this place is great. If you have never surfed before, this is the place for you.
Lots of people commented on the walk into town. A cab is 3 dollars, don't walk.
I'll be back soon to tackle Hermosa again. Pura Vida!

  • Stayed September 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank keithalan1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
CO
1 review
Reviewed April 28, 2009

I just got back from a week and there is a lot of downtime. You surf 1x a day for a couple hours and then you are on your own. You need to walk into town (2 miles) or take a cab to do anything. The place is nice and very clean and most the staff is friendly. I would not recommend this place to intermediate or advanced surfers. They only have mass produced epoxy boards starting at 8.5ft and some short board 5.5ft that will work if you are advanced and unders 130lbs. You will need to go into town to rent a board or bring your own.

  • Stayed April 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank ezetoplz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed April 10, 2009

My boyfriend and I were taking a week and were looking to both relax and unwind, while doing something active. Neither of us had surfed or mountain biked before, but consider ourselves athletic individuals. We were really, really pleased with our week. Alberto and Durby took us out each day, and due to the relatively empty week, most days we got private instruction! We both picked it up fairly immediately and had a fabulous time all week. Alvaro took us mountain biking a few times and it was certainly not for the faint of heart! In fact, I'm an avid runner and the steep hills were really a cardio challenge but the views were just incredible. The food is spectacular and there was nothing like getting back from the beach (most of our lessons were early, 6-8am) and coming home to an extraordinarily fresh, hearty, and delicious breakfast. And the staff were very gracious when my empty pit boyfriend would ask more helpings. The trip to Manuel Antonio was great, and we found Edwin to be so informative and friendly to us all week. We would be driving somewhere and he pull over to show us some gem of a flower, or the special plants where coconut oil is harvested and let us touch the husks. He went above and beyond day after day. He also made it his mission to improve me spanish throughout the week and was very patient and encouraging as a tutor. We took advantage of the bikes and went to the beach for sunset HH's and spent lots of time at the pool. It was relaxing and hanging out on our porch overlooking the ocean was just what we needed. The rooms were clean and the level of detail and beauty they put into their grounds is just awesome. We have recommended Vista Guapa to everyone we know and plan to return. Our only disappointment was that there weren't more folks there at the same time, we had the camp to ourselves most of the week. But they can't help that!

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank kdrennan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed March 22, 2009

I stumbled upon Vista Guapa during my trip to Costa Rica in December, and it has literally changed my life. Although I did not stay at the camp the first time, Alvaro and his crew taught me how to surf and lit a passion that is never going to die. The second time (5 weeks later) I stayed at the camp and it is wonderful. It is away from the main street and offers a very relaxing environment. With only 6 rooms, it is never crowded and you get a lot of privacy should you want to. On the other hand, there is a very friendly atmosphere among the fellow guests and staff so if you love getting to know new people from different walks of life - this is the place!

The instructors, Alvaro (the owner and 7 time Costa Rican champion), Alberto and Durby have become friends as well as mentors, and have taught me so much, not just about surfing. You spend a significant amount of time hanging out in the water and they are really fun company but also make you feel safe and taken care of! In addition, as previous reviewer mentioned, these guys are awesome surfers and the envy of many (including myself)

I would recommend having a rental car, as there are many hidden gems to explore when not surfing and the camp is a 20 minute walk from the main town. As one reviewer mentioned, surfing only takes place 2 hours a day (this is because it has to be high tide, otherwise it gets very shallow and you can hurt yourself pretty bad) but it does drain a lot of energy. However, if you have some left, there are mountain bikes at the camp and both Alvaro and Durby are keen cyclists. There is also a self practice yoga space with a beautiful view of the ocean.

Breakfast and dinner is included, and you are taken by one of the instructors to dinner at a different place every night. Although included, you can also skip the group dinner and head out on your own if you fancy.

If you want to learn how to surf while taking in the beauty of Costa Rica, this is the place to go...and don't forget to order the banana pancakes for breakfast!

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
1 Thank spedjers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
Reviewed March 16, 2009

It is all true and more !!! I just returned from 8 days @ the Vista Guapa Surf Camp and had the most amazing time. First of all the people are what make VIsta Guapa simply the best. Everyone from the grounds crew, to your cleaning lady, to the surfing instructors and the driver who picks you up at the airport are what make the stay here simply unforgettable. And rest assured the guests staying at the surf camp are all super cool. Shout Outs to Jen & Sung(My Moral Support), Anna & Bob, Andy & Heather.

The grounds are immaculate, the rooms spotless, and the views amazing. I was a first time surfer who is now hooked on the sport. The instructors make it so easy to learn and they ensure everyone has fun. My first 2 lessons were challenging but something clicked on the third time out. From then on I had a hard time sleeping because I just could not wait to get back in the water. I also had the pleasure of going mountain biking with Durby and Alvaro. I am a casual mountain biker in Canada but these guys can push even the most experienced bikers to challenge themselves I am sure.

I was a little leary of staying in Jaco but the camp is actually just off the main strip enough to enjoy the tranquility but also just a short walk to the town center for lunch or if you want to party.

As good as all the reviews are they still do not do it justice. Vitsa Guapa Surf Camp is something you need to experience for yourself

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled solo
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Helpful?
Thank Surfs_Up27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Abita Springs, Louisiana
1 review
Reviewed March 3, 2009

Weather you want to find the best surf in Costa Rica to push your abilities or start from scratch, this is the surf camp for you. If you want to find a quite place where everything is taken care of, and you don't want to surf.......this is the place too. A full service B&B plus.....plus surfing instruction, plus a beautiful view (Vista Guapa), plus friendly staff, plus close proximity to one of the coolest surf towns in Costa Rica, plus everyone goes out to dinner......all that is included....you can't beat it.

  • Stayed February 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Pura_Vida_Surfing
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

Property: Vista Guapa Surf Camp
Address: Las Lomas de Jaco, Jaco, Costa Rica
Location: Costa Rica > Province of Puntarenas > Jaco
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 30 B&Bs / Inns in Jaco
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Vista Guapa Surf Camp 3*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Our Eco-Lodge features lovely guest bungalows all with an unobstructed view of the ocean, each with two individual rooms with private baths, air conditioning, two Twin beds or one Queen-sized bed and large decks with hand-crafted, native-wood furniture and comfortable hammocks for relaxing. The decks are ideal for enjoying the breeze, watching the sun rise over the hills and set over the Pacific Ocean, or taking in a visit from the family of macaws living near the property. Our bungalows are equipped with small safes for the storage of valuables, small refridgerators for snacks and drinks, and coffee machines for that morning wakeup. We do look to promote a relaxing environment and for you to "unplug", therefore our rooms do not have TVs, telephones or Internet connections, enabling our guests to enjoy the Pura Vida of Costa Rica. We do offer business center servies and free WiFi in the main house. We have a lovely pool and two Yoga decks which also serve as our massage decks, one of which looks out over the ocean, the other over the pool. Our massuese can also offer services on the deck of your bungalow or in your room, and couples massages are available as well. Other spa services such as manicures, pedicures, and haircuts and styling can be arranged. Our concierge is available 24 hours a day to meet all of your needs including shuttle services into town, tour bookings such as camopy tour, horseback riding, ATV, crocodile and much more, private fitness and Yoga instruction. Our staff of professional surfers and SUP surfers are the #1 rated in Jaco for surf and SUP lessons. We currently staff a 5-time National and Central American Champions, as well as other top-ranked professional surfers and SUP surfers. All staff members are certified by the International Surf Instructor Association (ISA) and are certified in CPR, First-Aid, and Open-Water Lifesaving Techiniques. We also currently staff a veteran Beach Lifeguard that worked in Texas, Hawaii, and California, with EMT and Big Surf Rescue training. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Vista Guapa Surf Camp Hotel Jaco
Vista Guapa Surf Camp Costa Rica/Jaco

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